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Full text of "West African forests and forestry"

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^NDFORESTR^ 



AROLD UN WIN 




Slje 1. B. Bill iCtbrara 




53nrth (EaroUna ^tatp (TolUap 

SD237 
U6 



00536300 H 



12476 




This book may be kept out TWO WEEKS 

ONLY, and is subject to a fine of ^PfflT 
CENTS a day thereafter. It is due on the 
day indicated below: 






60M— 048— Form 3 



WEST AFRICAN FORESTS 
AND FORESTRY 



WEST AFRICAN FORESTS 
AND FORESTRY 



A. HAROLD UN WIN 

D.Oec, M.Can., S.F.E. 

Late Senior Conservator of Forests, Nigeria 



WITH 110 ILLUSTRATIONS 
BY THE AUTHOR 



\Mo 



T. FISHER UNWIN LTD 
LONDON: ADELPHI TERRACE 



First published in 1920 



I All riahts rese^'ved) 



TO 

MY MOTHER 



PREFACE 

While going round inspecting timber areas being worked by European 
firms in Nigeria, I have often been asked for a book with illustrations 
showing the different kinds of trees which might be felled, and also 
giving some account of the trees themselves, as well as the main work 
of the Forest Department. It is with the idea of trying to supply 
this want that I have mainly compiled this work, in the hope that, 
however imperfect it may be, the various timber getters and users 
in Nigeria may find it useful. 

I have not attempted to give accurate descriptions of the trees, 
as this has already been done by Mr. Foster in his work Notes on Nigerian 
Trees and Plants, and I would refer readers to that volume, and to 
the botanical works, such as Useful Plants of Nigeria, issued under 
the authority of the Director of Kew Gardens, and the Flora of Tropical 
Africa, by Oliver ; but only refer to some specific feature of the trees 
that are most common or useful, by which they can be recognized 
by an ordinary observer without botanical knowledge. 

I wish to acknowledge with thanks the assistance given to me by 
the Central and Southern Secretaries for permission to use the annual 
Forest Report from the year 1906 onwards. 

I wish also to express my thanks to the Under-Secretary of State 
for the Colonies for permission to use my Reports on the Forests of 
Sierra Leone and th^ Afforestation of Togo. 

To Mr. H. N, Thompson, the Chief Conservator of Forests of 
Nigeria, I am indebted for much useful information obtained from 
his Report on the Gold Coast Forests. 

To Mr. R. E. Dennett, Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests, 
who has given me much help and advice in compiling this work, and 
more especially for reading through the proofs, I tender my grateful 
thanks. 



8 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Two most valuable chapters on the Forests and botanical features 
of the Northern Provinces of Nigeria were written by Dr. J. M. 
Dalziel, to whom I owe grateful thanks for his encouragement in 
this work. 

My greatest thanks are due to Mr. C. E, Lane-Poole, Commissioner 
of Forests, Victoria, for the use of the list of the Sierra Leone trees. 

To M. Chevaher I return grateful thanks for his list of the 
Ivory Coast trees. 

For the constant and unfailing interest and devotion to the work 
of Miss Christina E. Lacy, acting as amanuensis, I beg to extend my 
heartfelt thanks. 

Further thanks are also due to my wife, who has lent not only 
practical assistance, but has been the mainspring of inspiration for 
the completion of this work. 



CONTENTS 



PREFACE 

TABLE OF CHAPTERS . 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 

. 7-8 
9,10 
11-16 



CHAPTER I 
THE FORESTS OP WESTERN AFRICA 



17-19 



CHAPTER II 

THE GAMBIA 

Descriptions op Teees and Forests . 

Appendix I. The Forest Law. (Fees) 
Appendix II. Forest Exports 



20 



CHAPTER III 

SIERRA LEONE 

I. The Forests ...... 

II. Notes on Timber Trees. (Export and Local Use) 

III. Trees cut for Local Use 

IV. Minor Forest Produce .... 
V. The Forest Department, Sierra Leone 

VI. Botanical and Vernacular Names of Indigenous 
Description ..... 
Appendix I. Exports op Forest Produce 
Appendix II. Forest Produce, 1827-1835 
Appendix III. Imports op Timber into Sierra Leone 



Trees, with 



CHAPTER IV 
LIBERIA ........ 

I. The Gola Forest ...... 

II. Notes on the Most Valuable Trees 

III. The Conditions op Working Timber 

IV. Botanical and Vernacular Names of Indigenous Trees 
Appendix. Forest Exports .... 



CHAPTER V 

THE IVORY COAST 

A Note on the Forest and Mahogany Industry .... 

Botanical and Vernacular Names of Trees. By Monsieur August 
Chevalier ......... 

Appendix. Forest Exports ....... 



CHAPTER VI 

THE GOLD COAST 

The Forestry Position ........ 

Notes on Indigenous Trees ....... 

Botanical and Vernacular Names. (From Mr. H. N. Thompson's 
Report) . . . . ... 

Appendix. Forest Exports ....... 



93 
115 



10 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

CHAPTEE VII 

PAGE 

TOGO 116 

I. The Forests ......... 116 

II. The Forest Plantations ....... 119 

III. The District Plantations ....... 122 

IV. Notes on Indigenous Trees. Botanical and Vernacular Names . 127 
Appendix I. Introduced Species of Trees Planted . . . 148 
Appendix II. Census of Plantations ..... 149 
Appendix III. Exports of Forest Produce .... 150 

CHAPTER VIII 

NIGERIA 151 

I. The Rivers, Ports and Forests . . . . . .151 

II. The Mahogany and Timber Industries . . . . .155 

III. The Permanent Forests or Forest Reserves . . . 160 

rv. Afforestation in Nigeria ...... 166 

V. The Forest Department ....... 184 

VI. Review op the Botanical Features of N. Nigeria. By Dr. J. IM. 

Dalziel ......... 188 

Some Trees op Hausaland. By Dr. J. M, Dalziel . . . 205 
Appendix I. Botanical and Vernacular Names of Indigenous 

Trees. Northern Provinces ..... 218 

Appendix II. Exports of Forest Produce . . . 226 

Appendix III. Imports of Timber into Nigeria . . . 227 

Appendix IV. The Fees and Royalties on Timber Trees . . 228 

CHAPTER IX 

THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES . . . . . .235 

CHAPTER X 
THE FORESTS AND TIMBER PRODUCTION OP THE BRITISH SPHERE 

OF THE CAMEROONS . . . . . . .415 

(With a Note on the French and Belgian Congo and Spanish Guinea) 
Notes on Descriptions of Trees. Botanical and Vernacular Names . 425 
Appendix I. Exports of Forest Produce .... 444 

Appendix II. Exports op Timber according to Port of Shipment 445 
Appendix III. Exports of Timber according to Destination . 446 

CHAPTER XI 
THE OIL BEANS, SEEDS AND NUTS OF THE FOREST . . 447 

CHAPTER XII 
THE OIL PALM AND PALM KERNEL INDUSTRY . . .464 

CHAPTER XIII 
THE FOREST IN RELATION TO AGRICULTURE . . . .485 



CHAPTER XIV 
BIBLIOGRAPHY OP WEST AFRICAN FORESTS . . . .496 

INDEX 501 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Mixed Evergreen Forest on the edge of Barombo Lake (Elephant 

Lake). Cotton Trees in foreground .... Frontispiece 



II. SIERRA LEONE. 

To face page 
Red Ironwood (Lop/jiro jsrocera), in the Forest, Gumah . . .16 

Mature Cola Tree (Cola vera), growing in Fundo village. Protectorate of 

Sierra Leone . . . . . . . . . .16 

View of Gumah Mountain from the Gumah . . . . .16 

African Oak {Oldfieldia Africana), showing bole in middle fore- 
ground, near Bureh Town Br'dge ...... 24 

African Oak (Oldfieldia AJricana), showing scaly bark at base of tree, the 

late Mr. C. W. Smythe standing beside it . . . . .24 

Pterocarpus esculentus in flower near Fakar Kole, at the edge of the 

Peninsular Forest ......... 40 

Forest of true Gum Copal (Copaifera salikounda), showing nearly all the 
trees bare of foliage and dying, due to overtapping, near Sussuwuru, 
Moyamba District ......... 40 

True Gum Copal (Copaifera salikounda), showing base of stem with 
tapping squares, near the bank of the Rokell River, north of Moyamba 
District 40 



III. LIBERIA. 

10. Large Brimstone Tree (Sarcocephalus sp.), Gola Forest ... 66 

11. African Satinwood (AJrormosia laxifiora), Gola Forest ... 66 

12. Gola Forest, general view, near Morro River ..... 80 

13. Mahogany (Khaya Ivoriensis), the late Mr. C. W. Smythe standing beside 

it, Gola Forest 80 

14. Young Yawey Cedar (Heritiera ?), Gola Forest ..... 80 



IV. TOGO. 

15. Teak Plantation of 1908, 35| feet high, Sokode, in 1911 

16. Teak Plantation of 1907 and 1908 on hill-side, Atakpame 

17. One-year-old Oil Palms amongst seven- to ten-year-old trees, 

18. Two-year-old Oil Palm Plantation, Sokode 

19. Three-year-old Oil Palm Plantation, Sokode 

20. Four-year-old Oil Palm Plantation, Sokode 

21. Chlorophora excelsa, 1911 ..... 

22. Five-year-old Oil Pahn Plantation, Sokode 

23. Five-year-old Khaya Senegalensis, 1911 

24. Teak Plantation made in 1907 at Pfandu, in 1911 

25. Khaya Klaineana, 17 feet in girth, Misahohe Station 

26. Comer of a 1907 Teak Plantation, Pfandu, in 1911 

11 



191 



90 
90 
116 
116 
116 
116 
126 
126 
126 
136 
136 
136 



12 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 



V. WESTERN CIRCLE, NIGERIA. 

Ebuttemetta Gardens. 

To face page 

27. Large Teak Tree (Tectona grandis), about sixteen years old, Ebuttemetta 

Gardens ........... 150 

28. Large Para {Hevea Braziliensis), Ebuttemetta Gardens, age about sixteen 

years ........... 150 

VI. WESTERN CIRCLE, NIGERIA. 

Olokemeji Arboretum and Railway Plantation and Two 
Studies of Capsules. 

29. The Chief Conservator of Forests' House, with five-year-old Albizzia 

Lcbbek standing beside it . . . . . . . .162 

30. Three capsules of Mahogany (Khaya grandis Ivoriensis and Punchii), 

from banks of Owena River . . . . . . .162 

31. Capsules of three species of Entandrophragma : E. macrophylluyn, the 

largest ; E. utilis, the next in size ; and E. cyUndricum, the smallest 1 62 

32. Cedrela odorata, seven years old, with Forest Office in backgroimd, 

Olokemeji 174 

33. Cedrela odorata, Cigar-box Cedar, girth 5 feet, twelve years old, Oloke- 

meji Arboretvun .......... 174 

34. Teak (Tectona grandis), ten years old, Olokemeji Arboretimi . . 174 

35. Teak, six years old, Olokemeji Arboretum . . . . . .184 

36. Khaya Senegalensis, five years old, from seed obtained by H. N. 

Thompson, Esq., in Shaki District . . . . . .184 

37. Mature Iroko Tree {Chlorophora excelsa), over 12 feet in girth in 1911, 

since cut down and used for building the Chief Conservator of 
Forests' house . . . . . . . . . .184 



VII. NORTHERN PROVINCES, NIGERIA. 

38. Marsh or " fadama " with islets of foliage, Benue overflow near Yola . 196 

39. The Lower Niger in flood 196 

40. Fringing Forest on River Benue, in the rainy season .... 196 

41. A Baobab (Adansonia digitata) ....... 208 

42. Giginya or " Fan Palm " (Borassus flabellijer, var. jEthiopum), with water- 

lilies (Nymphceacece) ......... 208 

VIII. WESTERN CIRCLE, OLOKEMEJI ARBORETUM. 

43. Mahogany (Khaya grandis), 6^ years old, showing bent leader, owing to 

previous one being eaten out by the leading-shoot borer . . .216 

44. 1909 Mahogany (Khaya grandis and K. Punchii) Plantation after six 

years' growth, near road to Chief Conservator's house, Olokemeji 
Arboretiun 216 

45. The largest Mahogany (Khaya Punchii), seven years old, Olokemeji 

Arboretum, in the Forest Reserve . . . . . .216 

46. Corner of the 1908 Teak Plantation, Olokemeji Arboretum, showing 

it at the end of the dry season, March 1915, Captain Owens . 228 

47. Cedrela odorata, Cigar-box Cedar, three years old (seen close), 

R. E. Dennett, Esq 228 

48. Comer tree of the 1908 Teak Plantation, with H. N. Thompson, Esq., 

1911 228 

49. Shea Butter Tree (Butyrospermum Parkii), standing near the Conservator 

of Forests' house, June 1915, after being protected from fire eight 
years 234 



ILLUSTRATIONS 13 

To face page 

50. Teak {Tectona grandis), three years old, Compartment 2, Range 2, 

Olokemeji Forest Reserve ........ 234 

51. Shea Butter Tree (Butyrospermum Parkii) in fruit, April 1911, standing 

near the Conservator of Forests' house. This tree has been pro- 
tected from fire for nearly four years ...... 234 

52. Shea Butter Tree (Butyrospermum Parkii), standing near the Conservator 

of Forests' house. The same tree of which the fruit was photographed 
April 1911 234 

IX. WESTERN CIRCLE, NIGERIA. 

Studies of Trees, Olokemeji Reserve. 

63. Mature Opepe (Sarcocephalus esculentus), in middle of picture, across 

Og\in River, Olokemeji Forest Reserve ..... 250 

54. Mature Oganwo {Khaya Punchii), near Dajopa, Olokemeji Reserve, 

showing base of stem for nearly 12 feet stripped of bark . . . 250 

55. Large Emido (Mimusops muUinervis), 10 feet in girth, Dajopa, Olokemeji 

Forest Reserve .......... 250 

56. Large-leaved Mahogany {Khaya grandis), 14 feet in girth, with smaller 

Iroko (Chlorophora excelsa), standing at the side, Olokemeji Forest 
Reserve 260 

57. Arere (Triplochiton Nigericum), 120 feet high, thirty years old . . 260 
68. Ebony (Diospyros mespiliformis), 7 feet 6 inches in girth, on Dajopa 

Road, Olokemeji Reserve ........ 260 

59. Large Ayin {Anogeissus leiocarpus), 10 feet in girth, Dajopa, Olokemeji 

Forest Reserve .......... 272 

60. Oil Palm in bearing, two bunches of fruit in view, Olokemeji Forest 

Reserve 272 

61. Base of 14-foot BiHnga {Afzelia Africana), Dajopa Forest Reserve, 

Olokemeji Reserve ......... 284 

62. Shea Butter {Butyrospermum Parkii), 7 feet in girth, near Oniloku Road, 

Olokemji Reserve . . . . . . . . .284 

63. Afara (Terminalia superba), base of mature tree over 12 feet in girth, 

Olokemeji Reserve ......... 284 

64. Afzelia Africana, 14 feet in girth, showing bole and usual fork, Ijaiye 

Range, Dajopa, Olokemeji Forest Reserve ..... 284 

X. WESTERN CIRCLE. 
Forest Trees, Ilaro. 

65. Khaya Ivoriensis, 14 feet 8 inches in girth, Ilaro Forest Reserve . . 294 

66. Iroko (Chlorophora excelsa), 8 feet in girth, standing in Ilaro Forest Reserve 

after Forest was cleared ........ 294 

XI. WESTERN CIRCLE. 
Dry Zone Vegetation, Oyo District. 

67. Khaya Senegalensis, 1910, on bank of Ogun River, near Iporin, Oyo 

Province 308 

68. Locust Tree (Parkia filicoidea), in bearing, Oyo District, 1910 . . 308 

XII. WESTERN CIRCLE. 

Studies of Forest Vegetation, Ado and Mamu Forest. 

69. Mature Iroko (Chlorophora excelsa) and Teak, one year old, Mamu 

Forest Reserve, Ibadan Province, 1915 . . r. . . . 320 



14 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

To face page 

70. Large full-grown Iroko Tree (Chlorophora excelsa) standing near Ibadan, 

Jebu Ode Road, Mamu Forest Reserve, in May 1910. See Fig. 69, 
which is of the same tree taken five years later .... 320 

71. Untouched Forest on summit of Ado Rock, Oyo Province, 1910 . . 320 



XIII. WESTERN CIRCLE, OSHUN AND MAMU FORESTS. 

72. Forest on banks of Oshun River, looking downstrean, Oshun Forest 

Reserve 332 

73. Large Arere Tree (Triplochiion Nigericum) already girdled and dead . 332 

74. Forest on banks of Oshxin River, looking upstream, Oshun Forest 

Reserve, Jebu Ode District ....... 332 

75. Ride between Compartments C and D, Mamu Forest Reserve, 

Funtumia seedlings on either side, six to eight years old . . . 332 



XIV. WESTERN CIRCLE, NIGERIA, ONDO AND IWOYE FORESTS. 

76. Path in Iwoye Forest, Western Circle, showing parts of four mahogany 

trees in the picture ......... 342 

77. Mature Cocoanut Grove near stream in the middle of Idanre To\vn, 1910 342 



XV. CENTRAL CIRCLE, NIGERIA, IFON FOREST, 

78. Osse River, looking downstream, edge of the Pool, Ifon District . . 354 

79. Mixed Forest near Osse, looking upstream, Ifon District . . . 354 



XVI. CENTRAL CIRCLE, NIGERIA, EBEKWI FOREST. 

80. Heavy Sapeli Mahogany {Entandrophragma utilis) standing near the 

road between Uyeri and Benin City, Benin Province . . . 364 

81. Agba (Benin), {Pterogopodium ?), standing near Ifon Road, south of 

Uyeri, Benin Province 364 



XVII. CENTRAL CIRCLE, NIGERIA. 
Ogba Plantation, Benin. 

82. Benin Satinwood (Afrormosia laxiflora) standing in the Ogba Plantation, 

Benin District 376 

83. Mixed Mahogany Plantation, Khaya grandis on left, K. Punchii in 

centre, and Entandrophragma in the right foreground, six years old, 
near Ogba, Benin Province ........ 376 

84. Ogea, Gum Copal {Dmiiellia caudata), standing in the Ogba Plantation, 

Benin Province .......... 376 



XVIII. CENTRAL CIRCLE, OBAGIE FOREST, BENIN. 

85. Khaya anthoteca, 16 feet in girth, Obagie Forest Reserve, Benin 

Province ........... 384 

86. Okan (Cylicodiscus Gabunensis), African Greenheart, 24 feet in girth, 

standing in Obagie Forest Reserve, Benin Province . . , 384 



ILLUSTRATIONS 15 



XIX. CENTRAL CIRCLE, NIGERIA, KOKO TOWN MAHOGANY. 

To face page 

87. Koko Town, with raft of mahogany logs moored near the bank , . 396 

88. Mahogany logs floating in the river above Koko Town . . . 396 



XX. CENTRAL CIRCLE, NIGERIA, OSSE RIVER FOREST. 

89. Fiintumia Rubber Plantation, both sides of the road, Igwoshudi, 

Benin 408 

90. Mahogany Plantation, Khaya Pttnc^w, twelve years old, nearNoami, on 

the banks of the Osse River, Benin Province .... 408 

91. Entandrophragma log with three sides already squared and fourth 

partially cut ready for squaring ....... 408 

92. Stump of XAaya PttncM* with log at base, left in the Benin Forest . . 408 



XXI. EASTERN CIRCLE, NIGERIA, STUDIES OF TREES. 
Degema Forest Station, including Imo Bridge. 

93. Mimusops Djave, about twelve years old, standing near Prison, Degema 

Station, Eastern Circle . . . . . . . .414 

94. Mature Light African Greenheart, Piptadenia Africana, standing in 

the middle of Degema Station . . . . . . .414 

95. Young Oil Bean Tree in bearing, Pentaclethra macropkylla, Degema 

Station 414 

96. Red Oak, Berlinia acuminata, 20 feet in girth, standing near the 

Sombreiro River, Degema Station . . . . . .414 

97. Base of Red Oak, Berlinia acuminata, showing smooth bark with 

comparatively few large scales, Degema Station .... 428 

98. Iroko, Chlorophora excelsa, nursery bed, with seedlings two years old, 

at the side of Forest House, Degema ...... 428 

99. The temporary Wooden Bridge over the Imo, on the Eastern Division, 

Nigerian Railway. Note, only native, locally grown timber used 

in its construction ......... 446 

100. Mediimi-sized African Pearwood, Mimusops Djave, standing in the 

middle of the road outside Degema Station on the road to lUimema, 
since felled, and logs sold in England ...... 446 

101. Inoi Tree, Poga oleosa, standing at the edge of the Degema Station 

grounds ........... 446 



XXII. EASTERN CIRCLE, NIGERIA, CALABAR ARBORETUM 
AND STATION. 

102. Oil Pahn, Eloeis Guineensis, eight years old, in bearing, showing nine 

out of the twenty-one bunches of fruit on the tree .... 460 

103. Seven-year-old Oil Palm in bearing, rather over-pruned, showing male 

inflorescence just below boy's finger and bunch of fruit in the middle 

of the picture .......... 460 

104. Mature Brachystegia spiccejormis standing at the side of the Calabar 

Road, Calabar, showing the typical shape of the crown and 
branches .......... 472 

105. Base of mature Brachystegia spiccejormis standing at the side of the 

Calabar Road, Calabar, showing both the scaly untouched bark and - 
the wovmded section covered with nodules ..... 472 



16 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

XXIII. EASTERN CIRCLE, NIGERIA, CROSS RIVER. 

Teak Plantations, Ndeh. 

To face page 

106. Rest House Teak Plantation at Ndeh, showing rows of trees 9 feet 

apart and 4 feet between ........ 486 

107. "View between the lines of one-year-old Teak Plantation at Ndeh, in 

which trees were planted 4 feet apart ..... 486 



XXIV. EASTERN CIRCLE, NIGERIA, STUDIES OF TREES. 
Ikbigon Forest. 

108. Shinglewood, Terminalia scutifera, 12 feet in girth, standing in the 

Ikrigon Forest Reserve, Eastern Circle ..... 496 

109. Iroko, Chlorophora excelsa, 15 feet in girth, standing in Ikrigon Forest 

Reserve ........... 496 

110. Mahogany, Khaya Senegalensis {?), standing at the edge of Ikrigon 

Forest Reserve, showing base of trunk with old bark wounds already 
healed over .......... 496 




>M O 




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lt 

IS 
I 



WEST AFRICAN FORESTS 
AND FORESTRY 

CHAPTER I 
THE FORESTS OF WESTERN AFRICA 

From a large scale-map of Africa, the various British West African 
Colonies and Protectorates, as well as Liberia, French Ivory Coast, 
the late German Colonies of Togo and Cameroons, can be seen on tne 
western side of that Continent. In fact, these territories are all within 
the Tropics, and also between the latitudes of 13° North in the Gambia 
to nearly the Equator in the Cameroons, and between longitude of 
17° West to 10° East. Roughly speaking. Upper Guinea, as this part 
is usually called, covers an area of 100 to 200 miles wide by a length 
of over 1,500 miles, as a sylvan belt mainly of one type of vegetation, 
which botanically, however, only begins to alter as the boundary of 
the Cameroons is approached in the eastern part of Nigeria. There- 
fore one finds several trees extending right through this area, and also 
an almost unbroken forest all the way along the coast line, and roughly 
100 to 150 miles inland. The width of the forest varies rather accord- 
ing to the aspect of the coast line, because the prevalent wind being 
south-west, the greatest rainfall, and thus the heaviest type of forest, 
occurs when the coast line runs at right angles to the prevailing wind. 
This occurs, for instance, near Calabar, Nigeria in the Cameroons, 
part of the Gold Coast near Axim, and Sierra Leone near Freetown. 
In some instances this effect is accentuated by the proximity of 
mountains near the coast, as, for instance, north of Calabar and 
north of Benin. One tree, which might be taken as a type, is the 
Rhodesian Mahogany, Afzelia Africana, which is found right in 
this belt of forest on its northern side. As the name implies, it is 
also found in Rhodesia, near the Victoria Falls. Mahogany, Khaya 
Senegalensis, is another tree found in the Gambia, also in Nigeria 
right up to the Cameroon border, over 1,500 miles away. 

However, in this huge forest belt there are great variations in the 
ramfall, from 20 to over 175 inches in the Oban Hills of Nigeria. There 
are also, naturally, variations in soil and elevation, which make differ- 

2 '' 

0, H. HILL LIBRARY 



18 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

ences in the character of the forest. The proximity to the sea causes 
yet another difference in the type of vegetation, combined as it often 
is with low elevation. 

Broadly speaking, then, one can differentiate several distinct types 
of forest, though owing to slight changes in a locality the one merges 
into the other and very sharp boundary lines cannot be drawn. 

I. The Mangrove Swamps are usually near the sea coast, though 
not always at the sea coast ; a strip of Evergreen Forest is usually 
found actually on the sandy dunes of the sea coast. The Mangrove 
Swamps also extend up the rivers near the coast as a fringe a mile 
or more wide. 

II. The Evergreen Forest is usually found on the sea coast, also 
extending inland up the rivers, and also on low land up to an eleva- 
tion of a few hundred feet, as, for instance, the forest on the banks 
of the Calabar River. 

III. The Freshwater Swamp Forests are also found in this type 
of locality. 

IV. The Mixed intermediate Forest is found usually where the 
rainfall does not exceed 60 inches, or in slightly hilly country, and 
contains a few deciduous trees. Typical trees of this forest are the 
Triplochiton Nigericum and Mimusops multinervis. It contains both 
evergreen and deciduous trees. 

V. The Fringing Forest, or " Gallerie " Forest of the Germans, 
is found at the edge of rivers or lakes, where the rainfall is otherwise 
too low for the mixed deciduous forests. 

VI. The Savannah Forest, sometimes so-called Dry-zone Forest, 
usually occurs with a rainfall of 30 to 50 inches. The typical tree 
of this is the Lophira alata. 

VII. The Evergreen Forest of the hills, chiefly above an altitude 
of 2,000 or 3,000 feet. It is especially noticeable on Mount Itakum 
and the Boji Hills (elevation 5,000 feet). 

VIII. The Open Orchard Forest, with shrubby trees of small 
growth. 

These, then, roughly follow the (Ecological Divisions according 
to Warming, which are as follows : 

Mangrove Swamp, 

True Savannah, 

Treeless Savannah, low and high grass, 

Bush Savannah, 

Tree Savannah, 

Savannah Forest, 

Sclerophyllus formations, such as 

Bush and Forest, 

Bamboo Forest. 



THE FORESTS OF WESTERN AFRICA 19 

Forests are in addition named after the locality, such as Benin 
Forests, Oban Forests, Ondo Forests. Again, yet another nomen- 
clature is after the kind of tree represented, such as Evergreen Forest, 
where all the trees are evergreen all the year round ; for instance, 
Calabar Forests, Ondo, South Benin. 

The mixed forests and intermediate forests, where the trees are 
both evergreen and deciduous, growing side by side, such as Olokemeji 
Forests, Benin Forests, Obubra Forests, and Bende Forests. Thus 
summarising the Nigerian Forests, we get the following formations : 



1. Nigerian Swamp 

2. Evergreen Forests 

2a. Freshwater Swamp Forests . . 

3. Mixed Deciduous, intermediate 

Forests 
3fl. Fringing Forests 

4. Canopied Deciduous Forests 

(sometimes termed dense 
Savannah Forests) 

5. Open Deciduous Forests 

6. Tree Savannah Orchard Forest 

7. Treeless Savannah 



Evergreen : Mangrove, type tree. 
Lophira procera, Parinarium. 
Cynometra mitragyne. 
Triplochiton, Iroko, Chlorophora 

excelsa. 
Mixed, deciduous really. 
Olokemeji : Berlinia, Afzelia. 



Paradaniella Oliverii, Ugenia Oiva- 

riensis, Terminalia Togoensis. 
Lophira alata, Shea hntter , Acacia ; 

Iwu, Oyo, Ndeh. 
Grass, a few stunted bushes of 

Acacia Isoberlinia, North 

Ogoja. 



CHAPTER II 
THE GAlMBIA 

In the early part of the nineteenth century a considerable quantity 
of African Mahogany, obtained from Khaya Senegalensis, a dry-zone 
mahogany-tree, was shipped to England ; in fact, this was the original 
source of African Mahogany, as also it was the first tree from which 
it was obtained. Even now this tree is one of the most prevalent 
in the strip of land on both banks of the Gambia, so far as British 
territory is concerned. 

At the present time no mahogany is being shipped from the Gambia, 
but recently an Ordinance was passed regulating the cutting of fire- 
wood and forest trees. 

Forests in the ordinary sense of the word cannot be said to exist 
in the Gambia, but no doubt a considerable amount of timber could 
be obtained from the dry-zone country. The total length of the 
colony is 300 miles, and approximately 5 miles wide, on either side 
of the Gambia River, which makes it in the aggregate a considerable 
tract of country, in all 4,500 square miles, of which the colony proper 
occupies 4 square miles. 

So far only Rosewood {Pterocarpus erinaceus), Mahogany [Khaya 
Senegalensis), and small pieces of Baywood, probably also a mahogany, 
have been reported from the Gambia. In 1908 a certain amount of 
wood was cut for the making of charcoal by a man from the Canary 
Islands. In 1909, 102 tons of charcoal were exported, and in 1910, 
176 tons, valued at £634. Since then no other returns are available, 
so apparently this industry has come to an end. There is no Forest 
Officer in the Gambia, and no proposals for Forest Reserves have been 
put forward by the Government. Part of the land near the mouth 
of the Gambia is swampy and covered with the usual Mangrove 
forests. 

In the Bulletin of the Imperial Institute, vol. viii, 1910, p. 244, it 
is stated that the specimens of rosewood and mahogany forwarded 
to the Imperial Institute were reported on as follows : 

Rosewood {Dalbergia sp.), reddish-yellow with darker lines and 
red pores, solid and compact, resembling rosewood except in colour. 
The timber would not pass as rosewood on the market. It has an 



THE GAMBIA 21 

agreeable odour, is hard and heavy, weighing 45| lb. per cubic foot. 
It turned and polished well, sawed very easily, but was difficult to 
plane; planing left a smooth, bright surface. 

Mahogany {Khaya Senegalensis) may be looked upon as inferior 
baywood, the wood light in colour, of poor figure, hard to plane, but 
when planed leaves the surface bright and woolly in alternate bands ; 
very cross grained, sawed and turned easily. Weight, 41 1 lb. per 
cubic foot. Should be very useful locally, but probably not of sufficient 
value for much export trade. 

Even in this comparatively small colony a certain amount of 
forest land should be pi-eserved, more especially that which is 
unsuitable for agriculture. In every country there is always some 
poor or rocky land which is not favourable to the growing of 
agricultural crops. 

The oil palm is another useful tree, which yields the well-known 
palm oil and kernels; however, here the oil is required locally for 
alimentary purposes, and therefore only the palm kernels are 
exported. 

The following shows the exports for five years : 

Year. Tons. £ s. d. 



1910 467 

1911 443 

1912 445 

1913 545 

1914 4941- 



5,640 

4,756 

6,518 

9,026 

7,814 17 11 



It will be noticed that the very high prices ruling for part of 1913 
and the beginning of 1914 had the effect of causing increased exports 
to be made. 

Here, as in the case of other products, planting could be under- 
taken with advantage, as the yield of kernels and oil is good ; even if 
the increased amount of oil produced was sold locally, the increased 
output of kernels would find a market in England, where they are 
needed. 

It is a tree which allows cultivation of field crops to be made 
between the oil palms for several years before the palms become 
too big and shut out the light necessary for field crops. In the 
drier climate of the Gambia a planting distance of probably 16 feet 
would be sufficient to ensure a good yield, and yet give sufficient 
distance between the trees to allow room for them even when 
mature. 

If an Agricultural or Forest Department, which at present does 
not exist in the Gambia, could not supply young seedlings or nuts 
for planting, one of the trading firms could secure them from one 
of the other West Coast Protectorates. Of course, in many cases, 



22 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

if the natives could be induced to believe that a good price would 
always be paid for kernels, they would no doubt make small planta- 
tions of oil palms themselves, as some fruit always falls to the ground 
in the picking, is thus not boiled, and so is suitable for furnishing 
seed for planting. It is, of course, inadvisable to plant boiled nuts, 
as many do not germinate, owing to the germ having been destroyed 
by the boiling of the fruit ; others do, however, as can be seen in the 
young oil palms sprouting from heaps of uncracked nuts which the 
natives leave near the villages. 



APPENDIX I 
FOREST FEES IN GAMBIA 

A NEW list was published by the Legislative Council in Gambia which fixes the 
different rates of fees for the right of felling useful timber for export. 
The fees are as follows : 

Felling of Useful Timber for Export. 
For each sort of useful trunk . . . . . . 10s. per trunk. 

Felling of Useful Timber which is not intended for Export. 
For each trunk, Rosewood (Jacaranda, Pali- 
sander wood) . . . . . . . . . . 5s. per trunk. 

For each trimk, Mahogany .. .. .. Is. per foot after felling. 

For each trunk in Mandingo Falls , . , . 9d. per foot after feUing. 

For each trimk in Tvmibo . . . . . . 8d. per foot after felling. 

For each trunk in Jaffo . . . . . • . . 6d. per foot after felling. 

For each trunk. Cotton-tree . . . . . . 4d. per foot after felling. 

For every other valuable tree . . . . . . 4d. per cubic foot. 







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CHAPTER III 
SIERRA LEONE 

I. The Forests. 

The Colony and Protectorate of Sierra Leone cover an area of approxi- 
mately 34,000 square miles, or, to make it more comprehensible, it 
is almost the same size as Ireland. Probably in the earliest times 
the whole territory was covered with some kind of arborescent growth, 
varying from open savannah and deciduous forest to close, impene- 
trable evergreen rain forest. 

Now scarcely I per cent, of this forest remains, one of the most 
important tracts being the Sierra Leone or Peninsular Mountain Forest, 
situated on the mountain due east of Freetown. The whole of this 
region was once covered with forest, now reduced to an area of 
approximately 48 square miles, or 30,000 acres. All this tract down 
to the 500-foot control line has been reserved as a permanent forest, 
so that eventually the whole peninsular forest will have an area of 
75 square miles. Illustrations Nos. 2 and 4 show a general view of 
these forests. 

Other important mountain forests are those situated on the Kassewe 
Hills, Kagnari Mountains, Kambui Hills, Panguma Hills, Nimmini 
Mountains, Loma Mountains, Bunbola Hills, and Maramper Hills. 
In addition to these areas, timber trees are felled at Kangahan and 
Yonni, as well as in the peninsular mountains and Maramper Hills, 
especially for local use. 

Turning now to a consideration of the forests more in detail, one 
naturally first deals with the most accessible ones, i.e. of the penin- 
sular mountains. From the beautiful harbour of Freetown, Sierra 
Leone, one sees the edge of these forests between Leicester Peak and 
Sugar Loaf Mountains. From these two points it skirts the hill 
station, extending thence roughly parallel to the sea as far as Kent ; 
the largest wooded slopes face the ocean, only a narrow strip of forest 
being found on the landward side of the mountains near Burehtown 
and John Obey. The forest extends practically from the water's 
edge on the estuary of the Bureh River right up the mountains to an 
elevation of 2,000 feet, with a rainfall of upwards of 160 inches per 
year. Silvan vegetation is very luxuriant, the giant trees standing 



26 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

close together, often entwined and joined to each other by various 
large creepers, the whole forming an almost impenetrable grove, into 
which only the diffused light of the sun reaches. The undergrowth 
is not very thick, except where old trees have fallen or where mature 
trees have been felled ; this is partly owing to the dense shade of 
the tall trees, and therefore the trunks of these trees can be seen. 
A large Cedar Mahogany 23 feet in circumference was seen. 
This specimen of a mahogany was one of the largest trees found, 
and shows to what size the trees attain in this peninsular forest. 
One of the commonest trees found is the Red Ironwood, or sometimes 
called in Sierra Leone Ironpost, botanically known as Lophira procera. 
A picture of a large specimen of one of this species is shown as 
illustration No. 2. Another very common tree is a species of Mimusops, 
known as pearwood, or sometimes mahogany, when sold as timber. 
The African Violetwood, sometimes known as Blackwood, is compara- 
tively common. Rhodesian Mahogany, usually called Kontah, 
botanically known as Afzelia Africana, is also found. Real African 
Oak {Oldfieldia Africana) is seen singly scattered throughout forests. 
A patch of true Gum Copal trees is found, as well as isolated specimens 
in some parts of the forest. Rock Elm {Chlorophora excelsa) is seen 
both in the forest and in the clearings made for farms. The Oil Palm 
{Elaeis guineensis) is sparsely distributed in the forest, but more 
frequent in the abandoned farms. The above-named trees are repre- 
sentative of some of the very large number of hardwoods and other 
trees of economic value in the forest. There are, however, also a 
very large number of softwoods found scattered amongst the other 
trees in the forest; a beautiful Whitewood {Alstonia Congensis) 
is, for instance, one of such softwoods. The Cotton Tree {Eriodendron 
anfrachiosum) is probably the one most commonly found. Various 
Albizzias are also met with in a similar manner. 



II. Notes on Timber Trees, 

Taking now the different species of timber trees individually, the 
following are most important : 

1. Real African Oak {Oldfieldia Africana), which is termed Tor- 
torza by the Timanis and Paulai by the Mendis. As illustration 
No. 5 shows, this is a very large and tall tree. It often attains a 
bole length of 50 feet and a girth of 16 feet. It is found singly, 
scattered through the forest. The habit of its branches, open 
crown, and greyish bark make it look not unlike a European oak. 
In reality the bark is scaly, gradually peeling off in flakes. The tree 
in illustration No. 6 shows this characteristic peculiarity to advantage, 
and also shows a medium-sized tree, approximately 10 feet in girth. 
The tree fruits moderately, and has an indehiscent capsule not unlike 



SIERRA LEONE 27 

the shape, size and colour of an oak-apple. The capsule has five faint 
ribs on its surface, but contains only three seeds. The little seedling, 
with light grey stem and white lenticels, is easily recognized. It 
usually has also only three leaflets on its leaves, instead of forming 
true digitate leaves as a full-grown tree. The sapling once started 
shows fairly rapid growth, and during the early years stands a 
good deal of shade. It should therefore be classified as a slight 
shade-bearer. African Oak is a dark reddish-brown wood, which is 
very hard and most durable. It has, of course, a much closer grain 
than ordinary oak. A very smooth surface can be obtained by planing 
the timber. Locally, small trees are cut for conversion by pit-saw 
into timber for boat keels. This timber was exported as teak from 
Sierra Leone 1827 to 1835 for use in the English Navy. It was after- 
wards lost sight of, though the natives continued to use it locally. 
During 1908 a few round logs of short length (12-16 feet) of this timber 
were exported to England and sold in a Liverpool market for 2s. 6d. 
per cubic foot (extreme measure). 

2. Ironpost, or African Oak, or Red Ironwood {Lophira procera), 
is the most common tree throughout the peninsula. According to 
the Conservator of Forests in Sierra Leone, 80 per cent, of the trees 
of the peninsular forest are Lophira procera. All stages of growth 
are found, from the smallest seedlings to the largest tree, over 
100 feet high and 20 feet in girth. In the forest the tree has an 
orange-coloured bark, which rapidly turns grey when exposed to the 
rays of the sun. The bole is not always quite cylindrical, especially 
near the base, where it often develops rather angular root protu- 
berances. This seems to occur more often on rocky ground, such 
as that where the tree is found in the peninsula. For a similar 
reason the bole is not always straight, though in the ordinary way 
the tree has a comparatively small crown with short branches. Thus, 
in proportion to the size of the tree, the bole is very long, the twigs 
are thickish, and the long thin paper-knifelike leaves appear at the 
ends of them. Seedlings seem to come up wherever suitable con- 
ditions of reproduction are found. A clear bole is typical of 
these trees in the pole stage of growth. Illustration No. 2 shows a 
large specimen on the edge of the forest, and there are 
many large trees with the peculiar root protuberances, growing in 
the forest. The timber is very hard and of a dark red colour, which 
it retains when dry. The heartwood forms comparatively early in 
the life of the tree, and although the sapwood is white, it is almost 
as hard as the heartwood. For this reason comparatively small 
trees yield timber, and thus can be felled earlier than trees in 
which the heartwood forms later. Of course, in this connection it 
should not be forgotten that the market does not desire logs of too 
small a size, i.e. of 18 inches or under, when squared. Locally this 



28 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

is known as Ironpost, and is sold for house- building, and, as its name 
implies, it is used for the uprights of the house. The Public Works 
Department have a regular schedule of timbers which are used, and 
this timber is mentioned amongst them, and is bought from native 
contractors at 3d. per superficial foot for boards, and 3d. to 6d. 
per linear foot for beams and posts. This timber has been used as 
a substitute for real African Oak, when it is sold as African Oak. 
A regular supply of logs could be obtained from the peninsular 
forest. 

3. Cedar Mahogany {Pseudocedrela sp. ; termed Bissimi by the 
Mendis). This tree, which grows to a very large size, is not very preva- 
lent. The largest tree, some 23 feet in girth, was found above the 
Gumah. The bole is usually very long and straight, which makes 
it very cylindrical. This last characteristic of the tree is all the more 
accentuated by its having no root projections at its base. This 
species appears to be one of the largest trees in the forest. It is appa- 
rently a very fast-growing tree, forming heartwood comparatively 
early, though the sap wood is rather wide (up to 10 inches in a 
tree 7 feet in diameter). This timber has not been exported, 
but wood from similar trees on the coast has been exported and 
sold in the European market as mahogany (scented). There is no 
reason to believe, therefore, that the wood from this tree would not 
fetch a similar price. Owing to this tree being so fullwooded, a larger 
proportion of the bole can be converted into logs than is the case 
with other kinds of mahogany trees which have large root flanges. 

4. African Walnut {Lovoa Klaineana). This is a medium-sized 
tree of the Mahogany family, which, owing to the brown colour of the 
wood, has been termed African Walnut in the timber trade. Although 
not very prevalent, it yields one of the timbers suitable for export. 

5. Satin Mahogany {Guarea sp.) is another medium-sized tree 
which is prevalent in most parts of the peninsula. The grain of 
the timber is of course similar to Mahogany, as the tree from 
which it is obtained belongs to the Mahogany family. The timber 
when planed has a satiny sheen on it, which may make it valuable 
in the European market. It has not been cut for local use. 

6. African Pearwood {Mimusops sp.) is a large tree with a good 
bole of fair length. Only a moderate number of this species were 
found, but there are at least two, if not three, other species of Mimusops 
which yield a timber which has been sold as mahogany. The grain 
of the timber of the first -named tree is more open, sometimes figured, 
and of a lighter reddish colour than the other species. These other 
trees yield a dark-red timber of close grain, which is much harder than 
mahogany. These Mimusops are found at a higher altitude than 
most timber trees. The forest, therefore, above an elevation of 2,000 
feet, is much more valuable owing to the presence of this tree. These 



SIERRA LEONE 29 

trees attain a girth of 12 feet and a height of upwards of 150 feet. 
The bark of the trunk of the tree is smoother than that of 
mahogany. 

7. White Mahogany {Canarium Schweinfurthii), also known some- 
times as Gaboon Mahogany, is a very tall forest tree which attains a 
bole length of 70 feet, with a girth of 10 feet. It is not very plentiful, 
but is one of the light-coloured species of mahogany. It has a definite 
shipping value of 2s. 6d. in the round per cubic foot. 

8. African Mammee or Mammy Apple {Ochrocarpus Africanus) is 
a large tree attaining a girth of 10 feet, with a bole length of 
30 feet. It is moderately prevalent. The timber has a pretty grain, 
and is of a reddish colour, which is similar to mahogany. 

9. Dita {Detarium Senegalense) is a large tree with the bole length 
of 30 feet and a girth of 12 feet. Although it is not a very common 
tree, it is a useful addition to the number of trees which yield timber 
similar to mahogany. The fruit is large, has an edible pericarp, and 
is sold in the market under the name of Dita, 

10. Red Cedar (species of Sterculiaceas) is a large and straight- 
growing tree, which reaches a girth of 10 feet. The tree has very 
characteristic root flanges, which can be seen in illustration No, 10. 
The timber has a mahogany-like grain, though of a somewhat 
more open texture. It is one of the most prevalent trees in the 
peninsular forest. 

11. Kontah, or Mahogany {Afzelia Africana), is a large tree with 
oval crown and bole length of 30 feet. Only a few specimens were 
met with in the forest, though the tree often grows up in old clearings. 
The timber is of a reddish-brown colour, somewhat hard and very 
durable. It takes the place of an oak timber economically, although 
it is not really of that type. The grain of the timber has much longer 
and more open pores than oak, though it could probably be sold as 
an oak or teak substitute in the European market. 

12. Rock Elm, also known as African Oak or Teak, is a common 
tree attaining large dimensions. Being a very durable wood of moderate 
hardness, it largely takes the place of European oak in the economy 
of the country, which, with its yellowish light-brown wood, rapidly 
becoming a nice old-oak brown colour, makes it a very similar timber, 
although, as the first name, Rock Elm, indicates, the tree is botanic- 
ally a member of the Elm family. White ants occasionally attack 
its sapwood, but make no progress in the heartwood. The wood is 
not attacked by fungi to any extent. Wherever the rainfall is sufficient^ 
seedlings of this tree come up in the old farms, and when cut down 
it sprouts again from the stump. 

13. East Indian Walnut {Albizzia Lebbek) is a medium-sized tree 
which grows very quickly. The heartwood, which matures com- 
paratively early, is a light-brown colour, similar to walnut. The 



30 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

timber has an open, pretty grain. It is one of the trees which comes 
up in old farms, provided rainfall is moderate. 

14. Satinwood [Zanthoxylum macrojjhylliim) is a medium-sized 
tree with a clear bole of 30 feet, combined with a narrow crown and 
small branches. It is a very common tree in the peninsular forest, 
and it is also found growing up in the old farms, where the rainfall 
is adequate (60 inches). The wood is the typical light-yellow colour. 
The grain of the timber is very fine and hard, which makes it less 
liable to shrink than other more open-grained woods. The heartwood 
forms early, though where trees grow up very quickly, loughly only 
half of the diameter width of a tree is made of heartwood. That is 
to say, in a tree a foot in diameter, approximately 6 inches will be 
heartwood. In the evergreen forest there is another species of 
Zanthoxylum which attains a rather larger size than the first named. 
It is, however, not quite so prevalent as the other species. In common 
with other species of Zanthoxylum, it bears all round the stem extremely 
large woody spines. In this sj)ecies the spiny protuberances are exactly 
like small round cones of wood, with a diameter 2 inches at the 
base. Yet a third species of Zantlioxylum Senegalense yields a similar 
satinwood, almost as close grained, which, however, is found growing 
as a small tree at the edge of the deciduous forest before the dry- 
zone belt is reached. This tree is characterised by its much smaller 
leaf, with pinnae broader in proportion to their length than the 
former species. In a similar manner the woody protrusions on the 
stem do not project more than three-quarters of an inch from it, 
compared to those of the second-named species, which attain a length 
of 3 inches. The timber of this dry-zone Satinwood is just as valuable 
as the former species. It is fairly prevalent in the more open forest 
where it is found. It withstands the annual grass fires to some extent, 
and seedlings appear in the neighbourhood of mature trees. 

15. Violetwood is a medium-sized tree with a smooth bark not 
unlike beech, and a bole of up to 20 feet in length and 12 feet in girth. 
It is, however, a little crooked in growth, but this is not an undesir- 
able feature, because the texture of the grain often thus becomes 
figured. Specimens which were collected showed this growth, and 
a few species had a very pretty figured grain. It is quite a common 
tree in the peninsular forest. The fruit of this tree is a pod about 
a foot long and an inch wide, containing on the average eight oblong 
flattish beans. The wood is of a greenish-brown colour, and is very 
hard, heavy and durable, judging by the timber of fallen trees. The 
timber when planed has a scent of violets, hence the English name 
which I have given to it. The tree has not been cut for use as an 
export timber, though it is well worth a trial. It is not used locally, 
so that all available supplies of timber could be used for export. 

16. Pterocarims erinaceus (African Rosewood) is a small tree of 



SIERRA LEONE 31 

the savannah forest, which is found in the Karina district and other 
parts of the country. It is one of the commonest trees, and occurs 
in small groups scattered throughout these forests. The timber is 
a reddish-brown colour and of a similar texture to the ordinary Cam- 
wood or Padauk, of which genus it is a member. The wood, however, 
of this species is much harder than that of the others, and the colora- 
tion is often partially streaked, both features being due probably to 
the much slower growth owing to the annual grass fires. From the 
neighbouring territory of Senegal the timber has been exported to 
France as African Rosewood, where it finds a good market ; but it 
is doubtful if it could compete with the Bahia Rosewood' in the 
English market, owing to its less brilliant colour ; the timber is, however, 
worth a trial. 

17. Bapliia nitida (Camwood) is a small-sized tree, which is com- 
monly found at the edge of villages and in old farms. It is a somewhat 
slow-growing tree, in which the heartwood forms none too early and 
in a somewhat irregular manner, occasionally small patches forming 
comparatively near the bark. The wood is hard, and the heartwood 
of a deep claret-red colour. The timber is close grained and of fine 
texture, which planes very smooth after being cut and dried. In 
recent years much smaller quantities of Camwood have been sent 
away (see Appendix I) than between the years 1827 and 1835 
(see Appendix II), when between 5 and 802 tons were exported. 
In this connection, too, there can be no doubt that Camwood is 
obtained from the tree known botanically as Baphia nitida, because 
this tree is found in Sierra Leone, whereas Bar wood, or the so-called 
Camwood of Nigeria, the produce of Pterocarpus tinctorius or Osun, 
which has not yet been reported from the neighbourhood of Sierra 
Leone, could not have been absolutely killed out between the years 
1835 and 1900. 

III. Trees Cut foe Local Use. 

I. Monnda citrifolia? (the Brimstone) is the most common tree, 
from which the largest amount of timber which is used locally is 
obtained. Growing, as it does, with a girth up to 20 feet and a bole 
length of 50 feet, the local sawyers can usually make a very large 
number of 12-feet planks 1 inch thick out of each tree. The chief 
use of this timber is for weather-boards, which are sold at 10s. per 
100 feet. All the native houses in Freetown are faced with weather- 
boards of this kind of timber. After being cut down, shoots sprout 
out from the stump, forming in a few years small trees of useful size, 
especially in old farms. The name of this tree, Brimstone, denotes 
the wonderful sulphur-like colour of the wood. The durability of 
this timber for outside work and its termite-resisting qualities 
have given it a premier position amongst local timbers. The 



32 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Brimstone has a fruit not unlike coffee, and bears seeds plentifully ; 
it should therefore not be difficult to raise seedlings for making planta- 
tions. The trees grown from stool-shoots do not appear to attain 
nearly such a large size as those grown from seedlings in the forest. 

2. Chlorophora excelsa (Rock Elm, African Oak) is a common 
tree which is cut for local use. The heartwood, which rapidly darkens 
from a light-yellow brown colour to a dark old-oak brown colour 
on exposure to air, is very durable for inside or outside work. Though 
white ants attacks and destroy the sapwood, they make little or no 
progress in properly seasoned heartwood. Locally it realises 10s. 
per 100 feet. It is plentiful, and has a distinct tendency to spread 
into old farms, where the seedlings have more light to develop than 
in the forest. 

3. lyawey (Red Cedar, or Isganwe) is also a common tree which is 
cut for local use. It is a large and straight-growing tree, and attains a 
girth of about 10 feet. Owing to the wood being comparatively soft, 
easy to saw and of a nice red colour, it fetches 12s. per 100 feet, which 
is more than is obtained for several other local timbers. 

4. Oldfieldia Africana (Black Oak, Beechwood) is cut for local 
use, for sale as planks at 2Jd. per foot, and uprights and beams at 
3s. per cubic foot. One of the chief uses of this timber is for the 
keelsons of the locally made sea-going boats. Owing to the diffi- 
culty of the local sawyers in handling heavy logs on the raised wooden 
pit-saw framework on which the logs are sawn, only comparatively 
small trees are felled, and consequently there is more waste, and under- 
sized trees are prematurely sacrificed owing to the poor methods of 
the local sawyers. Less timber, especially heartwood, is thus 
obtained. 

5. Parinarium sp. (White Oak) is a moderately common 
tree. It attains a good height and a girth of 12 feet. It has large 
root flanges reaching about 10 feet up the bole. Although a some- 
what hard wood, it is used locally either as planks and posts or as 
beams and logs. It is said to be durable, and is worth 2s. per cubic 
foot when sawn. 

6. Afzelia Africana (Mahogany, Kontah) is a medium-sized tree 
which is not very prevalent in the forest, but is much more so outside 
in the open forest country. The timber, which is hard, has an open 
grain with a good yellow-brown colour, not unlike Iroko. It is very 
durable, and used as planks and logs. In the plank it is sold at 6d. 
per superficial foot, and in the log at 3s. 6d. per cubic foot. This is 
considered one of the best local woods, partly owing to its grain being 
somewhat similar to mahogany. Seedlings appear in old farms where 
there are but few grasshoppers. Otherwise trees grown in a nursery 
are attacked by these insects, as well as by rodents of different kinds. 

7. Danidlia Ogea (Blue Bessie) is sold as planks at 3d. per super- 



SIERRA LEONE 33 

ficial foot. It is closely related to Paradaniella Thurifera ; the former 
tree is more prevalent in the green forest, and the latter in the open 
deciduous forests, which attains a girth of 10 feet and a bole length 
of 30 feet, while the first-named species reaches a girth of over 
20 feet and a bole length of over 100 feet. It is sold locally chiefly for 
house-building. 

8. Griffonia palescens Koronho is felled for sale as planks at 2|d. 
per superficial foot. 

9. Coula edulis ? (Almond Wood) is a medium-sized tree which is 
cut into planks 1 to 2 inches thick and up to 12 feet long, and sold 
at 2Jd. per superficial foot. 

10. Rhizophora racemosa (Mangrove) grows in pure " stands " 
in the swamps near the sea coast, chiefly in the estuaries of the rivers. 
It attains a girth of 4 feet and a height of 80 feet It is sold as poles 
9 to 12 feet in diameter at the rate of 2|d. per cubic foot. Very large 
areas of mangrove forest occur, so that ample supplies of this kind 
of timber are assured. Locally it is often used for house-building, 
and is preferred to many other timbers. 

11. Ochrocarpus Africanus (Mammy Apple) is a large tree attaining 
a girth of 10 feet and a bole length of 30 feet. It is evidently not so 
prevalent as it used to be, owing to the fact that the best trees have 
been felled. Seedlings, however, appear very readily from the large 
fruit when it falls in suitable germinating places in the forest. It is 
much prized locally on account of its pretty grain and red mahogany- 
like colour. It is sold as planks, joists or posts at 3d. or 3|d. per 
superficial foot. 

12. Ansophyllea lamina (Monkey Apple) is a very lofty tree, 
attaining a girth of 12 feet and a bole length of 40 feet. Although 
moderately prevalent in the forests, it is very plentiful outside in 
the deciduous forests. It shoots up very strongly from the stump 
after an old tree has been cut down. Wood obtamed from these 
stool-shoots is, however, not so good or of such large size as that 
obtained from seedling trees. The timber is a light-brown colour, 
but a very pretty grain, full of medullary rays, giving it a sheen not 
unlike oak. Locally it is sold as joists and posts at the price of 
3d. to 6d. per superficial foot. 

13. Lophira procera (Red Oak, Kokank, also known as Ironpost) 
is sold as planks, posts and beams at 3|d. to 6d. per superficial foot. 
It is chiefly used for house-building. A full description of this tree 
is given under the heading of the export timbers, so that nothing 
more need be added here. 

14. Parinarium excelsum (Rough-skinned Plum) is a very common 
tree, which attains a girth of 12 feet and a bole length of 30 feet. It 
yields a hard timber with open grain. It is sold locally as planks 
or logs at 6d. per cubic foot for building timber. The fruit, which, 



34 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

as the name indicates, is like a green plum, is covered with white 
lenticels, making the surface very rough. The flesh is of a yellowish 
colour and soft, with a pasty nature. It has a sweet, pleasant taste. 
The wood, when freshly cut, has a sweet, beeswax-like scent, similar to 
that of the fruit. 

15. Whismore, which is sold as planks at 2Jd. per superficial foot, 
is another very useful timber, not unlike cedar in texture. The tree 
comes up very readily in old farms, and has very large tri-pinnate 
leaves. Apparently it grows very fast, though this does not appear 
to hinder the early formation of heartwood, which is of a very light 
brown colour, though the sapwood is quite white. It attains a girth 
of about 9 feet and a bole length of 50 feet. The bark forms very 
characteristic fissures, dividing it into more or less diamond-shaped 
pieces, rather reminiscent of the European Elm. Although the tree 
does not occur in actual groups, more than one will usually be found 
in the same locality. 

16. Uapaca Heudelotti (Sugar Plum, Red Cedar) is a large tree 
with rather a spread of crown and numerous aerial roots. It attains 
a girth of 9 feet and a bole length of 20 feet. The timber has a close 
and fine grain, and is of a reddish colour. Locally it is cut and used 
for the ribs of sea-going boats. It is apparently quite durable for 
this purpose. It is very prevalent, and usually grows near waterways. 

17. Pycnanthus Kombo (White Cedar) is a very large tree which 
attains a girth of 12 feet and a bole length of 80 feet. It is very preva- 
lent, and can be recognised by the flat crown and long straight branches 
coming out at right angles to the stem. When cut it exudes a reddish- 
coloured mass of semi-liquid nature. The bark reminds one of the 
Mahoganies, though on the whole it is more fissured. The timber is 
soft and of a pinkish colour, though it gives more the impression 
that it is white and tinged with red. It has a very open grain with 
particularly long pores, reminding one of cedar {Cedrela). It is 
cut locally for sale as planks. 

18. Pterocarpus Erinaceus (African Rosewood) is mentioned amongst 
the number of possible export timber-bearing trees. It is also used 
locally in the making of a musical instrument called Balangi, after 
the timber has lain some months in the ground. In the drier portions 
of the country it is a useful tree for house-building. It seeds readily, 
and is usually found in large quantities. 

19. Baphia nitida (Camwood) is also one of the export produce 
bearing trees, but which has been used as a colouring matter for 
putting on the body from time immemorial. The local people, how- 
ever, prefer to use cakes of the ground-up produce of the Barwood 
{Pterocarpus Tinctorius) from Southern Nigeria, which commands a 
higher price. That this product of Baphia nitida is the true Camwood 
is practically proved by the fact that this tree was first identified 



SIERRA LEONE 35 

from Sierra Leone, whence it is all exported, and also by the fact 
that Barwood, or the Southern Nigeria Camwood, is not found in 
Sierra Leone. 

Although the above completes the description of the most important 
local timber trees, there are many others which might be used with 
satisfaction. One of these trees, known as Yabonji by the Mendis, 
has a grain, colour and softness similar to white pine, and is sold 
locally as yellow pine. Erythrophlosum Guineense (Sassybark) yields 
a hard timber suitable for bridge-building, as it is very durable 
and grows to a large size, though not always with a very long bole. 
Mountain Mahogany, a species of Lonchocarpus, has a grain similar 
to pine, with resin-like canals in the wood. It grows to a large size, 
with a straight bole 50 feet in length and a girth of 10 feet. Comb- 
wood {Conapharingia pachysiphon) is a small tree, which yields a 
yellow wood similar in texture and grain to boxwood, though a little 
softer. Locally it is used for making native combs. There is also 
a so-called Leopardwood, termed Koligi by the Mendis, which has 
a curious striped grain a little reminiscent of a leopard's skin ; hence 
the name. The local inhabitants have various chewsticks, which 
are obtained from guttiferous trees or Vernonia species. Carapa 
Gayensis is found and used locally both as a timber and also the seeds 
for making an oil for the skin. In connection with all this local felling 
it should be noticed that there is scope for sawn timber of all kinds, 
more especially when it is taken in conjunction with the fact that 
over 2,000,000 feet board measure of planks, etc., are imported every 
year. A small mill placed near Bureh Town would probably be able 
to supply all wants as far as Freetown and the immediate neighbour- 
hood were concerned, and water power might be available from the 
Gumah River, which flows down very rapidly to the sea. A mill, 
on the whole, is more economical in conversion than the local sawyer, 
as all slabs are left to rot in the forest, but these a mill would consume 
in power-making, or they would be resawn into smaller boards or 
shingles. At present there is no sawmill in the whole country, so 
that there is an open field for this venture, with a forest adjacent 
to the market and suitable conditions of labour. 



IV. Minor Forest Produce. 

No account of the Sierra Leone forest would be complete without 
a description of the two chief vegetable products of the forest, namely 
Palm Oil and Kernels and Gum Copal. 

Turning first of all to Gum Copal, known botanically as Copaifera 
Salikounda, which is a true copal gum, not to be confused with the 
gum from DanielUa Ogea and other allied species, illustrations Nos. 8 
and 9 show this tree standing in the open, and also the shape of the 



36 WEST AFRICAN FORESTRY AND FORESTS 

trunk at nearer inspection. It will be seen that it is rather a tall tree, 
with open thin crown and straight upward-spreading branches. The bole 
usually does not exceed 30 feet in length, and then forks or divides 
into three main stems. The curious marks on the stem, making the 
tree look as if it were attacked with some form of canker, are those 
made by tapping the trees for the gum. At the beginning of the 
dry season small squares of bark, about an inch across, are removed 
from the tree, beginning at the ground, upwards to 20 and 30 feet. 
At the corners of each little square gum gradually exudes during 
the dry season in the form of an ever-increasing sized globular tear, 
which hardens on exposure to the air. By the end of the dry season, 
as in February or March, it has attained a size of half an inch or so, 
and is then quite hard and white and nearly transparent. Only a 
few little pieces of bark adhere to its surface, and these are easily 
removed. Then these tears are collected in a bag, sorted, and then 
sold to the European firms in Sierra Leone and elsewhere. The 
average tree yields 1 lb. of gum copal per year. 

In the peninsular forest a patch of Gum Copal trees is found near 
Bureh Town. In the Protectorate, irregular belts occur, such as that 
on the Kassewe Hills and north of Moyamba. On the banks of the 
Rokell River, too, it occurs in single specimens dotted along the 
bank. The smooth grey bark of the stem is not unlike Beech, except 
for the fact that it is pitted by the tapping squares, which occude 
only very gradually. 

The leaves are in pairs, but have such a straight inner edge that 
they appear like one leaf which has been cut in half down the middle. 
The main vein of the leaf is at one side of it. In this manner 
the leaf is unmistakable, though a Cynometra leaf is somewhat 
similar, and also a Bauhinia; but in the former the vein is more in 
the centre and the leaves are quite separate and not close together, 
and in the latter they are joined at the base. The tree appears to 
be easily killed by overtapping. Before the formation of the Forest 
Department, whole forests had been destroyed in this way, one of which 
I saw north of Moyamba during an inspection of the Gum Copal 
belt. 

The timber of this tree is a red-brown colour, of hard texture, with 
a pretty grain. It is, of course, of the type of purple-heart. It is 
very durable and termite-proof, though a borer attacks it slightly. 
The wood of trees killed by overtapping proves to be quite sound 
and useful for any purpose where a hard timber is required. 

The tree can be grown from the flat, round, paper-like seeds, which 
are bought at £1 a bushel in Sierra Leone. The tree usually bears 
well, and the seed is collected off the ground. Young self-sown 
seedlings are found, which shows that the seeds germinate readily 
too. It does not stand transplanting very well, but with care soon 



SIERRA LEONE 37 

recovers. It grows rapidly, and reaches a tapable size m ten years, 
approximately. It does not seem very exacting with regard to soil. 
In the peninsula it grows on rocky soil, and in Moyamba on an 
alluvial soil. 

Recently the exports have decreased, as the following figures show, 
chiefly owing to the destruction of the trees by overtapping. How- 
ever, when the forests have recovered, the younger trees have matured, 
and the trees since planted are in bearing, and an increase may be 
expected. It is the most valuable. Gum Copal usually being worth 
8d. to Is. 6d. a pound, but if quite clean and white it fetches as much 
as 2s. 6d. a pound. Its chief use is for varnish-making, though the 
best grades are used for pharmaceutical preparations. It is far easier 
to tap than rubber, and the cost of preparation is therefore very 
low, so that it should prove worth cultivating on a large scale. The 
market for Gum Copal is a comparatively large one, and other sources 
of supply, such as those of Kauri Gum from New Zealand, are 
decreasing, or not entirely meeting the demand. It is only a question 
of time before the whole supply will have to be obtained from 
cultivated trees. 

It stands a certain amount of shade during the first four years, 
but from the fifth year onwards it is distinctly a light-loving species. 
On the whole it is almost a gregarious tree, as usually groups of trees 
are found up to fifty or more, and in a whole forest the prevalent tree 
will be Gum Copal ; for instance, in the Gum Copal belt near Susuwuru, 
A planting distance of 6 feet will probably prove advantageous, as 
the tree has a distinct tendency to branch low down on the stem if 
not forced to grow up straight by the presence of other trees. Then 
in the tenth year a judicious thinning out of the weakest trees by 
tapping to death would give additional space to the others and allow 
for greater girth increment for the other clean-stemmed trees. An 
early financial yield would also thus be obtained. 

In the economy of the country, more important even than the 
Gum Copal is the Oil Palm {Elceis Guineensis), which is found in 
the Forest, scattered in groups and belts amongst farms inland, as 
at Blama, and near the sea coast, as at Sherbro, and also as isolated 
individual trees in the drier parts of the Protectorate. Towards the 
northernmost part of the country it is not seen at all, though climatic- 
ally there is nothing to stop it growing if planted in suitable localities. 
It tends to spread with increasing cultivation of the ground, so long 
as the rainfall is sufiicient and the soil moist enough for it. In the 
forest itself it is very sparsely distributed. Owing to the large 
population and the comparatively small area on which the Oil Palm 
is really plentiful, more palm oil is eaten than exported. This is 
most clearly seen in the quantity of exports of both products, which 
show a much larger proportion of kernels than oil. 



38 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

The fruit usually ripens in January, February, March, or sometimes 
earlier, and is left for six months. Usually the trees have to some 
extent been cleared by the natives, then on a certain day the bunches 
of fruit may be cut. This takes place after the natives have cut the 
bush down for making the chief's farm. It also ensures, incidentally, 
that most of the fruit is quite ripe, though this is not the reason why 
the natives may not begin cutting off the bunches when they like. 
The bunches of fruit are left in the forest at convenient places at 
the edge of the path, covered with palm leaves. After a week or so 
these are taken to the village, and all the drupes cut ofE with a machete. 
These are next put in large earthenware pots with a little water, 
which are then placed over a good fire. In about an hour the fruit 
is thoroughly steamed. The fruit is then piled into a trough of beaten 
clay with a palm-nut bottom, or even stones. Water is poured in, 
and the fruit is pounded with the feet and also with a small pestle. 
The oil gradually rises in yellow fatty masses on the surface of the 
water, and is collected with the hand and put into a clean pot. 
As soon as a pot is filled, it is placed over a good fire to boil. When 
it has been boiled thoroughly it is strained, the strained oil being 
that usually eaten or sold to firms for export. The residue of dirt 
and pieces of fibre is used as an illuminant in the native lamps. The 
nuts are placed in the sun to dry for two or three months, after which 
they are cracked with a stone or a piece of iron and the kernels 
collected in boxes or bags for sale. The fibre in the washing trough 
is thoroughly squeezed by hand and all oil extracted. The water is 
let out of the trough gradually, and all oil collected from the sides 
of it. It is also washed down with water to collect the more adhesive 
particles. Even so, there is a large percentage of waste. An oil is 
also made from the kernels by heating them in an iron vessel over 
a fire. This oil is used for the skin or for wounds. 

In the ordinary way oil palms are not planted, though in moving 
to a new area where farms have not been made before the natives 
take oil-palm fruit with them, which get scattered as nuts ; these 
germinate and form the nucleus of a group of oil palms in that locality. 
Considering the large population and its increasing need for the oil, 
the planting of oil palms appears to be remunerative. 

Palm Wine-tree {Raphia vinifera) is used very largely where it is 
found in the extensive forests near the rivers and sea coast in swampy 
places. Piassava fibre is obtained from this source, but so far has 
not been used in Sierra Leone for this purpose, whereas in the neigh- 
bouring country some of the best piassava is obtained. The people 
are, however, otherwise occupied, so that until there is a greater 
population it is unlikely that this industry will be taken up. The 
approximate area of wine palms is 3,000 square miles in various parts 
of the whole country. Some of the best areas are found on the banks 



SIERRA LEONE 39 

of the Mano, Morro, Maho and Rokell Rivers. The long fronds of 
the leaves yield the steering and pushing poles for canoes, also most 
useful rafters and scantlings for houses. The leaves themselves are 
made into mats for covering the houses. They are said to last 
seven years when properly put on, The fruit of the tree is used 
for stupefying fish, which can then be very easily speared by the 
natives. The tree is usually set on fire to draw the palm wine, though 
this more often happens subsequently to the taking of the wine. 
A tree does not last more than three years with severe tapping, such 
as it is subject to by the natives. 

Borassus flabellifer (Fan Palm, Bottle Palm) is found in the 
northern, drier part of the Protectorate, but so far is not used to any 
extent for house-building, for which the timber is most suitable, being 
very durable, of good length, and can be split. The nuts of the large 
coconut-like fruit are useful as a substitute for vegetable ivory, though 
thus far no use has been made of them. The approximate area of 
distribution of this species of tree is about 4,000 square miles. Quite 
a trade is done in various kinds of bark, altogether from about fifteen 
different species of trees, of which most are collected in the Peninsular 
Forest. Amongst them is found the Sasswood, or that of Erylhro- 
phloeum Guineense, the notorious native poison, though it is not at 
all certain that nowadays in Sierra Leone it is used for this purpose. 

V. The Forest Department of Sierra Leone. 

In the course of 1911 a Forest Department was formed by the 
appointment of a Conservator of Forests ; this has been gradually 
enlarged until there are now three Assistant Conservators of Forests 
as well. The chief work of the Department so far has been the 
drafting and passing of a Forestry Ordinance in 1912 and the 
demarcation of two Forest Reserves. The Peninsular Forest, with 
its new boundaries, comprises 75 square miles, and the Kassewe 
Hill. Other areas have been set aside, notably the Kagnari Hills 
and Kambui Hills as Forest Reserves, and Nimmini and Loma 
Forests examined previous to demarcation with a view to their 
reservation. The Gum Forests were closed to tappers with the 
consent of the chief, so that the trees could recover from 
previous overtapping. In addition to this work, some rubber 
planting has been done in the Gumah, and one Assistant spends all 
his time on this work, nurseries having been formed in different places 
— Mano, Bo, and Falaba. A large number of botanical specimens of 
the trees and shrubs have been forwarded to Kew for identification, 
so that gradually the silvan vegetation is becoming known. No 
planting of oil palms {Elceis Guineensis) has been undertaken yet, 
despite the large export of this product. Rubber planting has not 



40 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

been forgotten either. So far very little revenue has been received 
for timber-felling fees, which means really that in the past the forests 
have been destroyed, and now only small quantities can be cut. It 
does indeed make one pause and think what immense forests must 
have existed in the days of 1827, when so many loads of timber were 
exported, as shown in the table on p. 64. If those forests had been 
preserved then, they would be yielding high returns now, and the 
Department would be self-supporting, instead of having money 
invested first in plantations before returns are obtained. However, 
now that the Department has been formed, a definite Forest Ordinance 
has been passed, under which Forest Reserves can be made, and the 
future of the existing forests is thus assured. Sooner or later all of 
them will yield a monetary return, besides benefiting the country 
climatically and preserving the soil. 

One can really look upon Forestry as a kind of Endowment 
Assurance, with returns which may begin at once with existing forests, 
or later with afforestation begun now. The return is always sure, 
more especially now, with continually rising timber prices. In 
Sierra Leone, of course, for some years money will have to be put into 
Forestry work before adequate returns can be made, owing to the 
reckless mismanagement of the forest in the early part of the nine- 
teenth century. For the purpose of easy reference, a list of some of 
the most important timber trees is appended, and with both the 
Mendi and Timani names, when it is possible to give these, and 
an English equivalent is also given where one uses a name suggestive 
of the use of the timber. 

So far the Department has not leased any areas for the exploita- 
tion of timber for export or local use, though there are several areas 
available, such as the peninsular forest. Even an organization of 
the sawyers and boat-builders would be a useful work, and machinery 
for cutting the various woods would lead to greater production and 
a saving of timber, of which so much is now wasted. Again, the 
enormous demand for firewood in Freetown, most of which is water- 
borne, could be more advantageously met with a small sawmill or 
movable plant in connection with the other wood-using industries 
already named. The mangrove swamps would provide material 
ready at hand for conversion. The railway requires firewood at 
certain points ; there again is scope for improved methods of dealing 
with it, yielding profit both to the contractor and to the Forest 
Department. 










i 5f a-; 




0_Q 



O O 3 




S 



g<e3 



VI.— INDIGENOUS FOREST TREES 

Species marked with an asterisk (*) are Lane Poole's^ ; those marked with an 
obelisk (f) are the Author's. 

Pandanaces. 

Pandanus candelabrum. Screw Pine. Bambi (Mendi). 
Pandanus sp. near P. candelabrum.^ Screw Pine. Pambei (Mendi). 
It is a tree with wide-spreading prop roots always growing 
in running fresh water. The leaves are used in basket-making. 

Palmae. 

Elceis Guineensis.* Oil Palm. Ankump (Timani) ; Tui, Tauwi, 
Taupwi (young trees), (Mendi). 

The well-known Oil Palm. It is a most useful tree, thriving 
best near villages, but growing abundantly in the northern 
part of the forests. The nuts contain a large quantity of oil. 
They are used also for planting. 
Borassus flabellifer.* Fan or Daleb Palm. Tunka (Timani); Hoke 
(Mendi). 

It grows to about 70 feet in the grass country. Umbrellas 
are made from the leaves, also baskets. The stems are used 
for building-posts. 
Raphia vinifera."^ Wine Palm. Ankent (Timani) ; Duvui (Mendi). 
Sometimes called the Tombo Palm. It is very gregarious, 
being frequently found forming almost a small forest in swampy 
ground. 
EapJiia sp. near R. Gaertneri.* Kili (Mendi). 

It is a small plant of only 10 feet, growing in the swamps. 
It does not yield wine. Baskets and mats are made from the 
leaf stalks and thatch from the leaves. 
Calamus sp.'^ Balui (Mendi). 

This is a climbing palm or rattan, growing to the top of 
the highest trees, having a diameter of 2 inches, armed with 
strong hooked spines. The stem, when split, is used for tying 
the rafters of houses ; lengths of it are used as clothes-lines. 
Suspension bridges are even made over the river. 
Calamus sp.* Tambelei (Mendi). 

This species grows as high as the preceding one, but is only 
I inch in diameter. Besides being used as cordage, it is 
employed as thatching. 

^ Trees, Shrubs, Herbs and Climbers of Sierra Leone. See Lane Poole. 
41 



42 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Liliaceae. 

Draccena Mannii* Ningei (Mendi). 

This tree grows to 30 feet in height, and is called the 
Asparagus Tree by Europeans, because the flavour of the 3'oung 
leaves is like asparagus. The natives eat them chopped with 
their rice. 



Ulmaceac. 

Trema affinis* Gombei (Mendi) 

A small tree, from 25 to 30 feet. It springs up in cleared 
farms ; the wood is of little use except as thatching laths. The 
bark is peeled and eaten for coughs. 
Trema Africana* f 

A medium-sized tree. 

Moraceae. 

Ficus Vogelii* Jol, Lopi (Timani) ; Gonwi (Mendi). 

A much-branched tree, yielding a latex, which coagulated 
has been sold at from 6d. to Is. a lb. in London as paste rubber. 
Ficus sp* Wild Fig or Sandpaper Tree. Indaihen (Mendi). 

This species has rough leaves like sandpaper, hence its 
name. They are used to clean woodwork. 
Ficus platyphytes. Gonwe (Mendi). 

Chlorophora excelsa* Iroko, Teak, African Oak. Tema (Timani) ; 
Sime or Semei (Mendi). 

It is found particularly near old clearings, but not so 
frequently in the forest. It is a termite-resisting timber ; called 
Teak, Oroko or African Oak, when exported, it is worth about 
l|d. per superficial foot. At one time the latex was used as 
an adulterant for rubber. It polishes well and makes very 
handsome furniture. Canoes, pestles, rice-basins, etc., are 
made from it. Dr. Unwin suggests that Iroko is a corruption 
for rock elm. 
Musanga Smithii* Corkwood. Ofika (Timani) ; Govwi (Mendi). 
It is a common tree, growing to about 60 feet in old farm 
lands, and affords a shade for forest species to get a footing. 
It is remarkable for its wide-spreading prop roots and large 
palmate leaves. 
Myrianthus arboreus* Fofoi (Mendi). 

A small tree. 
Myrianthus sp* Fofoi (Mendi). 

A small tree. 
Myrianthus serratus* Fofoi (Mendi). 
A small tree with edible fruit. 



SIERRA I,EONE 43 

1 
Olacacese. 

Coula edulis* Tokei (Mendi). \ 

It is a large tree bearing walnut-like nuts, the kernels of 

which are good to eat both raw and cooked. Oil is obtained | 

from the kernels, which are valued at £7 a ton. | 

Olax* j 

A small tree. | 

Loranthaceae. 

Loranthus langwensis* Mistletoe. Gongui (Mendi). 

This is the common mistletoe, which may be seen 

growing on a great number of trees. Specially common on i 

Guava and Kola Trees. i 

,j 

Menispermaceae. 

Triclisia macrophylla. Ndawi (Mendi ; 

A climbing shrub. ; 

I 

Anonaceae. ] 

Xylopia ^thiopica* The Spice Tree. Umberikum (Timani) ; Kewe j 

or Hewe (Mendi). i 

Its fruit is much in demand as medicine. j 

Xylopia sp. Dinklagei.* Mountain Spice. Kapus (Timani) ; Hui, 

Hewe (Mendi). i 

Monodora Myristica* Calabash Nutmeg or False Nutmeg. Gboite , 

(Mendi). | 

It is a medium-sized tree, with rose-pink, sweet-smelling \ 

flowers. The fruit is the false nutmeg. i 

Xylopia sp. near X. Elliotii* Yellow Wood. Belvi or Kpaini J 

(Mendi). \ 

This tree grows to a medium height, with thin but very 

straight stem up to 18 inches in diameter. Its wood has been •< 

exported to Europe, where it has taken the place of American ; 

whitewood. ■; 
Xylopia parviflora* 

A tall tree of 20 feet, groMdng on the bank of the Moa River, ^ 
CleistophoUs sp. near C. patens.* Moigbwamy (Mendi). 

This tree grows to a height of 80 feet. Strips of the bark 
are used by the natives for making brow-bands and shoulder- 
straps when carrying palm hampers. ; 
Hexalobus grandiflorus .* Njahewe (Mendi). ! 
It is a large, wide-crowned tree, with conspicuous white 
flowers. i 



44 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Pachypodanthium Staudtii* 

A large-boled forest tree, with grey, rough bark, of which 
the timber is very hard to saw. 
StenantJiera Jiamata.* 
A small tree. 
Uvaria Afzelii* 

A tree of 15 feet in height, with very heavy-scented flowers. 
Uvaria sp* 

A tall, straight tree, with blackish-green longitudinally ribbed 
bark. 
Uvaria macrocarpa* Finger Root. 

This tree is found 15 feet in height. The root is used 
medicinally by the Creoles, and by them called Finger Root. 

Myristicaceie. 

Pycnanthus Kombo."^ White Cedar. Kuwul (Timani) ; Boy a 
(Mendi). 

It is a very tall tree, attaining a girth of 12 feet, which is 
cut locally, but not for export, owing to its soft wood and open 
grain. 

Moringaceae. 

Moringa pterygosperma."^ Horse-radish Tree ; or Oil of Ben Tree. 
The oil in the seeds is 38 per cent., and they are valued 
at £9 a ton in London. The oil is suitable for lubricating 
clocks and watches. The wood is not used. 

Rosaceae. 

Parinarium macrojjhyllum* Gingerbread Plum. Ndawei (Mendi). 
It is a small tree bearing a fruit the size of a goose's egg. 
The fruit is the edible ginger-plum. 

Parinarium excelsum* Rough-skinned Plum. Abbis (Timani) ; 
Ndanwi Badgi (Mendi). 

This tree attains a large size and seeds very readily. It 
yields a useful hardwood; is felled locally and for building 
purposes. The grain of the wood is too open to be of much use 
for export. It is of a reddish-brown colour. The pulp around 
the seed is eaten. 

Leguminosae. 

Paradaniella thurifera* Ilorin Balsam Tree. Bessi (Timani) ; 
Bessi Kpessei or Gbassei (Mendi). 

A quick-growing, soft-wooded tree, pretty evenly distributed 
through the forest. It attains a girth of 9 feet and a bole 
length of 30 feet. It is cut locally for house-building and other 



SIERRA LEONE 45 

purposes. A fragrant resin is exuded and much used as a 
scent by the Creoles and natives. 
Erythrophlosum Guineense. Sasswood. Kukorn (Timani) ; Gogwi 
(Mendi), 

A large but not very straight -growing tree, which attams 
a girth of 9 feet. It has been exported, but the price obtained 
for it is not available. The wood is hard, but works up well, 
and has been used by the Public Works Department of Southern 
Nigeria. 
Erythrophloeum sp. near E. micranthum* f Sasswood or Red- 
water Tree. 

The bark contains a virulent poison, which is used as an 
ordeal. It is a large forest tree, having a green bole. The 
wood is used to make canoes. 
Erythrina Senegalensis* 

A tree 20 feet high, with handsome red flowers. The branches 
are armed with prickles. The wood is used for fencing. 
Erythrina sp* Malei (Mendi). 

This is a large tree, 80 feet in height, with wide-spreading 
branches. The stem is pale grey and covered with strong 
prickles. The flowers are pink. 
Piptadenia Africana* K'Kuperb (Timani) ; Mbeli or Mbelignli 
(Mendi). 

This tree is very plentiful, and attains a large size. The 
wood is of a brown colour, hard and durable. Strong canoes 
are made from it. 
Cynometra Vogelii.* 
A small tree. 
Xylia Evansii* f Bunga (Timani) ; Tegai (Mendi). 

A medium tree. 
Griff onia palescens. Koronko (Timani) ; Koronko (Mendi). 
Pentaclethra macrophylla* Oil Bean Tree. Kekung (Timani) ; 
Fai, Fae (Mendi). 

The wood is of a brown colour, hard and durable. The 

natives use the ashes of the burnt pods for making soap. The 

wood is sold for Is. Id. per cubic foot in the English market. 

Parkia Africana. Locust Bean. Ebbe (Timani) ; Gumwi (Mendi). 

Parkia filicoidea. Forest Locust. Gimwi (Mendi). 

Parkia higlohosa* Locust Bean. 

A wide crowned tree, 50 feet in height, bearing conspicuous 
red flowers and long pods. The pulp around the seed is edible, 
but the seed itself is considered a great delicacy ground and 
mixed in soup. 
Parkia sp. Gumni (Mendi). 

The tree is much like the P. biglobosa, but is found growing 



46 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

wild in the forests. It differs in having well-developed buttress 
roots. The seed is not eaten. 

Lonchocarpus. Mountain Mahogany. Ali (Timani) ; Jumbowill 
(Mendi), probably Petophorum sp. 

A very tall and straight tree, with a bole of 50 feet and a 
girth of 10 feet. It is found everywhere, especially on the 
edges of old clearings and in old farms. It has been felled 
for export, but no data are available as to its worth. The wood 
resembles pine, being soft and full of resin-like canals. 

Lonchocarpus cyanescens* Big-leaved Indigo. Jalei, Walwei 
(Mendi). 

A valuable dye is obtained from the leaves, which takes 
the place of indigo and is sold at from 4s. to 4s. 6d. a pound 
in England. 

Lonchocarpus sericeus* 

A branched and gnarled tree growing on the sea shore, 
its roots often being washed by the tide. The timber is close- 
grained, hard and durable. 

Cassia Siberiana* Bongbo or Bangbwei (Mendi). 

A small tree bearing handsome yellow flowers. A decoction 
is made from the root to ease elephantiasis, also stomach 
troubles. 

Copaifera Guibourtiana* Sierra Leone Gum Copal. Akak (Timani) ; 
Kobwi (Mendi). 

This tree was found growing on the ridges and low-lying 
land near York and Bureh Town, also in Ronietta, Karene 
District, and Kassewe Hills. It is noted for its gum. The dead 
wood works up very well, having a fine grain and red colour, 
and should be of value for export. Locally it has only been 
used for bridge-building. The average price paid by local 
traders for the gum appears to be Is. a joound. 

Copaifera salikounda* Buini (Mendi). 
A large tree. 

Pterocarpus esculentus. Atont (Timani) ; Batwi (Mendi). 

Pterocarpus erinaceus* Rosewood. Katai (Timani) ; Bundwi 
Batwi (Mendi). 

This is a small but valuable tree, confined principally to 
the drier parts of the country, particularly in the Karina 
forests. The wood finds a good market in France. Locally 
it is used to make a musical instrument called " Balangi." 
The seeds are intoxicating when eaten raw. 

Macrolobium sp. Jamostima (Mendi). 

Macrolobium Palisotii. K'Pal (Timani) ; Bumbi (Mendi). 

Macrolobium sp. ? * Limba ? African Violet Wood. Tunfall 
(Timani) ; Pfandi or Mbombi (Mendi). 



SIERRA LEONE 47 

It yields a wood with a pleasant scent, which grows to 
a stem length of 20 feet and girth of 12 feet. The wood would 
probably be figured, owing to its peculiar growth, ebony- 
like, hard, heavy and of a greenish-brown colour. It bears 
a pod about a foot long and an inch wide. The tree grows 
in great quantities, but it is not used locally, owing to its hardness. 
It should be tried in European markets. 
Macrolobium elongatum* 

It is a small shrubby tree. 
Macrolobium sp. near M. Heudelotii* f 

A medium-sized tree found chiefly near water. The pod 
is larger than the other Macrolobiums. 
Macrolobium Limba* Mbombi (Mendi). 

This tree reaches a height of 40 feet. Its roasted leaves, 
when ground and mixed with water and ashes, are used for 
ulcers. 
DialiumGuineense* Black Tumbler or Velvet Tamarind. Mabump 
(Temni), (Timani) ; Mamboi (Mendi). 

A medium-sized tree bearing edible, velvety seed- 
vessels. 
Dialium Senegalense. Black Tumbler. Baut, I (Timani) ; Burogono 

Mambui (Mendi). 
Afzeliabracteata* Konta, Konta (Timani) ; Bendiguri or Kpendei- 

deli (Mendi). 
Afzelia Africana.* 

These two trees are very much alike as far as timber is 
concerned. The wood is much used locally, and it may be 
of value for export, as the texture is similar to mahogany. 
The A. Africana yields a particularly good mahogany sub- 
stitute under the name of Kontah or Counter wood. 
Afzelia sp* 

A large-crowned tree. 
Berlinia acuminata* Kpendei (Mendi), 

This tree grows to a height of 80 feet, having a very con- 
spicuous flower. It is much used in cabinet-making. 
B. Heudelotiana* Helei (Mendi). 

A large tree, 50 feet in height. 
B. sp. near B. stipulacece .* Tzabembi (Mendi). 

A large tree, the seeds of which are made into counters 
by the Mendis to play Warry, 
Brachystegia sp* Bodgei (Mendi). 

It reaches the height of 150 feet, and is one of the largest 
forest trees, with wide buttress roots. 
Cryptosepalum tetraphyllum* Hellebolei (Mendi). 
A large tree. 



48 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Cylicodiscus gabunensis* African Greenheart. Mbeli-deli (Mendi). 
It is very similar to Piptadenia Africana in appearance, 
and also yields a strong, hard wood. 
Dalbergia sp* Dalbergia Rosewood. Balakenta (Timani) ; Fir- 
bandu Ndambabuli (Mendi). 
A small tree. 
Baphia polygalacece.* Ndambabuli (Mendi). 

A climber, 10 feet in height. The stem used for killing fish. 
Baphia nitida* Camwood Tree. Mat, Kam (Timani) ; Bendwi 
or Bunduei (Mendi). 

A small tree from which dyewood, a fast red dye, is obtained. 
The wood is hard and heavy, and is used for rice-mortar pestles 
and walking-sticks. 
Albizzia Broivnii* Albizzia, Bakbwi or Bpakpei (Mendi). 

This is a medium-sized tree yielding a reddish wood of 
moderately fine grain, somewhat resembling mahogany. The 
heartwood is very pretty. It should be saleable in Liverpool 
market. 
Albizzia fastigata* Folei-kpakpei, Bakbaboi (Mendi). 

This species rarely attains a diameter at the base of more 
than 18 inches. It nearly always has a rotten heart. 
Detarium Senegahnse* Mahogany, Dita. Kita (Timani) ; Dupwi 
II, Kolei (Mendi). 

It is a very lofty tree, which yields a wood sold as mahogany 
in the Liverpool market. The grain is not so close as is usual 
in mahogany, but the colour is good. The fruit is edible and 
eaten locally. Dita is the name given to it. It is not very 
common. 
Detarium sp* 

A large tree of 60 or 70 feet in height, probably a new 
species. 
Millettia cf. drastica* 

A small tree. 
Millettia Lane-Poolei* Togbeli (Mendi). 

A small tree or shrub about 15 feet in height, with white, 
scentless flowers. There are three other varieties, with flowers 
ranging from white and pink to mauve. 
Millettia pallens* 

A medium-sized tree with mauve flowers. 
Millettia sp. near M. Sangana* 

A medium-sized tree with erect pods and mauve flowers. 
Millettia rhodantha . * 

A medium-sized tree with yellow, aromatic wood. 
Mimosa Dinklagei* Gumgui (Mendi). 

A medium-sized tree, 50 feet in height. 



SIERRA LEONE 49 

Newfonia insignis* 

A tree about 80 feet in height, with well developed buttress 
roots. 
Peltophorum* Njomboguli (Mendi). 

A large tree. 
Ormosia monophylla.* 

Linaceae. 

Ochthocosmus Africanum* Tuanyei (Mendi). 
A small, fairly common tree. 

Humiriaceae. 

Saccoglottis Gabunensis* 

This tree yields a first-class timber. The bark strips ofF 
cleanly and is sold in Calabar at 5s. a roll 30 inches long and 
18 inches in diameter. 

Rutaceae. 

Zantlioxylum macrophyllum* Spiny Satin wood. Witkoran (Timani) ; 
Pfui II (Mendi). 

This tree yields a very pretty yellow wood, with a some- 
what open grain. 
Zanthoxylum sp. Satin wood. Bek (Timani) ; Pfui (Mendi). 

A medium-sized tree, with most peculiar conically shaped 
woody protrusions on the bark. It has not been cut locally. 
Zanthoxylum rubescens* 

An armed tree from 12 to 15 feet high. 

Burseraceae. 

Canarium Schiveinfurthii. White Mahogany. Beri (Mendi). 

This tree is not very common. A very large tree which has 
been found 150 feet high, with a bole of 70 feet and a girth of 
10 feet. It could be cut locally and would make a valuable 
addition to local furniture woods. It is, however, hard to saw. 

Meliacese. 

Lovoa Klaineana* f African Walnut. 

It is a medium-sized tree, not very common ; the value of 
the timber varies from Ifd. to 3d. per foot. 
Lovoa sp. near L. Klaineana. African Walnut. 

A medium-sized tree. 
Carapa procera* Crabwood, Coondi, Kakunt (Timani) ; Kuwi 
Kowi (Mendi). 

It is a medium-sized tree, which is evenly distributed every- 
where. It yields a mahogany-like wood, which has been sold 
in the Liverpool market. 

4 



50 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Carapa Gayensis. 

Guarea. Satin Mahogany. Kaffi (Mendi). 

A fair-sized tree, having a grain similar to mahoganj^, but 
with a satiny sheen which may make it very valuable. It is 
not cut locally, but might be tried for export. 
Guarea sp. near leptotricha* f Kaffi (Mendi). 

A tree. 
Pseudocedrela. Cedar Mahogany. Bissimi (Mendi). 

This tree grows to a very large size. The timber is similar 
to that of a tree found in Southern Nigeria, but it appears to be 
a different species ; the sapwood is wider and the heartwood 
has a better colour. It is fairly common. 
Pseudocedrela sp. near P. utilis* 

A large tall tree, yielding a handsome wood. 
Ekebergia.'^ 

Medium-sized tree. 
Khaya.* 

Dr. A. H. Unwin found a Khaya in a Gola forest which 
has since been ceded to Liberia. The Khayas yield timber 
(African Mahogany), gum, tanning-barks and medicaments. 
Trichilia Heudelotii* 
Trichilia sp. near T. Prieuriana.* 

A medium-sized tree. 
Trichilia sp.* Jawei (Mendi). 
Turrcea sp.* 

A small tree, from 12 to 15 feet. 

Polygalaceae. 

Carpolobia alba.* Bofelei or Gibofoyoi (Mendi). 

It is a small tree called Poor Man's Candle. 
Carpolobia lutea.* 

A shrub or small tree. 

Dichapetalacese. 

Chailletia toxicaria.* Magbevi (Mendi). 

A violent poison is made from the kernel, used by the 
natives to destroy dogs and vermin. They have also used it 
to poison well-water in hostile villages. The pulp of the fruit 
is harmless and edible. 

Euphorbiaceae. 

Ricinodendron Heudelotii. Mahogany. Kino (Timani) ; Boi (Mendi). 

This tree yields a mahogany valued at 2d.-3|d. per superficial 

foot. It is rather an uncommon tree, but as it seeds very 



SIERRA LEONE 51 

readily and develops rapidly, more could be planted. A large 
number are found along the river banks. 
Ricinodendron Africanus* Gbolei (Mendi). 

A tree 90 feet high with horse-chestnutlike leaf. The 
timber is soft, and used for making masks for Bundu devils, 
also rice spoons and plates. The seeds are rich in oil, but the 
natives do not extract it ; they are, however, used by the 
native women in the rattle for their Bundu dance. 
Uapaca Guineensis* Sugar Plum, Red Cedar. Kulil (Timani) ; 
Kondi (Mendi). 

A large spreading tree with aerial roots. It is cut locally 
and used for the ribs of local boats. The wood is of a reddish 
colour and fine grain, which might sell as mahogany. Some 
species yield edible fruits. 
Uapaca Heudelotii* 

This is a tree growing up to 60 feet along the bank of the 
Moo River. 
Uapaca Togoensis* 

This tree grows in the riverside forests. 
Oldfieldia Africana* Real African Oak. Tortorza (Timani) ; 
Paulai, Pawi Kpaoloe (Mendi). 

This tree attains a large size, a height of 120 feet and 
diameter at the base of 5 J feet. The bole often reaches 
60 feet without a branch, though sometimes the bole is short, 
owing to its growing in a laterite soil. It is more frequent 
in the southern than the northern forests. It has not been cut 
locally, though the natives recognise it as a very hard wood. 
It has been used for dock gates. 
Cyclostemon. Toye (Mendi). 
Fluggea microcarpa.* Tigwi (Mendi). 
Amanoa bracteata* Jagbouei (Mendi). 

A tree which grows up to 5 feet in diameter, and straight 
from the ground to a height of 60 feet. It is then much branched. 
The timber is not used. 
Anthostema Senegalense.* Mamboi (Mendi). 

It is a small tree growing on the sea shore. 
Antidesma lacinatum. 

A tree attaining a height of 25 feet. 
Bridelia ferruginea.* 

It is a small tree of about 20 feet high, very much branched. 
All through the dry season it drips water at night. 
Bridelia micrantha.* Igili (Mendi). 

This species also reaches a height of 20 feet. It is used 
for making charcoal, and a medicine is made from meat stewed 
in the water in which the roots have been boiled. 



52 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Hasskarlia didymostemon* 

This tree grows to a height of 50 feet, with a diameter at 
the base of 20 feet. It is one of the dioecious trees. 
Hymenocardia acida* Fagbajoi (Mendi). 

A small tree, knotted, gnarled and branched, growing both 
in the open and in the forest. 
Hymenocardia Heudelotii.* 

A small tree. 
Hymenocardia lyrata.* f 

This species is found in the peninsular forests. 
Macaranga Barteri* Ndeiwei (Mendi). 

It is a medium-sized armed tree, reaching about 50 feet, 
and 18 inches in diameter at the base. A light wood used for 
firewood. 
Macaranga heterophylla* Fofui (Mendi). 

A medium-sized tree. 
Macaranga monandra.* Ndeiwei (Mendi). 

It is a medium-sized armed tree, up to 50 feet high, and 
8 inches at the base, with reddish-brown pubescent branches. 
It is useless except as firewood. 
Mcesobotrya sp.* 

A small tree. 
Mareya spicata.* Nguangua (Mendi). 

A tree reaching 30 feet in height. The leaves have a bitter 
taste ; a decoction of them is used as a poison. 
Microdesmis puberula* Nikli (Mendi). 

A small tree, reaching about 15 feet in height. The fruit 
is edible. 
Phyllanthus discoideiis* Tijoi (Mendi). 

A common tree, 60 feet in height, with a diameter of 
18 inches. 

Anacardiaceee. 

Mangifera Africana* White Oak or Greenheart. Peri (Timani) ; 
Bewe-Bauban (Mendi). 

A tree growing to 40 feet in height, with root flanges 
extending 10 feet up the stem ; it has a girth of 12 feet. The 
tree is cut locally. The seeds are edible. 
Spondias lutea* Common Plum or the Hog Plum of the Creoles. 
Luep (Timani) ; Bogi or Gbojei (Mendi). 

A large tree, with rough, grey bark; it resists the grass fires 
very well. They yield timber, tanning material, medicaments 
and edible fruit, from which a spirituous drink is prepared. 
Odina sp.^ 

It reaches a height of 30 feet. 



SIERRA LEONE 53 

Sorindeia juglandifoUa* Creole Damson. Ni-Kaffei (Mendi). 

A tree of 50 feet in height, having aerial roots. A broken 
branch or scraped root has a resinous smell. 

Icacinaceae. 

Leptaulos daphnoides* Propri (Timani) ; Bongani (Mendi). 
A small tree. 

Sapindaceas. 

Bersama PaulUnioides* Nyomdobai (Mendi). 

A tree growing to a height of 35 feet. It is regarded as 
an evil tree, and neither man nor beast touches it, A poison 
is extracted from the root, with which Mendis poison their 
enemies. 
Lecaniodiscus cupanioides.'^ f 

A small tree. 
Phialodiscus unijugatus* Yokomi (Mendi). 

A tree of 50 feet in height. This tree bears conspicuous 
red capsules, which contain black seeds having a yellow ovule. 
The leaves and twigs are macerated in pools in the rivers to 
kill fish. 
Schmidelia Africana* Komigbulei (Mendi). 
A small tree. 

Tiliaceae. 

Glyphcea Grewioides* Swamp Rice. Beibolei (Mendi). 

A decoction of the leaves is used for curing gonorrhoea. 

Bombacaceae. 

Adansonia digitata.* Baobab, Cream of Tartar or Monkey Bread. 

Ungari (Timani) ; Sackwi Mbauwi (Mendi). 

It is a slow-growing tree, but a valuable one, yielding fibre, 

paper pulp and a native medicine. Sodium chloride, potassium 

and acid tartrate have been found in the leaves. 
Bombax Buonopozense* Kinguei (Mendi). 

A large deciduous tree, often called the Red Cotton Tree 

on account of its flowers. It yields a fibre called Kapok. 
Eriodendron anfractuosum. Cotton Tree. Pullum (Timani) ; 

Ungwe (Mendi). 
Eriodendron orientale* Cotton Tree. Nhuei (Mendi). 

The Cotton Tree of commerce. The fibre fetches from 2d. 

to 4d. a pound in London. It grows readily from seed. The 

seed is valuable, as it yields an oil, and the ash of the seed 

contains 28-5 per cent, of phosphoric acid and 24-6 per cent. 

of potash (the latter makes a valuable manure). The wood 

is used locally for canoes and platters. 



54 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Sterculiaceae. 

StercuUa tragacantha.* African Tragacantha. Kobei (Mendi). 

The ashes are used for soap. It yields a gum similar to 
that of Tragacanth, Astragalus gummifer. 
StercuUa cordifolia. Red Oak. K'fut (Timani) ; Buni (Mendi). 
Cola acuminata* The Kola Tree, Tuloi (Mendi). 

This tree yields the Kola nut, a most valuable export. 
Very little, however, is sent to Europe, but great quantities 
to French Senegal. It contains great stimulating properties, 
and enables travellers to march long distances without food. 
The tree grows wild in certain forests, and begins to yield at 
six or seven years old. The nut is little thought of by Euro- 
peans, owing to its bitter taste. The price varies from £10 to 
£12 a measure (160 lb.). 
Cola augustifoUa* Denbehawi (Mendi). 

A small tree, the leaves of which are used as a stomach 
medicine. The Munchis use the wood to make their short 
bows. 
Cola leonensis* f Booni (Mendi). 

A small tree with large leaves. 
Cola simiarum.* Baboon Kola. N'goloduloi (Mendi). 

A large tree, 60 feet in height. A fine specimen of it grows 
over the wooden bridge at Kennema. 
Heritiera* Red Cedar or Harmon. Yawi (Mendi). 

It yields a very handsome, easily worked wood, useful for 
any purpose. The fruit is edible. 
Leptonychia* Mbagboldede (Mendi). 

It grows only to the size of a shrub or small tree. The 
leaves are used to cure thorn wounds. 

Ochnaceae. 

Lophira procera* African Oak, Red Ironwood, Ironpost. Ringa 
(Timani) ; Hendui or Endwi (Mendi). 

This tree attains about the same size of the Oldfieldia ; there 
does not seem to be any microscopical difference in the texture 
or grain of the wood. It is much used by builders, as it is 
proof against the attacks of termites. This tree also yields 
oily seeds and medicaments. 
Lophira Alata* Katank (Timani) ; Endwi (Mendi). 

A small tree having seed yielding 43 per cent, oil, valued 
at £24 to £25 a ton. 
Gomphia congesta.* Colonguli (Mendi). 

A small tree undergrowth. 
Ochna sp.* 

A small tree. 



SIERRA LEONE 55 

Guttiferae. 

Ochrocarpus Africanus.* African Apple or Mammy Apple Tree. 
Mammee, Bakum (Timani) ; Kaikumba (Mendi). 

A large tree, attaining a girth of 10 feet and a bole of from 
20 to 30 feet. It has been cut locally, and is much prized on 
account of its pretty grain and red colour. It is used for 
joinery and similar work. 
Garcinia Kola* f Kofe (Mendi). 
Garcinia epunctata* f 

A small tree. 
Garcinia polyantha* Bitter Kola. Sagbei (Mendi). 

This is a small tree with thick yellow latex ; the fruit is 
edible. 
Pentadesma butyracece* Chewstick. Komdi (Timani) ; Mdayen 
(Mendi). 

Chewstick. This is a very prevalent tree, though it does 
not reach very stout dimensions. The roots are used exten- 
sively for native chewsticks. 
Haronga Madagascariensis* Mbeli (Mendi). 

It is a small tree which grows readily on farm lands. The 
juice below the bark is orange-red. The wood resembles that 
of Proteaceous trees and is very beautiful. 
Mammea sapota.'^' 

Locally called Mammy Supporter. It is a handsome tree 
and has an edible fruit. 
Visinia leonensis* 

A small tree of 15 feet. 
Allanblackia floribunda* 

A medium-sized tree. 

Violacese. 

Alsodeia sp.* 

A small tree. Some of these yield timber. 
Alsodeia sp* 

A medium-sized tree growing near the river. 

Flacourtiaceae. 

Homalium molle.* Niagalei (Mendi). 

It is a large tree, very tall and straight. 
Homalium sp* Kologalei (Mendi). 

A large straight tree, often confused with H. molle. 

Rhizophoraceae. 

Anisophyllea laurina* Monkey Apple. Kant (Timani) ; Kanti 
(Mendi). 



56 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

This is a very lofty tree, with a bole of 40 feet and girth 
of 12 feet. It has not been tried as timber away from the 
locality, but should be valuable as an export, having a pretty 
grain, full of medullary rays. The local value is 3d. to 6d. 
per lineal foot. It is fairly common in the forest, but very 
plentiful outside, as it shoots up from the stump when cut 
down. Naturally, the wood from such trees is not so good as 
from seedlings. 
Ehizophora racemosa* Mangrove. Dingi (Mendi). 

This is a small tree of the swamps which is found very 
useful for poles and firewood. It fetches a high price from 
the bakers — £1 10s. to £1 15s. a cord. The bark contains 
18 per cent, of tannin. 

Combretaceae. 

Anogeissus.* f 

A chewstick with a black heart. It will kill out Lalong grass. 
Laguncularia racemosa.* 

This is a shrub which grows in the mangrove swamps. 
It yields a second-rate tannin bark. 
Terminalia scutifera* f 

A large straight, tall-boled tree, yielding a useful timber 
to shipwrights. 
Terminalia sp* Bagi (Mendi). 

A very large tree, even taller than T. superba, and the 

timber is yellower. The tree is gnarled and much branched 

near the sea-shore. The wood is much used for canoes. Dye 

and a yellow wash for sore feet are obtained from the bark. 

Terminalia superba* Kojagei (Mendi). 

A very large tree of 150 feet or more. The timber is soft 
and white, used for indoor work, but it is much attacked by 
borers. 

Myrtaces. 

Eugenia calophylloides* 
A small tree. 

Melastoxnaceae. 

Memecylon, cf. M. spathulandra.'f 

It is a small tree growing in the swamps near Bureh town. 

Araliaceae. 

Cussonia Djalonensis. 

A medium-sized to large tree growing in the savannah 
forests. It has a thick grey, rough bark. 



SIERRA LEONE 57 

Sapotaceae. 

Mimusops sp. Benin Mahogany. Tuntumi (Timani) ; Sukai I 
(Mendi). 

It is a kind of mahogany which is very common, and attains 
a girth of 12 feet, with a smaller bole than the ordinary mahogany. 
The wood is of a reddish colour and rather hard. This tree 
is found growing at a higher altitude than most timber trees, 
which makes the forest situated at 2,000 feet much more 
valuable. 
Mimusops sp. Mahogany substitute. Bobbyboya Water (Timani). 
This is a very large tree, with hard red wood sold as mahogany, 
not very plentiful. 
Mimusops. Mahogany substitute. Abugie (Mendi). 

Another species of hard mahogany. It is not very plentiful, 
but worthy of export. It is of large size and good " form 
figure," somewhat the shape of a cylinder. 
Mimusops Djave.*'\ 

A large beautiful tree, yielding a valuable sound timber. 
Mimusops. African Pearwood. Sukai II (Mendi). 

A large tree with a good bole. It has been exported and 
sold in the Hamburg market at 6d. a foot. The wood is of 
a reddish colour, a little harder than mahogany, and of close 
grain. It would pay to plant out any seedlings found. 
Sideroxylon longistylum. Kafe or Kaffi (Mendi). 

Some species yield timber, edible seeds and medicaments. 
Sideroxylon Alymerii. Teyei (Mendi). 

A medium-sized tree bearing a seed rich in oil. The oil 
of the seed is very like that of the coconut in taste; it is 
used for frying food or for hair-oil. 
Chrysophyllum sp. Tuinynelli (Mendi). 

All the Chrysophyllum species yield timber and edible 
fruits. 
Chrysophyllum sp. Star-apple. Terle (Mendi). 
Chrysophyllum ellipticus.* Beari (Mendi). 

A small species growing on the sea-shore. 
Chrysophyllum. African Star-apple. Bungi (Mendi). 
Chrysophyllum pruniforme.* Heleilahin (Mendi). 
Elephants are fond of the bark. 



Ebenaceae. 

Diospyros 5_p.* f 

A medium-sized ebony. 
Maba Mannii. 

A tree. 



58 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Loganlaceae. 

Anthocleista nobilis.* Pongoi-hei (Mendi). 

This is a larger species than the A. parviflora ; it is not 
armed. The root is used as a medicine. The wood is soft 
and useless. 
Anthocleista parviflora * Pongoi-hini (Mendi). 

In English sometimes called Cabbage Palm. This species 
reaches scarcely over 30 feet in height ; it is armed with strong, 
twin-set spines. The wood is soft and useless. 

Apocynaceae. 

Funtumia elustica* African Rubber Tree. Emarr (Timani) ; Buboi 
(Mendi). 

This tree grows to a height of 50 feet. It is rare in Sierra 
Leone, but has been found in Kagnari, Nimmini and Loma 
Mountains. It yields a good rubber. 
Funtumia Africana* Rubber. Buboi (Mendi). 

This species grows to a height of 70 feet. It yields an 
abundant latex of no commercial value. 
Polydoa Elliotii. Boxwood. K'Palen (Timani) ; Kofee or Kofei 
(Mendi). 

It is a small tree with greenish pimply bark. The wood 
is very hard, like boxwood, and is used to make hair combs 
and hoe handles. Medicine is made from the bark. 
Alstonia Congensis* f Kauwi (Mendi). 

A large, tall tree with a straight stem, found in the penin- 
sular forests. 
Landolphia Owariensis jenje.* Common Rubber Vine. Huwi 
Djenjei (Mendi). 

The export of this rubber was at one time very profitable, 
but the natives overtapped the tree, and even dug up the 
roots to extract the rubber. The fruit of this species is 
edible. 
Landolphia Heudelotii* 

This is a climber 40 feet in height, and one of the most 
valuable of the Landolphias, found in many parts ; but it is the 
characteristic vegetation of the dry interior of Senegambia 
and the Upj)er Niger. 
Landoljihia leonensis* Nali (Mendi). 

A climber reaching the tops of the highest trees. The 
fruit is 3| inches in diameter. The pulp around the seed is 
edible. The latex is used as bird-lime, but yields no rubber, 
and cannot even be used as an adulterant. 
Callichilia subsessiUs* 

It is a shrub or small tree having a handsome flower. 



SIERRA LEONE 59 

Conopharyngia crassa* 

A small tree bearing a double fruit as large as a child's 
head. 
C. longiflora* 

A small tree bearing a conspicuous heavy-scented flower. 
Holarrhena Africana.* Nukoi (Mendi). 

A small or medium-sized tree. Wooden serving spoons 
for rice are made from the wood. The leaves beaten to a pulp 
are used for poultices. 
Holarrhena ovata* Bubbuoi (Mendi). 

Used as a stirring-stick. 
Pleioceras Afzelii. 

A small tree. 
Pleiocarpa tricarpella. 

A small tree. 
Bauwolfia vomitoria. Kawogei (Mendi). 

A very common small tree, 20 feet high. Swizzle-sticks 
for mixing drinks are made from it, and the natives use the 
large branches for mixing indigo dye. 
Voacanga Africana.'^ 

A tree 30 feet high bearing very fragrant flowers. 
Voacanga obtusa* 
A tall tree. 
Voacanga Thonnersii.* 

A medium-sized tree of 50 feet in height, with ornamental 
cream flowers. It has been seen growing in the swamp-land 
near the 180th milestone on the railway to Kennema. 

Asclepiadaceae. 

Xysmalobium granitiolum . 

A small tree in the river bed. 

Borraginaceae. 

Cordia sp. Kpetellahen (Mendi). 

It is a large tree growing on river banks. The bark is 
edible. 

Verbenaceae. 

Vitex grandifolia. 

Some of this species yield timber, vegetables, edible fruits 
and medicaments. 
Vitex Cienkowskii* Heinokohun (Mendi). 

A tall tree growing at the edge of the forest. 
Vitex doniana* Lubei (Mendi). 

A small tree growing in the savannah country in the Koina- 



60 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

dugu district. An ink made from the leaves is used by the 
Mohammedan teachers. 
Vitex micrantha* Fevei (Mendi). 

A tree reaching a height of 70 feet and 2 feet 6 inches at 
the base. The timber is useful for many purposes. The 
Mohammedan teacher has his school slates made from it. 
Vitex oxycuspis* f 

A small tree. 
Avicennia Africana* 

A small tree growing in the mangrove swamps. 
Premna hispida* Kafei (Mendi). 

A small tree. A decoction for ulcerated mouths is made 
from the leaves. 

Blgnoniacese. 

Spathodea campanulata* Tulip Tree. 

It is a large tree yielding timber, edible seeds and medica- 
ments. It is also used as an ornamental tree. 
Neivbouldia Icevis* Anyolo (Timani) ; Bogi Ponamagbei (Mendi). 
It is a tree reaching a height of 40 feet. Its use is prin- 
cipally medicinal. The root and leaves are used for scrotal 
elephantiasis, and a decoction from the bark is applied to sore 
feet. It is much used for quick fences, as it grows readily from 
stakes. 
Kigelia* 

A tree 50 feet in height. 
Stereospermum leonense* 

A medium-sized tree bearing pink blossoms. 

Rubiaceae. 

Morinda sp. ? citrifolia* Brimstone. Ketum (Timani) ; Bundwi 
Bundui (Mendi). 

This tree grows to a height of 150 feet, and has been found 
with a bole of 50 feet, a girth of 16 to 20 feet, and diameter of 
5 feet without any branches. The wood is of a bright yellow 
colour, commonly used for weather-boards. It is sold near 
Freetown at 10s. per 100 feet. Its English name is given 
because of the peculiar colour of the wood. Its durability 
and ant-resisting qualities have given it a high place among 
the local timbers. It is used for building wooden vessels, 
mortars, etc. It will shoot up from the stump, so a good deal 
of small timber is obtained from old farms. Neither its colour 
nor grain make it of any worth for export. The bark is made 
into a decoction for malaria, and the natives after marching 
bathe their feet in the water in which it has been boiled. 



SIERRA LEONE 61 

Morinda confusa* Wawae (Mendi). 

It is a climber, the leaves of which are used in medicine. 
Morinda quadrangularis.* Brimstone Bush. Jashuli (Mendi). 

A small tree, 30 feet in height and about IJ feet in diameter 
at the base. It is only useful as firewood. The leaves are 
used as medicine in various diseases ; supposed to be specially 
efficacious for malaria. 
Pausynistalia Lane-Poolei* Gibowali (Mendi). 

It is a large tree having green-brown deciduous bark, on 
which marked depressions are left when it comes off. The 
bole is straight and branchless up to 40 feet. The flowers are 
light yellow on first coming out, afterwards turning a purple 
pink. 
Pavetta Baconia* 

A shrub or small tree. 
Psilanthus ebracteolatus^- 

A small tree, 20 feet in height, having white flowers. 
Bertiera glabrata.'^- Kafahinei (Mendi). 

A small tree, 25 feet in height. The leaves are made into 
a medicine to soothe teething babies. 
Blighia sapida* Akee Tree. Islii of the Akus. 

It is cultivated for its fruit, which is wholesome and 
savoury. 
Canthium discolor* Totengei (Mendi). 

A shrub to small tree with strong, sharp spines. 
Corynanihe paniculata* Gibowuli (Mendi). 

A tree 50 feet high. 
Craterisperrmim laurinum* Alum Bark. Njelei (Mendi). 

A tree 25 feet in height, having a diameter of 1 foot at the 
base. The bark, when dried and beaten into powder, is used 
as a remedy for sore feet. The wood splits easily and is used 
in thatching. 
Crossopteryx Kotschyana ? or Africana.* 

A small tree. 
Croton penduliflorus* 

A small tree of 35 feet. 
Gaertnera paniculata.* 

This is only found as a small tree on the sea-shore, but 
said to grow big in the forest. 
Gardenia sp. near G. physophylla* Buittigirri (Mendi). 

A medium-sized tree growing in swamps. 
Heinsia jasminiflora* Pegblagei (Mendi). 

It is a tree of about 20 feet in height ; the flowers white 
and much like jasmin. Scrapings of the bark are used for irrita- 
tion of the skin at rice-harvest. 



62 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Mitragyne. Mbuandae or M'boy (Mendi). 

A large, tall tree, 100 feet high and 4| feet in diameter at 
the base. It is only found in swamp-land. It yields a light, 
white wood much used in indoor work. "The leaves are very 
large and are used for wrapping kolas ; they are sold in Free 
town at 3d. a bundle. 
Morelia Senegalensis* 

This is a small tree half scandent. 
Oxyanthus unilocularis* 

A small tree. 
Oxyanthus speciosus. Pebulai (Mendi).* 

This tree is common near Freetown. The bark is aromatic, 
and when dried in the sun is used as a scent. 
Eandia acuminata* 

A small tree with large oval fruit. 
Randia genipceflora.* 

A shrub or small tree. 
Eandia macrantha.* 

A small tree common everywhere. It bears handsome 
white fragrant bell-flowers. The black pulp around the seed 
is edible. 
Eandia malleifera* Pondei (Mendi). 

A small tree bearing very fragrant white bell-flowers. The 
seeds when ground are mixed with water to make a sort of 
black paint used by the native women. 
Eandia sp. near E. macrantha.* 

A small tree, 20 feet in height, bearing an oval-shaped fruit. 
Eandia sp. near E. candata.* 

A small tree, 25 feet high, bearing small but conspicuous 
fan-shaped fragrant flowers. 
Vangueria nigrescens. 
A small tree. 
Sarcocephalus esculentus.* Sierra Leone Peach. Ameliki (Timani) ; 
Golli Nyumbuyambei (Mendi). 

A very common tree growing to a height of 25 feet. It has 
conspicuous white heads of flowers and an edible fruit. 

Composite. 

Vernonia conferta. African Cabbage Tree, the Soap Tree. Kupkup 
(Timani) ; Kongoli (Mendi). 

A small tree about 25 feet in height, growing in the rain 
forest. The burnt ashes are used in soap-making and the 
sediment, when dried, is used as snuff or Lubi. 






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APPENDIX III 



COMPARATIVE STATEMENT OF TIMBER IMPORTS INTO 
SIERRA LEONE, 1902-7 and 1910-15 



Year. 


Superficial feet. 


Value. 


Year. 


Superficial feet. 


Value. 


1902 . . 

1903 . . 

1904 . . 

1905 . . 

1906 . . 

1907 . . 


765,501 
1,705,805 
1,642,738 
1,768,611 
1,188,702 
2,351,559 


£ 
4,765 

11,066 

10,097 

8,886 

9,827 

18,856 


1910 .. 

1911 .. 

1912 .. 

1913 .. 

1914 .. 

1915 .. 


1,273,631 
965,410 
2,337,851 
2,507,327 
2,883,564 
2,503,751 


£ 
9,935 

8,842 

21,403 

22,425 

26,893 

26,279 


Total . . 


9,422,916 


63,497 


Total . . 


12,471,534 


115,777 



CHAPTER IV 
LIBERIA 

I. The Gola Forest. 

This comparatively narrow strip of Africa, extending from Cape 
Palmas on the east to the Mano River on the west, an area of 40,000 
square miles, is a Negro Republic under the nominal protection of 
the United States. It is bounded on the west by the British Colony 
and Protectorate of Sierra Leone, and on the north and east by the 
French possessions of Senegal and the French Ivory Coast. 

Some years ago a large rubber company was formed to exploit 
the wild-growing rubber vines and trees, and until recently fairly 
large amounts were secured. Apart from rubber, however, there 
are large forests, one of the best being the Gola Forest, on the 
western boundary and contiguous to the Sierra Leone Protectorate. 

This Gola Forest is formed by the confluence of the Morro and 
Mano Rivers, being thus triangular in shape and approximately 
250 square miles in extent. No natives actually live in it, though 
there are a few villages at the edge, such as Yandahun and Dambarra. 
The typical forest is seen in the view of the River Morro near the 
junction of the Mano. Here herds of elephants roam and make tracks 
through the dense growth of numerous trees ; in fact, the only paths 
there have been made by the elephant. The Chief of Tunkia always 
has at least ten youths with him learning the art of elephant-hunting, 
for which a large fee for tuition is paid. In illustrations Nos. 10 and 
12 views of the inner parts of the forest are given. 

II. The Most Valuable Trees. 

The chief species of trees suitable for cutting for export are the 
following : 

1. Mahogany {Khaya ivoriensis), probably, a very well textured 
wood with some very pretty medullary rays and a thorough sheen 
on it when planed. Illustration No. 13 shows a specimen of this tree. 

2. Satin wood {Afrormosia laxiflora), a large tree with smooth bark, 
which varies from light green or yellow to an orange-red shade, thus 
making it very conspicuous in the forest. See illustration No. 11, 
which shows one of these trees of medium size. 




a 

o 




LIBERIA 67 

3. The African Oak {Oldfieldia africana), Paulai of the Mendis 
is more common in the southern than in the northern part of the 
forest. It attains a large size, but has not yet been exploited either 
by a European or a native fii-m. This is one of the most durable of 
African timbers. As it has already been described in the chapter 
on the Sierra Leone trees, further notes on this tree are unnecessary 
here. Illustrations Nos. 5 and 6 show this tree to advantage, especially 
its straightness of growth. 

4. The real Satinwood {Zanthoxylum macrophyllum), not an 
uncommon tree, of small size. It is most easily recognised by its 
very long pinnate leaves. One leaf may attain a length of 6 feet. 
There is another species of Zanthoxylum which also has a similar 
kind of timber. 

5. African Walnut {Lovoa Klaineana). This tree is not very 
prevalent, but is scattered in small groups throughout the forest. 

6. Cedar Mahoganj^ a species of Guarea which attains a large size. 
It is none too prevalent, though it is scattered singly throughout the 
forest. 

7. African Pearwood [Mimusops lacera) is a very good reddish 
timber, often with figure in the grain. Although much harder than 
mahogany, it has been sold as such. 

8. The Iroko {Chlorophora excelsa) is common near the old farms, 
but is not so prevalent in the forest proper. It has not yet been 
exploited from here, nor is it cut locally. 

9. The Red Ironwood Tree {Lophira procera) is very prevalent, and 
attains much the same size as elsewhere. It has not yet been exploited. 

10. The so-called Mahogany, the timber of a tree, a species of 
Parinarium, known as Pauwilli of the Mendis. This is one of the 
most prevalent trees in the forest. It is also somewhat gregarious, 
as many as forty specimens being sometimes found in one group. 
The timber of this tree was exported from Southern Nigeria some 
years ago. It grows to a height of 150 feet, with a clear bole of 
60 feet in height, and upwards of 18 feet in girth. Illustration No. 2 
shows the trunk especiallj', and the base of one of these trees. 
A most typical scene in the northern part of the Gola Forest is shown 
in illustration No. 12, several of the trees in that picture being 
Pauwilli. 

All the above-mentioned trees have been cut and exported in the 
log from various parts of Western Africa. There are, however, several 
other trees which might be cut and used as export timbers, as, for 
instance : 

11. The White Mahogany {Canarmm Schiveinfurthii), which attains 
the same size as elsewhere, but is not so commonly found. 

12. Rhodesian Mahogany {Afzelia bracteata ?), which is fairly common 
and attains a medium size. 



68 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

13. Brachystegia spiccBformis, which yields a light-brown hardish 
timber with very pretty grain, (See illustration No. 104, which shows 
a very large specimen of this tree in Nigeria.) It is very prevalent, 
in fact one of the commonest trees in the Gola Forest, so that large 
quantities of timber could be obtained. 

14. Wismah (Sierra Leone name) is also found, and apparently 
grows up very quickly in old farms. 

15. The Red Oak [Berlinia auriculata) is quite prevalent, especially 
near the banks of streams. It attains a large size, and the timber 
has been sold as oak in the European market. Here it has not yet 
been cut. 

In addition to the trees which can be felled for conversion into 
export timbers, there are others which may be cut for sale locally, 
such as : 

16. The Brimstone {Morinda citrijolia?), one of the most suitable 
trees for the purpose. One of the largest trees was 5 feet in diameter, 
and had also a clear bole of 50 feet. On the whole it grows to a 
larger size in the Gola Forest than in Sierra Leone. Illustration 
No. 10 shows one of these trees from which a timber specimen had 
been cut. 

17. The Hamon, which is apparently a species of Sterculiaceae, 
although not of enormous size, has a straight bole, which divides up 
into four or five very large and thin root flanges. It is one of the 
most prevalent trees in the forest. Illustration No. 14 shows the 
peculiar formation of the roots of this tree. 

18. Piptadenia africana, a very large tree with small and fine 
pinnate leaves. It is frequently met with, in fact one of the commonest 
of the trees in the forest. It yields a hard brown wood which is 
durable. 

19. The so-called Mountain Mahogany, probably a species of 
Leguminosese. It attains a large size, and yields a timber not unlike 
that of Red Pine. 

Up to the present no local or other sawyers have worked in this 
forest. Although only a few trees have been mentioned which could 
be cut for use locally, there are many others out of approximately 
a hundred different kinds which are found in the forest. 

There are other products, such as oil beans, obtained from Penta- 
clethra macrophylla, a large forest tree ; gum copal, obtained from 
Daniellia Ogea, one of the largest forest trees ; palm oil and kernels 
from the Oil Palm (Elcesis guineensis), which is found in all the 
clearings. Piassava, obtained from Raphia vinifera, is found on the 
banks of the two rivers, Morro and Mano. Rubber could be obtained 
from the African Rubber Tree {Funtumia elastica) and various rubber 
vines, such as Landolphia Owariensis, and others. Dika nuts could 
be procured, as the tree which bears them, Irvingia Barteri, is com- 



LIBERIA 69 

monly found ; also the Tallow Tree (Pentadesma butyracea), which 
bears a large number of oil-bearing nuts in its large fruit ; the Dita 
{Detarium Senegalensis), which yields a mango-like fruit, eaten locally. 
Bitter Kola {Garcinia kola) is found, but not often sold in the local 
market. The rough -skinned Parinarium excelsum yields a fruit 
which is eaten locally ; the African Star-apple [Chrysophyllum Afri- 
canum) is found in the forest, and also planted. In other villages the 
Akee, being obtained from Blighia sapida, is quite common in the 
forest, though the edible fruit is not used. The Mackay or Sea Bean 
{Entada scandens) is a huge creeper which grows to 350 feet in length 
and 3 feet in girth. Near Dambarra, from a stout specimen hung 
a complete pod containing fourteen beans. 

III. Conditions of Working Timber. 

The Mano or Bewa River forms the natural outlet for the extrac- 
tion of timber, as the Morro River forms one boundary of the Gola 
Forest, and this river joins the former rather more than half-way 
through the forest. The Mano River reaches the sea about 80 miles 
from the end of the forest ; thus logs of timber could be brought down 
the Mano straight into the sea. 

Very good timber of various kinds of mahogany has been shipped 
from several ports, such as Sassandra and Grand Bassam on the 
Ivory Coast. Good prices, such as Is. to 2s. 3d. per superficial foot, 
have usually been paid for this timber. There is therefore no reason 
why similar timber from Liberia should not fetch equally good rates, 
when properly cut, squared, and sold under similar conditions. 

Conditions of working are very similar on the West Coast of Africa, 
but may vary somewhat in detail from place to place. However, 
if at the outset natives accustomed to working timber in Nigeria or 
the Ivory Coast were employed, good results would be obtained. 
Gradually a local native staff would be built up, so that the services 
of those from another part of the coast could be dispensed with 
and cheaper working thus assured ; because imported labour, whether 
skilled or otherwise, is usually more expensive than that of the 
locality. Lower shipping rates should be paid from Liberia than 
from the Ivory Coast or Gold Coast, owing to the distance being less 
to the European markets where the timber is sold. 

The other forests of Liberia should be thoroughly examined to 
see what amount of timber is there. It is usual to work several areas 
in conjunction, as the cost of management per unit of output (the 
log) is thus reduced. 



IV. TREES AND RUBBER VINES 

Palmse. 

Elcesis Guineensis. Oil Palm. 

The well-known Oil Palm. It does not thrive in the forests 
among taller trees. It grows best near villages. (Found in 
Sierra Leone, too.) Quantities of oil obtained from it. The 
leaves are used for roof coverings. 
Raphia vinifera. Wine Palm. 

The leaves used in weaving, brushes, mats, etc. Grows in 
swampy ground. 
Borassus flabellifer and B. ^thiopium. Fan Palm, Piassave. 
Both most useful trees. The leaves for roofs, fibre for 
ropes. The sap made into a sweet kind of toddy. Wood for 
house and bridge building. The B. Mthiopium grows from 
60 to 80 feet high, the leaves 5 to 12 feet long. 
A ncistrophyllum . 

Fibre used for weaving. 

Liliaceae. 

Draccena surculosa. Dragon's Blood. 

A much branched tree, having white flowers and red berries. 
Found in Sino Kim, Kakatown and Monrovia. 

Moraceae. 

Chlorophora excelsa. Oroko, Teak, African Oak. 

A large, well-known tree, used for many purposes where 
durability is required. Frequently found ; it grows well near 
old farms. It is also found in Sierra Leone. The wood seems 
to be proof against termites and fungoid diseases. It is the 
best wood for railway sleepers. 
Musanga Smithii. Corkwood. 

The first tree to appear after a farm has been abandoned ; 
its thick leaves, when they fall, form a heavy layer of 
humus. 
Antiaris. Fig species. 

Fig-like fruit, used in medicine. 
Ficus Vogelii. Rubber. 

Grows from 20 to 40 feet, yields so-called Balata, or an 
inferior rubber. Found on St. Paul's River, Grand Basa. 

70 



LIBERIA 71 

Ficus sp. Rubber. 

Yields rubber ; branches reddish colour ; grows in the Kuru 
country. 
Ficus Whyteii. Rubber. 

A large forest tree yielding abundant rubber. 
Myrianthus serratus. 

A deciduous tree having mulberry-like fruit of pleasant 
taste. 

Olacaceae. 

Coula edulis. 

Bark and leaves have a resinous sap. The oily seeds of 
this tree are very pleasant to the taste ; it has no connection, 
however, with the Cola Nut. 

Anonaceae. 

Xylojna oxypetala. Yellow wood. 

A moderate -sized tree with white, scented flowers, growing 
in the bush of the littoral. 
Xylopia Dinklagei. 

A small glabrous tree. 
Xylopia Mthiopica. 

From 30 to 60 feet in height. JFruit aromatic, used as a 
tonic. Wood elastic, made into masts and oars. 
Xylopia humilis. 

A small tree with broad top and pendulous branches, 
growing in the primary forests of the littoral. 
Uvaria scabrida. 

A moderate-sized tree in the primary forest, found on the 
banks of the Cestos River. 
Uvaria Dinklagei. 

Similar to the last ; grows in the humid parts of the coast 
bush. 
Uvaria Afzelii. 

Similar to the above. 
Polyalthia Oliverii. 

A small glabrous tree growing in the coast forests. 
Popowia Whyteii. 

A small tree with glabrous leaves. 
Anona muricata. Sour Sop. 

A small glabrous tree, the Sour Sop of English colonists. 
Anona palustris. Alligator Apple. 

A tree with soft wood, used as cork. Fruit edible, fre- 
quently made into a refreshing drink. It is found in the 
swamps of Grand Basa. 



72 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Monodora myristica. Calabash Nutmeg. '' 

A small tree having showy flowers and aromatic seed ; the 

much esteemed Calabash Nutmeg of West Africa. ] 

Monodora tenuifolia. j 

Found in the primary forests of Grand Basa. Very similar \ 

to the last ; narrower leaved. ; 

Myristicaceae. 

Pycnanihus Dinklagei. Muskat Nut. ; 

Tree reaches the height of 30 feet, with drooping branches. i 

It supplies good timber and oily seeds. ! 

Pycnanthus kombo. j 

The seeds of this variety contain 73 per cent, of fat and 

burn like a candle. > 

Rosaceae. 

Parinarium macrophyllnm. Rough-skinned Plum. i 

A very common tree, used locally for building purposes ; : 

oak-like texture. Fruit j^ellow, the size of a goose-egg ; some- j 

times called Gingerbread Plum. i 

Parinarium excelsum. Wild Plum. 

Parinarium sp. Wild Plum. - 

Also found in Sierra Leone. Used for building locally ; grain < 

too open for export. P. excelsum and sp. very similar. \ 
Chrysobalamis icaco. Cocoa Plum. 

Chrysobalanus ellipticus. Cocoa Plum. ' 

A tall shrub or small tree, with greenish-purple edible fruit j 

known as Cocoa Plums. These two are very similar ; both { 

found near Grand Basa. i 

Leguminosae. 

Lonchocarpus laxiflora. Mountain Mahogany. \ 

Supplies a good useful wood and dyes. It is also found j 
in Sierra Leone. 

Lonchocarpus sericeus. . 

An ornamental tree with downy twigs, reddish-violet ( 
papilionaceous flowers ; wood hard and heavy, not very well 

known. Found in Grand Basa. : 
Lonchocarpus Barteri. 

Similar to L. sericeus, but a loftier tree. ,] 

Lonchocarpus Zenkeri. 1 

Entada scandens. Mackay or Sea Bean. i 
The well-known liana, the fibre used in rope and net 
making. 



LIBERIA 73 

Dialium Senegalense. Black Tumbler. 

A hard wood, useful in the building trade ; also grows in 
Sierra Leone. 
Dialium Englerii. 

Timber useful for many purposes. A refreshing drink is 
made from the edible fruit. 
Dialium Dinklagei. 

A small tree with umbrella-like top. 
Albizzia fastigata. Albizzia. 

All Albizzias are proof against termites. Wood used where 
durability is required, and therefore very valuable. The 
branches are pendulous, flowers white and fragrant. Found 
in Monrovia and Sino Basin. 
Albizzia Brownei. Albizzia. 

A hard, useful wood. A large forest tree with cracked 
greyish bark. 
Albizzia sp. Albizzia. 

A large tree of good form and hard wood. The tree cylinder - 
shaped, heartwood a bright, pretty colour. Not very plentiful. 
Quite worthy of export. 
Detarium Senegalense. Mahogany, Dita. 

A beautifully marked hard wood, with a bole of 30 feet 
and girth of 12 feet. 
Pentaclethra macrophylla. Oil Bean Tree. 

Yields oil-bearing seeds or beans, used as an article of food. 
The ashes after burning the dry pods are useful in soap-making. 
Parkia filicoidea. Forest Locust or Locust Bean. 

A very common tree in Liberia, but wood of little value. 
The bean is eaten locally. 
Erythrina Senegalense. 

Deeply cleft bark ; wood of little value. 
Piptadenia Africana. 

It grows everywhere in great quantities in Liberia. The 
wood is hard and valuable. 
Afrormosia laxiflora. Satinwood. 

A beautiful clear brown wood, used for building purposes. 
Baphia nitida. Camwood. 

Very valuable as a red dye-wood. 
Baphia pubescens. Camwood. 

Valuable dye-wood. 
Cassia podocarpa. 

Grows best on very dry ground ; common on native farms, 
70 miles up the St. Paul River. Wood extraordinarily hard. 
Mimosa Dinklagei. 

A small tree found in the coast woods of Grand Basa. 



74 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Daniellia Ogea. Benin Gum Copal. 

Wood soft. When the tree has attained a large size, it 
is attacked by the boring beetle; the gum then exudes and 
falls to the ground, and is so collected. Value, 5d. or 6d. 
a pound. 
Daniellia sp. Gum Copal sp. 

Very similar to the C. Ogea. 
Didelotia Engleri. 

A small tree found in the humid woods of the coast. 
Polystemonanthus Dinklagei. 

A small tree growing on the banks of St. John's River, 
Grand Basa. 
Xylia Evansii. 

Beautiful plumed trees ; small heads of flowers. A pretty 
ornamental tree. 

Rutaceae. 

Zanthoxylon sp. Satinwood. 

Fairly hard wood, with rough, knotty bark in the shape 
of cone-like, woody protrusions. 
Zanthoxylon macrophyllum. Spiny Satinwood. 

Smaller than the last, but somewhat similar ; the wood 
a very pretty yellow, with open grain. 
Citrus aurantium. Common Orange. 

A very ornamental tree. Leaves and buds used in per- 
fumery. Fruit edible, valuable for export. Timber useful 
in many ways. 

Simarubaceae. 

Irvingia Barteri. Dika Nut or Borbor. 

The fruit is edible, seeds oily. Dika butter, dika bread 
and a kind of chocolate are made from it. The wood is 
also used. 

Burseraceae. 

Canarium Schweinfurthii. 

Wood useful in commerce. The oily seeds are edible. 

Meliaceae. 

Lovoa Klaineana. African Walnut. 

Has a shady crown of branches. A good shade tree. 
Carapa procera. Crabwood. 

A small tree cut and sold as cedar mahogany for building 
purposes. 



LIBERIA 75 

Carapa Gayensis. 

This tree supplies a good timber ; the oily seeds are used 
in medicine. 
Pseudocedrela. Cedar Mahogany or African Walnut. 

The tree is 65 feet in height, wood used for building 
purposes and for furniture ; not very common. It should be a 
useful export timber. 
Trichilia Heudelotii. 

A small tree ; wood easy to work ; not well known. 
Khaya grandis. Benin Mahogany. 

A fine tree, sometimes attaining the height of 130 feet, 
and 14 feet in diameter. The trunk has slight root flanges. 
The wood of a beautiful surface, a most valuable wood in 
furniture and carriage making. 
Guarea Africana. Satin Mahogany 

Grain similar to mahogany and might be sold for it. Should 
be a useful export wood. 
Pyncertia ealcensis. 

Not very well known; flowers in long, showy panicles. 

Euphorbiaceae. 

Eicinodendron Heudelotii. ? Mahogany. 

Sold as mahogany. The wood is used locally for boat- 
building. The tree seeds readily, so could easily be planted. 
Hasskarlia didymostemon. 

Attains the height of 40 to 80 feet ; leaves yellowish-green 
and yellow catkins. Not well known. 
Oldfieldia Africana. Real African Oak. 

A tall, fine tree, with a bole of 50 feet and girth of 16 feet. 
Most useful in boat-building, especially for the keels. It 
seeds very readily. Many years ago it was exported as teak 
(1827-35), though this afterwards ceased. 

Anacardiaceae. 

Mangifera. Mango species, Greenheart. 

The Mango Tree, very plentiful. It attains a girth of 
12 feet. A greyish wood used for building purposes. 
Mangifera sp. Bush Pawpaw. 

Used in building. 
Mangifera sp. Whitewood. 

Used in building. 
Odina acida. 

A small deciduous, glabrous tree ; the powdered bark, mixed 
with other substances, used as a paint for the face. 



76 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Spondias lutea. 

A tall, glabrous tree, with yellow, plum-like fruits, which 
are edible. They are often made into a refreshing drink. The 
wood bright-coloured and hard ; it has the useful qualitj^ of 
growing when put in as fence posts. 



Sapindaceae. 

Blighia sapida. Akee. 

A useful shade tree near dwellings, growing to the height 
of 97| feet. Wood light yellow in colour. 
Allophyllus Africana. 

A small, common tree with hard, blackish fruit, growing 
along the coast of Grand Basa ; wood useful in many ways. 
Dodoncea viscosa. 

A small tree having viscid branchlets saturated with resin, 
which serve as torches. The wood is used for engraving and 
in turnery. 

Malvaceae. 

Gossyjnum Peruvianum. Kidney-tree Cotton. 

These African cotton-plants are still imperfectly known. 
Probably used locally. 

Bombacaceae. 

Eriodendron anfractuosum. Cotton Tree. 

Grows to the height of 160 feet. Smooth, bright grey 
bark, having cracked appearance. Wood not of much value 
in commerce. Handsome, brilliant crimson flowers. 
Bombax Buonopozense. Red Cotton Tree. 

A large deciduous tree, often attaining 102 feet in height, 
with tuberculate, prickly bark and scarlet flowers with firm, 
velvety petals. Wood of little value in commerce. 



Sterculiaceae. 

StercuUa oblonga. Yellow Wood. 

A tree of medium height, the wood soft, and fibre strong 
and tough. Exudes gum. 
StercuUa sp. 

Fruit edible, the oily seeds used medicinally. 
Triplochiton. 

Fruit winged, flowers panicled, leaves ragged. 



LIBERIA 77 

Cola acuminata. Cola. 

Much like the Poplar in appearance. The wood is used 
in ship-building, house-building and furniture. The oily, edible 
Cola Nut is in great demand. 
Cola digitata. 

The oily seeds much used in medicine. 
Heritiera utilis. 

The timber hard and useful for various purposes, the bark 
in tanning. Fruit woody. 

Dilleniacese. 

Tetracera polatoria. Water Tree. 

A small, hairy tree growing on the dry and sunny parts 
of the coast savannahs. It yields a profuse amount of water 
from the stems ; hence its name. 
Tetracera cerocarpa. 

Very similar to the above. Used as a medicine by the 
natives. 
Tetracera Dinklagei. 

Similar to the other Tetracera species. 
Tetracera sp. White Cedar. 

Reaches a girth of 10 or 12 feet. Wood soft and grain 
too open for export. 

Ochnaceae. 

Lophira procera. African Oak or Red Iron wood. 

This tree yields oil-bearing seeds. The wood is hard and 
heavy, of a reddish brown. Sold as African Oak. The wood 
is also used in charcoal-making. 

Guttiferae. 

Pentadesma. Butter or Tallow Tree. 

A tall, slender tree growing by the streams. Wood light 
in colour, useful in various ways. Also found in Sierra 
Leone. 
Garcinia kola. Bitter Cola. 

A large but slow-growing tree, with a hard, prettily grained 
wood, rather uncommon. 
Garcinia sp. ? Mahogany. 

The wood sometimes sold as mahogany. 
Garcinia sp. Chew-stick. 

The smaller roots are used as chew-sticks, but taking these 
in the drastic method in which it is done generally means death 
to the tree. It is found on summits of the mountains. 



78 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Flacourtiaces. 

Smeathmannia Icevigata. 
Smeathmannia sp. 

The buds are single, growing in the axils of the leaves. 

Leaves toothed. There are fifteen species of this tree ; not 

very common. Wood of little value. 

Rhizophoraceae. 

Bhizophora mangle. 

The Mangrove species. It grows in swamps or on the banks of 

rivers of Liberia. The wood is hard and heavy but easily 

worked ; much used for poles and firewood, the bark in 

tanning. 
Bhizophora racemosa. 

The Mangrove species. Very similar to the above. 

Myrtacese. 

Psidium guajava. Guava. 

A small tree growing near Monrovia. Fruit edible, the 
well-known Guava of commerce. 

Sapotaceae. 

Mimusops sp. The Bobby Water or Benin Mahogany, 

A very common kind of Mahogany, attaining a bole of 
50 feet and girth of 12 feet. It will grow at a higher elevation 
than most forest trees. Wood very useful in the making of 
furniture. 
Mimusops lacera. African Pearwood. 

A tall, fine-looking tree, with good bole. It would pay to 
plant these unsparingl3^ It grows well near the coast. The 
hard, red wood is very useful and most valuable in furniture- 
making, inlaying, veneering, etc. 
Chrysophyllum sp. 

A tree of medium height. Fruit edible. The wood not 
well known in commerce. 
Sideroxylon longistylum. 

This tree supplies a good timber. The fruit is edible. 
Omphalocarpum . 

A kind of Guttapercha is obtained from this tree. It 
supplies also a good, useful timber. 

Apocynaceae. 

Bauivolfia vomitoria. Swizzle -stick. 

A good workable timber is obtained from it. Stone fruit. 



LIBERIA 79 

Funtumia Africana. False Rubber Tree. 

The rubber is useless, being sticky, like birdlime. Height 
from 15 to 20 feet. 
Funtumia sp. Boxwood. 

Much the same as above. Found also in Sierra Leone. 
Funtumia elastica. True Rubber Tree. 

One of the most important rubber-trees of Africa (also 
Sierra Leone) ; produces good rubber. Height 100 feet. 
Conopharyngia. Rubber. 

Another rubber-tree, yielding only small quantities, of 
little use in commerce. 
Landolphia Oivariensis. Vine Rubber. 

Another of the best rubber-trees ; grows in the Sino Basin. 
Landolphia jenje. Vine or White Ball Rubber. 

A very good rubber, even better than L. Owariensis. 

Bignoniacese. 

Neivbouldia Icevis. 

A pinnate-leaved tree with dense panicles of pink flowers 
like the foxglove ; the fruit long and slender. The bright- 
coloured wood is very even in texture, much used in fence- 
making. 

Rubiacese. 

Sarcocephalus esculentus. Sierra Leone Peach, 

Flowers in large heads, white and fragrant. Deep-red 
fruit, the peach of the country, the size of a man's fist. The 
wood much used for inlaying. 
Morinda sp.% Brimstone. 

A tree with bole of 50 feet in height, girth from 16 to 
20 feet. The wood is bright yellow in colour, not of much 
value, but the root-wood is sold in the native markets for yellow 
dye and the bole wood for weather-boards. It is very hard 
and resists attacks of insects. 
Randia maculata. 

A very pretty ornamental tree, with glossy leaves and white 
flowers. 
Coffea Liber ica. Liberian Coffee. 

A tree about 20 feet in height. Coffee-berries the size of 
a cherry. 



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CHAPTER V 
THE IVORY COAST 

Thanks to Monsieur Auguste Chevalier's very varied and extensive 
travels on the Ivory Coast, we have obtained very graphic descriptions 
of the belt of forest extending nearly 150 miles inland and parallel 
to the coast. 

In his books Les Vegetaux Utiles de VAfrique Tropicale FranQaise, 
Fasc. v., Premiere Etude sur les Bois de la Cote d'lvoire, and Les Vegetaux 
utiles de VAfrique tropicale frangaise, Fasc. VII (Premiere Partie), 
Documents sur le Palmier a Huile, on the vegetation of this French 
Colony, not only are there general descriptions of some of the best 
and most accessible forests, but also there are full descriptions of 
the individual trees, together with most of their botanical and most 
valuable vernacular names. 

Considering that the area of the Ivory Coast is 130,000 square 
miles, and the forest belt about 150 miles wide, the mahogany industry 
should be still further developed than it is at the present time. 

So far, on the average, the Ivory Coast has been noted for its 
figured mahogany, the Ports of Grand Bassam, Assinie (a town and 
river of Upper Guinea), and La Hou being the most noted, and having 
given almost their name to different classes of Ivory Coast mahogany. 
For several reasons this type of mahogany has fetched higher prices 
than that of the average from elsewhere. Sassandra, at the mouth 
of a similar named river, and also Cavally, on the Cavally, are minor 
ports for the shipment of mahogany. 

First and foremost the wood obtained from what Monsieur 
Chevalier terms Khaya Ivoriensis is of a much more sheeny nature 
than that of either Khaya Senegalensis, Khaya grandis or Khaya Punchii. 

In the next place, the method of working is most peculiar. Usually, 
individual natives cut a: ew trees at a time, standing nearest a water- 
way or lagoon ; in fact, these were picked trees which the natives thought 
contained figured wood, and this had the effect of only a one-sided 
working of the forest, thus leaving many other valuable trees. On 
the average, the distribution of the numbers and of the various species 
is about the same as in other parts of West Africa. Apparently many 
of the ordinary trees have often been left standing, or at any rate most 
of those which are too inaccessible. A tree standing more than about 

6 " 



82 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

a mile from water is too far for a native working almost single-handed, 
and only collecting a few labourers for hauling his logs to the waterway. 
In recent years, however, British as well as French firms, with 
a larger amount of capital, have started to work the forests. Regula- 
tions have been drawn up by the local Government in a similar manner 
and of a similar nature to those in force generally on the West Coast 
of Africa. The Government also has built a railway passing through 
and near some of the forests north of Grand Bassam. Since its 
inception, a further impetus has been given to the mahogany trade. 
However, in the matter of water transport, the rivers of the Ivory 
Coast, such as the Tano, mostly flowing in British territory, but 
emptying itself into the sea at Assinie (the port for logs in French 
territory), the Yar or Abi, the Komoe, the Zini, and Bandana, the 
Sassandra and Cavally, can none of them be said to be at all good 
for the floating out of logs. La Hou is the port for the Bandana and 
Zini Rivers, after their junction ; Sassandra is the port for the Sassandra 
and Cavally for the Cavally. At the mouth of each of them there 
is a shallow bar, and this in turn causes a bad surf, and in other parts 
the coast lacks harbours, and the formation of it is unsuitable for 
the shipment of timber. No doubt, as time goes on, an effective means 
will be invented for dealing with the passage of the logs through the 
surf, especially at the mouths of rivers. So far, from all accounts, 
the rivers themselves have not been cleared of snags and rocky 
obstructions for the transport of the timber. This factor again has 
reacted on the output, and many of the finest forests remain un worked. 
Owing to the fact of this accidental policy of only cutting the best 
mahogany trees, the intensive exploitation of the forests by cutting 
other species of trees (the timber of which has already found a market 
in Europe) has been greatly hindered. Among such timbers are 
the following : 

Khaya Ivoriensis, 

Chloropliora excelsa, 

Lophira alata, 

Afzelia microcarpa, 

Entandrophragma macrophylla, 

Canarium Schweinfurthii, or Occidentalis. 

On the whole, English firms working on the Ivory Coast have been 
encouraged and not hindered, but some of the minor regulations appear 
to be rather irksome and vexatious in their working, and the firms 
have felt that their tenure of the forest rights was not quite so secure 
as elsewhere in West Africa. 

The export duties placed on mahogany cut on the banks of the 
Tano in Gold Coast territory are almost of such a nature as to prohibit 
the profitable working of the Tano forests. 



LIST OF TREES ; 

(Chevalier's.) j 
Pandanaceae. 

Pandanus candelabrum. Sometimes known as Screw Pine. j 

A well-branched tree, supported by aerial roots ; leaves | 

spinous a.nd in dense spirals. j 

i 
Palmae. 

Borassus flabellifer Ronier (Colons) ; Dendo (Attie) ; Makube J 

(Fanti) ; Ekube (Agni). : 

Liliaceae. ] 

Draccena Perrotetti. Nkiebe (Mbonoi) ; Adjonde (Ebrie). | 

Ulmaceae. I 

Celtis iniegrifolia. Mgua (Abe) ; Tongo (Bondoukou). '- 

Moraceae. | 

Antiaris toxiaria. Ake (Mbonoi). ' 

Chlorophora excelsa. Corkwood (English) ; Akede (Abe) ; Bakana ■ 

(Fanti) ; Guele (Bondoukou) ; Elui (Agni) ; Bonzo (Bambara) ; | 

Agui (Ebrie) ; Odum (Appollonien). 1 

Ficus Goliath. Abono (Mbonoi). ! 

Ficus Guineensis. Aturn (Mbonoi). j 

Ficus sp. Mekhi (Attie) ; Diangue (Agni) ; Karfa (Bambara). j 

Pontya excelsa. Metchi (Attie) ; Triwa (Agni). | 

Morus mesozygia. Bana (Attie) ; Cecerui (Agni). ' 

Musanga Smithii. Parasolier (Colons) ; Loho (Abe) ; Guima ; 

Djuna (Bondoukou) ; Egui (Agni) ; Congo-congo (Gabonais). \ 

Myrianthus arboreus. Agnon (Abe) ; Atolaie (Mbonoi) ; Agniere j 

(Ebrie). i 
Myrianthus serratus. Nianga-magui (English) ; Diancangue (Attie) ; 

Nianga (Agni) ; Nianga-magui (Indenie). { 

Treculia africana. Izaqueute Portugais (Colons) ; Yukugo (Bon- \ 

doukou). 

Olacaces. k 

Coula edulis. Atsan (Attie) ; Bogiie (Agni) ; Akion (Ebrie). \ 

Ongokea Klaineana. So (Abe). j 

Strombosia pustulata. Myole Polie (Abe) ; Patabua (Bondoukou) ; ' : 

Fognian (Mbonoi). 



84 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Octoknemataceae. 

Octoknema affinis. Guangua (Attie). 

Anonaceae. 

CleistophoUs patens. Kotopuan (Attie) ; Bofu (Fanti) ; Eutie 

(Agni). 
Enantia chlorantha. Mbawe (Abe) ; Esuro (Attie). 
Monodora myristica. Mbang (Attie) ; Efuen (Agni) ; Hane (Ebrie). 
Stenanthera Laniate. T'sainfi (Attie) ; Surua (Agni). 
Pachypodanthium. 
Xylopia cethiopica. Ethiopian pepper (Colons) ; Fonde (Attie) ; 

Efomu (Agni) ; Endiar or N'diar (Wolof). 
Xylopia parviflora. 

Myristicaceae. 

Coslocaryon oxycarpum. Kinkonawon (Mbonoi). 
Pycnanthus Komho. Walehe (Abe) ; Hetere (Bondoukou) ; Etama 
(Agni) ; Anaktie (Mbonoi) ; Edna (Appolonien). 

Capparidaceae. 

Buchholzia macrophylla. Mon (Attie) ; Akotompo (Fanti) ; Amizi 
(Agni) ; Do (Trepo). 

Rosacea^. 

Chrysobalanus elUpticus. Hanfuru (Agni). 

Parinarium robustum. Aroba (Mbonoi). 

Parinarium tenuifolium. Simua (Attie) ; Gatesima (Mbonoi). 

Leguminosae. 

Albizzia fastigiata. San (Attie) ; Piampian (Fanti) ; Kuanguan 

(Agni). 
Albizzia ferruginea. 

Albizzia gigantea. Turndogo, Bosole (Bondoukou). 
Albizzia rhombifolia. Ktie (Attie) ; Pranpran (Fanti) ; Kure (Agni). 
Afzelia microcarpa. Asemigniri (Mbonoi). 
Aphanocalyx sp. Redwood (Colons) ; Taceribe (Mbonoi) ; Arab- 

metu (Adionkron). 
BapJiia nitida. Camwood (English) ; Tte (Attie) ; Ekuro (Fanti) ; 

Exin (Agni) ; Eseme (Mbonoi). 
Berlinia acuminata. Beguan (Attie) ; Gueguirotta baka (Agni). 
Cynonietra Vogelii. Tiupe (Attie). 

Cynometra cryptosepalum. Kiukuesin (Attie) ; Patapara (Agni). 
Daniellia oblonga. Trakuan (Attie) ; Kuangua (Agni). 
Dialium Dinklagei. 
Dialium Guineense. Fe (Attie) ; Warie (Agni). 



THE IVORY COAST 85 

ErythrophlcBum Ivoriensis. Amerere (Agni). 

Erythrophloeum Guineense. Eriii (Agni) ; Teli (Bambara) ; Aranhe 

(Mbonoi). 
Lonchocarpus sericeus. Acacia de Gabon (Colons) ; Akuosi, Amba 

(Fanti) ; Ekopa (Agni). 
Macrolobium PaUsoti. 
Milletia sp. Vandakiie (Attie) ; Bakahehessi (Agni) ; Ekimi 

(Mbonoi). 
Parkia Agboensis. Lo (Abe) ; Dogo (Bondoukou) ; Asama (Mbonoi). 
Pentadethra macrophylla. Owala (Gabonais). 
Piptadenia Africana. Bon (Attie) ; Nainvi (Bondoukou) ; Kuangua 

iniama (Agni). 
Piptadenia Chevalieri. Lo (Attie). 

Pterocarpus esculentus. Totohote (Attie) ; Assihaoto (Agni). 
Tetrapleura Thonningii. 

Pandacese. 

Porphyranthus Zenkeri. Tebo (Attie) ; Akwankusuma (Fanti) ; 
Akuana (Agni). 

Linacese. 

Phyllocosmus Africamis. 

Humiriaces. 

Saccoglottis Gahunensis. Amuan (Attie). 

Rutaceae. 

Fagara macrophylla. Hanwego (Bondoukou) ; Kengue (Mbonoi). 
Zanthoxylum parvifolium. M'Bon (Attie) ; Kanton (Fanti) ; 
Heudje, Heugue (Agni). 

Simarubacese. 

Hannoa Klaineana. Haiefai ? (Abe) ; Neube ? (Attie) ; Hete bake 

(Mbonoi). 
Irvingia. Akwabu (Mbonoi) ; Lubigniati (Adionkron). 
Mannia Africana. Hate (Attie) ; Sotibia (Fanti) ; Bomoku 

(Agni) ; Akodo (Mbonoi). 

Burseraceae. 

Canarium Occidentalis. Okume d'lvoire (Colons) ; Segna (Attie) ; 
Krendja Haigue (Agni). 

Meliaces. 

Bingeria Africana. Hakue (Attie) ; Hague (Agni). 
Carapa microcarpa. Dona (Abe) ; Kuli pia (Bondoukou) ; Kobi 
(Bambara). 



86 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Carapa velutina. Bibiabe (Attie) ; Akumasse (Fanti) ; Sorowa 

(Agni). 
Charia Indiensis. Zacoba (Attie) ; Zacoba (Agni). 
Entandrophragma ferruginea. Locobo (Attie) ; Tiamatiama (Agni). 
Entandrophragma macrophylla. Baka-biringiii (Abe) ; Lokoba 

(Attie) ; Kaiguigo (Bondoukou) ; Makua (Mbonoi) ; Tiama- 
tiama (Appolonien). 
Entandrophragma rufa. Cedrat (Colons) ; Kaiguigo (Bondoukou). 
Entandrophragma Septentrionalis. Baka-birin-gui (Abe) ; Keiwgo 

(Bondoukou). 
Khaya Ivoriensis. Bariba or Biribi (Colons) ; Ekuie (Abe) ; Lokobua 

(Attie) ; Dukuma Dugura (Agni) ; Humpe (Ebrie) ; Tiamatiama 

(Appolonien). 
Pyncertia Occidentalis. Hainde (Agni) ; Kassekui (Mbonoi) ; 

Dubiri Keguigo (Appolonien). 
Trichilia Candollei. Tanna (English) ; Fe (Attie) ; Tenuba, Tanuba 

(Agni). 
Trichilia cedrata. Ngnanake (Abe) ; Mbosse (Agni) ; Anokue 

(Mbonoi). 
Trichilia acutifoliata. 

Euphorbiacese. 

Macaranga Hendelotii. Abo (Attie) ; Eson (Fanti) ; Ekna (Agni). 

Mcesohotrya Stapfiana. Senan (Attie) ; Emuinguim (Fanti) ; Asa 
bogiiie (Agni). 

Oldfieldia Africana. African Teak (English) ; Fu (Attie) ; 
Etiii (Agni). 

Ricinodendron Africanus. Hobo Hapi (Abe).; Isain (Attie) ; 
Sosaii (Fanti) ; Haipi (Bondoukou) ; Haipi (Agni) ; Poposi 
(Mbonoi) ; Poposi (Ebrie) ; Nbob (Moyen Cavally). 

Uapaca Bmguelensis. African Oak (English) ; Chene d'Afrique 
(Colons) ; Rikio (Abe) ; Niondobi (Bondoukou) ; Cosomon 
(Bambara) ; Sannaba (Mbonoi). 

Uapaca Bingervillensis. Rikio (Abe) ; Na (Attie) ; Kayo (Bon- 
doukou) ; Elekhua (Agni) ; Orobo (Mbonoi). 

Alchornea sp. Bonyurome (Mbonoi) ; Aguaya (Ebrie) ; Tatairo 
(Moyen Cavally). 

Baccaurea Bonneti. Habizacue (Attie) ; Kuatiecuale (Agni). 

Bridelia speciosa. Chicue (Attie). 

Hasskarlia didymostemon. Nguepe (Attie) ; Echirua (Agni). 

Anacardiaceae. 

Hcematostaphis Barteri. Vi (Abe) ; Esanke, Esangue (Attie). 
Lannea acidissima. Ngolo ngoloti (Abe) ; Tchiko (Attie) ; Kakoro 
(Fanti) ; Durgo, Duroko, Duko (Bondoukou) ; Borepore (Agni). 



THE IVORY COAST 87 

Lannea sp. Ebruke (Attie) ; Bembe (Bambara). 
Spondias lutea. Ngua (Abe) ; Ningo (Bambara) ; Haperrie 
(Mbonoi). 

Icacinaceae. 

Leptaulus daphnoides. Paraded! (Attie) ; Eborodumuen (Agni) 

Sapindaceae. 

Blighia sapida. Sago (Bondoukou) ; Finzan (Bambara). 
Deinbollia Indeniensis. Ngua, Abo (Attie) ; Ekosuba, Zenna, 

Kerenya (Agni) ; Kausa (Indenie). 
Placodiscus pseudostipularis. Para dakue (Attie). 

Tiliacese. 

Duboscia macrocarpa. Pianro (Agni). 

Bombacaceae. 

Bombax Buonopozense. 

Sterculiaceae. 

Cola cordifoUa. Awa (Attie) ; Arahio (Bondoukou) ; Dabudabu 

(Agni) ; Ntaba (Bambara). 
Cola mirabilis. Gnibi (Attie) ; Kamou aguire (Agni). 
Cola proteiformis. Kouanda (Attie) ; Kokotsi (Fanti) ; Guiangon 

(Agni). 
Cola vera. Awasse (Abe) ; Lo (Attie) ; Buesse (Mbonoi) ; Hapo 

(Ebrie) ; Guere (Neyau) ; Guresu (Bete) ; Hure (Plapo) ; 

We (Trepo) ; Halu (Adionkron). 
Pterygota cordifoUa. Ape (Attie) ; Sounoum (Fanti) ; Ware Borf 

ware (Agni). 
Sterculia oblonga. Azodo (Abe). 
StercuUa tragacantha. Porepore (Abe) ; Botapia (Attie) ; Lomburu 

(Bondoukou) ; Kotokie (Indenia). 
Triplocliiton scleroxylon. Hofa (Abe) ; Samba, Sankamba (Bon- 
doukou) ; Batabua (Agni) ; Wa-wa (Appolonien) ; Wa-wa 

(Indenia). 

Syctopetalaceae. 

Rhaptopetalum Sieghemi. Mosangui (Attie) ; Djo Arbi (Mbonoi). 

Ochnaceae. 

Lophira procera. Nokue (Attie) ; Esore (Agni). 

Guttiferae. 

Allanblackia parviflora. Wohotelimon (Abe) ; Bissaboko (Attie) ; 
Akumase (Fanti) ; Alabenun (Agni) ; Wotobe Ewotebo (Mbonoi). 



88 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Garcinia polyantha. Mamie Kini (Agni). 

Ochrocarpus Africanus. African Apricot (Colons) ; Quelipe Kelipe 

(Bondoukou). 
Pentadesma leucantha. Piche Aboko (Attie) ; Allahbanunu (Agni) 
Symphonia globulifera. Arquane (Mbonoi\ 

Flacourtlacese. 

Homalium Africanum. Akouibia (Fanti) ; Akoima (Agni). 
Scottellia coriacece. Bakaza (Attie) ; Aburuhi (Fanti), 
ScottelUa Kamerunensis. Akosica (Abe) ; Edde (Mbonoi). 

Rhizophoraces. 

BMzophora racemosa. Paletuvier rouge (Colons) ; Ntagne (Attie) ; 
Koghia bera (Fanti) ; Ende (Agni). 

Combretaceae. 

Anogeissus sp. Kakaleka (Bondoukou) ; Krekete (Bambara). 

Combretum vivoflora. Kati (Abe) ; Esive (Mbonoi). 

Terminalia altissima. Pe (Abe) ; Fram (Bondoukou) ; Frake 

(Agni). 
Terminalia Ivoriensis. Satinwood (English) ; Mboti, Buma (Attie) ; 

Tuhidja (Bondoukou) ; Framine (Agni) ; Fela (Bambara) ; 

Cauri (Mbonoi). 

Myrtaceae. 

Eugenia syzygium. Amerere (Agni). 

Melastomaceae. 

Memycylon polyanihemos. Taisin (Attie) ; Tai (Agni). 

Ebenaceae. 

Diospyros sanza. Nguobi, Kusibiri (Attie) ; Sanza, Minika, Asun, 
Seka (Agni). 

Oleaceae. 

Linociera Mannii. Akodiombi, Zakuebiembi (Attie) ; Akokotsua 
(Fanti) ; Aqua egbua (Agni) ; Akoriie (Indenie). 

Loganlaceae. 

Anthocleista nobilis. Buro-Nuro (Mbonoi). 

Apocynacese. 

Alstonia Congensis. Kokue (Attie). 

Conopharyngia crassa. Choka (Attie) ; Akotompo Atsim (Fanti) ; 
Pakie-pakie, Kuakie-kuakie (Agni) ; Apukur (Mbonoi). 



THE IVORY COAST 89 

Funtumia Africana. Pesin (Attie) ; Wala (Bondoukou). 

Funtumia elastica. Pechi (Attie) ; Poyndua (Fanti) ; Efurumundu 
(Agni) ; Ofuntum (Appolonien) ; Twe (Neyau) ; Uruba su 
(Bete) ; Dorose-Populu (Plapo) ; Bebeti (Moyen Cavally). 

Picralima Elliotii. Hainfain (Attie) ; Kakana (Agni). 

Raiiwoljia vomitoria. Embi-siembi (Agni) ; Gonguonkiur (Mbonoi). 

Verbenaceae. 

Vitex micrantha. Kiangu (Mbonoi). 

Bignonlaceas. 

Spathodea campanulata. Tulipier de Gabon (Colons) ; Kokomazur 
(Mbonoi). 

Rubiaceae. 

Grumilea vanosa. Tchiat Kottse (Attie) ; Aburese baka (Agni). 
Gardenia viscidissima. 

Mitragyne macrophylla. Sofo (Attie) ; Bahia (Agni). 
Morinda citrifolia. Alongua (Bondoukou) ; Sangongo (Bambara). 
Pseudocinchona Africana. Mbrahu (Abe) ; Kiumba (Bondoukou). 
Sarcocephalus esculentus. Tetere (Mbonoi). 

Sarcocephalus Pobeguini. Ndebere (Attie) ; Ekusamba (Fanti) ; 
Boisima (Agni) ; Zeronga (Bambara). 



CO 


« 


2,007 

104,030 

12 

5 

125,921 

99 

78,239 

128 

2 

208,869 
28 
23 

1 


CO 
CO 

5 


1 


Tons. 
24 
6,949 

0-7742 
0-0098 
6,014 

0-5194 

1 
394 
8 
0098 

42,651 
2 
3 
0-56804 




s 


«rt 


770 

73,656 

89 

155,294 

~98 
344,020 

22 

120,688 
45 


CO 

1 


1 


Tons. 

9 
6,799 

8 

6,776 

1 
1,376 

1 

30,489 
7 


s 


o 


« 


717 

66,223 

56 

169,305 

4 

110,916 

4 

9,426 


1 

CO 




Tons. 
8 
5,251 
5 

6,625 

0-6106 
351 

015415 

23,812 


IS 

i 


o 


ol 


47,450 
111,651 

121,490 

2,871 


00 

CO 

CO 
00 


1 


Tons. 
5,422 

6,954 

0-0882 
391 

13,783 


O 

3 


i 


c«) 


45,421 
26 

119,398 

77 
67,604 

33,321 
99 


05 


i 


Tons. 

1 

5,191 

2 

6,367 

1 
368 

15,994 
14 


00 


1 
1 


5 
1 


Colas 

Palm kernels . . 

Doumane 

Ginger 

P.<\lm oil 

Coco-oil (touloucoimie 

de palmiste) 
Gum copal 
Rubber 

Beurre de karite 
Soumbaras 
Woods (cabinet-making 

etc. ; mahogany) . . 
Kapok 
Piassava 
Bamboos 


1 




Fig. 15.— Teak Plantation of 1908, 35f feet high, Sokode, in 1911. 




I'm. 16.— Teak Plantation of 1907 and 1908 on Hill-side. Atakpamej 



To face p. 90. 



CHAPTER VI 
THE GOLD COAST 

Area, 80,000 square miles. 

During 1909, a most interesting and exhaustive Report on the 
Forest of the Gold Coast, as well as Ashanti and the Northern Terri- 
tories, was written by Mr. H. N. Thompson, the Chief Conservator of 
Forests of Nigeria. As a result of this Report, a Forest Department 
was formed in 1910. This Forest Department now consists of a 
Conservator, Deputy, and three Assistant Conservators of Forests. 
However, legislation for the proper preservation of the forest and 
creation of Forest Reserves has not been passed, so that the scope of 
the Forest Department's usefulness has been much curtailed. 

It would be quite superfluous here to try and describe the forests 
in such a masterly fashion as has been done by Mr. Thompson, but 
anyone who is interested in the Gold Coast Forests should read the 
Report for themselves. It will suffice to give an outline of the main 
features of the Forest Administration and a general description of 
the forests. 

With the author's permission I have given a list of the timber- 
trees, together with the botanical names, so far as they are known. 

The people of this very rich country have in a short-sighted way 
very much hindered real progress m Forestry by refusing to assist in 
the creation of Forest Reserves. Forest Reserves are, of course, 
simply forest permanently set aside for the production of timber or 
other such forest products. The people of the Gold Coast h.ave, 
apparently, judging by extracts from the local Press, got the idea 
into their heads that the making of a Forest Reserve necessarily means 
the ownership of the land on which the forest stands passing into the 
possession of the Government. This, of course, is quite a contrary 
view to the true conception of a Forest Reserve, which is an area set 
apart by the Supreme Government as a forest for the permanent 
production of timber, etc., and usually managed by the Forest Depart- 
ment of the country. It may be a State forest, a communal forest, 
a municipal forest, or even a private forest which is thus placed 
under Forest Laws as a Forest Reserve. The user (that is, the man 
who has the right of usufruct in it) is not generally in a position to 
protect it thoroughly, and to some extent foregoes present temporary 
profits for future permanent returns. 



92 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

The diverse forms of forests named above, under the permanent 
management of the State, are seen in Switzerland, Germany, France, 
Russia, Japan, and India, not to mention Nigeria, so that it cannot 
be called an isolated system. 

The cocoa industry has quite overshadowed that of collecting 
palm fruit, making palm oil, and cracking of palm nuts to obtain the 
kernels, with the result that these exports are small compared with 
Sierra Leone even, which is a much smaller colony, with a climate 
less propitious for palm-trees. 

The following table shows the exports for the last five years : 

Tons. £ 

1909 14,553 113,784 

1910 14,252 185,058 

1911 13,254 175,890 

1912 14,629 205,365 

1913 9,744 159,128 

In the year 1913 forest produce, in the shape of logs, etc., to 
the value of £3,327,743 was exported. It would be disastrous to the 
country if a few loud-voiced, narrow-minded people were to prevent 
proper measures being adopted for the welfare of the country. Con- 
sidering their previous education and small experience in these wide 
economic matters, it is only natural that they should take this view, 
but, on the other hand, that is no reason why the Supreme Govern- 
ment should not do what is necessary for the future permanent benefit 
of the country. A child is not allowed to play with fire, although 
it may very much like to see the flames ; in the same way the British 
people, as locally represented by the Gold Coast Government, cannot 
allow the inhabitants of the district to play fast and loose with their 
priceless treasures, the African forests, well knowing that the country 
will be permanently injured thereby. Examples are to be found to-day 
of countries which have allowed their forests to be destroyed. Spain 
and Portugal are typical of this, and even in Africa one has the 
spectacle of France putting untold millions into Forestry in Algeria 
in order to restore the rainfall. Morocco and Mesopotamia are further 
examples of countries in a similar condition, where the forests have 
been destroyed. Palestine, with its ancient forests of Lebanon, is 
the most drastic example of forest destruction, quite apart from 
Turkish misrule. A similar process has taken place in the Soudan, 
and this locality is only now being laboriously re-afiforested by the 
Forest Department there. In India, European countries, Canada, 
Australia, and in the United States it has been proved that it is only 
by a central Government Agency that the forests will be properly 
preserved both for this generation and the next ; therefore, before it 
is too late, it behoves the Gold Coast people to recognise their responsi- 
bility to future generations and allow the necessary legislation, so 
that the forests may be preserved and rightly utilised. 



LIST OF INDIGENOUS TREES AND RUBBER VINES 

(From Mr. H. N. Thompson's Report on the Gold Coast Forests.) 

Pandanaceae. 

Pandanus sp. Ntung (Fanti) ; Ntung (Ashanti) ; Ndau (Apollo- 
nian) ; Ndau (Aowin) ; Ekpa (Krepi), 

Screw Pine. Often found near villages on the coast and 
where drier conditions prevail, in sheltered spots. Reaches 
height of 30 feet. Leaves used in mat-making. 

Graminese. 

Bamboo sp. 

Some of these attain a great height. Used for many purposes 
by the natives. 

Cyperaceae. 

Bidbostylis barbata. 
Bulbostylis laniceps. 

Quite small trees. 

Palms. 

AncisiropTiijllum sp. Eye (Fanti). 

Large kind of rattan. Scandent palm 
Borassus flabellifer. Makube (Fanti) ; Makube (Ashanti) ; Kube 

(Akwapim) ; Malankwi (Apollonian) ; Ago (Quitta) ; Ago 

(Krepi) ; Ago (Accra). 
Borassus cethiopica. 

The wood, exclusive of pith, extremely hard. Pericarp of 

nut edible. Savannah forests. 
Raphia vinifera. Adube and Doka (Fanti) ; Doka (Ashanti) ; 

Tombo (general West Coast) ; Doka (Apollonian) ; Doka 

(Aowin) ; Alati (Quitta) ; Alati (Krepi). 
Raphia Hookeri. 

Wine (from stem) and bamboo palm. Piassava fibre 

prepared from the rachis and the leaves, poles from bamboo 

in building ; pinns3 for baskets and thatch. Seed beaten to 

pulp thi'own in water to catch fish. 
Elceis Guineensis. Abe (Fanti) ; Arere, Abeletia (Apollonian) ; 

Beteng (Aowin) ; Ede (Quitta) ; Ede (Krepi). 

Oil Palm of commerce Derived from this tree, also, the chief 

supply of palm wine and piassava fibre. The coast natives 

use the leaf rachis for building and the leaves for thatch. 



94 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Calamus Barteri. 

Scandent palra. 
Calamus deerratus. (West) Uwatia and Oyea (Ash.) (Ashanti). 

The common rattan ; marshes. 
Cocos nucifera. Kube (Fanti) ; Kukwi (Ashanti) ; Ajui (Aowin) ; 
Eue (Quitta) ; Eavune (Krepi) ; Hukwi (Axim). 

Cocoanut, found in the vicinity of villages on the coast, 
sometimes inland. 
Fan Palm or Doum. Ago (general West Coast). 

Wood provides beams for building ; fruit edible ; leaves 
for thatching ; and a strong wine is made from the stem. 
Phosnix recUnata, or Wild Date Palm. Euchresia (Fanti) ; Mileishia 
(Apollonian) ; Mileishia (Aowin) ; Aeyedi (Quitta) ; ledi (Krepi). 
A small date palm ; grows on the sea-shore. Fruit edible. 
The terminal buds are cooked as a vegetable. A wine is made 
from the stem. 

Liliaceae. 

Sansevieria. 

Small tree, fibre-yielding. 
Draccena arborea. 

40 feet in height. 
Draccena Mannii. 

30 feet in height. Yields a light-coloured dye. 
Draccena surculosa. 

Ulmaceae. 

Trema affinis, 

A small tree. 
Trema Africana. 

Small tree of secondary forest. 

Moracese. 

Ficus sp. Shedua or Abonsandua (Twi) ; Mousandua or Okitsi- 
wanfu (Fanti) ; Shedua (Ashanti) ; Adowa (Apollonian) ; 
Adowa and Dupain (Aowin) ; Kapro (Grunchi) ; Aiu (Krepi) 
Kingkanga (Hausa). 

Some Ficus are tapped for rubber, others fruited. This 
species is a large, smooth-barked tree. 
Ficus platyphylla. 

Fruit edible, cf. Vogelii, and in great demand. 
Ficus Vogelii. 

Medium-sized tree. Latex extracted by tapping. A good 
shade tree. 



THE GOLD COAST 95 

Ficus asperifolia. Yankran (Fanti). 

Savannah forests. Called Sandpaper Tree, because the 
rough leaves are used to smooth planks. The ashes are used 
in making dyes. 
Ficus elegans. 
Ficus eriobotryoides. 
Ficus OttopJ(efolia. 
Ficus triangularis. 

Musanga Smithii. Juma (Wassaw) ; Ajama (Fanti) ; Ajama 
(West), Ojamba (Ashanti) ; Eguni (Apollonian) ; Egeun (Aowin) ; 
Ajama (Ki-epi). 

The Umbrella or Corkwood Tree ; used as buoys for fishing- 
nets in Apollonia, and roof shingles in Ashanti. 
Myrianthus arboreus. Niankuma (Fanti) ; Niankuma (Ashanti) ; 
Niankuma (Apollonian) ; Niangama (Aowin). 
The fruit is eaten by the natives. 
Myrianthus serratus. 

Small tree with edible fruit. 
Antiaris sp. Chenchen (Twi). 

A large tree, the timber of which is liable to attacks by 
white ants ; when seasoned, used for planks. The latex is one of 
the chief rubber adulterants. 
Antiaris toxicaria. Ofu, Ohonton (Fanti). 
Antiaris Africana. 
Chlorophora excelsa. Odoum or Odum (Twi). 

Timber very hard and durable ; not easy to export, because 
it will not float in its green state. A large and valuable timber- 
tree found in the fringing forests, the driest parts. 

Urticaceae. 

Urera, 

A small tree, very common. Fibre very useful. 

Olacaceae. 

Coula edulis. 

Medium-sized tree with edible fruit. 
Olax subscorjioidea. 

Anonaceae. 

Anona Senegahnsis. 

The wild Custard Apple. Fruit edible. 
Anona palustris. 

Fruit edible. Both these grow in savannah forests. Roots 
used in making floats. 



96 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Monodora brevipes. 

Found in mixed deciduous forests. 
Monodora tenuifolia. Dubiddi (Ashanti) 
Hexalobus grandiflora. 

A large, handsome tree. 
Xylopia parviflora. 
Xylopia striata. 

Xylopias all small trees, except Mthiopica. 
Xylopia jEthiopica. 

A fairly large tree. Wood resists attacks of white ants. 
Used for native house-posts. 

Myristicacese. 

Pycnanthus Kombo. Ote (Twi). Oti or Etsu (Fanti) ; Oti 
(Ashanti) ; Tika (Apollonian) ; Attenli (Aowin) ; Oti (Accra). 

The timber is useful for domestic purposes, roof shingles, 
etc. A fatty oil is obtained from the seeds. A medium-sized 
tree, straight-stemmed ; wood not durable. 

Lauraceae. 

Tylostemon Mannii, 
A small tree. 

Rosaces. 

Parinarium sp. Affram (Twi). 

Wood used by natives for building purposes. 
Parinarium curatellcefolium. 

Very common locally. The fruit edible. 
Parinarium robustum. 

Very little known about this tree. 
Parinarium polyandrum. 

In the savannah forests. 
Parinarium mobola. 

Small tree, but good timber. Fruit edible. 
Chrysobalanus ellipticus. Ababele (Apollonian). 

Found near fresh-water lagoon. The fruit of a blue colour, 
small and edible. 

Connaraceae. 

Cnestis ferruginea. 
Ageloia obliqua. 

Leguminoseae. 

Piptadenia sp. Dahumah (Twi) ; Adadawa (Wassaw). 
A large species. 



THE GOLD COAST 97 

Piptadenia Africana. Dahomah (Twi) ; Odahuma (Wassaw). 

Feathery foliage. Fruit a pod 1 foot long, 1 inch broad. 
A common forest tree ; hard timber, good for railway- 
sleepers. 
Cylicodiscus Gabonensis? Denya (Twi); Odenya (Wassaw). 

Very large tree of the evergreen forests. 
Daniellia Ogea. Ahedua (Twi). 

Gum Copal. 
Pentaclethra macrophylla. Atawah or Althawah (Twi) ; Ekuana 
(Fanti). 

The Oil-bean Tree. Fruit edible ; vegetable oils and fats. 
Timber hard, suitable for turnery. 
Detarium sp. Biunwe (Twi). 

A gigantic forest tree. Timber good. 
Detarium sp. Bowiwunua (Twi). 

Much like the first. Timber good. 
Detarium Senegalensis. Bowiwasi (Fanti). 

Not so large as other species ; doubtful if the timber would 
be durable on exposure to the atmosphere. 
Parkia filicoidea. 

Fruit edible. The Locust-bean Tree. Savannah forests. 
Peltophorum sp. Memchin (Apollonian). 
Bauhinia reticulata. 

The bast fibres are very long and tough ; used as ropes by 
the natives. 
Paradaniella thurifera. 

Balsam Copaiba Tree — wood oil. Timber of little value. 
Tetrapleura Thonningii Prekese. 

Feathery-leaved tree. Four-angled fruit (pod), edible. 
Used for medicinal purposes. Wood of medium hardness. 
Xylia Evansii. Samanta (Twi) ; Samantawa (Fanti). 
Pithecolobium altissimum. Augwameatee (Aowin). 

A medium-sized tree, growing on river banks. A good 
shade tree. 
Afrormosia laxiflora. Duakobin or Duabayi (general West 
Coast). 

A large tree. Timber good, reddish colour ; has been sold 
in Liverpool as satinwood. Canoes made from it. 
Afzelia Africana. Opapao (Twi) ; Papao (Ashanti) ; Opapao 
(Akwapim). 

A first-class, durable tree. Timber very valuable. The 
dominant tree of the savannah forests. Pod 4 to 7 inches 
long. Used for railway sleepers, furniture, and building 
purposes. 
Afzelia fastigata . 

7 



98 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Erythro'phloeum Guineense. 

A fine, spreading tree of the savannah forests. Wood 
hard and durable ; used for building. The Sasswood or Ordeal 
Tree. The bark is poisonous ; infusions of it are used by the 
natives for the ordeal test, especially on the Kroo coast. It re- 
generates freely from seed. Impervious to attacks of white ants. 
Erythrophlceum micranthum. Potedon (Wassaw) ; Potedon (Fanti) ; 
Potedon (Ashanti) ; Potedon (Apollonian) ; Etsa (Krepi). 
A reddish-brown coloured poison obtained from it, 
Tamarindus Indica. 

Wood very ornamental ; fruit edible. The tree is found 
near the large rivers Volta and Affram. 
Macrolobium Palisotii. 
Macrolobium stipulaceum. 

Macrolobium sp. Wulfram (Fanti) ; Ofarm (Ashanti) ; Ndukwun 
(Apollonian) ; Kotopapa (Krepi). 
Common in marshy places. 
Macrolobium limba. 
Macrolobium reticulatum. 

A medium-sized tree. 
Cynometra Alzelii. 

Cynometra all grow near streams. 
Cynometra Mannii. 
Cynometra sp. 

Fringing forests, close to streams. 
Pterocarpus esculentus. 

Found in the fringing forests. Small tree, of little use. 
Pterocarpus erinaceus. 

The Senegal Rosewood Tree. The savannah forests. 
Albizzia Brownei. 

Fringing forests. Valuable wood, rich brown colour ; hard 
and very durable. Height of tree about 100 to 120 feet, 
girth of 10 feet. 
Albizzia Angolensis. 
Albizzia Abruana. 
Albizzia fastigata. 

Found on disused farms. The timber should be useful for 
local bridge-making, etc., also furniture. A gum of little value 
obtained from it. 
Acacia Sieberiana. 
Acacia catechu. 

A common tree, very gregarious, in open grass country. 
Catechu procured from it. Similar to the species in Burma. 
The heartwood less well developed than Burmese variety. 
Sometimes called the Cutch Tree. Gum arabic. 



THE GOLD COAST 99 ' 

Baphia nitida. j 

A small tree, frequently found, except in the driest parts. ,1 

The Camwood of commerce, though camwood is really the i 

product of Pterocarpus. | 

Dialium Guineense. ] 

Known as Sierra Leone Tamarind. Very local ; fruit edible. \ 

Berlinia acuminata. .1 

Medium-sized tree. Gum obtained from it. Ornamental 
wood ; does not work well. 

Berlinia Auriculata. '■ 

A small tree. 

Berlinia Heudelotii. I 

Medium height. Grows on river banks. [ 
Cassia bicajisularis . 

Cassia fistula. j 

Tree much like a laburnum, of medium size. j 

Cassia tor a. .\ 

Cassia alata. ; 

Flowers more brilliant then C. fistula. Found near villages. < 

Cassia lophira. ] 

Cassia Sieberiana. I 
Cassia Occidentalis. 
Milletia Thonningii. 
Milletia Zechiana. 

Bussea Occidentalis. ] 

A small tree with bright-yellow flowers. \ 

Neivtonia insignis. ' 

A tall tree with very smooth bark. 

Calpocalyx. '; 

A medium-sized tree of the evergreen forests. 

Loncliocarpus sericeus. ' 

Timber not much good ; branches for hoe-handles. i 

Lonchocarpus cyanescens. i 

The young leaves for making blue dye. ■ 

Entada Soudanica. \ 

A small, spiky tree ; grows in dry, open country. , 

Entada Abyssinica. ; 

Grows in savannah forests. Small tree. ;< 

Dichrostachys nutans. ' 

Ormosia laxifiora. I 

A tree of about 30 feet in height, much gnarled and twisted. j 

Copaifera salikounda. , 

Cylicodiscus Gabunensis. Ajumkobi (Ashanti). ' 

Sold as greenheart in the Liverpool market : 90 or 100 ■ 

feet in height. Very much like Piptadenia Africana. ; 



100 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Distemonanthus Benthamiam. j 

Ecastaphyllum Broivnei. \ 

A small white -flowered tree. ! 

Erythrina Senegalensis. I 

A medium-sized tree, found chiefly in the dry parts. It ] 

has very ornamental scarlet flowers. \ 

Linaces. | 

Hugonia acuminata. \ 
Hugonia Planchoni. 

Hugonia playsepala. I 

Hugonia octhocosum. i 

The Hugonia species are all small trees growing on the i 
sea-shore. 

Rutaceae. j 

Zanthoxylum Senegalense. Ainyere (Apollonian). j 

Timber good quality. Bark used medicinally. A tree of i 
the fringing forests — from a shrub on the sea-shore to a tree of 
40 feet in height inland. 

Simarubaceae. i 

Hannoa Klaineana. Feutia (Aowin). i 

A medium-sized tree. Timber soft. ! 
Irvingia sp. Okurii (Ashanti). 

Yields a latex copious white when tapped, but turning red i 
on exposure. Used as a rubber adulterant. 
Irvingia Barterii. 

One of the species that bears the Dika Nut or Wild Mango 
of commerce. Edible. Vegetable oils and fats. Tree of 
medium size. 

Harrisonia Abyssinia. ! 

A small tree. j 

Bursuraceae. ^ 

Bosivellia Klaineana. ! 

The Ehye or Incense Tree. Timber good. j 

Santiriopsis. ,; 

Timber good. ! 

i 

Meliaceae. i 

Khaya anthotheca. Kwabohri (Twi) ; Akwabohori (Fanti) ; Kwa- j 

boho (Ashanti). j 

White Mahogany. Medium-sized tree ; timber good. ] 



THE GOLD COAST 101 

Khaya grandis. Appapayi or Wausauwah (Twi). 

A mahogany growing on the shores of the Sacred Lake. 
Fringing forests. 
Khaya Senegalensis. 

This tree attains the height of from 50 to 60 feet and a 
girth of 6 feet. Grows best in open dry-zone grass country. 
Not easy to export, as it does not grow near waterways. A 
gum of little value obtained from it. 
Khaya Punchii. 

Found in fringing forests, rainy districts and swamps. 
Timber very useful in furniture- making. 
Khaya Ivoriensis. 

The principal mahogany-yielding tree (Mr. Thompson). 
Khaya caudata. 

Khaya sp. {Dubon or Dubini). Dubini (Twi) ; Dubini (Wassaw) ; 
Odupon or Dubini (Fanti) ; Odubin (Ashanti) ; Tiame Tiame 
(Apollonian) ; Tiama Tiama (Aowin). 

The ordinary mahogany of the moist evergreen forests. 
Khaya sp. Krubua (Twi) ; Okunmankra (Fanti). 
Khaya sp. Afana or Apurro (Twi) ; Appapyayi (Fanti). 

Two small unidentified trees from the mixed forests. 
Lovoa Klaineana {Pebedum). Akwantanuro (Fanti) ; Kwantanura 
(Ashanti). 

Shipped sometimes as African Walnut. A good timber-tree, 
closely resembling the teak in colour and structure. Very 
ornamental wood. 
Pyncertia ealcensis. Kokotswi (Twi) ; Anchi (Fanti). 

A good timber-tree, much used locally. 
Guarea sp. Bosse (Twi). 

A good timber-tree ; appearance of cedar, and exported as 
such. Moist evergreen forests. 
Pseudocedrela utilis. Efifnobrodidwa (Twi) ; Effnokonkonti 
(Ashanti). 

Cedar ; the largest of the species. A fine timber- 
tree. 
Pseudocedrela Kotschyii. 

Savannah forests ; attains a great height. Timber hard, of 
reddish colour, gnarled and twisted, so difficult to obtain timber 
of any size. Used for building by the natives. Roots, bark 
and leaves used medicinally (rheumatism). 
Pseudocedrela sp. Tiama Tiama (Apollonian). 

A new species of the cedars. 
Pseudocedrela cylindrica. Peukwa (Twi) ; Punkwa (^Wassaw) ; 
Tiama Tiama (Apollonian). 

This cedar produces excellent timber. 



102 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Carapa Guianensis. Osuabise (Akwapim) ; Asokoru (Apollonian) ; 
Asoroa (Aowin). 

A large tree of the fringing forests, growing on the banks 
of the streams ; sometimes shipped as mahogany. Vegetable 
oils and fats obtained from it. 
Entandrophragma cylindricum. 
Entandrophragma ferrugineum. 
Entandrophragma macrophylla. 
Entandrophragma Septentrionale . 
Entandrophragma utilis. 

Found near Mansu and Supom. The timber of the Entan- 
drophragma species is exported under the name of cedar. The 
cylindricum attains a height of 100 feet. Wood gummy, 
and unsuitable for veneers. Sometimes called " unscented 
mahogany." The utilis under the name of " sapele scented 
wood." 
Trichilia Heudelottii. 

A small tree of little value, 
Trichilia rubescens. 

Attains a height of 30 feet. 
Trichilia Prieuriana. 

Medium-sized tree with jflaky bark and much-curled branches. 
Wood of red colour, not unlike cedar, but close-grained and 
hard, and has a tendency to twist when sawn, 

Malphigeacese. 

Heteropterys Africana. 

Small tree ; not very well known. 

EuphorbiaceaD. 

Ricinodendron Africanus. Assomah (Twi) ; Asoma (Fanti) ; 

Owama (Ashanti). 

In fringing forests on the banks of streams. Vegetable 

oils and fats obtained from this tree. The wood is soft, but 

burns well ; used by natives as fuel. 
Bridelia micrantha. 

Small tree of the dry zone. A deep reddish-brown dye 

obtained from this tree. It is made a fast colour by the 

admixture of old iron, such as old kerosene tins, which seems 

an important part of the fixing. 
Macaranga Barter ii. 
Macaranga heterophylla. 
Macaranga monandra. 
Macaranga Rowlandii. 

These four Macaranga species are all small, little-known 

trees. The Monandra species is a small caulifiorous tree. 



THE GOLD COAST 103 j 

Mcesobotrya cauliflora. ] 

A small tree ; has conspicuous red fruit | 

Mcesobotrya sparsiflora. j 

A small, little-known tree. j 

Megabaria Trillesii. Chuiansa (Apollonian). j 

Small tree bearing poisonous fruit. J 

Microdesmis puberula. Aforwa (Wassaw) ; Ofifenma (Ashanti) ; ' 

Chuiansa (Apollonian). j 

A small tree. Wood very useful in the making of agricul- i 

tural instruments, also chew-sticks. 

Uapaca Heudelottii. 

A large tree ; very common on river banks. ' 
Hasskarlia didymostemon. 

A small tree ; wood of little worth. ] 

Hymenocardia acida. j 
Hymenocardia Ghevalieri. 

The Hymenocardia are both small trees of the savannah ' 
forests. 

Excoecaria. , 

Small tree of the savannah forests. 

Phyllanthus reticulatus. '. 

Small tree of the savannah forests. , 
Bridelia ferruginea. 

An antidote against poisons. ' 
Bridelia atroviridis. 

Not well known. About 10 feet in height. A small tree ' 

of the savannah forests. j 
Discoglypremna caloneura. 

A small tree of the savannah forests. ; 

Elceophorbia drupifera. Kamhan (Fanti) ; Dudu (Apollonian) ; ! 

Ajurlo (Krepi). j 

A small tree growing near the sea. ' 

Cleidion Gabunicum. 

A small tree. Chew-sticks obtained from it. | 

Antidesma venosum. ■ 
Antidesma laciniatum. 

Antidesma anbryanthum. ,1, 

A white latex obtained from it. ( 
Anacardiacese. 

Spondias lutea. Atwaba (Fanti) ; Atawa (Ashanti) ; Twani ' 
(Apollonian) ; Tongoma (Aowin) ; Akukan (Quitta) ; Akukan 

(Krepi). j 

Found in the fringing forests. A very fine tree. Fruit ^ 

edible, called Hog-plum — like yellow plums in appearance ; I 

a sharp, acid taste, not unpleasant. i 

i 
j 



104 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Odina sp. 

A small, uncommon tree. 
Pseudospondias microcarpa. 

A fair-sized tree, not unlike the Spondias lutea. 
Trichoscypha. 

A small tree, little known. 

Celastiacese. 

Salacia dehilis. 

A tall shrub, 20 feet in height. 

Icacinaceae. 

Apodytes Beninensis. 

A small tree, little known. 

Sapindaceae. 

Blighia sapida. Takwadua (Twi) ; Takwadua (Wassaw). ^ 

Often planted near villages. A useful shade tree, and part 
of the fruit edible, called Akee. In the forest a good-sized, 
straight tree. Timber excellent ; hard, good grain, and easily 
worked. 
Paullinia pinnata. 

A small tree or shrub. 
Phialodiscus. unijugata. 

Small tree. Wood of little account. 
Lecaniodisc^is. 

Small tree. Wood of little account. 
Erioccelum. 

A river-side tree. 
Aphania. 

Small tree, little known. 
DeinboUia insignis. 

Small tree, little known. 

Melianthacese. 

Bersama Chippii. 

A small ornamental tree with sweet-scented flowers. 

Rhamnacese. 

Zizyphus Spina-Christi. 

A small tree with edible fruit. Wood very useful in cabinet- 
work. 
Lasiodiscus. 

A small, little-known tree. 
Zizyphus mucronata. 

A small tree of the savannah forests. 



THE GOLD COAST 105 

Vitaceae. 

Leea. 

A small tree of the savannah forests. Fruit edible. 

Tiliaces. 

Grewia carpinifolia. 
Glyphcea Greivioides. 
Triumfetta sp. 

Three small fibre-yielding trees. The Grewia has brilliant 
yellow flowers. 

Malvaceae. 

Hibiscus iiliaceus. 

A yellow-flowered tree. Wood durable under water, 
Thespesia popuhiea. Fref (Fanti) ; Eijan (Apollonian). 

A small tree growing on sea-shore. 

Bombacaceae. 

Bombax Buonopozense. Akata (Twi) ; Akata (Denkira) ; Ekuba 
(Apollonian) ; Eku (Aowin) ; Kafro (Grunchi) ; Agutesi (Krepi) ; 
Akronkron (Accra). 

The Silk Cotton Tree. Red-flowered. A tall tree with hori- 
zontal branches with spiny protuberances. Grows in the mixed 
forests. It yields a kapok (fibre) similar to the Eriodendrons. 

Bombax brevicuspe. Kuntunkun (Twi) ; Kuntunkuni (Denkira). 
A new species of cotton-tree. Timber used for canoes, 
bark for dye, and cotton for native pillows. 

Bombax sp. Eku (Twi) ; Nyi-nu-kobin (general West Coast) ; 
Akata (Denkira) ; Ekuba (Apollonian) ; Ekui (Aowin) ; Kafro 
(Grunchi) ; Agutesi (Krepi) ; Akronkron (Accra). 

This species is confined to the rain forests of the maritime 
zone. 

Adansonia digitata. 

The Baobab Tree. The pulp of the fruit is eaten by the 
natives ; flavour acid. The seeds are washed, pounded and 
steeped in water for ten days. The North-west Ashanti natives 
use it to flavour soup. This tree is very rich in wood fibre, 
which realises from £9 to £10 per ton, and is of great com- 
mercial value. A gouty-looking tree, and grows in open 
country, rocky soil. 

Eriodendron anfractuosum. Ongina (Twi) ; Enyena (Wassaw) ; 
Onyina or Enyena (Fanti) ; Enyena (Ashanti) ; Enyenga 
(Apollonian) ; Enyo (Aowin) ; Gung (Grunchi) ; Ofwho (Quitta) ; 
Ofwho (Krepi). 

The white-flowered silk cotton-tree of the fringing forests. 



106 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

one of the largest trees of West Africa. The wood is very light, 
and should be useful in making light wood articles, such as 
boxes and toys, but there is no market for it at present. The 
fibre is good, and the wood should also make pulp in paper- 
making ; but there is no market, owing to the expense involved 
in collecting it. 

Sterculiaceae. 

Heritiera utilis. Awabima (Twi) ; Pteryyota Wawampe'e (Ashanti) ; 
N'yankon, Yankom or Yankun (general West Coast). 
Good timber-tree, medium-sized. 
Sierculia cordifolia. WaAvapupuo (Twi) ; Duamenyi (Fanti). 

Tall tree ; height, 60 to 100 feet. The wood of little value, 
as it is very soft. Found in the fringing and intermediate 
forests. 
StercuUa tomentosa. 

Height, 40 to 50 feet. Intermediate and fringing forests. 
The fruit grows in clusters, kidney shaped, with a dense, reddish 
tomentum. 
StercuUa Barter ii. 

Flowers when the tree is leafless — appears covered with red 
flame. The wood is soft and of little value ; it should make a 
good paper-pulp. The inner bark used to make rope. 
StercuUa tragacantha. 

A medium-sized tree. Wood of little worth. 
Trijiilochiton Johnsonii. Wawa or Wawwaw (Twi) ; Owawa 
(Wassaw). 

A good timber-tree. Bark used locally for roofing. Strong, 
works well and has satiny sheen. When used in exposed places 
it is subject to dry-rot. Tall, straight-growing tree. Should 
be useful for inside building. 
Cola AfzeUa. 

Fringing forests. Monkey Cola. Fruit bright-red in colour, 
something like Kola. Tree grows to a height of 40 or 50 feet. 
Cola laurifoUa. 

A very small species. 
Cola acuminata. Bessi (Ashanti) ; Esseri (Apollonian) ; Ewasi 
(Aowin) ; Gwe (Grunchi) ; Evi (Quitta) ; Guru (Hausa). 
The Kola Nut of commerce is obtained from this tree. 
Cola caricifoUa. ' 

Nansonia altissima. 

Timber-tree ; useful for domestic purposes. 
Cola cordifolia. 

Found in the savannah forests. 
Cola sublohata. 



THE GOLD COAST 107 

Cola vera. ^ 

The Hausa, supposed to be the best. 
Cola verticulata. 

Tree little known and of little value. 

Scytopetalaceae. 

Scytopetalum Tarquense. 

A small tree of the evergreen forests, bearing white flowers. 

Ochnaceae. 

Lophira procera. 

Lophira is also called the Kaku or Red Ironwood Tree ; the 
most durable timber of the West Coast. Very valuable as fuel ; 
it has highly calorific properties. It grows solely in the maritime 
zone, in swampy land. It is of great weight, and will not float. 
Very useful for piles in wharves, etc. 

Lophira alata. 

A very fine, tall tree, growing from 20 to 50 feet. The bark 
is dark and rough ; timber very hard and durable. The seeds 
are rich in oils. The tree is sometimes mistaken for the Shea 
Butter Tree. Common in open grass country. 

Guttiferae. 

Pentadesma butyracece. Pija (Wassaw) ; Pija (Fanti) ; Ehukei 
(Apollonian) ; Asuaindokun (Aowin) ; Bromabina (Axim). 

Butter or Tallow Tree, An edible fat is obtained from the 
seeds. Also used in soap-making. A thick yellow juice exudes 
from the tree when cut. A fine tree. 
Allanblackia floribunda. Suein (Apollonian) ; Anane (Axim). 

Small tree, not well known. 
Garcinia Guineensis. Ablari (Fanti). 

A purgative is made from a decoction of the leaves. 
Haronga Madagascariensis. Ngodua (Fanti) ; Kursua (Apollonian). 
A yellow dye is obtained from the bark. The leaves are 
used as a medicine for dysentery. There is a red watery 
exudation from the bark. 
Psorospermum. 

A large shrub, sometimes may be called a tree, in the 
savannah forests. 

Cochlospcrmaceae . 

Cochlospermum tinctorium. 

A large shrub of the savannah forests. The bark is used 
in rope-making. A yellow dye is obtained from the roots. 
Lindackeria dentata. 

A medium-sized tree. 



108 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Violaceae. 

Alsodeia. Notonima (Ashanti). 

A shrubbery tree of little value. 
Smeathmannia pubescens. 

A shrubby tree with conspicuous white flowers. 

Flacourtiacese 

Oncoba echinata. 

A small tree with white cauline flowers. 
Oncoba Gilgiana. 

A large shrub. 
Oncoba dentata. 

A small tree. 
Rawsonia spinosa. 

A medium-sized tree. 
Smeathmannia pubescens. 

A shrubby tree with conspicuous white flowers. 

Lecythldaceae. 

Napoleona Vogelii. 

A small tree, grows by river banks. The wood is easily 
worked. Fruit edible. 

Rhizophoraceae. 

Anopyxis ealcenis. Kokoti (Wassaw) ; Anchi or Kokoti (Fanti) ; 
Abari (Apollonian). 

Good timber-tree, much used for fuel. 

Combretaceae. 

Combretum Afzelia. 

Found near rivers. 
Laguncularia racemosa. 

White Mangrove. Grows in swamps. 
Anogeissus leiocarpus. 

A tall tree, from 30 to 50 feet in height. The roots are used 
as chew-sticks. The heartwood very durable, brown or blackish- 
brown. The grey ash of sap and heart woods used as a mordant. 
Tannin and gum obtained from this tree. 
Combretum Zenkerii. 

A large, shrubby tree. 
Combretum sp. Esseah or Essia (general West Coast). 

The " Stink wood " Tree. 
Terminalia sp. Emril, or Emil or Emiri (general West Coast). 

The wood is used locally for shingles. In intermediate 
forests. Branches in tiers or whorls. A huge tree, bark black. 



THE GOLD COAST 109 

Terminalia superba. Offram (Twi) ; Ofifram (Fanti). 

Found in the fringing forests, of great height and extremely 
straight. Branches in whorls, barely noticeable in the full- 
grown tree. Timber medium strength and hardness, light 
coloured, with discoloured patches. Works up very well, but 
of no great value for export. 
Terminalia macroptera. 

Found in the savannah forests. 
Terminalia Togoensis. 

A small tree of dry zone, of no particular value. 
Pteleopsis. 

A large tree. Timber little used. 
Strephonema Apoloniensis. 

A small tree, species little known. 

Myrtaceae. 

Eugenia Guineensis. 

A large tree. Work used for many purposes. Fruit edible 
and medicinal. 
Eugenia Owariensis. 

Grows in the dry zone. A spreading tree. 
Psidium Guajava. Aduaba (Apollonian). 

The Guava Tree. Fruit edible. 

Sapotaces. 

Omphalocarpum sp. Assoro (Twi) ; Ketibubaka (Ac win), 

A workable wood obtained from it, also guttapercha. The 
seeds worn as ornaments at their feasts by ApoUonians, 

Mimusops muUinervis. 

Grows to the height of 60 or 80 feet, with a corresponding 
girth. Timber hard and durable, red in colour, with a fine 
grain. Its weight and hardness are against its ordinary use, 
but it is a fine wood for sleepers. 

Butyrospermtim Parkii. N'ku (Fanti) ; N'ku (Akwapim) ; lakuni 
(Quitta) ; Sakuni (Krepi). 

Shea Butter Tree. One of the most valuable trees, found very 
frequently. Bark thick, rough, and often gnarled and twisted. 
Flowers creamy-white, leaves straplike. The fruit is some- 
thing like a yellow plum, ripe in May. It is very similar in 
appearance to the Lophira alata, but the Shea butter tree exudes 
a white latex when cut ; the Lophira does not. Timber good, 
but as the tree is usually only from 20 to 30 feet in height 
(occasionally 50 feet), it is not large enough for most purposes. 
The vegetable oil or butter has an agreeable sweetish taste, 
much used in cooking. 



no WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Mimusops sp. Opapea (Twi) ; Opepeli (Fanti). 

Vegetable oils from all the Mimusops species. 
Mimusops Djave. Baku (Twi) ; Baku (Fanti) ; Baku (Ashanti) ; 
Makure (Apollonian) ; Makwe (Aowin) ; Abaku (Accra), 

Vegetable oils and fats obtained from if. Djave. A very 
good timber-tree. 
Vincentella ampressa. 

A new species. A large tree, found growing on the river 
banks. 
Chrysophyllum albidum. 

Edible fruit. Not so well known as Chrysophyllum Africanum. 
Chrysophyllum Africanum. 

The Star-apple Tree, often cultivated for its fruit, and also 
as a shade tree. 

Ebenaceae. 

Diospyros mespiliformis. 

A tree of the fringing forests — the Ebony Tree. Very 
abundant. Of medium size, 50 to 60 feet in height, 6 to 8 in 
girth. The heartwood is usually streaked with brown. The 
larger trees are generally hollow. 

Diospyros Mombuttensis. 

Diospyros xanthoxplamys. 

Oleaceae. 

Schrebera Golungensis. 

Found in the fringing forests. Very uncommon. A large 
tree ; timber very good. 

Loganiaceae. 

Strychnos emarginata and others. 
Anthocleista sp. 

A medium-sized tree, near fresh-water swamps. Large 
white flowers. Wood of no special value. 
Anthocleista magnifica. Honum (Twi). 

A small tree with very large leaves. 
Anthocleista nobilis. Otendui (Fanti) ; Tendeba (Apollonian) ; 
Tendeba (Aowin). 

A small tree, of little value. 

Apocynaceae. 

Landolphia bracteata. 

A vine-like tree. Does not yield rubber. 
Landolphia ferruginea. 

Like the above. 



THE GOLD COAST 111 

Landolphia Owariensis. Pau (Twi) ; Kwantama (Wassaw) ; Opaina 
(Fanti) ; Jama (Ashanti) ; Kwantama (general West Coast) ; 
Amale (Apollonian) ; Faia (Aowin) ; Danko (Hausa) ; Jah- 
danko (Accra). 

Two kinds of rubber obtained : " root-rubber," after 
crushing the bark and stems and washing out the rubber, 
or " white-ball," by tapping and scoring, and coagulating the 
latex as it exudes by lime-juice rubbed on the bark. It is 
valued at Is. 9d. to 2s. a pound, the root-rubber at Is. 6d. a 
pound. 
Landolphia florida. 

A quantity of milky juice which becomes a pasty mass, 
but has no market value. 
Landolphia Droogmansiana. 

Good rubber obtained when growing in dry ground, worth- 
less when in swampy ground. 
Landolphia Senegalensis. 
Landolphia Thompsonii. 

Widely spread in the fringing forests ; does not yield good 
rubber, only a pasty mass from the latex. 
Landolphia scandens. 

No yield of rubber. 
Landolphia Klainei. 

Inferior rubber. 
Carpodinus hirsuta. Alibida (Hausa). 

Very robust and hairy (hence its name). Found in mixed 
forest belts. It yields a flake or paste rubber, extracted by 
tapping and coagulated by boiling. 
Clitandra elastica. Beckindanko (Hausa). 

Yields a good rubber, sold at Is. 3d. or Is. 6d. a pound. 
Funtumia elastica. Fruntum(Ashanti) ; Efunmundon (Apollonian) ; 
Efunmundon (Aowin) ; Puni (Kjepi). 

The yield of this rubber-tree is called the Lagos or Silk 
rubber. Found in the evergreen rain forests. Very little 
inferior to Para rubber. The amount procured from F. elastica 
is less than Para rubber. 
Funtumia Africana. 

Spurious rubber-tree ; though in appearance very much 
like F. elastica, the leaves are coarser and pods longer. The 
latex, when coagulated, forms a sticky mass like birdlime, 
sometimes used for adulterating other latices. 
Alstonia Congensis. Niamidua (Twi) ; Sindra (Ashanti) ; Nimeri- 
baka (Apollonian). 

Wood rather soft ; only fit for inside building or toy-making. 
It grows best in the swamp country. A fairly large tree, slightly 



112 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

buttressed with smooth bark. The natives mix the latex with 
rubber. 
Rauwolfia Cumminsii. 
Rauwolfia vomitoria. 

A small tree, not over 20 feet in height. 
Polyadoa umbellata. 

Tree of 30 feet in height, growing in the fringing forests 
near rivers. 
Holarrhena Wulfsbergii. 

Grows in the fringing forests. A tree with drooping 
branches. Flowers white and fragrant. The wood is very 
soft, of little value. 
Voacanga Africana. 

A small tree, widely distributed. It has a milky latex, 
which is used in adulterating rubber. 

Asclepiadacese. 

Kanahia consimilis. 

A shrubby tree growing near water. 

Convolvulaceae. 

Prevostea Africana. 

A small tree, little known. 
Prevostea Heudelotii. 

Small tree ; wood of no value. 

Borraginacese. 

Cordia Irvingii. 

Found in the rain forests of the Okwawu hill system. 
Timber used locally for shingles. A spreading tree, reaching 
to about 60 feet in height. 
Ehretia cymosa. 

A small tree. Wood used for various purposes. Fruit 
edible and medicinal. 

Verbenaceae. 

Lantana camara. 

Shrubby tree. 
Lippia adoensis. 

Shrubby tree. 
Vitex megaphylla. 

Both Vitex species grow in the savannah forests. 
Vitex cuneata. 

A common tree about 30 feet in height. Of no known 
value. 



THE GOLD COAST 113 

Avicennia Africana. 

One of the tallest trees in the mangrove association, yielding 
a workable wood, medicine and tannin. 
Clerodendron splendens. 

A shrubby tree. 

Bignoniaceae. 

Spathodea campanulata. Osisku (Ashanti). 

A medium-sized tree, found in the fringing forests. 
Provides a useful timber, medicine, and from the seeds an 
article of food. Large yellow trumpet-shaped flowers. 
Dolichandrone lutea. 

A tree of about 30 feet in height. 
Kigelia pinnata. 

The fruit has a thick rind and is edible. Timber and drugs 
obtained from it. Sometimes called Sausage Tree, from the 
sausage-shaped fruits which hang down a long stalk. A small 
tree. 
Newbouldia Icevis. Sasanemasa (Ashanti). 

An evergreen tree, from 30 to 40 feet in height. Pink 
trumpet-shaped flowers. The natives use it as a boundary 
tree. 

Acanthaceae. 

Acantha montana. 

A shrubby tree having medicinal properties. 

Rubiaceae. 

Mitragyne macrophylla. Baya (Twi) ; Yar-yar, or Ya-ya (general 
West Coast) ; Baya (Aowin). 

A large tree growing in the fresh- water swamps. Timber 
good. 
Sarcocephalus esculentus. Kusia (Twi) ; Ekusawa (Fanti) ; Kishia 
(general West Coast) ; Baya (Aowin). 

Good timber, used locally. Wood of a golden yellow colour, 
very ornamental, hard and durable, easily worked. 
Sarcocephalus Russegeri. Osupawa (Fanti). 

The Russegeri grows in the savannah forests. 
Gardenia tenuifolia. 

Fruit edible. A bushy, ornamental tree. 
Urophyllum hirtellum. 

A shrubby tree. Dyes obtained from it. 
Randia genipceflora. 

A small tree having fine trumpet-shaped flowers. 
8 



114 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Randia maculata. 

A bushy tree, very ornamental when in flower. 
Oxyanthus tubiflorus. 

A very ornamental shrub or small tree. Timber, dyes 
and medicine obtained from it. 

Composltse. 

Vernonia conferta. 

A large-leaved, small tree. The timber of one vaiiety 
fairly good. 

Flint wood, not identified. Okisibisi (Fanti). 
Good timber, used for mine-props. 





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CHAPTER VII 
TOGO 

Introduction. 

During the latter part of 1911 I had the opportunity of visiting Togo. 
Since August 1914 it has been in the occupation of British and French 
troops, administered as a co-dominion. 

Forest Station work has been the main work of the Forest Depart- 
ment since the inception, both under the District Officer and subse- 
quently under the trained officer. There is only 1 per cent, of forests 
in the whole country. 

Lome, the capital of Togo, formed my starting-point, and there 
His Excellency the Governor and the Secretary of the Colony advised 
me as to the best route and supplied me with many interesting details 
as to the system of taxation, etc. 

Taxation. — In Lome every man above sixteen years of age has 
the choice of paying 6s. per year or working twelve days for the 
Government. On the coast it is found that the natives prefer to 
pay the tax, but inland the twelve days' work is usually given. This 
Government work consists of plantation and road making, bridge- 
building, erecting rest-houses, and many other kinds of public work. 

The subject may be divided into three sections : 

(1) The Forests between or at the Stations. 

(2) The Forest Department Plantations. 

(3) District Plantations. 

I. The Forests between or at the Stations. 

Near Lome the ground is very sparsely covered with thorny shrubs 
and occasional Baobabs, Adansonia digitata, but on nearing the valley 
of the Schio the soil improves and small plantations of sugar-cane 
appear. Though no attempt has been made here to develop this 
industry, the natives of Tagblekovke and other places sell large 
quantities of the cane. Oil palms are seen on both sides of the 
line, chiefly, however, on the river banks, owing to the annual grass 
fires. Scattered silk cotton-trees also occur along the river banks, 
otherwise only the nonal dry-zone vegetation is found. 

The rainfall, however, is quite sufficient for the growth of a deciduous 
forest. The remains of fringing forests on the banks of the Rivers 





Fig. 17. — One-year-old Oil Palms amorgst 
seven- to ten-year-old Trees, 1911. 



Fig. 18. — Two-year-old Oil Palm Plantation, 
Sokode, 




Fig. 19.— Three-year-old Oil Palm Plantation, Sokode. 




Fig. 20. — Four-year-old Oil Palm Plantation, Sokode 



TOGO 117 

Schio, Lili and Haho consist of Pterocarpus erinaceus, Erythrophlosum 
Guineense, Terminalia Togoensis and a few specimens of Afzelia or 
Cynometra. 

Passing on to the Haho-Baloe district, plantations occur at the 
junction of these rivers in an open plain of scanty dry-zone forest. 
A fringing mixed forest of the normal type, varying from 200 to 500 
yards in width, was found on the banks of each river, and as it formed 
a complete fire protection, was left untouched. In the open forest 
the most common trees are the Pseudocedrelas, Pterocarpus erinacexis, 
Butyrospermum Parkii and Terminalia. 

The rainfall varies at this spot from 28 to 39 inches annually. 
The higher rainfall is probably the true average, if considered in con- 
junction with the natural vegetation. A great change in the vegetation 
was noticeable between Nuatja and Atakpame ; the typical dry-zone 
trees, such as Pterocarpus erinaceus, Shea Butter, Lophira and others, 
were soon left behind, and on nearing the hilly country of Atakpame 
a more flourishing condition was evident. Oil palms were growing 
in profusion both on the banks of the rivers and also on the sides. 
Large cotton-trees, Triplochiton Nigericum, Iroko, Chlorophora excelsa, 
Sterculia cordifolia and other trees of this kind were seen. The rainfall 
is much higher here, averaging from 58 inches, spread over the 
months of April, May, June, July, August and September, and 
a little in October. This rises to 58 inches, falls to 52, 105 miles 
to the north of Atakpame, in the Sokode District. This is spread 
over the usual rainy season of West Africa ; more rain, however, 
falls in September than in the northern part of Southern Nigeria 
during the same month. After leaving the hills of Atakpame 
behind, we took the road to Sokode, and between the Rivers 
Tagbadja and Au the following dry-zone trees were most prevalent : 
Lophira alata, Shea Butter, Terminalia Togoensis and Pterocarpus 
erinaceus. As we advanced the Shea Butter Tree ceased, but more 
Terminalia were seen ; Pterocarpus in groups and Pseudocedrela 
Kotschyi became very prevalent. Fringing forests were seen in the 
level country which followed along the banks of the Ana River. 

On the third day's march I found a large specimen of Khaya 
Senegalensis and several smaller ones at a place just above the eighth 
parallel of latitude, below which the Khaya Senegalensis is rarely found. 
Beyond this were Paradaniella thurifera, Borassus flabelliformis, 
Fan Palm, Afzelia Africana and Shea Butter, and less of the 
species already mentioned. 

These were succeeded by small pure forests of Berlinia Kerstingii, 
Afzelia, Ormosia laxiflora, Bauhinia reticulata, Erythrina Senegalensis, 
Parinarium polyandrum and Parkia Africana, syn. filicoidea. Nearing 
Blita rest-house, bamboos appeared, Agave rigida, and also a Ceara- 
rubber plantation. 



118 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

It was interesting to find on inquiry that this plantation was 
the result of 1,000,000 Ceara seeds distributed to the natives in 1907. 
The vegetation on the banks of the rivers and streams consisted 
mostly of deciduous forest, with typical dry-zone trees at the 
edges. In addition, Pentadesma Kerstingii and Dalbergia melanoxylon 
were seen. 

The last-named species has, according to German botanists, been 
confused with Diospyros mespiliformis, so far as the timber is concerned. 
The last two miles before reaching Sokode were covered with 
extensive plantations. 

Dry-zone Trees. — Between Sokode and Bassari, a distance of 37 
miles, are the Malfakassa Mountains, of which the summits are mostly 
bare, owing to the annual grass fires, but a dense growth of Berlinia 
Kerstingii, Terminalia and Afzelia Africana grow in the moister 
valleys. 

On the more open ground the usual dry-zone trees were seen, and 
the Khaya Senegalensis on the banks of each of the four rivers. 

The rainfall is the same as that of Sokode, about 52 inches, 
although the atmosphere is moister, which is partly due to the higher 
altitude. 

The somewhat cooler temperature of the air causes heavy dews, 
and these also, in their turn, increase the moisture of the air. The 
diJ0ferences are thus very marked between Sokode and Bassari as 
to the atmospheric moisture, and also as to the variation in the growth 
of the trees at the two stations. 

After a short visit of two days I left Bassari for Jendi, 70 miles 
to the north-west. One range of hills on the way is noticeable for 
the pure formation of iron ore which " crops out " and causes the 
tree-growth to be small. 

The vegetation becomes very sparse towards the valley of the 
Oti, 30 miles distant from Bassari, and this is owing to a great change 
in the climatic conditions as compared with Bassari, as well as the 
annual grass fires. The sole representatives of the dry-zone vegetation, 
which, near Bassari, had originally consisted of Khaya Senegalensis, 
Afzelia and Shea Butter trees, are the Baobabs, Adansonia digitata. 

The rainfall is only 43 inches per year. The poor vegetation found 
near Jendi gradually gives way, between that station and Kete- 
Kratschi, to more typical dry -zone trees, such as Shea Butter, Lophira, 
Afzelia and Berlinia Kerstingii. 

Oil palms were found on the third day growing near the banks 
of the streams, and more Afzelia in the open country. Mimusops 
multinervis and Diospj^ros were found near the River Volta, at the edge 
of a wide belt of evergreen forest. 

The dry season is much prolonged in most years. On the average 
the rainfall is 46' 8 inches. At the next station on the tour, Pfandu, 



TOGO 119 

the rainfall rises to 55 inches per year. Near the summit of the 
station hill the soil is poor, but excellent on the lower slopes. 

The climatic conditions of Pfandu, a substation to Misahohe, are 
unfavourable, and labour is less obtainable. The road between these 
two stations passes through very poor dry-zone forest, but on entering 
the Misahohe mountainous region we came upon a fine evergreen 
forest. The most common trees noticed were Khaya Klainii, Mahogany, 
Iroko and Terminalia superba, the shingle-wood tree, also Triplo- 
chiton, Sterculia cordifoUa, Carapa procera, Piptadenia Africana, 
Pentaclethra macrophylla, Detarium Guineensis, Brachystegia spicce- 
formis, Berlinia acuminata, Afrormosia laxiflwa, Satinwood, Alstonia 
Congensis, Bicinodendron Africanum and Eriodendron Nigericum. 
The mahoganies of this district were remarkably fine trees, mostly 
over 10 feet in girth. 

A written permit, costing 3s. per tree, has to be obtained for 
cutting trees, and also permission from the Commissioner, before 
forest land may be cleared. 

The high rainfall of Misahohe, which is 62 inches per year, produces 
a very moist atmosphere. 

After a visit of three days to the Misahohe Station, I left for 
Palime, the terminus of the Lome Railway. On the way down the 
mountain, the contrast between the eastern and western slopes was 
very noticeable, a deciduous forest covering the eastern slope and 
an evergreen forest the western. For the first 10 miles from Palime 
on the way to Lome, mahoganies, oil palms and other trees abounded, 
but gradually gave way to the same drier type of forest as that seen 
on the Nuatja railway-line. 

This condition of vegetation continued until Lome was reached, 
a distance of 75 miles. 

II. The Forest Department Plantations, 

During 1907 there was a Forestry Conference in Berlin with regard 
to the afforestation of the Colony of Togo (which is wooded only to 
the extent of 1 per cent.), with the result that the area of Haho-Baloe 
was first chosen, and the plantation started at the junction of the 
rivers. 

A fringing mixed forest on each bank of the river was left untouched, 
as they formed a fire protection for the plantation. Pseudocedrelas, 
Pterocarpus erinacetis, Butyrospermum Parkii and Terminalia were 
the most common trees found in the open forest between the 
rivers. 

The altitude of this area above sea-level is about 480 feet. It 
slopes slightly from north to south and is triangular in shape. 

Seedlings were first tried, but did not survive the first season, 



120 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

and since that time seeds have been sown, and this proved a great 
success. Eight species of trees have been used to form these plan- 
tations : 

(1) Teak, Tectona grandis. 

(2) Afzelia Africana, also called Rhodesia Mahogany or Apa. 

(3) Sasswood, Erythrophloeum Guineense. 

(4) African Mahogany, Khaya Senegalensis. 

(5) Khaya Klainii, Mahogany. 

(6) Iroko, Chlorophora excelsa. 

(7) Kapok, Ceiba pentandra. 

(8) Anogeissus Leiocarpus, Chew-stick Tree. 

One-sixth of the total area, however, has been planted with teak ; 
in all, 491,300 seedlings. The ErythrophlcBum seedlings are most 
numerous, the wood of this species being hard, durable and termite 
resisting. It has been used with great success for piles and trestles 
in bridge-building. 

Afzelia and the two mahoganies will be valuable and useful 
timbers, especially the mahoganies, as they are indigenous to the 
country, and there is not the element of speculation attending 
introduced trees. 

In addition to the eight chief species named above, a few specimens 
of Detarium Guineense (the Dita fruit of Sierra Leone) and Cynometra 
were planted, but their growth is slow. A mixed crop, consisting 
of Parkia fiUcoidea, the Locust Tree, Prosopis oblonga, Anogeissus 
leiocarpus and Detarium Guineense {Senegalense), has also been 
planted. 

The mixture is a good one, but the growth has been slow. The 
general appearance of the area where teak has been planted, in spite 
of the fact that the bush was left standing, is that of a teak plantation, 
for the teak has outgrown all the indigenous trees and formed a 
complete thicket. 

Owing to the lack of drainage in the soil, as well as attacks of 
the borer, the Khaya Senegalensis has grown slowly. Slow growth 
is noticed also in the Apa, Afzelia Africana, but that seems to be typical 
of the tree. 

During the first year the cost of planting (including building and 
labour) worked out at £4 4s. an acre, but by the third year this amount 
was reduced to £1 2s. The valuation of the whole plantation is at 
least £10,000. 

The second Forest Department's afforestation area is Mo-Kamaa, 
which is being planted in a similar manner and with similar planting 
methods to the area situated near the Haho-Baloe. Tax labour has 
been used to a large extent in these plantations. The situation is 
particularly suitable foT planting operations, owing to its being pro- 



TOGO 121 

tected on two sides by the rivers from the annually recurring fires 
of this locality. The altitude is about 500 feet above sea-level. 

As in the case of Haho, nurseries were made for oil palms only, 
various species being sown in lines, between which the forest growth 
was left standing, so as to form shade for the seedlings. Approximately 
600,000 seedlings have survived, about 400,000 Khayas and 200,000 
teak. 

Dry-zone mahogany, Khaya Senegalensis, and teak have been 
planted in addition to the oil palm. The Khaya, even up to 12 feet 
in girth, is found all over the locality, and near the bank of the 
Kamaa a few oil palms. 

The teak has grown much faster than the Khaya, the average 
height of the former being 6 feet and that of the latter only 2 feet. 
The teak seedlings are beginning to outstrip the indigenous trees 
in the locality. 

The mixture of these two trees, as far as can be judged, has been 
a great success. For, by the persistent foliage of the Khaya falling 
to the ground at a different period to that of the teak, the necessary 
protection to the soil, when the teak-trees are leafless, is thus given, 
and the Khaya (Mahogany) benefits by being drawn up by the quickly 
growing teak, and in both cases there is less tendency to form strong 
side branches. 

With the advent of the proposed railway, the timber in this 
locality will be of great value ; but even without this advantage the 
present value is at least £1,000. 

The planting scheme contemplated is enormous, and includes an 
area of 96,000 acres. An actual start has been made with 295 acres. 

It is an interesting fact that the mixed plantations in the afiforesta- 
tion areas have nearly all been made by the Forest Department, and 
the pure plantations by the Commissioners at the District Stations. 

Approximately 300 acres are composed of mixed plantations 
and 256 of pure plantations. 

The following mixed plantations are found in the Haho-Baloe 
afforestation area : 

(1) Sasswood and Teak. 

(2) Sasswood, Teak and Mahogany, Khaya senegalensis. 

(3) Sasswood, Teak and Khaya Klainii. 

(4) Sasswood, Afzelia and Cynometra Afzelia. 

(5) Sasswood and Afzelia Africana. 

(6) Sasswood, Khaya Senegalensis and Afzelia Africana. 

(7) Sasswood and Khaya Klainii. 

The most profitable mixture of all these is the teak, Khaya Klainii 
and Sasswood, though all have something in their favour. 

These mixed forests need much attention, as one species frequently 



122 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

outgrows another, one suppressing the other, and the mixture con- 
sequently no longer existing. More European supervision is required 
to remove suppressed or crooked trees. 



III. District Plantations. 

Avenues of trees suitable for street-planting have been largely 
made in Lome. The Terminalia catalpa (almond-tree) is one of the 
most useful trees for this purpose ; at least 12 feet of the stems are 
quite free from branches, and thus the trees cannot harbour many 
insects. 

The coconut, though made use of for this purpose, is not so 
suitable, as it lacks height-growth ; the Dracaena also, which does 
not improve the roadside, and a species of Ficus, probably platyphylla, 
which loses its foliage in the dry season, are neither of them a success. 
Near the Government Plouse a large number of Casuarina equisitifolia 
have been planted ; these have flourished well, as they can stand the 
ocean wind blowing almost continuously at Lome. 

In the Experimental Gardens, which are situated 80 feet above 
sea-level, there are many interesting varieties. 

The soil, a mixture of very poor sand with a great deal of iron, 
is not favourable to height-growth of the teak (Tectona grandis) ; the 
seeds, though in great quantities, are small and ill-developed. The 
mahogany, too, showed poor height and girth growth, the locality 
was evidently not suitable for it. Other trees that did not seem to 
thrive were Cedrela odorata, the Cigar-box Cedar Tree, Pithecolobium 
dulcis, Funtumia elastica, Bread-fruit, Artocarpus incisa, Ficus Vogelii, 
Borassus flabellifer, Bixa orellana, Acacia catechu, Casuarina equisiti- 
folia, Manihot Glaziovii and Manihot dichotama ; but the oil palms, 
Elceis Guineensis, and Ficus elastica were doing exceeding well and 
were of a healthy green colour. Bamboos and the usual tropical 
fruits had also been planted. The Kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra 
according to German botanists, and Eriodendron Nigericum accord- 
ing to Kew botanists), which has been planted too far apart, has 
made very little growth. 

Under the guidance of the Director I visited the Agricultural 
School at Nuatja, 50 miles from Lome. Experimental work of all 
kinds was carried on here. In the nurseries were to be found Kapok, 
Ceiba pentandra, cotton and oil palms. In a machinery shed were 
a cotton gin and press, and husking machines for other seed. Lectures 
are given early in the year, and as the season advances practical work 
takes their place. 

A great drawback to the extension of the Atakpame District 
plantations (95 miles from Lome) is the shortness of labour, as the 
natives pay their tax instead of working. 



TOGO 123 

The main plantations have been made on the east side of the 
station, on a slope facing south. Teak has been very largely planted 
here, no less than 25,400 seedlings since 1901, when the work was 
started. Others are Treculia Africana, African Bread-fruit, Sasswood, 
Mimusops rmdtinervis, the hard red wood of the Olokomeji Reserve, 
Kapok, Ceiba pentandra, and Cashew Nuts. A new Piptadenia, named 
Kerstingii after Dr. Kersting, was tried, but most of the plants died. 
An avenue of Eucalyptus citrifolia, with its delicate foliage, has 
developed well and fully deserves mention. 

The teak has grown well everywhere, except in a small swampy 
area, where the trees look unhealthy. The very large crops of seeds 
during the last three years have caused the height-growth to fall off 
in comparison with earlier years. 

Most of the trees are planted too far apart, but nevertheless, 
seeing the whole hillside, east of the station, covered with a teak forest 
produces a very wonderful effect on the mind. 

If the teak alone is taken as a basis of valuation, the total value 
cannot be less than £2,500. 

The Sokode District plantations have a great advantage over 
those at Atakpame, as tax labour has been used almost entirely and 
the population is much larger than elsewhere. As soon as an experi- 
ment with regard to agricultural crops, fruit and forest trees proved 
satisfactory, plantations were at once made. 

The orchards, farms and plantations begin on the south-east slope 
of the hillside, round the station to the south, finishing to the west 
and north-west of the office building. The plantations occur between 
the altitude of 1,000 and 1,260 feet. The variations of soil are very 
remarkable, from poor laterite to rich loam, from sand to swamp ; 
but it is not to be wondered at, when the large area is taken into 
account. 

As at nearly all the other stations, teak has been the most exten- 
sively planted tree, some 81,000 seedlings having been set out on 
an area of 115-9 acres. Oil palms have also been planted in great 
numbers. These are set some distance apart to get the full benefit 
of the sun and develop large crowns and stems. Some of the other 
species planted are : Khaya Senegalensis, Iroko, Funtumia elastica, 
Ficus elastica, Ceara Rubber, Para, Hevea Braziliensis, Manihot 
dichotama, Manihot heptajjhylla and Manihot Pianhyensis. Three or 
four species only of the following trees : Albizzia Ccesalpinia, including 
Sappan, Cassia florid a, Cedrela odorata, Berlinia Kerstingii, Ceiba jjen- 
tandra. Dttarium Senegalense, Diospyros mespiliformis, Anogeissus 
leiocarpus, Eucalyptus, Melia azedarach, Morinda citrifolia, Ormosia 
laxifiora, Parkia Africana, Pentadesma Kerstingii, Poinciana regia, 
Pseudocedrela Kotschyi, Pterocarpus erinaceus and Aspidosperma 
Quebracho. 



124 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

The mixed plantations are not very plentiful, but teak and oil 
palms have been planted together, though not systematically, and 
have proved a very profitable mixture, which is worthy of notice here. 
In its early years the oil palm is a shade-bearing tree, so that the shade 
of the teak does not hinder its growth. In the oil-bearing season the 
teak is leafless, which is beneficial to the formation of fruit in the oil 
palm. The dense foliage of the oil palm kills the adventitious shoots 
or side branches of the teak, so rendering pruning unnecessary. In the 
dry season the soil is protected most thoroughly by the evergreen 
foliage of the oil palm, and its masses of small roots conserve the 
moisture of the soil, while the wide-spreading roots of the teak allow 
the surface water to run away. For instance, teak and Iroko are 
not so suitable a mixture, as they both cast their leaves at the same 
time, though when planted together the teak tends to accelerate 
the height-growth of the Iroko, and also keeps it freer from the 
attacks of the gall bug. 

If space permitted, many more instances of the advantage and 
disadvantage of these mixtures might be given. 

Orchards have been largely planted at Sokode too. Oranges, 
limes, tangerines and Cola vera have done well, and the Spondias 
dulcis yields very large fruit. The date palms have not yet fruited. 
Fibre plants, including sisal hemp, and the Panama palms seem to 
be growing well ; fibre for Panama hats is obtained from this palm. 

A substation of Sokode, Bassari, was my next stopping place. 
The station is situated on the northern side of the mountain, over- 
looking the valley of the River Kamaa. The plantations, with the 
exception of the Ficus elastica, which is 200 feet higher up, are all 
planted below the station. The approximate altitude is 1,350 feet 
above sea-level. 

The following species have been most extensively planted : Teak, 
Oil Palms, Afzelia, Khaya Senegalense, Iroko, Ebony, Kapok, Funtumia, 
Ficus elastica, Manihot heptaphylla, Manihot Pianhyensis, Aspido- 
sperma Quebracho, Ccesalpinia Sappan and Cassia florida. Large 
orchards had been made, and these contained tangerines, lemon and 
many other kinds of tropical fruits ; and very fine specimens of 
Eucalyptus trees showed how suitable this localitj' was for them. 

About 200,000 trees have been planted here within ten years. 

Funtumia, when planted with teak, grows well in this area, as 
the shade of the teak is beneficial to it ; but planted alone, the leaves 
become a poor colour and drop prematurely. The same thing is 
noticeable when planted with mahogany. 

In the case of Ebony, one of the knottiest forestry problems of 
Europe, viz. that of finding suitable trees for admixture, has been 
solved. Many of them died when planted pure, but the gaps being 
filled with teak, the ebony seedlings, put into competition with this 



TOGO 125 

fast-growing tree, have been " drawn " up quicker than they would 
have otherwise grown, and have done remarkably well. 

The most northerly station that I visited was Jendi, approximately 
on latitude 9-30, at an altitude of 640 feet above sea-level. The method 
of planting was slightly different at Jendi, agricultural crops being 
grown for three years between the rows of forest-tree seeds, only 
the oil palms and teaks being planted out as one-year seedlings from 
the nursery. 

Besides these two species, Khaya Senegalensis, Afzelia Africana, 
Date Palms, Ceara Rubber, and Ramboug Rubber have also been 
planted. Altogether 457,200 seedlings are growing. 

As firewood alone is worth 3d. a bundle, timber of all kinds is very 
valuable in this locality, the teak plantation alone being worth £200. 
Kete-Ki-atschi, the station adjoining Jendi and overlooking the 
Volto Valley, is a specially interesting one, because it was started by 
Graf Zech, the late Governor of Togo, who was so desirous of seeing 
plantations made everywhere. At this station the plantations were 
first made half a mile away, and these have done better than the 
later ones planted to the east of the station. 

Teak has been largely planted, and considering the poor soil and 
low rainfall, has done remarkably well. For the first time a parasite 
in the shape of a species of Loranthus was found growing on the upper 
branches of two large teak-trees, but no diminution in the growth 
of the teak was noticeable. Afzelia, Khaya Klainii and Khaya 
Senegalensis have been planted in large numbers, and experiments 
made with Albizzia lebbek, Poinciana regia, Acacia catechu and Ceiba 
2)entandra. A few oil palms and Casuarinas have found a place in 
the plantations. Eight miles from the Volta Valley is the station 
of Pfandu, situated on an open, isolated hill with a sheer cliff to the 
east and sloping gradually away to the north-west and south. 

The only variation here in the planting system was that Cassada 
was largely used as an agricultural crop between the rows of tree 
seedlings, which were put in the year after the Cassada had been 
planted. Though the Cassada afforded a shade for the young seedlings, 
the latter did not seem to show sufficient growth to warrant a further 
trial of the system. The teak especially thrives here, the tree having 
reached a height of 36 feet and a girth of 14 inches, and these trees 
have already been felled for house-building purposes. The plantation 
is valued at £550. 

Ceara rubber is now being tapped on a large scale. Sasswood, 
ErytJirophloeum Guineense, Iroko, Oil Palms, and Funtumia elastica 
have been planted in large numbers, and a few Afzelias, Diospyros 
mespiliformis and Kapok trees. 

The hill station of Misahohe overlooks the valley of the Chedscho 
and Agu, with the highest mountain in Togo opposite. The people 



126 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

have means to pay the tax here, so labour is scarce and prisoners 
are employed in keeping the plantations clean. The altitude of the 
highest plantation is 1,800 feet above sea-level. Manihot Glaziovii 
has been planted in greater numbers than any other tree ; next comes 
Teak, then Para Rubber, of which one had been tapped with satisfactory 
results, Funtumia elastica, Oil Palms, Khaya Klainii, Sasswood and 
Cola vera. Small plantations of Ficus elastica, Cocoa and Anogeissus 
leiocarpus have also been made. One curious mixture was seen. Teak 
and Cola vera ; the teak-trees tended to grow much faster, and the 
Cola benefited by the shade. 

The most northerly and the driest stations are Sansane Mangu 
and Kalangasshi, where I was told 1,037 acres had been planted with 
Teak, Khaya Senegalensis, Ceara Rubber and Afzelia. It is proposed 
to form the third afforestation area of 15,000 acres at Kalangasshi. 

In smaller quantities are to be found the Locust Bean, Parkia 
fiUcoidea, Manihot Glaziovii, Shea Butter, Iroko, Ficus elastica, Oil 
Palms, Funtumia elastica, Afzelia Africana and Kapok. Some teak 
and a few other trees had been planted at Bismarckburg, an old sub- 
station to Kete-Kratschi, and the same varieties at Ho, a substation 
to Misahohe. 

I was unable to obtain figures as to the number of trees planted 
at the above three stations, but teak is reported to be doing well 
at them all. 

In addition to the species of indigenous trees planted, and also 
introduced, species such as Teak, Tectona grandis, and many others 
have been planted on a small scale. 



IV. NOTES ON INDIGENOUS TREES 

Pandanaceae. 

Pandanus Togoensis. Kpa (Ewe). 

6| feet in height. 
Pandanus Kerstingii. Aba (Tsehandjo). 

32 1 feet in height. 

Gramineae. 

Oxytenanthera Abyssinia. 

Bamboo. 19| feet to 26 feet in height. 
Andropogon SorgJmm. Wo (Ewe). 

Used in broom-making and roof-covering. 

Palmae. 

Raphia vinifera. Ala (Ewe) ; Taro (Tschandjo) ; Kpako (Anago) ; 
Olio (Akposso). 

Leaves used for brooms and brushes, mats, baskets, weaving, 
etc. 
Phoenix spinosa or Phcenix reclinata. 

32| feet high. Leaves, weaving nets, etc. 
Elceis Guineensis. 

Oil palm. Covering for roofs from leaves. 

Weaving of all kinds, coco fibre, carpets, brushes. Nuts. 
Borassus flabelUforniis or Hyphcene Togoensis, Hyphcene coriocece. 

Plaiting for hats, nets, etc. 
Carlvdovica palmata. 

Flagellariaceae. 

Flagellaria indica L. 

The tough outer stems used as ropes. 

Bromellaceae. 

An/inas. Atoto (Ewe). 

An attempt has been made to bring the Togo pineapple 
into the markets, but without success. Fibre much used in 
weaving, etc. 

Liliacese. 

: Dzogbeblobe (Ewe). 

Sansevieria Guineensis. Baugbaningbamu (Tschandjo). 

Long, flat leaves, 4| feet long. Fibres useful in commerce. 
Bowstring hemp. 



128 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Sansevieria cylindrica. 

6| feet long. Fibres useful in commerce. Bowstring hemp. 
Aloe Barteri. 
Aloe Buetineri. 

Fibre from leaves of both Aloes. 

Amaryllidacese. 

Agava Sisalana. 
Mauritius hemp. 

Both have been introduced into Togo. Fibre used in 
weaving. 

Taccaceae. 

Tacca pinnatifida. Dzogbenyabo (Ewe) ; Ludju (Tschandjo) ; Boti 
(Dyakossi). 

Used as a vegetable, having tubers like a potato, about the 
size of the fist. Leaves much divided. Fibres used in weaving 
all sorts of articles. 

Musaceae. 

Wild bananas. 

Mohammedan rosaries are made from the seeds. 
Musa textilis. 

Fibre much used. 

Marantaceae. 

Aframomum. 

Leaves for roofs. 
Clinocjyne flexuosa. Fita (Haussa) ; dworom (Asante). 

Leaves used in paper-making. 

Ulmaceee. 

Celtis Prantlii. 

Dwarf variety. Bark fibre very much used. 
Celtis integrifolia. Tyentyem (Mangu) ; Diki (Haussa) ; Kokoja 
(Losso) ; Patakli (Atakpame). 

130 to 162A feet high. Wood not very good. 

Moraceae. 

Chlorophora excelsa. Logo asagu (Ewe) ; Ssare (Tschandjo) ; 
Ukloba (Akposso) ; Odum (Asante) ; Sserre (Kratschi) ; Roco 
(Dahomey). 

130 to 195 feet high. From 39 to 65 feet in circumference. 
One of the highest trees in the Colony. One of the most useful 
trees of West Africa for building purposes and furniture. 



TOGO 129 

Musanga Smithii. 

65 feet in height. The wood very light, sometimes takes 
the place of cork. Wood used for cigar boxes, also sometimes 
in cellulose factories. 
Myrianthus arboreus. Avogolo or awogolu (Ewe). 
Myrianihus seratus. 

Like horse chestnut in appearance ; orange flowers. Wood 
brittle, used for fences. 
Antiaris Africana (syn. Antiaris toxicaria). Logo (Ewe) ; Ssare 
(Tschandjo). 
Fruit fig-like. 
Ficus grandicarpa. Furu (Tschandjo). 

Milky juice oozes from bark when cut. 65 feet in height. 
Bark smooth ; regular branching. Figs gathered in March. 
Ficus vallis chondoe. 
Ficus exasperata. Fola (Tschandjo). 
Ficus bembicicarpa. Keda (Tschandjo). 

There are about 30 varieties of figs. 
Ficus lutea. 

Ficus rokko. Keda (Tschandjo). 
Ficus toliifolia. Adyokukola (Tschandjo). 
Ficus umbrosa. Tisemu (Tschandjo). 
Ficus djurensis. Tura (Tschandjo). 
Ficus brachypus. Ebo (Ewe) ; Bauri (Haussa). 

Reddish bark. Wood heavy. 
Ficus tesselata. 
Ficus dusenivides. 
Ficus Togoensis. 
Ficus sohodensis. 

Proteaceae. 

Faures speciosa. 

Protea Bismarckii. Dtidiirede (Tschandjo), 

Wood yellowish-red in colour, used for furniture. Height 
321 feet. 

Olacaceae. 

Ximenia Americana. 

Yellow heartwood resembles the scented white sandalwood. 

Anonaceae. 

Uvaria chamcB. Agbana (Ewe) ; Pereng (Kabure) ; Liasa (Atak- 
pame) ; Padiivin (Difale). 

Small tree with edible fruit. Wood greyish-brown, fairly 
heavy. 

9 



130 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

CleistophoUs j)(itetis. Baledia or Welengele (Tschandjo) ; Nuso or 
Aru (Atakpame). 

Height 32| feet to 65 feet. Wood light— used for barrels 
and drums — of a grey colour. 
Hexalobus morepetalus. Tschabola buanda (Tschandjo) ; Tumba- 
laka (Atakpame). 

Grows to large tree in Gallery Forests — small in Savannah. 
No trial of wood made yet. 
Xylopia cethiopica. Tso (Ewe) ; Ssosi (Tschandjo). 

Light yellow wood of flexible nature, used for masts of boats. 
Xylopia parviflora. Tschabolabunda (Tschandjo). 

Root wood takes place of cork. 
Xylopia Eminii. Akatapuressosi (Tschandjo). 

Fairly large tree, wood reddish, used for furniture. 
Anona sp. 

Root wood of all the species forms a substitute for cork. 

Myristicaceae. 

Pycnanthus Komho. 6bala (Atakpame). 
Soft wood. Used in box-making. 

Capparidaceae. 

CratcBva religiosa. Anaraolum (Tschandjo) ; Dengma (Mangu) ; 
Tschengunga (Asante). Wood can be turned easily — like 
boxwood in appearance. 

Rosaceae. 

Parinarium cur atelli folium. Molemole (Tschandjo) ; Insofani- 
woche (Mangu) ; Potepote (Kratschi) ; Yafo (Kpedyi). 

Trees of stunted appearance in Savannah, but growing 
higher in better soil. Wood is oak-like and very hard — uniform 
texture. Used for wooden pegs or pins, and other purposes 
in building, when durability is important. 
Parinarium subcordatum. Bende noso (Tschandjo) ; Insuopangi 
(Mangu) ; Pekire (Losso). 

Used for rafters in roofs by the natives of Mangu. 
Parinarium polyandrum. Bende noso (Tschandjo). 
Parinarium mobola. 

Never attains any great height. 
Parinarium Kerstingii. 

Attains much greater height than the last, a tree worthy 
of notice. 

Leguminosse. 

Albizzia Brownii. Pangalan (Tschandjo). Kokpara (Atakpame). 
Large, handsome forest tree, with greyish-green cracked 



TOGO 131 

bark. Wood fairly hard. Light sapwood, dark brownish 
heartwood. 
Albizzia Angolensis. Atikuze (Ewe). Kiipaussuto (Tschandjo). 

Height 97| feet. Diameter 4| feet, 
Albizzia fastigata. Asihue (Atakpame). 

The Albizzias are all proof against the termites on account 
of their hardness. Wood of A. fastigata used for the felloes 
of wheels. 
Acacia catechu. 
Acacia Arabica. Magarua or Bagarua (Hausa). 

About 19| feet in height. Characteristic tree of the Steppe 
north of Oti. Numerous. 
Acacia suma. Gudjapiipu or Gudzawuwu (Ewe) ; Chrinika (Atak- 
pame). 

Height 32| feet. Yellowish-white wood, heavy and very 
hard ; used for agricultural implements. 
Dichrostachys nutans. Ssossosi (Tschandjo) ; Beniti (Agome). 

Hard wood — dark heartwood, almost black — used for 
making walking-sticks. 
Prosopis oblonga. Akaka (Ewe) ; Pato (Tschandjo) ; Pangi 
(Mangu) ; Kaki (Atakpame) ; Kpanena (Kratschi). 

Hard wood — termite-proof. Young branches used for 
handles of axes and hatchets. 
Tetrapleura Thoningii. Prekese (Ewe). 

A stately tree, only known in Akposso at present. The 
wood not yet much used. 
Piptadenia Kerstingii. Kapaussuto (Kabure). 

Huge tree — stands singly. Blossoms in January, when it 
is leafless. Fruit appears in April. 
Piptadenia Africana. Alagbata (Atakpame), 

Wood doubtless of great value. 
Entanda Abyssinia. Ondutu (Tschandjo) ; Kiria (Hausa) ; Kets- 
chikantscha (Kratschi). 

Tree stunted, leafless in the dry season. Wood spongy, not 
of much value. 
Entanda scandens. Klokpakpa (Ewe). 

The well-known Liana, with husks 3^ feet long, growing 
abundantly in the coast provinces. The fibre is much used in 
the making of nets, ropes, etc, 
Parkia Africana. Wo (Ewe) ; Ssuto (Tschandjo) ; Dorana 
(Haussa) Sorono (Asante) ; Gotschone (Kratschi), 

Height 65 feet. The hard heavy, pale yellowish wood, locust- 
wood of Sierra Leone. In commerce known as Caindah wood. 
Parkia filicoidea. Ena (Atakpame). 

Grows plentifully on the coast of Atakpame. 



132 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

ParJcia biglobosa. 

Height 97| feet. Bark from a clear grey to dark brown, 
much furrowed. 
Erythrophlceum Guineense. Tsa (Ewe) ; Kekeu (Tschandjo). 

Wood much valued for its heartwood and because of its 
rarity. Withstands the attacks of termites, and therefore 
much used in house and ship building, wheels for gun-carriages, 
etc. Takes a foremost place in export of wood. 
Burkea Africana. Tschisili (Tschandjo) ; Kiriandutschi (Haussa) ; 
Esseresu opirimii (Asante) ; Atakpla (Atakpame) ; Kinkiri 
(Kratschi). 

Height 78 feet. Broad crown. Leaves covered with silky 
hairs ; wood used by the natives for sword handles. 
Cynometra megalophylla. Agumua (Tschandjo). 

Found in the coast forests. 
Cynometra Afzelii. 
Cynometra sp. 

Detarium microcarpum. Depapate (Tschandjo) ; Naparli (Mangu) 
Kokpakpa (Kratschi) ; Zaklu (Misahohe). 

A very heavy wood of a brown colour. Used in boat-building. 
Detarium Senegalense. 

Has a larger fruit than the D. microcarpum. A beautifully 
marked hard wood. Grows to a great height. Found exclu- 
sively on the coast. 
Detarium Guineense. 

Tamarindus indica. Keditia (Tschandjo) ; Samia (Haussa) ; 
Tamarese (Asante) ; Kopu (Kratschi). 

Grows near farms and in the prairies. A clear-coloured 
wood — very heavy to work ; will not float in water ; used for 
mill-wheels, powder coal, etc. 
Afzelia Africana. Papac (Ewe) ; Welu (Tschandjo) ; Apakka 
(Anago) ; Ukpami (Akposso) ; Kao (Haussa) ; Papau (Asante) ; 
Kebarre (Kratschi) ; Kpakpa (F6). 

Height 48 f feet. A very beautifully marked wood. Proof 
against attacks of termites; much valued in building and for 
table-making, also mortars for crushing yams. 
Daniellia thurifera. Lipiti or Dsati (Ewe) ; Tschato (Tschandjo) ; 
Orokpo (Anago) ; Auwolo (Akposso) ; Masche (Haussa) ; 
Saingja (Asante) ; Kenjang (Kratschi) ; Sa (F6). 

Height from 65 to 97| feet. Common in the prairies. The 
sapwood is white, and the heartwood reddish and very hard. 
Barrels are made from it. 
Berlinia Heudelotiana. Adema or Baba (Ewe) ; Budau (Tschandjo) ; 
Kochoa (Kratschi). 

Large tree with white showy flowers, growing on banks of 



TOGO 133 

rivers. Heavy wood of light brown colour. Only of secondary 

importance. 
Berlinia Kerstingii. Tau (Tschandjo). 

65 to 97| feet high, grows on open prairie. Wood used for 
rafters in house-building. 
Berlinia accuminata. 
Berlinia tomentosa. 

BauUnia reticulata. Klo (Ewe) ; Baku (Tschandjo) ; Nyama 
(Mangu) ; Okokotaka (Asante) ; Tamenasi (Atakpame) ; Aklo 
(Anecho). 

Fairly heavy wood of dirty brown colour, easily worked. 
Very plentiful in the prairies. 
Dialium Guineense. Zigbli or Toe (Ewe) ; Madfi (Atakpame). 

32 1 to 48 1 feet high, valued as a wood for building, known 
as Black Tumbler or Velvet Tamarind on the market. 
Distemonantlius Benthamianus. 

One of the hardest woods of Togo, a gigantic tree. 
Cassia Siberiana. Gagamagati (Ewe) ; Tschamanu (Tschandjo). 

Grows best on dry, stony parts of the prairie. Light brown 
wood, extraordinarily hard, proof against termites. When 
burnt it causes headache. 
Swartzia Madagascariensis. Subando (Tschandjo). 

A small tree growing by river banks and on the prairies. 
Heart wood reddish black. 
Cordyla Africana. Kessing (Tschandjo). 

Wood used in table-making. 
Ormosia laxiflora. Kedelea or Kodolea (Tschandjo) ; Kokoro or 
Golloklo (Mangu) ; Obri (Asante) ; Kekpili (Kratschi) ; Akugre 
(Kpedyi). 

Beautiful clear brown wood, used by the natives for building. 
It is termite-proof. 
Baphia nitida. 

A small slender tree. Tons of the wood are sent yearly to 
England as red dye-wood. 
Milletia atite. Atite (Ewe) ; Sso abalu (Tschandjo). 

Spread through all the colonies. Wood very uniformly 
marked of clear yellowish-white. 
Pterocarpus erinaceus. Doti (Ewe) ; Tim (Tschandjo) ; Segbe 
(Mangu) ; Keleyu (Kratschi). 

Used as a red dye. Height 65 feet. Very heavy wood of 
reddish-brown colour. Sold as teak — one of the best woods 
of commerce. 
Pterocarpus esculentus. Keruwowo (Tschandjo) ; Futu (Kirikiri). 
Smaller tree than the last, found in prairies. Wood fairly 
heavy and yellowish-white. 



134 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Lonchocarpus sericeus. Lo (Ewe) ; Babale (Atakpame) ; Alobla 
(Kpedyi). 

Found in prairies and terrace woods. Flowers reddish- 
violet. Wood not well known. 
Denis Stuhlmanii. Tschaloware (Tschandjo) ; Bembu (Mangu). 

Height 32| feet. Hard, yellowish-white wood. 
Andira inermis. 

Fairly large mountain tree. The Cabbage Tree of the W. 
Indies. Hard, yellowish-white wood. The partridge wood of 
commerce. 
Erythrina Senegalensis. Yrewo (Ewe) ; Nyimu (Mangu) ; Baklesu 
(Atakpame). 

Slender tree 32| feet in height. Bark deeply cleft, corklike, 
and thorny. Wood very light and useful in many ways. 
Dalbergia melanoxylon. Atiyi (Ewe). 

The heartwood is almost hard as iron, proof against attacks 
of insects. Used for pillars and piles, also in the making of 
musical instruments. 
Brachystegia spicceformis. 
Macrolobium stipulaceum. 
Pentaclethra macrophylla. 

Zygophyllaceae. 

Balanites Mgyptiaca. Kunjanapcule (Mangu) ; Gushiocho (Kratschi). 
Height 19| to 26 feet. A beautiful golden brown wood, 
used in the making of ploughs, clubs, sticks. 

Rutaceae. 

Fagara xanthoxyloides. Eche or Alafe (Ewe) ; Kelengmau (Tscand- 
jo) ; Polu-Dyenye (Mangu) ; Tigu Schirafinsa (Mangu) ; Ata 
(Anago) ; Uche (Akposso) ; Che (F6) ; Klongbau (Tim). 

A fairly large tree of the prairie. In appearance like an 
apple-tree. Bark rough and knotty. 
Limonia Warneckei. Kugonu (Tschandjo) ; Nguni (Kabure) ; 
Tyanka or Hogogo (Atakpame). 

Wood light yellow, uniform, hard, and very heavy. 
Limonia Preussii. 

Simarubacese. 

Hannoa undulata. Dikbere (Tschandjo) ; Yayabe (Mangu) ; 
Kelantori (Kratschi). 

The wood is of a light greyish-white colour, fairly heavy. 

Meliaccae. 

Khaya Senegalensis. Frimu (Tschandjo). 

A large tree sometimes attaining a height of 130 feet and 



TOGO 135 

over. 13^ feet in diameter. Has a beautiful surface ; is most 
useful in commerce for furniture, carriages, cases for micro- 
scopes, etc. The fruit is about the size of an apple, with four 
valves and four rows of flat seeds. 
Khaya Klainil. 

The seed vessel has five valves, and the fruit is larger than 
the last. Known as the African or Gambia mahogany of 
commerce. 
Pseudocedrela Kotschyi. Alu (Ewe) ; Dituturi (Tschandjo) ; Kru- 
bete (Asante) ; Kedemponasi (Kratschi). 

65 feet in height. The wood is of a greyish colour, service- 
able in building and furniture industry. The natives use it 
for drums and barrels. 
Carapa procera. 

Not much known, though used in Senegambia as a building 
mahogany. 
Melia Azedarach. 

A small, much cultivated tree ; the purplish blue flowers 
are like the Spanish elder. The sapwood whitish, the heart- 
wood reddish. Easy to work ; used in the making of 
furniture. 
Ekebergia Senegalensis. Frimuabalu (Tschandjo). 

A large tree growing in the mountainous districts. Wood 
light yellow and fairly heavy, and uniform texture. 
Trichilia emetica. Adyanyapeso (Tschandjo). 
Trichilia Prieuriana. Dilifu (Tschandjo). 

These two are small trees, fairly eas}' to work, of a light 
yellowish-coloured wood. 



Polygaiaceae. 

Securidaca longepedunculata. Foji (Tschandjo) ; Dyoro (Dyakossi) ; 
Ua magunguna (Haussa) ; Atakpati (Atakpame). 

Small tree. A strong useful fibre obtained from the small 
branches. 



Euphorbiaccse. 

Phyllanthus discoideus. Kongkonga (Tschandjo) ; Dantivi (Atak- 
pame) ; Kamfua (Bagu). 

A tall primeval forest tree — occasional clumps in the villages. 
Hard heavy wood of a beautiful red colour. 
Hymenocardia acida. Adudze (Ewe) ; Atidje (Atakpame). 

The wood is fairly hard, light brown, with the year- 
rings clearly marked. Very brittle, so only fit for 
firewood. 



136 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Hymenocardia ulmoides. Taboia (Atakpame) ; Bala (Afem). 

Height 130 to 1621 feet. 
Uapaca Togoensis. Egba (Ewe) ; Kidgeling (Tsehandjo) ; Nagudi 
(Atakpame). 

A prairie tree of medium size. Beautiful brown-coloured 
wood ; used for firewood. 
Uapaca Heudelotii. Oli (Atakpame). 

Grows in the terraced woods. Useful in building. 
Alchornea cordifoUa. Tschufou (Tsehandjo) ; Awowlo (Atakpame). 
A small prairie tree. The hollow twigs are used in pipe- 
making. 
Sapium Guineense. 
Sapium Kerstingii. 
Sapium Mannianum. 

These three trees are not of much importance. 
Ricinodendron Africanus. 

Vegetable oils and fats obtained from this tree. The wood 
is soft and used for fuel. 

Anacardiaceae. 

Mangijera Indica. 

Mango tree. A greyish wood, useful for building 
purposes. 
Anacardium occidentale. Atisia (Ewe). 

Reddish, fairly hard wood, used in boat-building, also for 
charcoal. 
Spondias lutea. Kinyelu (Tsehandjo) ; Akiko or Agliko (Atak- 
pame) ; Nayile (Konkomba). 

Tall, slender tree. The fruit is edible, yellow, and downy. 
Abundant in the prairies, now introduced in many localities. 
Bright-coloured wood, fairly hard and heavy. 
Pseudospondias microcarpa. Onyangba (Atakpame). 

Stately tree, 65 feet in height. Nothing is known of the 
wood. 
Lannea acida. Eknalokpoe (Ewe) ; Kala (Tsehandjo) ; Tyetebu 
(Mangu) ; Asogedaka (Atakpame). 

A common tree in the prairies. The greyish hard wood is 
used by the natives for arm-rings, chairs, etc. 
Lannea Barteri. Tingbatau or Patandeu (Tsehandjo) ; Benature 
(Mangu) ; Akii (Atakpame.) 

This tree has a characteristic spiral bark. It grows to a 
height of 65 feet, with reddish edible fruit. 
Hcematostaphis Barteri. 

Has a beautiful fruit of a delicious flavour, the blood-plum 
of Sierra Leone. The wood has not yet been tried. 




u 







TOGO 137 

Heeria insignis. 

The wood is much valued in the making of specially good 
furniture. 

Sapindaceae. 

Blighia sapida. Adza or Adja (Ewe) ; Peso (Tschandjo) ; Aki 
(Asante) ; Keka (Kratschi). 

The wood is light yellow, not of any value. Planted near 
houses as an orchard tree, and also for its shade. 97^ feet in 
height. 
Eriocoelum Kerstingii. Nimwau Peso (Tschandjo) ; Yevo-Gboma 
(Atakpame). 

97 1 feet in height in the coast forests. A good furniture 
and building wood. 
Talisiopsis oliviformis . Waogbum (Tschandjo). 

Perhaps identical with Zanha golungensis . 65 to 97 1 feet 
high, with reddish bark. Wood used for furniture and building. 
The fruit is downy, of an orange colour, and edible. 
Allopliyllus Africanus. Weti (Atakpame) ; Kotia (Yendi). 

A small bushy tree. The wood used for cleaning the teeth. 
Useful for working in many ways. 

Melianthaceee. 

Bersama Doeringii. 

This tree has aerial roots. The blossoms in long bunches 
of white flowers. 

Rhamnaceae. 

Zizyphus Jujiiba. 

A small shrub-like tree with edible berries. The wood is 
used in saddle-making and for agricultural implements. 
Zizyphus mucronatus. Pangbaingu (Tschandjo) ; Sausanyebui 
(Mangu). 

The wood is used in wagon-building. 

Tiliacea. 

Grewia gigantiflora. Adzadze (Ewe) ; Tolabu (Atakpame). 
Grewia villosa. Adzadze (Ewe) ; Yumba (Mangu). 

The natives use the wood for handles of spears. 

Malvaceae. 

Thespesia populuea. 

The sap-wood is a bright red, and the hard lieartwood a 
dark red ; used for carriage- building and furniture. 



138 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Bombacacese. 

Bomhax Buonopozense. Fulo or Folo (Tschandjo) ; Sanbugo 
(Mangu). 

Grows on high ground and also by the streams. Height 
about 162-| feet. A marvellous sight when covered with its 
crimson blossoms. The bark is smooth and bright grey, with 
rough cracked appearance. Of small account in commerce. 
Adansonia digitata. Adido (Ewe) ; Kuka (Haussa) ; Dadie 
(Asante) ; Kelle (Kratschi). 
Called also bread-fruit tree. 
Ceiba pentandra. Wu (Ewe) ; Komu (Tschandjo) ; Ogu (Anago) ; 
Ju (Akposso) ; Huti (Fo). 

Wood little used, though it should be valuable in the cellulose 
factories. 
Eriodendron Nigericum. 

Sterculiaceae. 

Sterculia tragacantha. Akple or Loloe (Ewe) ; Kaderabobo 

(Tschandjo). 
Sterculia tomentosa. Akpoklo or Bofuti (Ewe) ; Modetu (Tschandjo) ; 

Bolusila (Mangu) ; Oduduku (Atakpame) ; Kelipotu (Ivi-atschi) ; 

Apokpo (Anecho). 
Sterculia oblonga. 

The wood of these three trees is soft and of little value. 

The fibre strong and tough. Tree medium height. 
Cola cordifoUa. Uuti (Ewe) ; Dagbongbore (Tschandjo) ; Nutssu- 

nutssu (Anago) ; AuavoIo (Akposso) ; Eussu (Misahohe). 

A huge tree of the Galler}'^ Forests, also found singly near 

villages. The leaves are a foot long. The wood hard and heavy, 

used in Senegambia for strengthening the coast and for rafters. 
Cola acuminata. 

The tree resembles the poplar. Proof against the attacks 

of insects ; useful for carriage and furniture-making, and ship- 
building. 
Cola laurifolia. Jojau (Kabure). 

The wood is verj'^ pliable and used in the making of bows 

(for shooting). 
Cola caricifolia. Alensuneku (Atakpame). 
Cola astrophora. 
Cola supfiana. 
Cola Afzelii. 
Triplochiton Johnsonii. 
Triplochiton Nigericum. 
Plerygota Schumanniana. 

The wood of these five trees is little known. 



TOGO 139 

Firmiana Barteri. Tschingbelika (Tschandjo). 

From 130 to 162| feet high. The regular, pyramidal-shaped 
trunk ends in plank-like roots. The natives make cups and 
bowls and floats from the wood. The flowers are a beautiful 
scarlet, appearing before the leaves. 

Ochnaceae. 

Ochna Afzelii. Tanam (Tschandjo). 

Moderately high tree, with hard, beautifully-marked bright 
brown wood. Used in turning and table-making. 
Lophira alata. Parapara (Tschandjo) ; Akpakpla (Anago) ; Otugba 
(Akposso) ; Kekrefunde (Asante) ; Belengbe (Kratschi) ; 
Kotublassu (Fo) 

A very common tree of the prairies, so much like the Shea 
butter as to be frequently mistaken for it. The wood is hard, 
heavy, and dark, reddish-brown, and sold as African oak. 

Guttiferse. 

Pentadesma Kerstingii. Budyonu (Tschandjo). 

Grows on the wooded banks of streams. A tall, slender 
tree with lightish brown wood, very similar in texture to that 
of the Ochnaceae family. Used by the natives in various ways. 

Dipterocarpacese. 

Monotes Kerstingii. Kesang (Tschandjo). 

Height about 48f feet. It is found frequently in the 
prairies. Easily recognized by the likeness of its leaf to a 
curved hollow of a hand. The Avood is only useful for burning. 

Flacourtiaceae. 

Oncoba spinosa. Kpoe (Ewe) ; Krutu (Tschandjo) ; Kongowura 
(Kotokoli). 

A tall, thorn}^ shrub, with white rose-like flowers. The wood 
is capable of taking a good polish, used in inlaying. 
Caloncoba Gilgiana. Efiohle (Ewe). 

A fair-sized tree. The wood is also used for inlaying. 

Rhizophoraceae. 

Rhizoplwra mangle. Woto or Atrati (Ewe). 

Rkizophora mucronata. 

Little is yet known of the mangroves of Togo. The Rhizo- 
plwra mucronata of East Africa has a reddish brov/n wood, 
hard and heavy, but easily worked ; used in building. 

Combretacese. 

Combretum sokodense. Ssissiku (Tschandjo). 

Flourishes in pasture land and by streams. The bark is 



140 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

cork-like and deeply corrugated, the wood brownish and very 

hard. Height, 35 ft. 
Combretum Kerstingii. Alembole (Tschandjo). 

Hard, greyish-brown wood, used for firewood. 
Terminalia dictyoneura. Ssua (Tschandjo). 
Terminalia macroptera. Ssua dau (Tschandjo). 

These two Terminalia both have a beautiful glossy brown 

wood, useful for many purposes. Both are about 48| feet in 

height. 
Terminalia Baumannii. Opati (Atakpame). 

A beautiful prairie tree, the wood not yet tried. 
Terminalia super ba. 
Terminalia Togoensis. 
Pteleopsis Kerstingii. Ssissina (Tschandjo). 

A fair-sized tree in the Bassari savannah. The natives say 

it has neither flowers nor fruit, but this naturally cannot be 

the case. 
Anogeissus leiocarpus. Tsetse or Echeche (Ewe) ; Kodelia 

(Tschandjo) ; Anyi (Anago) ; Ogo (Akposso) ; Kanna (Asante) ; 

Kakanla (Kratschi) ; Chleho (F6). 

A tree 97| feet high, growing on the river banks and on the 

moist savannahs, very widespread. The fruit is much like 

that of our alder. The wood very hard, proof against attacks 

of the termites, with a black heartwood like ebony, and used 

as such. The most valuable wood of the Colony. 

Myrtaceae. 

Syzygium Guineense. Tschapea (Tschandjo). 

A fair-sized tree on the shore slopes. A white, easily-worked 
wood. Used by the natives for making tools, images of their 
gods, chairs, etc. In some parts for building purposes. 

Araliacese. 

Cussonia Barteri. Fegblo (Ewe) ; Kongolu (Tschandjo) ; Indoa- 
baka (Mangu) ; Digo (Anago) ; Obbo (Akposso) ; Bonugu 
(Misahohe) ; Gotti (Fo). 

A characteristic tree of the Baobab savannahs near Misahohe. 
The wood is spongy and cannot be worked, but the ashes are 
of use in making a blue dye. 

Umbelliferse. 

Peucedanum araliaceum, var. fraxinifolium. Lando (Tschandjo). 
A tree under medium height, of the pasture lands. The 
bark of the young shoots is used for squirts and syringes The 
wood is easy to cut. 



TOGO 141 

Sapotaceae. 

Butyrospermum Parkii. Yotsa or Yo (Ewe) ; Ssomu (Tschandjo) ; 

Kade (Hausa) ; Krangkii (Asante) ; Kederapo (Atakpame) ; 

Aiomiti (Kirikiri). 

The Shea butter tree. Height 48| to 65 feet. The tree is 

so plentiful that it is a rare thing not to find one in any district. 

The fruit is soft and edible ; the wood a beautiful brownish-red 

of even texture, and capable of taking a good polish. Much 

used in furniture-making. 
Pachy stela cinera. 

An immense tree growing along the coast. Wood unknown 

in the market. 
Chrysophyllum obovatum. Katumbulia (Tschandjo). 

A tree of medium height with edible fruit. Its wood not 

known in commerce. It should be of use, as are most of those 

belonging to this family. 
Malacantha Warneckeana. Akara (Atakpame) ; Pusum (Lamatessi). 
A large tree found among the mountain streams, and also 

in the plains of the coast regions. The trunk has on the outside 

wavy cross-lines that look like a border, and give it a very 

curious appearance. The hard wood is made into shuttles, 

shovels, scoops, etc., by the natives. 
Mimusops multinervis. Ewelisomu (Tschandjo) ; Brakranku 

(Asante) ; Gjira (Kratschi) ; Ewati (Anecho). 
Mimusops Kerstingii. Ewelisomu (Tschandjo). 

The wood of both these two Mimusops is like that of the 

Butyspermum in colour and structure. Rarely found higher 

than 32 1 feet. 
Mimusops lacera. Wueti (Ewe). 

The tallest and most beautiful tree in the immediate 

neighbourhood of the sea. Its hard red wood is made into 

walking-sticks, also for inlaying and veneering of furniture 

and parquets, 

Ebenaceae. 

Diospyros mespiliformis. Dongke or Jeti (Ewe) ; Tingalo (Tschand- 
jo). 

A semi-cultivated tree growing to the height of 81 1 feet. 
The trunk is often from 3| to 4:^^ feet in diameter. A widely 
spreading shady tree. Its height in the prairies is much less. 
Found very abundantly and takes a high place as in copses 
and park lands. The fruit is edible, round, and of a bright 
red colour. The heartwood is hard and durable, and black as 
ebony. The tree is of great value commercially for many 
purposes as ebony. 



142 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Diospyros mombuttensis. Lia-nuwasaure (Tschandjo) ; Etjannaka 
(Akposso). 

A tree growing only from small to moderate size on the 

hill slopes, with a bright -red fruit — a thorn-bearing tree. The 

wood is durable and hard, used for shovels, walking-sticks, 

rafters, etc., and the flexible branches in the making of traps. 

Diospyros tricolor. 

One of the most frequent trees on the shore and prairies of 
the coast region, growing only to the height of a man. It has 
a yellowish-red three-sided fruit ; the stem seldom attains 
more than the thickness of the finger. It is used for walking- 
sticks. A hard white wood. 
31 aba Warnechii. 

A fair-sized noticeable tree, rarely found, and little known. 

Oleacess. 

Linociera nilotica. 

A small, unimportant tree. The wood is light brown, of 
even texture, and great durability. 

Loganiaceae. 

Strychnos Buettneri. Kongofura (Tschandjo). 

Strychnos laxa. Wagbebe (Ewe) ; Naprampogo (Dyakossi) ; Egbo 
(Atakpame) ; GoTigovi (Kpedyi) ; Yokharaiigu (Dagomba). 

Both these trees have a strong stem of bright-coloured wood, 
with a fine grain, and should be of value. The fruit of the 
Buettneri is edible, something like an orange. 

Strychnos j^ubescens. Kongo (Tschandjo). 
The natives only use it as firewood. 

Anotliocleista Kerslingii. Kuwondeu (Tschandjo) ; Egu (Atakpame). 
Height 971 feet, growing in the terraced or gallery woods, 
and also in small groves. The trunk is very straight at first, 
then widely branched. The trunk of the young trees is marked 
with leaf -scars ; the leaves attain the length of 4| feet, and are 
used by the natives as quivers for their arrows. The white, 
easih'- worked wood is used for manj- purposes. 

Apocynaceas. 

Holarrhena Wulfenbergii. 

A tall tree of the Agome Mountains and the coast forests of 
Sokode-Bassari, also found singly near villages and farms. The 
white wood is fairly heavy and easily worked, used in carving 
figures, etc. 
Conopharyngia crassa. 

A tree of varying height, with drooping brainches. Found 
only in Misahohe. 



TOGO 143 

Voacanga Africana. Kongkong (Tschandjo). 

A fair-sized, widely-spread tree in copses and by the 
streams. The wood is like that of the Holarrhena, only of a 
deeper shade. The round white-coloured fruit, growing two 
together, look like spots on the dark foliage. 

Kickxia Africana (syn. Funtumia elastica). 

Reaches the height of 65 feet. Growing in Misahohe and 
Kete-Kratschi. The wood is little known. All the trees of 
this family are distinguished by a rich milky juice in bark, 
leaves, and fruit. 

Alstonia congensis. 

Borraginacese. 

Cordia Gharaf. 

A fair-sized tree known onlj^ in one locality. A hard, durable 

wood used in building. There is no doubt that there are other 

species in Togo, and so far as the Cordia has been used, it has 

proved to be a most useful tree, 
Ehretia cymosa. Okoni (Kratschi). 

Found in the coast regions, growing to the height of 13 to 

16^ feet. Seldom met with. It has masses of white blossoms ; 

the fruit is a berry about the size of a pea. The wood has not 

yet been proved. 

Verbenaces. 

Vitex Cienkoivskli. Fo (Ewe) ; Panyero (Tschandjo) ; Orli (Anago) ; 
Uoli (Akposso) ; Koto (Dyakossi) ; Gidjiko (Kratschi) ; Fojiti 
(Anecho) ; Narenga (Dagomba). 

A large barkless tree, with spreading crown. Leaf with 
five divisions in the form of a hand, the flowers in large clusters 
of white blossoms. Ink is made from the shiny black, edible 
fruit and the young leaves. This tree is widely spread over 
the hill slopes and forest prairies. The wood is moderately 
hard and useful for inlaying ; the natives make ribs of boats 
from it. 

Vitex Camporum. Panyerobuda (Tschandjo) ; Insuakoto (Mangu) ; 
Idjawli (Akposso). 

Leaves with three divisions, the underside hairy. Flowers 
blue, in clusters like the last. The fruit is more like an acorn, 
and the tree shrub-like. The natives make fishing-tackle from 
the wood. 

Vitex cuneata. 

Premna Zenkeri. 

A tall tree growing on the mountain slopes of Bassari. 



144 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Leaves simple and broad ; the small, white flowers are in 
panicles a foot long. The wood is entirely like the V. 
Cienkoioskii. 
Avicennia Africana. Amu-ati (Ewe). 

A broad-spreading leafy tree from 39 to 48f feet in height, 
and about 7 inches in diameter ; leaves dark green, the under- 
side grey, and flowers a smudgy white. Its wood is used for 
boat-building in Gabun, but little known elsewhere. It is 
closely allied to the Avicennia officinalis of East Africa, 
which has a beautiful, violet-coloured wood ; is very hard and 
heavy. 

Bignoniacese. 

Spathodea campanulata. Adadase (Ewe) ; Gbetschigbetschi (Atak- 
pame). 

A wonderful leafy tree, 97J feet in height, with wide- 
spreading crown of foliage, and gre5dsh-green warty trunk. 
In the flowering time the tree is a mass of crimson flowers — 
a beautiful sight in the coast woods and on the hill slopes. 
In Europe it goes by the name of tulip-tree. The buds are 
filled with a sweet, watery fluid, which the children use as 
squirts. The wood should be of great service, but does not 
seem to be used. 

Newbouldia Icevis. Lifui (Ewe) ; Akinale (Tschandjo) ; Aboboe 
(Atakpame). 

A medium-sized prairie tree, found plentifully also near the 
villages, where the small branches are used as material for 
fences. When the tree is young, it stands very erect, but later 
the remarkably long branches bend to the ground. The flowers 
are either rose-coloured, violet, or bright blue. The bright- 
coloured wood is fairly heavy, uniform in texture, very similar 
to the F. Cienkowskii. 

Markhamia tomentosa. Tschitschine (Atakpame). 

Appears to grow only among the mountains. The flowers 
are yellow, with red stripes ; the leaves and husks both yelloAvish 
brown. Children use the flower buds as playthings. The 
wood is like that of the Newbouldia Icevis. 

Markhamia lutea. 

Usually found as a shrub, but occasionally to the height of 
19| to 26 feet high, with rough or wartj', blackish bark, and 
yellow flowers in great quantities. 

Stereospermum Kunthianum. Essobelia (Tschandjo) ; Eke-deka 
(Atakpame). 

A small tree seldom found taller than 32| feet, a greenish- 
grey bark, divested of leaves. When in bloom it has much the 



TOGO 145 

appearance of a peach-tree. The flowers, which appear before 
the leaves, are pink, edged with white and reddish- brown, 
with striped and spotted lip. Found frequently in the forest 
savannahs, and occasionally on the highlands. The brownish 
dye from the bark is used by the girls for their lips, and chewed 
as Kola. The wood is much the same as the last three species. 

Kigelia Africana. Nyakpekpe (Ewe) ; Abilu (Tschandjo) ; Njak- 
pokpo (Anecho) ; NjakpS (Anlo). 

Found in damp places in the prairies and on the banks of 
rivers. The well-known liver-sausage tree. The wood is 
suitable for small buildings. 

Kigelia pinnata. 

Bubiacese. 

Hymenodictyon Kurria. 

All belonging to this family have simple leaves in pairs. 
Found as a shrub and a small tree in the terraced woods and 
mountains. The solid wood, of a clear mahogany colour, is 
much used in India for agricultural implements, but little known 
here in Togo, 
Crossopteryx Africana. Tyenyeolo or Pasau (Tschandjo). 
Crossopteryx Kotschyana. 

Found to the height of 32| feet in the prairies of the coast 
zone and a few scattered inland. According to the opinion of 
an importer, this wood is one of the best of Togo. It is clear 
brown, very hard and heavy, and of fine texture. The natives 
make shuttles and tablets for the Koran from it. 
Adina microcephala. Bara (Tschandjo). 

A tree of 97 1 feet in height, growing on the river banks of 
Sokode-Bassaris. The wood takes a very high place as to value, 
but it has a peculiar odour and an oily feeling to the touch. 
The fibres from the twigs are made into tooth-brushes. 
Mitragyne macrophylla. Yowi or Togba (Atakpame). 

A gigantic tree growing on the swampy banks of streams, 
with an excellent wood used by the natives for making doors, 
drums and barrels. 
Mitragyne inermis. Intyii (Dyakossi) ; Shero (Dagomba). 

Smaller than the last, found on ground which is occasionally 
under water. Its yellowish-white wood is used for beams and 
rafters. It forms also a beautiful, easily-worked furniture 
wood, 
Mitragyne Africana. Sesseu (Atakpame). 

A small tree which flourishes in swampy places and parts 
overflowed by the streams. Its blossoms are used as hay. 
The particularly valuable wood is proof against attacks of the 
10 



146 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

termite, very hard, and much used in building. The wood of 
all the Mitragyne species are valued in Tropical Africa on account 
of their durability and being proof against weather and easily 
worked. 

Sarcocephalus sambucinus. Akukobasa (Ewe) ; Kedjetjelo 
(Tschandjo) ; Nyimo (Atakpame). 

A small shrubby tree, with long, tendril-like branches, white 
fragrant flowers, and strawberry-coloured fruit. The wood 
is used considerably for mosaic work and inlaying. 

Gardenia Thunbergia. Fifei (Ewe) ; Kau kutoku (Tschandjo) ; 
Langana (Kratschi) ; Fifati (Anecho). 

A small tree or shrub with rigid branches, fragrant white 
flowers, and yellow, spindle-shaped fruit, tasting like a crab- 
apple, scattered in small clumps over the prairie. Spoons and 
similar articles are made from the white, fairly hard wood. 

Gardenia ternifolia. Kau keure (Tschandjo) ; Nassarli or Nabuli 
(Dyakossi). 

Similar to the preceding tree in appearance, etc., but the 
fruit is cylindrical in form, like a small cucumber. 

Gardenia medicinalis. Kau belia or abalia (Tschandjo). 

The same characteristics as the last ; the fruit is much 
smaller, round, and furrowed. 

Gardenia assimilis. 

Gardenia Abeokuta. 

These trees are all found in the higher forests as undergrowth, 
and are very similar in every respect. 

Plectronia vanguerioides. Dadafunde (Atakpame). 

Medium-sized tree. Occasionally found as a shrub in the 
coast and mountain forests. The wood is only useful as 
firewood. 

Pavetta Baconiana. Genferrebieso (Mangu). 

Pavetta crassipes. 

Used as firewood. 

Morinda citrifolia. Amake (Eavc) ; Ketyelenga (Tschandjo) ; 
Ake (Atakpame) ; Maticki (Ho). 

A tree 32| feet in height, with a broad, shady crown, seems 
to be bearing blossoms or fruit all the year round. The flowers 
are in the form of little round bunches ; the fruit is greenish- 
yellow, spongy, and growing together in large masses — each 
fruit about the size of a pear. The white wood is not of much 
value, but the rootwood is sold in the native markets for making 
yellow dye. Two species of this tree seem to be known in Togo, 
one found frequently on the coasts, the best known, and another 
variety in North Togo, less common and with a much smaller 
fruit. 



TOGO 147 

Compositae. i 

Vernonia Senegalensis. Avenya (Ewe) ; Tusima or Tingma i 

(Tschandjo). | 

The only one of the family which attains a height of 19| ! 

feet, and stem of 6 or 7 inches in diameter. The leaves are • 

a greyish-green ; the flowers, a yellowish-white, appear in great | 

masses. The wood is fairly heavy, light brown in colour, and ; 

very easy to work. Of the many varieties from which the J 

twigs and roots are used for brushes, this one is the most '\ 

valuable. i 



APPENDIX I 



LIST OF INTRODUCED SPECIES PLANTED 



1. Terminalia catalpa. 

2. Casuarina equisetifolia. 

3. Tectona grandis. 

4. Swietenia bijuga. 

5. Cedrela odorata. 

6. Pithecolobium dulcis. 

7. Artocarpus incisa. 

8. Cassia florida. 

9. Ba^ihinia Krughii. 

10. Eucalyptus marginata. 

11. Eucalyptvis citriodora. 

12. Eucalyptus robusta. 

13. Csesalpina arborea. 

14. Caesalpina sappan. 

15. Csesalpina rostrata. 

16. Caesalpina coriaria. 

17. Caesalpina regia. 

18. Poinciana regia. 



19. Poinciana repanophylla. 

20. Melia azedarach. 

21. Manihot glaziovii. 

22. Manihot dichotama. 

23. Manihot pyanhyensis. 

24. Manihot heterophylla. 

25. Aspidosperma quebracho. 

26. Phoenix dactylifera. 

27. Cola vera. 

28. Ficus elastica. 

29. Ficus Sclechteri. 

30. Albizzia amara. 

31. Albizzia stipulata. 

32. Acacia Arabica. 

33. Cynometra megalophylla. 

34. Detarimn Senegalense. 

35. Paiinarium intermedia. 









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CHAPTER VIII 
NIGERIA 

I. The Rivers, Ports and Forests of Nigeria. 

Starting from Lagos, the first port of call, the coast is flat, sandy, 
and low-lying as compared with the typical seaboard of Europe with 
its cliffs. Long sandy beaches with scattered coconut palms in the 
background are more prevalent in this part of Nigeria than the water- 
covered mangrove swamps, showing rather a stunted growth. West- 
wards from Lagos there are the scattered mangrove formations in the 
estuary of the Yewa River, near which is the trading station of Badagri. 
Following the line of the coast, somewhat better mangrove areas are 
found towards the mouth of the Benin, Escravos and Forcados Rivers. 
The estuary of the Niger, extending from the last-named river as far 
as the Sombreiro, shows varied development of the mangrove type of 
vegetation, as well as the first admixture of other hardwood trees at 
the edge of the mangrove zone. On the way one passes the Ramos, 
the Brass, Nun, St. Bartholomew and St. Barbara, each forming outlets 
for the forests further north. Beyond the Sombreiro the estuaries 
of the New Calabar, Cawthorne and Bonny Rivers contain further 
mangrove areas, usually in the form of large islands. Eastwards of 
the Bonny River the mangrove to some extent gives way to compara- 
tively large areas known as rain forests, owing to the comparatively 
heavy rainfall in those localities. The Andoni, Opobo, Kwaiebo 
form the outlets for these forests. 

The Cross, Calabar, Kwa and Akwayefe are the most easterly 
rivers in Nigeria. In the estuary of each, more especially of the Cross 
River, the finest mangrove forests are to be seen. Next to these in 
point of height and straightness of bole are the forests on the banks 
of the St. Barbara and Forcados Rivers. 

The Lagos River, with its present bar-draught of 19 feet, is followed 
eastwards by the port of Forcados, showing 19 feet. As subsidiaries, 
and northwards from Forcados, are the inland ports of Warri and Koko, 
both, and especiall}' the latter, being timber-shipping centres. Sapeli, 
another 40 miles up the Benin River beyond Koko, was and still remains 
a timber port of some importance, and from it the trade name of one 
kind of mahogany, namely Sapeli wood, is derived. Brass, considerably 
further eastward, is practically a seaside port, to which some produce 



152 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

of the Niger Delta is brought. Degema, Bugama, Bakana, Okrika 
and Port Harcourt are inland ports all reached from Bonny, situated 
at the mouth of the river of the same name. Opobo, on the Imo, is 
yet another inland port with a 14-foot bar at the river mouth. Eket 
is the small port for the Kwaiebo River, whence small steamers run to 
Calabar. Oron, on the western side of the estuary, is also a port worthy 
of mention. Though Calabar is some 15 miles above the junction of 
the Akwayefe, Kwa and Cross Rivers, it is the chief port of Eastern 
Nigeria. It is situated on the side of a hill some 200 feet high on the 
bank of the Calabar River, which is half a mile wide at this point. 

Turning now to the next type of forest met with after leaving the 
i^iangrove zone, the thick, heavy, evergreen rain forest is seen. On 
the western side in the province of Abeokuta it has very largely been 
destroyed, only comparatively small isolated areas remaining. In the 
Ondo province, however, some of the most extensive and heaviest timber 
areas of this type are found. A good network of rivers, such as the 
Ogun, Ona, Oshun, Oni, Shasha and Owenna, when flooded, form 
the outlets for timber worked in these localities. In the northern 
part of the Warri province and the southern part of the Benin province 
large representative areas of the evergreen type are found, though there 
they tend to mingle with the tall, mixed deciduous forests. To a 
small extent in the Owerri, but to the largest extent in the Calabar 
province, the rain forests find their finest development, culminating 
in the Oban Hills on the eastern side of the latter provinces. The 
rainfall there is 175 inches per annum. 

The Sasswood is one of the first trees to appear when the mangrove 
swamp gives way to the evergreen forest. Other large trees are the 
mahoganies, found chiefly on the old banks ; red ironwood, with its 
brilliant red fresh leaves in the late autumn. In fact, these leaves 
are often taken for flowers, owing to their very bright colour. They 
gradually, however, assume a dark green colour as the season advances. 
An unidentified species of gum-copal which grows to colossal dimensions 
is found scattered rather diffusely and curiously in these areas. Differ- 
ent kinds of ebony, with wood varying from brown to green black, are 
seen throughout the zone, though, as with other trees, a different 
species is found in the different provinces ; on the whole, the blackest 
wood is found where the rainfall is heaviest. 

The mixed deciduous zone, which consists both of deciduous and 
evergreen trees, mingles and gradually develops at the northern edge 
of the evergreen rain forest ; in many cases the one goes over into the 
other almost imperceptibly, and it is only perhaps after half a day's 
inarch that one realizes that one has left the evergreen type behind 
and reached the forests where half the trees lose their leaves every 
year. A very large development of these forests is found in the Abeo- 
kuta, Oyo, Jebu-ode and Ondo provinces. Very heavy inroads have 



NIGERIA 153 

been made in these forests, and it remains to be seen whether sufficient 
will be preserved to ensure the future fertility of the soil and the requisite 
rainfall. One of the most prominent species is the cotton- tree, with 
its great root buttresses and muscle-like protuberances from the stem. 
The Obechi, or Arere, is another magnificent timber tree, with soft 
white wood and maple-like leaves, which grows to huge dimensions. 
The African greenheart, which may grow 12 feet in diameter, is hard 
enough to break the blade of an axe. The Iroko, taking the place of 
oak in African economy, is another tree frequently met with, and it 
extends its area of distribution as the forests are opened up with 
clearings. East of the Niger this formation is only found to a small 
extent in the Onitsha province ; a little larger in the northern part 
of the Owerri province, and still largest in the northern part of the 
Calabar and the southern part of the Ogoja province. In fact, the 
finest development of the mixed deciduous forests is found in the last- 
named province, just north of the Cross River, where it is really at the 
edge of the true deciduous forest. In this zone some three kinds of 
mahogany are found, in some places very diffusely scattered, in others 
up to a thousand mature trees in eight square miles, or in a third nearly 
every tree a mahogany on both sides of the road for over half a mile. 
The four species in this zone vary less from province to province than 
they do in the case of the evergreen forest zone, though the total 
number may be greater. 

Beginning again on the western side, the open deciduous forest 
or dry-zone formation shows itself over a very wide extent in Oyo, 
Northern Jebu-ode, and in the Northern Benin provinces. East 
of the Niger it is of wide extent in the Northern Onitsha and Northern 
Ogoja provinces, but it also occurs in the northern part of the Owerri 
province as an artificial product of man's destruction of the original 
forest. In some places this formation, owing to the trees being 
close together, more nearly approaches the deciduous forest. In 
others, owing to the poor and stunted nature of the arboreal growth, 
it more nearly approaches the open grass savannah formation. Only 
north of the Oyo province near Shaki, or north of Ogoja in that province, 
could it be said that this kind of formation is seen. 

One of the most prominent kinds of trees found is the Shea Butter, 
the nut of which is used in the making of chocolate cream and margarine. 
This tree, varying in size from a large oak to a short, stunted, gnarled 
and burnt relic of better forest conditions, is found over very wide 
areas in the Oyo and northern part of the Abeokuta province. Strangely 
enough, this tree does not appear in the northern part of the Benin 
or Onitsha province, and only occurs again in the north-eastern corner 
of the Ogoja province. The locust-trees, with their open crown and 
feathery leaves and long pods similar to French beans, are conspicuous 
all through the zone, and near the villages are specially preserved. 



154 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Mahogany is represented in this zone as another species which does not 
attain a greater girth than 10 feet and which is often gnarled and 
crooked owing to the annual grass fires. A medium sized Cedrela, 
or hard cigar-box wood, is found in isolated patches in the northern 
part of the Abeokuta and southern part of the Oyo province. The 
balsam-copaiba-tree is also very common in this zone in the North 
Benin, Onitsha and Ogoja provinces. 

The forests of this zone are perhaps the least valuable from the 
financial point of view, chiefly owing to their geographical position and 
defective means of trans^Dort, but economically they are of great value to 
the agricultural community, both for their forest produce as well as their 
soil -preserving and rainfall -conserving properties. The chief timber areas 
are situated in the heavy rain forest and mixed deciduous forest areas, 
though a few have recently been taken up in the mangrove swamps. 

As a minor, though important, development to the main forests 
are the evergreen hill forests, which find wide development in the 
northern part of the Jebu-ode, Ondo, Benin, Ogoja and Calabar pro- 
vinces. On the whole, the species do not vary so much as might be 
expected, and in many cases it simply means a further distribution 
of certain evergreen trees beyond their zone of natural development, 
owing to suitable climatic conditions in these hills. For instance, 
the red ironwood appears next the mangrove swamp on the bank of 
the St. Barbara River, again in the evergreen forests near Calabar, 
and reappears in the hill forests of Oban, much further north. Probably 
the most typical trees of the hill forests are an unidentified species 
of gum-copal, as well as several species of Guttifer*. 

The fringing forests are found chiefly on the banks of the rivers in 
an area which is otherwise covered with the open deciduous or dry- 
zone formation. Two leguminous trees are most typical of this 
zone. Stray deciduous or evergreen trees from the other zones are 
also seen. Such forest is thick with a fair amount of undergrowth, 
and the trees form a close canopy. The fringes vary from a few 
yards to half a mile in width. 

A further subsidiary form is found on the summits of the highest 
mountains, such as the Boji Hills, with their stunted satinwood trees, 
shrubs and grass. In some places there is yet another minor formation, 
that of the freshwater swamps. Some typical examples of these are 
found on the banks of the Calabar, Osse and Owenna Rivers. In 
most cases only one, or any how only a few species of trees are found, 
whereas in the major formations several hundred different species appear. 
The growth in these swamp formations, both mangrove and freshwater, 
is on the whole not so large as that of the evergreen forest. Again, 
the evergreen forest does not show such fine development or such 
height of tree as the mixed deciduous forests, though occasionally 
the greatest girth of bole is found in the evergreen forests. 



NIGERIA 155 

II. The Mahogany and Timber Industries. 

According to Nigerian law, timber includes planks sawn for logs 
and trees hollowed out or shaped for any purpose whatever. The 
timber-working industry, then, is a wide one, covering really three 
distinct fields of activity, though one or more may be combined. First, 
there is the felling of mahogany chiefly, and other furniture-wood trees 
for export. In the second place, the native, and to a slight extent the 
European firms, cut timber for local use, mainly in the forest, such as 
planks, canoes and posts. Thirdly, there is the Government, which 
under the auspices of the Forestrj^ Department chiefly, and to some 
extent under the Public Works Department, cuts timber of various 
kinds, chiefly Iroko, for railway buildings and road bridges. 

Turning now first of all to the export industry, which is most 
important at the present time, though the local demand for timber will 
soon dwarf that of the former, there is a definite sequence of action 
necessary in embarking on this form of economic development. 

As soon as a firm decides on timber-getting, an application (made 
out in triplicate) has to be sent in with good maps or plans of the area, 
which is applied for, to the Conservator of Forests of that circle. It 
is understood that the area in question has been thoroughly examined 
by the firm before the application is made. A fee of £3 in stamps 
as well as a banker's guarantee of £400 for each area of 100 square 
miles is also necessary before the application can be considered. The 
species of tree to be cut should also be stated, as well as the names 
of the villages and chiefs occupying or living in or adjacent to the area. 
Owing to the time taken in making the fullest inquiries into the occu- 
pancy and other rights, as well as ascertaining the financial standing of 
the firm in question, it is usually several months before the applicant 
hears that the area has been granted. 

Before this the applicant should also forAvard a confidential statement, 
stating exactly what capital there is available to develop the timber 
areas. An additional banker's reference to the Crown Agents will 
save unnecessary delay in the granting of the area. 

Before the notification of the grant of the area, the licence is made 
out in the Conservator's office, for which a £5 stamp as well as three 
good maps are necessary. Roughly, an additional £2 10s. is required 
to satisfy the legal fees upon registration, which follows immediately 
after the execution of the licence by the licensee of the grantees. It 
should be especially noted that anyone acting on behalf of a firm should 
be in the possession of a registered power of attorney, enabling him to 
act in the fullest possible way for the applicant or company acquiring 
land rights. This power of attorney should be registered beforehand, 
otherwise another delay will ensue whilst this is being done. 

As soon as the area is granted, the applicant should mark all bound- 



156 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

aries with the necessary marks, which also appear in the licence. 
Within six months after the granting of the area, work has to be begun. 
The first proceeding is to send in a list of trees, numbered serially 
from one upwards, stating the species, size (girth at 10 feet above ground), 
where situated, name of nearest village and chief occupying land in 
the vicinity, together with the amount of fees and ro5'alties payable 
on the trees. The trees have been marked and numbered previous 
to the duplicate lists being sent in. It is usual to pay a cheque or bill 
for the fees and cash for the royalties, then one of the two lists sent 
in is returned to the sender marked " Permission granted." Felling 
can now begin. On the whole, the general practice is to cut the trees 
down in the earlier months of the year and have nearly all completed 
by March or April. Logging, with a cross-cut saw or axe, and squaring 
with an axe and adze, follows as soon as the trees are felled, and, as 
it takes longer, continues afterwards right into May or June. Hauling 
begins as soon as sufficient logs are ready to be drawn and the hauling 
roads have been cleared. Usually different gangs haul to those em- 
ployed on the tree-felling and squaring. Eighty or a hundred boys 
are lined up and haul on two ropes attached to the end of the log. The 
log, having been shaped at the end to allow easy hauling over the rollers 
or ground, is "snaked" along to the nearest waterside, river bank or 
creek. Here two timber-dogs are driven in the end for attaching the 
cane or rope to hold several together. In the smaller streams or 
creeks, single logs, or two joined together, float down to another station, 
where a bigger raft of 40 to 100 logs is made up. In a good many 
rivers the rise of the water takes place in July, and it is then that 
the largest number of logs float out. Another lesser rise for the 
most part, except in the largest, such as the Cross or Niger Rivers, 
occurs in October, when all logs possible are got out for that season. 

Logs left by this last flood usually have to stay until the following 
year, when the river will rise again. Sometimes as many as three 
seasons elapse before it is possible to get out some logs. The higher 
reaches of the Owenna have an unenviable reputation in this respect. 
Several short rainy seasons following each other successively cause 
the same result. The Ijors are the chief " Waterboys," who contract 
to take logs down the creeks at 5s., 10s. or 15s. a log, according to 
distance and nature of the creek. The Ossiomo has also a bad name, 
owing to its swift current and the liability of losing the logs. 

Most labour is engaged direct, though handed over to a contractor 
who is paid Hd. to Ifd. per foot of timber squared or logged brought to 
the nearest waterside. The labour, however, is paid by the European 
firm, which is entirely responsible for the payment. 

The shipment of the logs is made at Koko, Warri or Forcados from 
Lagos and at Lagos itself, the first-named port taking the majority. 
Many firms have a branch store and office at this port, or another firm 



NIGERIA 157 

ships logs for others not represented at a fixed charge per log. Export 
entries showing numbers of logs, size and value are presented to the 
Customs Department before shipment. Koko, which used to be quite 
free from the Teredo borer, is now unsafe for logs after a fortnight's 
floating in the water there. 

The shipping companies do not particularly desire logs as freight, 
owing to their weight and unwieldiness in handling. Space is left 
between them to some extent in the hold. The hatches have to be 
especially long to take the biggest logs. From Lagos, Forcados, 
Calabar, etc., a freight rate varying from 35s., 40s., to 45s. ^ per ton for 
2f, 3 and over 5-ton logs. Koko, on the other hand, is only 25s., with 
10s. extra for primage. This is the same with the other freight rates. 

During the voyage the logs gradually dry, and often by the time 
they are put into the timber yard of the brokers they are split or 
cracked. Only the best logs, 30 feet long and quite sound at the start, 
stand all the rough handling they get. Auction sales take place about 
once a fortnight in the busy season, though sales by private treaty 
take place occasionally. Logs can sometimes be sold ex quay too, 
though by far the most of the wood is sold by public auction. The 
inclusive charge of landing, stacking and selling at the dock is roughly 
10 per cent, of the value of the log. In fact, it is quite a considerable 
item of expense, and often makes the difference between profit and 
loss on the smaller and lower-grade logs. All logs are sold by the 
superficial foot, i.e. one foot square, one inch thick " sale measure." 
Sale measure obtains only in the mahogany trade for square logs, and 
is roughly 20 per cent, less than the actual cubical contents of the 
log. Round logs are measured and sold by extreme (full) measure. 
A wane of six inches or less is left on the squared logs, because it makes 
them less liable to crack and split at the corners, and also it saves a 
good deal of timber which would otherwise be wasted. 

Liverpool is the best mahogany market, though fair prices are 
obtainable for good logs in London. Hamburg used to be the market 
for Gaboon wood, and on the whole new woods were better received 
than in the English market. As a rule, figured mahogany always 
commands a good price, whereas plain wood, with the exception of 
roey or counter-top timber, only fetches a moderate or low price, unless 
the market is understocked at the time. The best wood is obtained 
from the Ivory Coast, and the next best is Benin or Lagos wood. Sapeli 
wood is very heavy, and found a market chiefly in Germany. Cross 
River wood has yet to be shipped and proved, though samples there 
looked very good and even showed some figure. So far, only the leased 
areas have been spoken of. Now we return to the Reserves, where, 
however, permits to cut trees can only be obtained. Here leases are 
usually not granted. The rules with regard to replanting do not apply 
* Pre-war rates. 



158 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

in the same way, as all planting is in the hands of the Department. 
On the whole, stricter supervision may be exercised in the Reserves 
than on leased areas. Although a firm has no lease, the security of 
tenure for cutting the trees would be at least as good as under a lease. 
No other firm woiild be in the same position to fell and extract timber 
as the first one to whom permission was granted. The Government 
would not allow any other amounts of trees to be felled that would 
injure the working of the forest by the first applicant. 

Local felling is conducted by one or two firms in their areas, which 
were in the first instance obtained for export timber. For the most 
part, however, the natives or native foreigners fell various kinds of trees 
such as Iroko, Chlorophora excelsa, Owussu, Sarcocephalus esculenkis, 
Ume, Pterocarpus soyauxii and Pterocarpus Osun, Edat, Saccoglottis 
Gabunensis. Nearly half the permits issued are for Iroko, the main 
building timber of the Yoruba and Benin and Ibo countries. The 
Camwoods or Barwoods are felled next to obtain the brilliant red heart- 
wood, chiefly from the roots, but also from the stem. A dyewood 
which produces a fast colour is obtained by rubbing a small pointed 
section on a flattish piece of the same wood. A yellow dyewood is ob- 
tained from Anyeran Afrormosia laxiflora. 

The canoe-making industry absorbs a large number of trees. 
The native, chiefly Ijor, chooses the tree with great care as to 
straightness of stem and length of bole. It is felled near a river 
bank or otherwise reasonably accessible place. First of all two sides 
are flattened parallel to each other ; at the same time the length of 
the canoe is chosen and the tree bole cut off at the required length. 
A narrow groove about half the depth of the diameter of the log 
is now made with small axes and an adzelike instrument. The log is 
then shaped externally like a canoe, especially both bow and stern. 
Next, more wood is cut away on the inside and some pieces of wood 
stuck across to keep the canoe open. A shelter is put over it during a 
hot day. As soon as the requisite amount has been cut out, drj"^ palm 
branches are placed all round the canoe outside on the ground ; longer 
cross pieces are fixed over the canoe of the required length for thwarts 
when the canoe is finished. Long stakes are driven into the ground 
opposite each of these on each side of the canoe, so that the natives 
can obtain a strong leverage over the canoe. Fire is now put to the 
palms, beginning Avith the bow of the canoe. The heat makes the wood 
expand and thus opens the canoe; at the same time the natives pull 
down the stakes at the side of the canoe and press the cross pieces into 
their places. This extends gradually the whole length of the canoe in 
the course of the day, which is the most strenuous of all, as upon the 
energy and care exercised on this day in making the canoe open out 
evenly in its entire length and the same amount each side depends its 
future success in the water. It may turn out lopsided, or, as is often 



NIGERIA 159 

the case, a hole may appear in the middle of the stern end, owing 
to the centre of the tree having been rather old and rotten. This can 
be cover,ed over, and is often above the waterline. 

Canoes vary in size from the Oguta canoe, in which the paddler 
has to keep one foot in the water to balance the canoe, to the twelve- 
puncheon canoe of the big traders. This last will have a great hollow 
dug out fully 6 feet deep at the stern end and over 60 feet long. 

The sawyers cut the tree all round, fell it, and then cut it into 
12-feet length logs, as far as the bole allows. The huge branches are 
left untouched. A large pit is dug quite close to the logs, and one by 
one they are placed over and sawn, first two sides and then into three 
large planks ; finally these are cut into 12-inch planks one inch thick. 
Most of the work is done within four miles of the railway line or within 
twenty miles of a large town, such as Jebu-ode, Ife, Ibadan, Abeokuta. 
Truck loads of this timber may be seen at Ilugun or Ogunshileh, on the 
Nigerian Railway. 

Permits are also issued for the making of smaller articles, such as 
verandah posts, culled out of a guttiferous tree ; sleepers, sawn from 
Iroko {Chlorophora excelsa) ; sword - sheaths, made from Ogohen 
{Musanga Smithii) ; mortars, cut from Apa {Afzelia Africana) ; pestles, 
fashioned out of Eba {Lophira procera). 

The dyewood industry in itself is chiefly developed on the banks 
of the Cross River. The trees are felled in the Oban forests, allowed 
to lie a year or two, then cut up into long 3- to 4-inch irregular-shaped 
scantling or poles. These are sold chiefly in the Oban market, after 
which they are cut into small sections. Women take these up and 
make lozenge-shaped bricks about a foot long in the greatest length. 
These are sold at 6d. each. 

Under Government auspices, one of the first enterprises was the 
sawmill at Etehetem. A very hard redwood, termed Apassa by the 
Efiks {Mimusops lacera), and also mahogany {Ochrocarpus AJricanus) 
were cut. Owing to the difficulty of expansion and the increasing 
cost of the logs, the plant is to be moved elsewhere. The railway 
had a small plant at Han, where timber and sleepers were cut for the 
Baro Kano line. At Ebuttemetta the railway also have a small mill 
for cutting chiefly Iroko, Apa, and a little redwood. 

Of the various firms, Messrs. Mclver had a small mill in Lagos, 
chiefly for sawing up mahogany logs not worth shipping to England. 
Later, in 1909, Messrs. Miller Brothers built a mill at Koko town ; Agba 
{Copaifera sp. ?) as well as mahogany logs have been cut; Ebbe and 
Obiache, and Obechi {Triplochiton Nigericum), the last-named being a 
good whitewood. 

The Anglo-French Company have started a plant near Oron Eastern 
Circle to cut sleepers out of mangrove wood, Lagenaria and Rhizo- 
phora. 



160 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Lastly, the Government have started a new mill at Apapa, near 
Lagos, for cutting logs obtained near Akilla, on the Oni River, in the 
Abeokuta province, and the planing, grooving and recutting is done 
in connection with the Public Works yards and furniture-making 
establishment in Lagos. 

The Akilla work is run entirely by the Forestry Department. 
Trees are felled, cut into logs and brought to the waterside ; then, 
rafted with others, floated in kerosine tins on lighter wood to Apapa. 
A regular rate is charged per cubic foot. Work was started in August 
1914, and already several thousand logs have been delivered at Apapa. 

III. The Permanent Forests or Forest Reserves. 
In the main, all Forest Reserves become the permanent forests of 
a country. So far as Nigeria, for instance, is concerned, certain definite 
and well-defined portions of the original forests have been set aside, 
by agreement with the natives, as Forest Reserves. If these areas 
had not been set aside, they would have been liable to destruction 
under the form of shifting cultivation which the local people practise. 
For instance, at Olokemeji there are several thousand acres in the 
middle of the Reserve which were cleared some j^ears ago and have 
not yet grown up. This would have been the fate of the rest of the 
forest if it had not definitely been placed under the care and protection 
of the Forest Department. The same applies to other areas scattered 
over the country. 

It is somewhat hard to define the meaning of a Reserve. Essen- 
tially it is an area permanently set aside for the production of timber 
or other forest produce. In many cases, however, the trees or the 
forests have to be preserved in the interests of the climatic conditions 
of the locality. If it is found that by cutting down a forest the rain- 
fall decreases every year, the springs dry up, and the land becomes 
covered with grass, where actual grass fires kill all young vegetation 
and even hinder farming operations, then the forest must be reserved. 
To take some examples : In the colony of Sierra Leone there is a 
Peninsular Mountain Forest, a large and valuable Reserve, 80 per 
cent, of which is covered with red ironwood, Lophira procera. Then 
in the Protectorate there are the Kambui Hills, Kennema, then Nimmini, 
and the Loma Mountain Reserve. In the colony and Protectorate of 
the Gold Coast there is the Dunkwah Reserve. Some of the most 
improved reserves in the southern province of Nigeria are in the Western 
Circle. There are Olokemeji, Mamu, Ilaro, Oshun, Owenna and Ondo 
Reserves. Again, in the Central Circle there are the Okurau, Obagie, 
Gilli-gilli, the Uhi, and the Ogba Forests. 

In the Eastern Circle there are the Oban, Ikrigon and Ajasso 
Reserves, in all aggregating about 2,000 square miles. 

Contrary to the usual idea, we have seen that a Forest Reserve is 



NIGERIA 161 

in reality only a permanent forest, which is primarily maintained for 
the definite production of some forest or other product. It cannot 
be too much emphasized that it is definitely set aside to be used wisely ; 
and for all the trees taken, suitable replanting operations are under- 
taken by the Forest Department. The name " Reserve " is in fact 
rather a misnomer. In the early stages of a forest administration it 
is convenient to talk about Forest Reserves as distinct from the 
rest of the country, which is usually covered with forest and termed 
" unreserved " forest. It may, later on, become agricultural land ; 
it may also be reserved, in which case it becomes a Forest Reserve or 
one of the permanent forests of the country. The main point to be 
observed with a Reserve is that it is primarilj^ for use, and not that 
the timber is to be reserved and not to be utilized by the general 
public. Even in those cases where the local demands of the people 
are great and have to be satisfied first, before any outside timber 
exporter is allowed to work the forest, it is utilized to the greatest 
extent compatible with its maintaining a yearly permanent output 
of timber or other forest product. Permanency of output is the 
watchword, and strict utilization of the increment-bearing capacity 
of the forest each year. The increment is of course the amount which 
each tree grows each year. This amount, added together over the 
whole area, makes up the quantity which may be felled, on the propor- 
tional area during the rotation, in any one year. Thus, to give a concrete 
example : If an area is 100 square miles in extent, and the rotation 
is 100 years, then one-hundredth of that area, or one square mile, 
may be cut over in one year ; also, if the sum of the growth amounts 
to 40 cubic feet per acre per year, this means to say that an annual 
cut of 25,600 cubic feet can be made each year over one square mile 
of the area, in the case of a clear felling of all the trees, or spread over 
an area of 10 square miles in the form of a slight thinning of the trees. 
In the Temperate Zone, on moderate soil, 40 cubic feet of timber per 
annum is a good yield, so that in the Tropics we may expect a yield of 
quite double this amount ; therefore it will be seen how readily the 
forest can grow and how much timber can be obtained permanently 
from the Permanent Forests or Reserves. 

Another great advantage of the Permanent Forest or Forest Reserve, 
compared with the ordinary leased areas, is the fact that the planting 
is done by the Forest Department and not by the leaseholder. In 
an ordinary leased area this planting is a considerable source of expendi- 
ture and worry to the leaseholder, and even then satisfactory results 
are hard to be obtained. He is continually being reminded of his 
planting duties by the Forest Department, and he is continually striv- 
ing to keep up the proportionate amount of planting, i.e. 24 trees for 
every tree felled, and this is by no means easy to attain. Although 
the annual leaseholder working in a Forest Reserve may be under 

11 



162 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

greater supervision and more stringent forest regulations than in the 
ordinary leased areas, on the whole his prospects of getting out greater 
quantities of timber more expeditiously and cheaply are much greater 
than in the ordinary areas. 

Particularizing some of the great concrete objects for which reserve 
is made : 

Firstly, the permanent supplies of timber of all kinds, with a view 
to turning out approximately the same quantity year after year in 
perpetuitj^ — in fact, if anything, gradually increasing the output year 
after year. This means to say that, although the forest is cut down, 
it is replaced at the same rate at which it is cut down. Putting it in 
another way, there must be as many blocks, or portions or actual 
" stands " in the forest as represent the number of years which elapse 
between the time a tree is planted and the time it is cut down. This 
period is known to foresters as " the rotation," and in northern temper- 
ate countries, for Coniferous trees the time is usually reckoned at about 
80 years. In the tropics, with mahogany, Iroko and other timbers, 
it may be only necessary to allow 60 years, or perhaps on very poor 
ground 100 years. In the case of teak in Burma, a rotation between 
80 and 100 years is perhaps about sufficient to enable merchantable 
timber to be produced. Putting it in another way, in the forest, 
in order to have the permanent yield, there must be sufficient trees 
of each girth class, so that when the largest, saj^ those over 12 feet in 
girth, are cut down, there must be sufficient of those between 10 and 
12 feet, which will grow during a 10-year period (in which they are 
cut) from 10 feet to 12 feet in girth. At the present time it has been 
found convenient to classify each class as " under 2 feet, 2 to 4 feet, 
4 to 6 feet, 6 to 8 feet, 8 to 10 feet, 10 to 12 feet, and over 12 feet." 
The object of this is to clear away, or have cut, all those trees over 
12 feet in girth. This makes room for younger, quicker-growing timber. 
Although, under the Nigerian Forest Law, the girth of mahogany has 
been reduced to 11 feet, and in some districts to 10 feet, eventually, 
as the older and more unremunerative slower-growing trees are cut 
down, it will be possible to reduce the girth still further. To put this 
question of the permanent yield in yet another way : All the trees 
from one year old, or from the smallest size to those over 12 feet in 
girth, represent what we may call the forest capital. Now, the object 
of the rotation is only to take the interest on this capital ; that is to 
say, the amount which grows on all the trees over the whole area for 
one year. It would, however, not do to clip off little pieces from each 
tree over the whole area, as they would be quite useless as timber. 
Therefore this amount is calculated out as so many cubic feet per 
annum, or so many trees above a girth of 12 feet or 11 feet, or whatever 
the girth limit may be, and this amount, either in cubic feet or in the 
number of trees, is allowed to be cut down each year. Then we know 



T«t» 



I 







no. 29. — The Chief Conservator oJ Forests' House, with five-year-old Albizzia Lebbek standing 
beside it. 





Fig. 30. — Three Capsules oJ Mahogany (Khaya grandis Ivoriensis and Punchii), from banks of 
Owena River. 




Fig. 31. — Capsules of three Species of Entandrophragma : E. Macrophyllum, the largest; E. utilis, 
the next in size ; and E. cylindricum, the smallest. 



NIGERIA 163 

that year after year this amount can be cut down again, and as the 
soil and other conditions improve and the rate of reproduction is 
hastened by proper cultural methods in improving the soil, by draining 
and other methods of amelioration, still larger results may be obtained. 

Secondly, the object of these Reserves is to produce firewood, 
more especially in the neighbourhood of large towns ; in fact, already 
in several cases, firewood plantations or Reserves have been made, 
such as those at Ibadan and on the sandy flats near Lagos. In these 
cases, trees five, seven or ten years old are large enough for that 
purpose, more especially of the following species. Cassia Siamia, or 
Albizzia Brownii. 

Thirdly, to provide grazing land, more especially in the more 
northern part of Nigeria, where the object is to divide up the area, 
so that so many cattle may graze on each area in different years, or 
for different periods of the year, so as to give the pasture and small 
trees which may be growing a chance to revive and grow again. By 
this means the pasture is improved and made of permanent value. 
It is also possible under this system to undertake permanent improve- 
ments in these large pastures by a certain amount of drainage in the 
lower parts, and fire protection in the upper and higher parts. In 
this way the cattle obtain a better pasturage and reach maturity all 
the quicker. In times of bad season, too, some of the closed areas 
may be opened for pasturage, thus ensuring that the head of cattle 
may not be allowed to go down owing to death due to drought or lack 
of pasture. In this way the grazing reserve acts as a kind of insurance 
against loss of stock in bad seasons of no rainfall. 

Fourthly, the production of oil seeds and nuts, such as the Oil 
Bean, Pentaclethra macwphylla, or the African Wood Oil-nut, Ricinoden- 
dron Africanus. It may also be the production of Cola nuts, which 
thrive in the forests in the shade, or in the partial shade, of other 
forest trees, and the Cacao Bean, which also, in certain localities, should 
stand in the partial shade of forest trees, more especially in the dry 
season. 

Fifthly, the production of fibres, such as that from the tree 
known as Eso, Firmiana Barteri, the bark of which is used for making 
rope. Then there are the various creepers, such as Kakoba, Entada 
scandens, which is also used for making rope by the Hausa and Yoruba, 
more especially fly-switches by the Benin natives. Then there are 
the canes, such as Egbe, used for roofing amongst the Yorubas and 
Okakan, Eremospatha sp. (large Benin rattan), and Ikan, Eremospatha 
macrocarpa (small Benin rattan), also used for making rope, and a 
kind of string which both the Benin and Jekii natives use for tying 
lath pieces together in housebuilding and in making coverings for 
their canoes. 

Sixthly, the production of domestic articles, such as sponges, 



164 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Luffa Soudanica, or wrapping-leaves for food, termed Ewayon by the 
Yorubas, or thatching laths, Ebe by the Benin natives, and the 
roofing canes termed Itebe by the Yorubas. 

Seventhly, the production of medicinal plants, such as those 
for native Ju-ju ; and some, such as Cassia occidentalis. Cassia fistula, 
also useful to Europeans. 

The main difference between the beautiful, untouched existing forests 
and a Forest Reserve is chiefly in the matter of management. In the 
unreserved forests a lease may be granted for five or seven years, and 
the leaseholder may fell a great number of trees, such as mahogany, 
Iroko, etc. At the same time there is nothing to hinder the natives 
or original occupier or user of the land from clearing the greater part 
of the forest, except the protected trees, and making farms throughout 
the area ; thus, in fact, gradually hindering, or at least reducing, the 
possible output of timber from that area. No new seedlings come up 
in these areas which are farmed, and, in fact, the fires which are made 
in the course of clearing the land for farming operations kill the young 
growth of all kinds. In reality, in a Forest Reserve there is more 
permanency with regard to the output of timber than in the original 
forest ; there is, in fact, absolute permanency. Although no actual 
lease may be granted for a period of several years in a Forest Reserve, 
yet, as a matter of fact and usual experience, after a year's working it 
would be quite unlikely for a Forest Department to stop the timber 
merchant from working the forest again, or rather from allowing him 
much the same number of trees as he had in the former year, because 
not only would the revenue from the forest suffer, but timber experience 
would have to be gained with another firm, which means a loss of time 
as well as revenue. Thus, in the ordinary way it is more satisfactory 
to have the same firm working in that locality year after year, provided 
they pay an adequate price for all the timber trees which they have. 
They can then invest the proper amount of capital in plant and hauling 
appliances, and thus make a greater profit and exploit the forest to 
better advantage than if a fresh firm came in year after year. 

To give a more concrete idea of what these areas mean, we will 
take it that on the average there are only 50 trees per acre which are 
of some value or another, either for timber for local use or for export, 
and taking the average rate of fee at only 4s. per tree (it should be 
noted that mahogany and so on are rated at £2 16s. per tree), it will 
be seen that the value of these forests is in all £12,800,000. This 
sounds a great deal, but when it is considered what a very large number 
of trees can now be utilized, either locally, in the form of planks and 
scantlings, and joists for posts, not to speak of all the various kinds of 
mahogany, Iroko, walnut, ebony and other substitutes which can be 
used for export, it will be seen that this value is none too great ; in fact, 



NIGERIA 165 

to the timber leaseholder they would be worth at least ten times as 
much. Of course, in this calculation all sizes of trees above a girth 
of 4 feet are considered, for the sake of making the valuation as com- 
jjlete as possible. Naturally, the smaller girth trees would not imme- 
diately be utilized, but when we are totalling up the amount of forest 
or wood capital involved in the valuation, it is necessary to include 
them and put a value on them. If the necessity arose, even they 
could also be utilized and would at least bring in the amount of the 
lowest valuation per tree. 

The Forest Reserves stand also in a special position to the local 
people, for, after all, these Reserves formed originally part of the forest 
from which were supplied all the major wants of the native, such as 
timber, firewood, oil nuts and seeds, fibres, domestic articles and 
medicinal plants ; therefore, whatever the main lines of protection 
of a good forest, the needs of the people of that locality must have the 
first consideration. After these wants have been fully supplied, then 
any surplus in the way of timber or other commercial products can 
be sold or exported elsewhere. This leads us to consider the fact that 
a Permanent Forest or Forest Reserve leads to a permanent source 
of revenue from that particular forest. Owing to the fact that there 
is the permanent yield of timber established in that area, it means 
that permanent money is being obtained from those trees and being 
brought into the Treasury as part of the permanent revenue of the 
country. If there is any increase, owing to the increased value of the 
timber trees thus gained — and the more stability there is, the better 
for the country — better arrangements can be made with regard to the 
reproduction of the forests. If there is a greater revenue being obtained 
from the forests, even more money can be justly expended by the 
Forest Department for the buying of better implements for planting 
and the Forest Station generally, for the making of permanent improve- 
ments in the forests, such as draining, road-making and fire protection. 
If these forests are not protected and unreserved, then in the course 
of time they must completely disappear, owing to the fact that man 
is so constituted that if he sees land, which may or may not be 
suitable for agriculture, covered with trees, he naturally thinks it would 
be better to cut these down and see what agricultural crop will grow 
there, regardless of the fact that there may already exist, or he may have 
cleared, fifteen times as much land as he requires for farming opera- 
tions each year. 

In addition to all the above, there are the indirect effects of forests, 
which have been considered in the section dealing with the relation 
between Agriculture and Forestry. On the whole, it is better for the 
Central Government or Federal Government to manage the Forest 
Reserves, as by that means there is greater impartiality in their manage- 
ment and more stability and continuity in the Forest policy adopted 



166 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

towards them. In each case, however; it is essential to have either 
co-opted or elected representatives of the locality, either by the 
chiefs or by representatives of the people, so that the wishes and needs 
of the locality may be thoroughly considered. 

Lastly, and by no means the least important feature of the Forest 
Reserve, is the aesthetic view. In the regions of Permanent Forests, 
healthier localities are afforded for the people, and they are also prettier 
and more pleasant. This applies not only to temperate-zone forests, 
but also to tropical forests. It is a well-known fact also that where 
there are permanent forests the value of the other land in that locality 
is always rated higher, and is worth more for leasing if adequately 
covered with a sufficient proportion of forest. 



IV. Afforestation in Nigeria. 

The Forest Department, not being content with obtaining a revenue 
out of the forests from the trees cut down for export or for local use, 
have spent and are spending several thousands of pounds each year 
in planting valuable forest trees. Going back historically before the 
time when the Forest Department had a sub-head in the estimates for 
" Labour for Plantations "or " Teak Plantations " or " Upkeep and 
Improvement of Forest Reserves," we had the annual planting of many 
tens of thousands of mahogany-trees by the timber leaseholder. The 
whole of this was chiefly done in the Benin district of the Benin province. 
Although this transplanting of self-sown mahogany-trees into better 
situations near timber camps, or at the side of falling roads and into 
the spaces left by the fallen mahogany-trees, was by no means carried 
out very systematically or under very expert planters, the results are 
all the more creditable to those who so early started to reproduce 
the forests. It is most interesting to see in different parts on the banks 
of the Osse River young thrifty plantations now nearly twenty years 
old and nearly 30 feet high. In a similar way in the forest there are 
to be seen large numbers of somewhat smaller sized mahoganies growing 
singly or in groups, only needing a certain amount of clearing and tend- 
ing to prevent their being overgrown by other forest trees. Scattered 
though they are throughout the forest, it is not too much to say that 
the prospective younger aged forest will be more valuable than that 
which originally stood in its place. 

Easier to find, though in some way less attractive to look at, are 
the regularly made mahogany plantations of the Forest Department. 
In addition to isolated specimen trees which are found in the forest 
Arboretums at Calabar, Degema, Benin City and Olokemeji, several 
thriving plantations are found near Benin City in the Ogba and Obagie 
Reserves, in the Ilaro, Mamu and Olokemeji Reserves. In the last- 
named are the most extensive areas of all, and also, despite 



NIGERIA 167 

many failures owing to experiments on bad soil and seasons of 
extreme drought, the growth of the trees gives the greatest promise 
of mature trees, or at any rate merchantable trees, being grown in a 
comparatively short period. Plantations have also been made at 
Awka, Udi, Okwoga and Ida. 

Already on the old town site of Ijaiye, mahoganies have been seen 
over 6 feet in girth which have grown up from self-sown seedlings 
within a period of about sixty years. The soil in this locality is none 
too good, and the rainfall on the average certainly does not exceed 
50 inches per annum. Near 47 Benin villages small communal 
plantations of mahogany have been made. 

All the mahoganies apparently, especially when grown in " pure " 
plantations, are attacked by a leading-shoot borer, which so weakens 
the leading shoot as to make it fall off, and the tree subsequently 
grows with two leaders. Later on this forms a large fork in the tree, 
which, when the time comes for felling, is by no means to be despised, 
forming as it does usually a very good " curl." In other respects it 
is disadvantageous in reducing the length of the single straight bole. 
In this manner it has the effect of reducing the number of logs of long 
length and even shajie and large size that can be obtained in one tree. 
In many cases, a log can be cut above from each limb forming 
the fork; but of course these are both much smaller than those from 
the bole, and are usually' not nearly so straight, and one or other of the 
limbs is liable to be broken when the tree is felled. In the original 
forest only isolated trees are attacked by this leading-shoot borer, 
whereas in a plantation nearlj^ all the trees suffer by its depredations. 

Various species are being tried for admixture with the mahogany 
in order to hinder the spread of the attacks. At Olokemeji there 
is a mahogany plantation largely interplanted with two species of 
Mimusops multinervis and Mimusops Elengi. So far this appears 
most suitable, as the soil is kept thoroughly covered by the dense 
shade cast by the Mimusops, and there is a very considerable space 
between each mahogany-tree. However, the mahogany grows faster 
than the Mimusops, so that after the first few years it does not have 
so much effect. Even so, it tends to keep the bole of the mahogany 
clean and the state of the soil in mechanical and physical condition 
such as to be most conducive to the growth of mahogany. 

A mixture occasionally seen in nature has yet to be copied — that 
of mahogany and Chewstick {Anogeissus leiocarpus). To some extent 
it is seen at Olokemeji, where the self-sown seedlings have come up 
in a mahogany plantation, but of course they were rather too late to 
effect the result, i.e. protecting the mahogany from the leading-shoot 
borer. At Ilaro a most typical Mahogany Reserve, an isolated planta- 
tion made amongst secondary growth, has more than held its own 
with little or no tending after the first two years, and yet the trees 



168 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

overtop all the surrounding growth. In some cases, both at Olokemeji 
and Mamu, either self-sown or planted Iroko {Chlorophora excelsa) 
is found growing amongst the mahogany. Owing to the attacks of 
the coccus on the Iroko hindering its height growth, it has not 
had as beneficial an effect as might have been expected. Trans- 
planting self-sown trees from an overshaded locality in the forest, 
where they usually first appear in a more open locality, has proved on 
the whole most successful. Again, transplanting self-sown seedlings 
scarcely one year old from an overshaded locality into one with more 
light has accelerated the growth of the seedlings, preventing them being 
killed by the excessive shade, and at much less cost has thus established 
a small plantation in the Benin forests. 

With the collection and planting of the seeds from the teak-trees 
originally planted about 1889 in the Ebuttemetta garden, a new 
area opened in the afforestation of Nigeria. Seedlings developed 
rapidly, and were found to grow at least 10 if not 18 feet in the first 
year. Although not always keeping up this promise of exceedingly 
rapid growth, more especially in height, the teak bids fair to become, 
as in Burma so in Nigeria, the most valuable of all trees. On the whole 
it has been by far the most extensively planted tree of any in Nigeria, 
excepting that in the case of mahogany many more have been planted 
in the Central Circle. Teak plantations are now found as widely 
apart as on the banks of the Cross River near Ikom, Inkum, Ndeh 
and Ikrigon amongst the historic stones, and in the Arboretum at 
Calabar. Near Ndeh, for over a quarter of a mile the river bank is 
quite enlivened by the large and showy leaves as well as the tall, thin 
stem of the teak. To a lesser extent, though appearing more picturesque, 
is the riverside plantation on the opposite bank just below Abragba. 
In a district with a rainfall of about 60 inches and a deep sand alluvial 
soil, the teak so far has proved quite at home in the Cross River dis- 
tricts of the Eastern Circle. Even amongst the thickly growing grass 
at Ikrigon they have survived after coming up from seeds sown at 
stake, and bid fair to become an established tree of that locality. 

Teak has also found a place in the plantation near Mpot and the 
Oban Reserve. Going over now to the Central Circle, we have Oria, 
situated near the right bank of the Niger in the Benin province, with 
its rapidly growing teak plantations. Again choosing a local climate 
similar to that where teak is found has so far proved it to be a most 
suitable tree for this locality. Many other trees do not thrive or attain 
much size near here, so that the teak is all the more valuable for that 
reason. Near Benin itself, with its heavier rainfall and comparatively 
approximate to the sea (about 45 miles), it is doubtful if teak will do 
so well. Even so, growing more slowly, it would prove an additional 
most valuable tree to those already found growing in the district from 
which timber has already been obtained. 



NIGERIA 169 

Again, in the Western Circle the very largest teak plantations are 
found : even from the railway carriage window you get an impression 
of the extent of these just before reaching the Eruwa Road station, 
and again just after leaving Olokemeji station, between 85 and 90 
miles from Lagos respectively. Despite one or two fires, trees at 
Eruwa Road show quite average growth for the Southern Provinces of 
Nigeria. In seven years the trees had reached a girth of over 12 inches 
and a height of over 25 feet. Happily, they were not fruiting so profusely 
as at Olokemeji. This plantation is all the more interesting in that 
it was made primarily for the use of the Railway Administration to 
supply teak timber for sleepers and constructional work. 

On closer inspection it will be seen that the Olokemeji plantations 
nearest the railway comprise six " falls," " stands," or " compart- 
ments " of 25 acres each, adjoining each other. Although the trees 
everywhere have not grown as well as on the better soil, these are far 
and away the largest plantations of any in Nigeria. Each " stand " 
is separated from the next by a broad ride and top and bottom by 
a broad road. Near by these are another two compartments of 
25 acres each, though neither of these is entirely filled with teak, as 
also the first one in the other series. Nearer the bungalows there are 
the first made plantations of 1908, thriving, yet growing on the poor 
laterite soil. These stretch away nearly half a mile into the open 
deciduous forests at the back. What a strange contrast is presented 
in the dense, close growth of the teak plantation, with its soil covering 
of decaying and large brown leaves of the teak, compared to the stunted 
growth of Red Ironwood, small Bauhinia, some Paradaniellas and 
a few gnarled oak-like Shea Butter Trees ! Such teak plantations 
open up a long vista of future developments in the conversion of the 
poor dry-zone vegetation into forests of valuable trees, both with and 
without extensive permanent improvements of the soil and subsoil. 
Even the large raceme-like clusters of the flowers, almost covering the 
whole of the teak trees in April and May, are not to be despised for 
improving the looks of a grassj'' lawn near a bungalow. A glimpse 
through the tall Terminalias on both sides of the Ogun, just before 
the curve is reached at Olokemeji village, reveals yet another teak 
plantation on the lower slopes of the easternmost of the two hills. 
Olokemeji means the " man of, or owner of, two hills " {oke means a 
hill, and meji means two, in Yoruba). Again, still further along in the 
valley of the stream, near the station, are some other older teak 
plantations from the years 1910, 1911. Here there is yet a different 
contrast. The broad, wide masses of the teak plantation are still on 
one side rather overshadowed towards the hillside by the giants of 
the mixed deciduous forests, such as the cotton-tree {Eriodendron 
Orientale) and Sterculia cordifoUa and ebony {Diospyros mespiliformis). 
However, later on the teak, growing on better soil than is found in 



170 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

many parts of the Olokemeji Reserve, will no doubt equal it, if not 
surpass it. 

Further to the south, in the Ilaro Reserve, teak has not proved to 
be so much at home ; although growing well the first year or so, the 
rate of growth since then has been distinctly disappointing. The 
soil may have been too damp, and the rainfall of the locality may be 
a little high, and perhaps later on it may be proved that it can be 
grown on the higher land at a profit. 

Further eastward and further northward, in the Mamu Reserve, 
the teak has grown as well, if not better than up the Cross River. 
Trees five years old have reached a girth of 24 inches and a height of 
35 feet ; with its good soil and comparatively high rainfall, probably 
rather more than 60 inches, Mamu bids fair to be one of the homes of 
teak in Africa. The older plantations on the river bank, some three 
miles away from those on the side of the Ibadan-Jebu-ode Road, 
have done nearl}'^ as well as those standing on inferior soil. So far 
the only damage done to any of the trees anywhere is that caused by 
a mistletoe-like parasite termed Afoma by the Yorubas, and known 
botanically as Polystachys odorata. However, only isolated trees 
having been attacked both at Olokemeji and Mamu, it is not difficult 
to combat its presence by cutting the trees down and burning the 
parasite. Still further north, on the bank of the Ogun just above the 
bridge on the Oyo-Iseyin Road, is yet another teak plantation. This 
was mainly formed by many of the seedlings in the nursery not being 
transplanted in time and being allowed to grow up altogether unthinned. 
Teak, however, forms such very persistent side branches, and has such 
a tendency to flower and fruit early in its existence, that only helps 
it to form a clean straight bole and retards the period of flowering by 
being planted close together. Also, nearly 5 per cent, of all the stems 
have a tendency to bend over and form stronger side branches than 
a leader, and have, in fact, rather a more shrub-like habit than that 
of a tree. Again, quite 1 per cent, grow very slowly right from the 
beginning and thus sooner or later get suppressed. For these reasons, 
then, more are required right from the beginning in order to form a 
full crop of clean-boled timber. 

In the Ondo Circle there are some teak at Awshun, where, owing 
to rather a high rainfall and somewhat low-lying ground, the trees 
have not grown so very fast after the first year. 

In addition to isolated specimens over twelve years old in the Oloke- 
meji Arboretum region, the oldest trees of all are found in the Ebutte- 
metta gardens near Lagos. These trees are nearly thirty years of age, and 
show a girth of about 6 feet. By no means growing on good soil, or in 
a suitable locality either with regard to elevation or the close proximity 
to the lagoon and the sea, useful for the best growth of teak, they 
do not at all show the possible limits of growth of this tree. Already 



NIGERIA 171 

sample sections have been cut from one or two of these trees and 
reported on most favourably by the Railway Administration. Similar 
samples have been sent to the Imperial Institute for exhibition purposes. 
In a short time the first thinnings of the plantations will take place, and 
it will be possible to see for what purpose they are most suitable. At 
any rate, it is a termite-proof wood, and despite the fact that the white 
ants often attack the growing tree, they usually eat only the outer 
bark, leaving the tree quite intact and alive. 

In all, about 300 acres have been planted with teak, and even at 
the low valuation of the cost of making them they are worth at least 
£45,000. In this case a nominal value of only 3s. per cubic foot is 
assumed. As has proved the case in Burma, probably on the best soils 
only a period of eighty years will have to elapse before the final filling 
of the trees is made on the better classes of soil, and one of a hundred 
on the poorer soils. At approximately regular intervals of every ten 
years after the first ten or fifteen have elapsed from the date of the 
making of the plantation, thinnings are made. With each succeeding 
period the trees cut out are of larger size, and thus of increasing value 
with each decade. These returns soon more than cover the cost of 
planting, and assume greater and greater proportion towards the 
end of the rotation. 

Another tree with which a considerable amount of work has been 
done is the Iroko [Chlorophora excelsa). Here, despite many disap- 
pointing results, care and attention shoAv that this tree is capable of 
reproducing itself in a comparatively short period. Beyond many 
specimens in the Arboretum at Olokemeji, a whole plantation was 
made by the Railway between that place and Eruwa Road. Seedlings 
come up in large numbers from fresh seed sown in a nursery. In 
fact, sometimes, as at Olokemeji, they have appeared thicker than grass. 
Subsequently, when transplanted, many thousands died, the roots 
being apparently unable to quickly adjust themselves to new surround- 
ings and grow again before the leaves have transpired nearly all the 
moisture from the plant, and thus quite withered and dried it up. 
However, those which have survived show fair growth, even on poor 
laterite soil. This soil, of course, is quite unsuited, and certainly one 
of the poorest mediums in which to plant Iroko. 

Natural regeneration or the sowing of seeds at stake seems to be 
the best method, as we have in nearly all the Reserves large numbers 
of young Iroko seedlings of all ages and sizes coming up. In that 
connection one of the most instructive Forest Reserves is that of 
Ikrigon, where the Iroko (Chlorophora excelsa) is the most prevalent 
tree. Here, where most of the land has been farmed at one time or 
another and where the rainfall on the whole is sufficient to induce a 
good forest growth, the Iroko has tended to increase in numbers all 
through this part of the country. It may also be said, of course, that 



172 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

the natives have directly helped in this process, by leaving some 
of the less straight and more branched Iroko-trees standing. They 
have used the best for canoe-making. In this manner seed-bearing 
trees have been available, and with part of the ground having been 
cleared for farms, the conditions have been most suitable for the 
reproduction of the tree. Subsequently the farms have been abandoned 
and the young trees have grown up amongst the weeds, creepers, 
and other inferior tree species, such as Albizzia, just according sufficient 
shade and protection for the young Irokos, and yet not too dense or 
thick to prevent them from sooner or later emerging and overgrowing 
the rest of the trees. Although, of course, many trees growing up under 
these conditions branch somewhat low down, they do not suffer 
nearly to the same extent, and sometimes not at all, from the attacks 
of the leaf coccus. This has two effects : not only does it not hinder 
and retard the sapling's growth, but also all the sooner it reaches the 
higher zone or greater distance from the ground (as far as its upper 
foliage is concerned), so that these attacks do not occur. Again, the 
competition of the various weeds, Albizzias, creepers, etc., has the 
effect of so stimulating the growth of the young Iroko that in such 
positions it reaches a much greater height in a quicker time than 
when planted in jDure plantations. From numerous observations it 
appears that after the first year the height growth may exceed 6 feet 
in one season. Even later this is kept up, and if the rest of the forest 
growth remains comparatively thick, no side branches can be formed 
on the bole of the Iroko, so that clean-stemmed trees are the result. 
As it gets older the Iroko stands less shade, and thus any small branches 
which do form are soon killed by the surrounding trees. Thus it is 
seen how we find these very straight, long-boled Irokos in the forests. 
Again, too, it is not very expensive, and at least much cheaper, to 
undertake partial cleaning and pruning amongst the self-sown Iroko- 
trees, especially to eliminate forks low down in the stem. Various 
experiments undertaken in the Ikrigon, Olokemeji and Mamu Reserves 
showed how quickly the sapling Irokos respond to this treatment. 
In some cases, trees only 2 inches in diameter and forked have reached 
nearly 4 inches in diameter and nearly doubled in height in one year. 
Another advantageous feature of the Iroko is the rapid, satisfactory, 
and smooth way in which the occlusion of the wounds made bj^ pruning 
takes place. Even in the case of a very crooked tree covered with several 
branches, in fact almost forming a crown, these may be marked but not 
all cut until the following year. Surfaces of less than 2 inches will be 
nearly occluded over, and a tendency of the tree towards a crown will 
be almost obliterated at that point and be forming much higher up 
the tree. 

Apparently, the more northward the tree is found the less liable 
it is to attack by the leaf coccus. Whilst it is found in the Olokemeji, 



NIGERIA 173 

Ilaro and Mamu Reserve, it is less frequent in the Ikrigon Reserve, 
In the Sokode it was quite unknown. This last-named place is in 
Togo, and the plantation is situated in a latitude of over 9° North, 

In the Ilaro and to a lesser extent in the Mamu Reserve it has been 
remarkable how rapidly the Iroko increases in girth when given plenty 
of space after being freed from the surrounding forest trees. In these 
trees, when showing a girth of from 4 to 8 feet, the diameter increment 
is most rapid. In most cases it averages over 6 inches in girth, and 
in one case at Ilaro it was as much as 11 inches in one year. This 
rapid growth in girth is all the more valuable as the trees of this size 
growing in the high forest have usually nearly completed their height 
growth. Thus the bole is comparatively long and clean, and the 
extra growth is put on evenly all the way up, tending to make it more 
cylindrical than before. 

With the protection of the forests alone as Forest Reserve both 
in the evergreen and mixed deciduous forest zone, not only are many 
Iroko-trees preserved and allowed to grow to their full size, but also 
large numbers of self-sown seedlings come up in the abandoned ground 
and augment the value of the forests. This is an additional reason why 
the farming in a Reserve cannot be continued for any length of time. 
The old farms become more and more filled up with valuable young 
Iroko-trees, which would be at any rate damaged, if not killed, by 
the farming operations. 

Even without taking into consideration the number of planted 
trees, the Forest Department has practically guaranteed certain future 
quantities of Iroko timber in the number of small trees which have 
been preserved and the potential value of the little ones grown up since 
the Reserves were made. Only in one part of the country is this any- 
thing like the case, and that is in the Ahoada district, where the natives 
use the Iroko-tree as a boundary mark between the different village 
lands and also between many farms. To a minor extent this can be 
seen in the Onitsha district, where the Iroko-trees have been preserved 
inside the villages, thus giving them the appearance of being the woods 
of the country while the rest of the land is bare. It is, however, just 
the reverse. They form the towns and villages amongst the trees, 
which are thus preserved from the axe and fire of the local farmer. 
Despite the fact that a fair number of large oversized Irokos have 
been cut each year in the Olokemeji Reserve, there are many more of 
the smaller size now coming on than were in existence when the first 
fellings took place. 

Another tree which has received a considerable amount of atten- 
tion is the Cigar-box Cedar {Cedrela odorata), and to a lesser extent 
the Toon {Cedrela Toona). Although both are exotic trees, the former 
especially shows very quick growth. Despite the unevenness with 
which it is liable to come up from seed, the rapid growth of the 



174 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

tree soon compensates for this disadvantage. In three or four 
years it may be from 18 to 24 feet high and 8 to 16 inches in girth. 
Both the largest individual specimens as well as plantations are found 
in the Olokemeji forest as well. 

More in place in the firewood plantations near Lagos and Ibadan 
is the Casuarina {Casuarina equisetifolia). At Olokemeji this tree 
has only done comparatively well. Also an exotic, it is most useful 
for planting near the sea-side on sandy soil, and in places with a smaller 
rainfall. It will also stand a comparatively dry atmosphere. The 
wood of this tree is very hard, almost like Ironwood. It is sometimes 
known as the Australian Beef Tree. Its numerous small branches on 
the stem make the wood rather knotty and of less value for general 
construction work. However, its heating power as a firewood is very 
great. Amongst all the forest trees it is one which yields the 
greatest amount of acetic acid, which forms the basis of an 
explosive. 

Another Australian tree which has been used to a lesser extent for 
Afforestation purposes is the Blue Gum of various kinds. Eucalyptus 
citriodora and E. amygdalina have proved to grow the quickest of 
any planted in Nigeria. Many others have been tried, but most have 
not survived. Specimen trees and small groups are seen as far apart 
as Onitsha, on the banks of the Niger, Ikassa, near the mouth of the 
Nun branch of the Niger, the Botanical Gardens, Calabar, the Oloke- 
meji Arboretum and Forest Plantations, not to forget the streets of 
Lagos. In a similar way Casuarinas are seen near Government 
House at Calabar and in Lagos, besides the forest Arboretums 
and plantations. 

Another exotic from India, Lagostrsemia {Lagostrcemia flos 
Regince), has grown well both on the banks of the Ogun and on poor 
laterite soil of the Olokemeji Forest Reserve. For the sake of the 
flowers alone it is worth planting to ornament a garden or the edge of 
a plantation. The masses of mauve flowers last a considerable time and 
blend most beautifully with the foliage and any green grass near by. 
Although of branching habit when planted 10 feet apart, if planted 
closer it will grow straighter and with cleaner bole. The timber is 
hard and very durable. So far this tree has proved a valuable intro- 
duction, especially for planting poor soils and river banks liable to 
inundation. 

A later, though an exceedingl}' good introduction is that of 
the Satinwood [Swietenia chloroxylon) , which gives promise in the 
Olokemeji Forest Reserve of making a valuable addition to the 
number of timber trees of indigenous and exotic origin. This tree 
yields the Ceylon satinwood, which is usually worth at least £12 per 
ton. The almost silvery-white tufted formation of the leaves is re- 
miniscent almost of the Eucalyptus, though the leaf is rather smoother 



NIGERIA 175 

and not quite so narrow in proportion to its length as most of the 
Eucalyptus family. 

Some years ago the seeds of Pinus Mercusii were planted in several 
places, including those of higher elevation. Although it many cases 
the seed germinated, the seedlings subsequently died. 

Another exotic, the Swamp Cypress or Bald Cypress, or, as it is known 
in England, the Deciduous Cypress {Taxodium distichum), was tried 
near Benin City some years ago for swamp planting. Here, as in 
the other case, the seeds germinated and the small trees reached the 
height of about a foot and then subsequently died. The swampy 
ground where they were planted may, however, have been rather too 
acid or sour for them. The climate, of course, was no doubt con- 
siderably hotter than that of the Southern States of the United 
States, in which country this tree is indigenous. 

The original Spanish Mahoganj^, or Swietenia mahagoni, was intended 
for Afforestation purposes with a view to its yielding on the average 
a more highly valued wood than that of the African Mahogany. How- 
ever, in Afiica generally, and in the Olokemeji Arboretum, it has proved 
a very slow growth and more liable to attack by the leading-shoot 
borer than even the indigenous mahogany-tree. 

For the comparatively dry laterite soil of the Olokemeji Forest 
Reserve, Indian Rosewood or Blackwood {Dalbergia latifolia) has 
proved a valuable introduction. Growing comparatively fast and of 
somewhat branching habit, it soon covers the ground. It is, of 
course, better in mixture with others in order to produce clean stems. 
Latterly the larger trees have been attacked by a borer and consider- 
able damage has been done. Still, in spite of it the trees have gone on 
growing, and apparently are capable of outgrowing the damage 
without an enormous loss of increment. In all, several acres have 
been planted with this tree. 

Indian Walnut {Albizzia Lebbek) has found a foremost place in the 
firewood plantation at Ibadan and Ede, as well as in the forest planta- 
tions at Olokemeji. Its rapid growth and comparative indifference 
to soil make it a comparatively valuable tree for Afforestation purposes. 
Although it is usually only considered suitable for firewood, there is 
no doubt that its wood can be used as a substitute for walnut, as it 
is in India. Already, in fact, it is largely a forest escape in Africa, and 
is found in many of the old farms and cultivated places. Its greyer, 
almost silvery-grey, foliage easily distinguishes it from that of Albizzia 
Brownii, which has larger leaves. 

A South American exotic, the Lignum Vitse [Guaiacum officinale), 
is found in isolated specimens in the Olokemeji Arboretum and forest 
plantations. With such a very slow-growing tree, which may show half 
an inch growth in a year, it is difficult to be patient and wait for the 
many years before it will attain even a size large enough from which 



176 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

to cut the smallest bowl for a game of skittles or bowls. Its very 
yellow small foliage is most distinctive and not unlike box [Buxus 
sempervirens), but the leaf is flatter and does not curl like box. 

One of the most valuable introductions in the forest plantations 
at Olokemeji and in the firewood plantations at Ibadan is the Siamese 
Cassia or Bombay BlackAvood {Cassia Siamea). Almost indifferent 
as to soil and not requiring a heavy rainfall, and casting a heavy shade, 
it soon grows on the laterite, covers the ground, killing weeds, and 
rapidly attaining the size of a tree. In the plantations at Olokemeji, 
the trees reached a height of over 20 feet and a girth of about a foot 
in five years. It is one of the few trees that will thoroughly kill the 
Econ grass. The masses of yellow flowers which appear in the crown 
of the tree and also in the leader rather interrupt the height growth, 
but make a magnificent show at the end of the dry season. It continues 
to flower and fruit for the larger part of the year. Either as a firewood 
tree or as a timber tree, it should always be worthy of a place in all 
Afforestation areas where the rainfall is none too heavy. The hard, 
almost black wood is of value in India, so that it should prove of value 
in Nigeria when the trees are large enough for cutting into planks or 
boards. Amongst the exotic trees which have not yet found a place 
is the Trinkomali Wood [Berrya Otmnomilla) and Indian Rose 
Chestnut or Ironwood (Mesua ferrua), seedlings which were obtained 
from seeds of the large trees in the Botanical Gardens at Victoria. 
If they grow well in Nigeria, the somewhat heavy and flexible Trinko- 
mali Wood or Petwun and the Ironwood should both prove of value 
for local industrial work. 

Although found as specimen trees in the Olokemeji Arboretum, 
Copaifera officinalis has not been formed in plantations, though small 
groups of the West African Gum Copal {Copaifera salicihounda) are 
seen in the Ogba plantation of the Central Circle. Both these trees 
are doing very well, more especially the latter, which have reached a 
height of over 12 feet in six years. The former had produced some 
tears of gum three-quarters of an inch in diameter in the tenth year 
of its growth. In addition to these two, there is the Cameroon Gum 
Copal {Copaifera Demeusii), seedlings of which were obtained from the 
Botanical Gardens at Victoria. Considering that the last-named tree 
is indigenous in a territory so much closer to Nigeria than either of 
the first-named Gum Copals, it is highly probable that this one will 
grow better than either of the others. Up to the present it is not known, 
however, how the yield of the Gum Copal comjjares with either of the 
former. As far as West Africa is concerned, the Sierra Leone Gum 
Copal has proved to be the most prolific in this respect. 

The Indian Almond {Terminalia catappa) is seen more as an avenue 
tree, mostly in towns such as Lagos, but also in the Mamu Forest 
Reserve. It is certainly one of the best shade trees for planting at 



NIGERIA 177 

the side of roads. Its rather formal habit, with the almost even whorls 
of branches, fits in with the straightness and even width of a road. 
By many it is not realized that the nuts can be comparatively easily 
cracked and the kernel inside is good to eat. 

Michelia champaca is another most suitable tree for avenues. 
The chestnut-like leaf and the large, almost magnolia-like flowers 
are of a white colour, giving it a " distinguished " appearance such 
as is necessary for a roadside tree. The flowers, too, are used for 
making scent. 

Both as a shade tree and for its gum the Balsam of Peru (Toluifera 
PereircB) is also worthy of a place both in avenues and in plantations. 
Some seedlings were obtained from the Botanical Gardens at Pretoria, 
where the tree has grown comparatively well. Not so suitable for 
plantations apparently at Olokemeji is the Sugar Palm (Arenga 
saccharifera). However, in isolated places small plantations have 
been made with the Sago Palm (Corypha data), such as in the swamp 
opposite Calabar and the small grove of the Betel Nut Palm (Areca 
catechu) near Lagos. Both these give promise of being useful acquisi- 
tions to the palms of economic use in Africa. 

Before leaving the exotic trees, mention must be made of the Thuya 
(Thuya occidentalis), which were obtained from the Canary Islands by 
Major Cockburn and planted on the hill at Obubra. Although some- 
what slow growing, they have thrived in that climate and do not suffer 
from disease. This is the only example of a Conifer which has been 
successfully introduced into Nigeria. 

Amongst the other indigenous trees of which plantations have been 
made there is the Cedar Mahogany (Pseudocedrela Kotschyi), Emi 
gbegiri, Yoruba, which apparent!}^ grows but slowly in Olokemeji. 
It is much the same with the self-sown seedlings and with root suckers, 
both of which have proved disappointingly slow in that locality. 

Then also at Olokemeji we have the drj^-zone Mahogany, Khaya 
Senegalensis, Oganwo of the Yorubas and Ogwangu of the Benis, 
growing in a small plantation and raised from seed brought by H. N. 
Thompson, Esq., from the Shaki district in 1910. So far the growth 
has been comparatively rapid, though the tree is occasionally attacked 
by the leading-shoot borer, which makes it fork comparatively 
low down. 

Of the African Walnut and the Long-capsuled Mahogany, Lovoa 
Klaineana and Entandrop)hragma Condollei, most isolated specimens and 
groups appear to have been planted in the leased areas of Benin. 
In addition to these, some other specimens and small plantations are 
found in the Calabar, Degama, Benin and Olokemeji Arboretums, as 
well as in the plantations of the Ogba and Olokemeji. Thus far only 
the Long-capsuled Mahogany has been planted in these ; the difficulty 
of obtaining seed of the African Walnut has precluded its wider distribu- 

12 



178 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

tion in the various plantations. Long-capsuled Mahogany grows very 
fast, usually with an undivided stem and a big tuft of long pinnate 
leaves near the top of the tree. Stump shoots form very readily and 
soon attain a large size, as is noticeable in the specimen in the Benin 
Arboretum. 

The plantations of Ebony [Diospyros mespeliformis), Kanran 
of the Yorubas, have been made in the Olokemeji Forest Reserve. 
Although, of course, very slow growing, it demands further attention, 
as it yields a good black ebony. 

Amongst the soft woods there are plantations of Triplochiton 
Nigericum, Arere of the Yorubas and Obechi of the Benis, in the 
Olokemeji Forest Reserve. At first growing rather slowly, they bid 
fair to prove one of the most rapid growing trees. A mixture where 
teak was introduced to fill up the blanks will be interesting to watch 
in its future development, as to whether the teak will eventually 
outgrow the forest maple. 

Although the firewood plantations at Ibadan and certain parts 
of the plantations of Olokemeji have been filled up with West African 
Walnut {Albizzia Brownii), Ayinre Bonabona of the Yorubas, they 
will prove probably of greater value for the production of timber than 
for firewood. However, as a firewood tree it has yielded several cords 
of wood from one tree after only seven years of growth. So far it has 
certainly proved to be the tree which produces the greatest amount 
of firewood in the shortest period of time. It sprouts well from the 
stump, so that for a time its reproduction is very easy and assured. 

The Oil Bean {Pentaclethra macrophylla), Apara of the Yorubas and 
Opaga of the Benis, is found chiefly reproduced artificially, either by 
being sown at stake or planted along the sides of the roads in the 
Owerri and Benin provinces. Considering the hardness of the wood, 
the tree grows not excessively slowly, though, of course, compared 
to a softwood it is slow. 

Camwood {Pterocarpus Osun), Osun by the Yorubas, Ume by the 
Benis, has found a place in the Mamu Forest Reserve, its congener 
Pterocarpus Indicus having been planted in the Olokemeji Forest 
Reserve. However, as far as the size and habit of growth is concerned, 
the African Redwood or Barwood appears to be much superior to 
the Indian Paduak. The latter usually soon develops a triple stem 
with many small side-branches, whereas the African species always 
shows an undivided stem. In rate of growth " Osun " seems to be 
rather slow compared to many other trees. Self-sown seedlings come 
up readily in suitable localities, such as the Ikrigon Reserve, and on 
the whole develop more quickly. Anyhow, the continual demand 
in increasing amounts of this red dye-wood necessitates the careful 
preservation of the tree in the forest, as well as its continual reproduc- 
tion by natural regeneration or plantations in the Forest Reserve. 



NIGERIA 179 

Amongst the Mamu Forest Plantations there is that of Africa*! 
Oak {Afzelia Africana), Apa (Yoruba), Aligna (Benin), one of the few 
survivals of the efforts made to reproduce this tree artificially. The 
many insect and rodent enemies give isolated plantation seedlings 
very little chance to develop. 

Although Shea Butter {Butyrospermum Parkii), Emi Ori or Emigidi 
(Yoruba), has been tried as a plantation tree, the germination of the 
nuts is very poor, and the rodents attack them unmercifully. Appar- 
ently root-suckers form the chief means of reproduction for this tree. 
They are very prevalent and very persistent once they have sprouted. 
The forest fires destroy a great deal of the flower in the early part of 
the year, preventing formation of the fruit, and thus the means 
of reproduction by seed is very much reduced. The improvement 
in trees protected from fire at Olokemeji is most marked. 

At Degema there is a plantation of 3Iimusops Djave {?), or Aganokwi 
of the Benis, which shows comparatively fast growth ; in eleven years 
the trees had reached a height of about 25 feet and a girth of 2 feet 
6 inches. Although it sprouts well from the stump, it is easier to raise 
from seed, but the seedlings require great care in transplanting. 

At Olokemeji, Shinglewood {Terminalia Superba), Afara, by the 
Yorubas and Egoyn Nufwa by the Benis, is being tried in a mixed 
plantation. The growth has been rapid, and would probably surpass 
that of teak after the first five years. 

Over considerable areas of the Olokemeji and the Ibadan plantations 
the Yoruba Chewstick, or Ayin of the Yorubas (Anogeissus leiocarpus), 
has been planted. Its growth has been moderately rapid, reaching a 
height of about 8 feet in four years. In addition to the value of its 
wood both as a chewstick and from the fact that a mordant for dyes 
can be made from its ashes, the young plant kills all the Econ grass 
growing round it with its leaf fall. This makes the tree one of the most 
advantageous for Afforestation purposes. Its light-green foliage and 
delicate, graceful build, and slender bole and branches, make it also 
valuable as an avenue tree in the dryer parts of the country. In 
its similarity to the European birch it might almost be called the 
birch of Africa. 

With the Dika Nut {Irvingia Barteri), Oro by the Yorubas and 
Okherli by the Benis, small sample plots have been made in the 
Mamu Reserve and isolated specimens planted near the Calabar 
Arboretum. 

Although not for Afforestation purposes but for the production 
of Palm Wine, Raffia vinifera, Ako by the Yoruba, Augor by the Benis, 
has been planted and seeds distributed amongst the villagers of the 
upper parts of the Cross River districts. When these are grown there 
will not be such a demand for cutting down the oil-palm-tree for 
making palm wine as there is at the present time. 



180 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Allowing only a value of 3d. per tree on all the trees planted during 
the last fifteen years, all the mahoganies and plantations are worth 
£240,000. 

In two circles and parts of a third a great deal of work of an 
Afforestation nature was undertaken years before any actual forest plan- 
tation could be made. These are the communal rubber plantations of the 
Ireh Rubber {Funtumia elastica). In the Central Circle, near over 700 
villages and towns, plantations varjung from a hundred plants to ones 
covering several acres and containing many thousands, were made, aggre- 
gating in all the setting out of over a million trees in a period of about 
five years. In the Eastern Circle, in over a hundred villages, and in the 
Ondo and Western Circles over two hundred village plantations were 
made. Subsequently Para Rubber {Hevea Braziliensis) was added and 
substituted for the Funtumia wherever the climate was suitable for 
it. Now the communities concerned have a very valuable asset, which 
they can tap from year to year and augment at their leisure. What- 
ever happens to the forest or the immediate neighbourhood of the 
village, there will at any rate remain the rubber plantation, giving 
grateful shade to the roadsides and the ground near the villages. In 
one case a village planted over 1,200 Para rubber-trees, which even as 
a commercial asset are by no means to be despised. 

In addition to these efforts on the part of the natives, acting under 
the advice and guidance of the Forest Department, there are the 
numerous rubber plantations in all the Forest Reserves. In the 
earlier days these were planted with Funtumia, where, for instance, 
in the Mamu Forest Reserve nearly one square mile of land is 
planted with this tree. 

Then, again, there are the district plantations, more especially in 
the Eastern Circle, where in many cases Para Rubber was planted 
instead of Funtumia. These areas are for the most part smaller than 
those of the Forest Reserve or Communal Plantations They served 
more as demonstration areas to show how rubber would grow in that 
locality. 

Furthermore, near almost each native court in the Eastern Circle 
rubber plantations, in many cases of Para and in others of Funtumia, 
were made. 

The general cost of the Communal District and Native Court 
Plantation was practically limited to the amount involved in payment 
of the native Forest staff. These men, however, had other duties 
to perform, and on the average certainly not more than one-third of 
their time was occupied in the making of these plantations. For 
the making of the other plantations of the Forest Reserve about 
£2,500, or sometimes £3,000, has been spent annually in making them 
and in the cost of their upkeep once they have been made. Owing 
to the long dry season in Nigeria the number of plants failing to survive 



NIGERIA 181 

it is somewhat high, and this very considerably increases the cost of 
the final establishment of the plantation. For some years the cost in 
many cases amounted to £10 per acre for the first year and £1 or £2 
for subsequent years, for the cost of " beating up " and keeping the 
plantations clean. With the greater experience gained both in regard 
to the habits of the different trees and in the methods of reproduction 
most suitable to various parts of Nigeria, the cost has been somewhat 
lessened. However, even so, the cost compared to European or English 
plantations is not abnormally high. In Africa there is no land to buy, 
and no wire-netting is needed for the plantations, and the land usually 
planted has not a " letting " or " sporting " value, as it has in England. 
The buying out or compensating of the native rights of the usufruct 
of the soil is not so very expensive, especially when it is spread over 
comparatively large areas, as it usually is in West Africa. Then, again, 
even with the cost of £10 per acre, the total value of a crop after fifty 
or sixty years would certainly not be less than 3s. per cubic foot of the 
timber, which thus allows ample margin for 5 per cent, compound 
interest on the original outlay, and a profit besides. In many cases 
the timber would be worth a great deal more, and also the value of 
the intermediate thinnings is not inconsiderable. Both these factors 
have been left out of the account, in order not to in any way exaggerate 
or make too optimistic estimates of the value of a forest plantation. 
But beyond the financial side of the value of forest plantations, 
more especially in a tropical country like Nigeria, is the very valuable 
indirect effect they have on the whole welfare of the country. 

First of all, plantations in forest groves improve and beautify a 
locality, whether on the level or amongst hills. 

In the second place, the forest induces a greater rainfall in itself 
and its immediate vicinity. 

Then the rainfall which actually falls in the forest is partly re- 
evaporated to fall again, thus making extra rainfall, and also the rain 
which actually reaches the ground in the forest is only gradually 
absorbed, thus making the flow of springs and rivers regular. 

Both on the level and especially on slopes, a covering of trees, 
such as a forest, hinders the washing away of the surface soil or tilth 
of the land. 

Forest trees only require one-twelth of the mineral matter out 
of the soil that an agricultural crop does, covering the same 
area. 

In a forest plantation there is always greater humidity in the air, 
and thus many plants of economic value, such as cocoa, can grow in 
its vicinity, which would otherwise not be possible to be grown in 
that locality. 

A forest acts as a moderating influence on the temperature of 
the air, being lower inside the forest than outside, when the sun is very 



182 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

hot. Conversely, when it is cold outside in the " harmattan " season 
it is warmer in the forest. 

Nearer the interior of the forest certain better grasses and pasture 
are found, which are of incalculable value, in a drought, to the 
cattle jn that locality. 

During the long period of the rotation, usually at least 60 or 80 
years, in most forests there are large accumulations of leaf mould or 
litter, which on occasion can be used in reasonable quantities for 
manuring neighbouring agriciiltural lands. This is of incalculable 
benefit where the ground outside the forest is comparatively poor 
and dry. 

It has been proved also that in these long forest rotations the 
mineral rock and subsoil have time to weather, and add further mineral 
matter to the enrichment of the soil. 

The forest, too, provides grateful shelter and sanctuary for game 
animals and birds of all kinds, thus providing, especially in Africa, 
the largest source of meat which the native has. 

When all these indirect advantages and good effects of the forest 
are added together and a definite value put on them, and then con- 
sidered in addition to all the timber and firewood the forest produces, 
it will be seen how wonderfully and providentially beneficial the 
forests really are, and also how absolutely essential they are in a 
country like Africa. 

Just as efEective, and cheaper, except perhaps as regards time, 
than the artificially made forest plantation, are the protected forests ; 
even in the worst case, starting with a poor country growth and small 
dry-zone shrubs and trees, after ten years there is a compact, close-growth, 
medium-sized tree with straightened stem and less branching habit, 
and the ground comparatively free from grass. During a further 
period this forest can be thinned out by removing the poorer 
shrubs and trees and allowing seedlings of more valuable species 
to come up. They will often do this in the shade of poorer and more 
hardy trees. Still later, as the soil-moisture conditions improve, the 
humidity increases as well as the rainfall ; still other species come in 
or can be introduced artificially. Eventually, by the end of the first 
rotation there is probably quite a different forest to that in 
existence at the time of the annual grass-fires, and one which is more 
akin to the original forests before the advent of Man with his fire- 
stick. 

Quite apart from any money which has been spent on direct forest 
plantations, the indirect efifect of the protection afforded to the 
trees in the various forest reserves is of almost incalculable value. 
If the figure should be calculated out even at a low rate of only £1 
per acre, then the total value is £768,000 for the Reserves already 
made. Again, considering this result has only been attained after 



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184 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

about fifteen years' work, it will only go to show the vast potentialities 
and resources that may be eventually created, or preserved from 
destruction, in Nigeria. 

V. The Forest Department.* 

European Forest Officers are of two ranks, the scientifically trained 
Conservators of Forests and the executively trained Foresters. 

The scope of this paper will only cover the former, as very few 
of the latter are Europeans, and most of them Nigerians. 

From Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh, graduates in Forestry 
can usually be procured. The training at these centres covers roughly 
a year or a year and a halfs work on the elementary subjects, such 
as Botan}^, Mathematics, Geology, Mensuration, Surveying, and 
Political Economy. In addition, a year or two years' work on the 
professional subjects, Silviculture or the growing of Forests, Forest 
Protection, Forest Utilization, Forest Botany, Forest Entomology, 
Forest History and Forest Policy is required. At the end of the 
course, six months' practical work in Scottish or English forests 
follows, during which period working plans and market conditions 
are especially studied. 

After being accepted for appointment in Nigeria, a further three 
months' course is taken at the Roj^al Gardens, Kew ; and six months' 
practical work on the Continent v/as (before the war) usually required. 
At Kew, the object is to acquire a working knowledge of the most 
important Botanical Orders which contain the African trees. The 
continental course shows the student forests which have been under 
a definite scheme of management for over a hundred years. It takes 
one, in fact, right through the life-history of a tree from a seedling 
in the nursery-bed to the well-grown financially mature tree, marked 
ready for the axe, a period of about eighty years. 

The initial appointment is for three years on probation, after which 
it may be confirmed. The initial salary of an Assistant Conservator 
of Forests is £300 per annum, rising by increments of £15 to £400 
per annum. The first appointment dates from the day of sailing, 
the passage being paid by the Nigerian Government, and salary on 
half-pay begins from the date of departure until the arrival in Nigeria, 
when full salary begins to accrue. Intending candidates should bear 
in mind that an early selection for appointment entitles them to 
seniority over other candidates who, owing to their being fully 
qualified, are appointed immediately, and thus reach the Colony 
before them. Locally, a commuted travelling allowance of £42 per 
annum is drawn to compensate for the extra cost entailed in inspecting 
the forests. A limited number of carriers, or other means of transport, 

* Reprinted by kind p?rmission of the Editor of United Empire. 



NIGERIA 185 

are provided by the Government. For the purpose of more rapidly 
getting about, a bicycle, motor, or horse may be kept, and an allow- 
ance is given for maintenance. The cost of living is high, even when 
furnished quarters or a bungalow are provided. 

Lagos is the first port of call in Nigeria, and there is a railway 
journey of 123 miles before reaching Ibadan, the temporary head- 
quarters of the Forest Department. Olokomeji, 90 miles from Lagos, 
is the old headquarters, and from here the forestry work of the 
Southern Provinces is directed. Zaria, situated some 450 miles from 
Lagos, is the headquarters of the Forestry Department in the Northern 
Provinces. 

A newly appointed officer would be liable to be sent to either of 
these last-named places ; but owing to the larger number of men 
being stationed in the Southern Provinces, the majority are sent to 
that centre. Olokomeji is in the middle of a Forest Reserve 
26 square miles in extent, and is also the headquarters both of the 
Western Circle and of its northern division. In each circle there is 
a Conservator of Forests in charge, and he has an assistant to manage 
each division. In the event of a shortage of staff it maj^ happen that 
a new man is put in charge of a division and thus has an opportunity 
of learning all about the work much more quijckly than would other- 
wise be the case. In the ordinarj^ way he only corresponds with his 
Conservator and the timber interests of his division on purely local 
matters. 

Since 1901, a moderately large Arboretum has been planted at 
Olokomeji, containing quite a number of indigenous trees growing 
under natural conditions, according to the tj^pe of climate found in 
that locality, and also some exotic trees which grow in similar climates 
in Asia or South America. In a comparatively short time the new 
Forest Officer can get a very fair idea of the most important timber 
trees found locally, as well as elsewhere. In connection with the 
work of renewing the labels on specimen trees, ocular demonstration 
of all these trees is obtainable. The local Ranger can usually supply 
the vernacular names, and here is a wide field for linguistic qualifi- 
cations. Yoruba is the local language, Benin is spoken by a large 
number of people in the Central Circle, and Hausa by nearly all 
itinerant traders throughout the country. Ibo, another language, 
is spoken by nearly 3,000,000 inhabitants, while many of the Cross 
River people (Eastern Circle) speak Efik ; some, however, speak 
New Calabar or Ibibio, while again, in a large part of the Niger Delta, 
Brass or Ijor is spoken. Sooner or later the language of the locality 
should be acquired, and in fact this is prescribed by Government 
order as a necessary preliminary to the granting of the first increment. 

The routine office work includes simple book-keeping, analysis 
of records, appointments of staff, the engagement of native labour 



186 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

and all payments. The executive work outside is carried out by the 
Forest Guards, Foresters, and Rangers, who require constant super- 
vision. Owing to the distance, only some of them can report at 
Forest Headquarters each month, and the rest must be seen when 
the Forest Executive Officer makes his tour of inspection. If possible, 
travelling should take the place of indoor work for at least ten daj^s 
a month. 

At first sight, on examining the tropical forest, it appears like a 
very mixed collection of different kinds of trees ; on closer inspection, 
however, similarities and contrasts are apparent, such as Ebony, 
Diospyros mespiliformis, with its thin, black scaly bark, and that 
of the somewhat regularly, deeply fissured bullet-wood tree, Mimusoj'ts 
multinervis, and its white latex, which the former does not exude. 

In walking through a forest, it is normally best to make the 
carriers precede. Owing to their tendency to lag, and their desire 
to sit down at inconvenient times, it is an advantage to have them 
in front. Frequently one may have to stop and examine a flower 
or leaf, and it only adds to the carriers' labour if the whole column 
has to stop whilst seeds and specimens are being collected. A march 
of about 15 miles is sufficient, and takes up the better part of the 
day, if an examination of the forests is being made on the way. In 
most parts villages are eight to ten miles apart, sometimes nearer ; 
so the carriers can stop and purchase food. In the larger forests, 
however, a distance of over 20 miles is sometimes covered without 
sight of a house ; in that case the people of the last village are asked 
to bring food for the carriers, and the carriers themselves are given 
a day's food as well, which has to be cooked on reaching camp. In 
some places the chiefs provide food (yams, etc.), which is distributed 
to the carriers, or in some places 3d. a day per head is allowed them 
for purchasing food. So long as the carrier gets food and his load 
is not excessively heavy, he is quite cheerful and walks well. He will 
pick his way in mud, over roots, and up the steepest rocks in the hill 
forests. 

Current wages vary from 9d. to Is. a day, the head-man getting 
from Is. to 2s. a day. Local felling-permits being issued both by 
the District and Forest Officers to natives for felling timber for local 
use, at District Stations a call is paid the District Officer to discuss 
current forest questions and examine the permit books. At the same 
time there is an opportunity of seeing what further development of 
forest work is possible in the district. The local Forest Guards, 
Foresters, or Forest Rangers report themselves, usually giving a very 
good account of the local forest conditions. Since the demand for 
local timber has been growing, a stop may have to be made to 
supervise the marking or girdling of suitable trees for bridge-building 
under the auspices of the Public Works Department. On a journey 



NIGERIA 187 

through the mahogany forest, the different camps of the timber firms 
have to be visited. These firms have hundreds of square miles for 
the purpose of exploiting mahogany and furniture woods. At the 
same time the checking and inspecting of the stumps of all the 
trees felled has to be gone through. The young mahogany seedlings 
are also seen, and from the number of these it is known whether 
sufficient have been planted to take the place of those cut down. The 
very rapid growth of these trees can here be studied to advantage ; 
trees now 40 feet high have only been planted a few years. The 
relative value of the direct planting of seedling trees as compared 
with the natural regeneration of the forest by self-sown seedlings 
can be observed with ocular clearness. In one part of the forest 
one sees natives standing on a platform hacking away with an axe 
into a huge 50-feet mahogany ; in another place a similar tree, 
fallen, its 90-feet bole already sawn into three round logs : while 
in a third locality may be seen a native, axe or adze in hand, squaring 
mahogany logs with a 4-feet side. Later in the season eighty 
or more natives are engaged in dragging one of these logs on round 
billets of wood (for rollers) along a track, roughly cleared to the height 
of a man, to the nearest natural water-way ; still later (that is, in 
July or August), when the rivers rise, the logs may be seen floating 
singly down to the rafting-place on the main creek, where rafts are 
made with logs four or eight abreast, each fastened to the next, from 
a timber-dog at either end, with cane. From here, riverine natives 
such as the Ijors take the logs to the nearest river or ocean-going 
steamer port. 

The administrative work of the Department is in the hands of 
the Senior Conservators of Forests, under whom the Conservators 
manage their circles. The Chief Conservator of Forests, the head 
of the Department, initiates and controls the whole policy of the 
Department, being relieved of all details of administration. In order 
to ensure continuity of policy and action, a Working-plans Division 
has been formed. A working plan for the forests is a scheme of 
management laid down for a number of years ; no change can 
be made in such a plan without special reference both to the 
head of that division and to the head of the Department. With 
only one year's service, followed by leave of absence, continuity 
of action would be broken if it were not for a definitely approved 
plan. 

The Forest Department has supplied the Railway, Marine, and 
Public Works Department with timber of various kinds. In some 
cases the timber is obtained by departmental working, and in others 
is cut by native contractors under the supervision of the Department. 
In the first instance, the conditions under which timber is to be 
supplied to other departments are put before the Secretariat, and 



188 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

when once the work has been begun, the local Forest Officer deals 
direct with the department concerned. 

Forestry progress in Nigeria has been less tardy than in several 
other Colonies, though many forests have been destroyed owing to 
lapse of time before the formation of a department. In 1904 there 
were eight, and there are now twenty-four administrative appoint- 
ments. The amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria into 
one administration should accelerate the development of Forestry, 
It is as yet only in its initial stages, and scarcely more than a 
thousand square miles of forests, out of nearly a hundred thousand 
which exist in some form or another, have been permanently set aside 
for further timber production. The revenue-earning capacity of the 
Forest Department has been somewhat diminished by the war ; but 
with recent legislation more local revenue should be obtained, which 
should more than off -set any loss already sustained. Provided the 
financial position of Nigeria remains strong, the prospects of the Forest 
Department are quite bright. 

Although Nigeria has by far the largest Forest Department, very 
similar conditions of service obtain in the other West African Colonies 
of the Gold Coast and Sierra Leone ; but there are no Forest Officers 
in the Gambia. 

VI. A Review of the Botanical Features of Northern Nigeria. 
By Dr. J. M. Dalziel. 

The Northern Provinces of Nigeria exhibit in an interesting manner 
the transition, now familiar in West Africa, of physical characteristics 
from the tropical forest to the border region " that just divides the 
desert from the sown." 

So far as the progressive stages may be stated in terms of geo- 
graphical latitude, we maj" place the northern limit of the forest belt 
at about 8° North latitude. A convenient natural boundary in a por- 
tion of the area under consideration may be accepted in the lower course 
of the Benue River from its tributary, the Katsina River, or even as 
far up as Ibi, to the Niger at Lokoja. On the other hand, the southern 
limit of the desert is taken at about 17° North latitude, or higher, and 
thus falls some three or more degrees beyond the northern boundary. 

Between these arbitrary limits lies the greater part of Northern 
Nigeria and practically the whole of Hausaland, presenting physical 
features which vary through grassy plains and rolling downs, orchard- 
bush and thin-crowned forest, laterite plateaux and hilly woodlands, 
to the mountains of the Bauchi Highlands. The vegetative covering 
over a very large area can be classed as one or other type of savannah, 
tree and bush savannah, or open orchard and treeless savannah, with 
intermediate grades. Local topography alters the type here and 



NIGERIA 189 

there, galleries of evergreen vegetation occupying the intersecting 
belts of permanent streams or fringing a marsh, wide meadows bordered 
b}' low forest, but occupied entirely by grasses of few species, with 
scattered islets of foliage, or, again, outcrops of bare laterite and 
isolated domes and turtle-backs of crystalline rock, " inselbergs " and 
" kopjes," introducing features of their own. 

The Niger Delta displays admirably the high evergreen or moist 
tropical forest. This probably connects itself through the Kameruns with 
the great Central African forest of French and Belgian Congo, which 
is again said to be continuous through the gap between Ruwenzori 
and Lake Albert with that of British East Africa. 

West of the Niger Delta the coast, including Lagos, Dahomey 
and Togo, is sandy, and bush rather than high forest commences almost 
on the shore. Ascending the Niger, one finds that the true " rain 
forest " ends, but not abruptly, in the neighbourhood of Asaba ; a 
gradual transition occurs, first to an intermediate type, partly ever- 
green with many large trees, but mingled with those that lose their 
leaves in the months of little rainfall. This change is apparent even 
on the river-bank, and below Lokoja a more open but still semi- 
evergreen forest clothes the valleys, but shows already more of the 
deciduous element on the hills. Farther north the voyage from the 
mouth of the Kaduna River to the Zungeru light railway terminus 
at Barijuko, as often experienced in previous years, reveals again 
the progressively deciduous character of the foliage, resulting in a 
still more open forest. 

The river-bank, however, possessing permanent moisture and 
its own local climate, is an inadequate index of the general features 
over the countr}^ at large. To travel bj^ land from Baro to Zungeru, 
and thence either through Kontagora to Sokoto, or by Zaria to Kano 
and Gummel, is to have the complete vision of the West African 
savannah in its various degrees, and, except for local interruptions 
associated with considerations of altitude or geological outcrop, etc., 
or with the lines of perennial streams, to have it in its regular sequence. 

Leaving out of account for the present the region south of Lokoja 
and of the south bank of the Benue, which in part represents the 
" Zone Guineenne " of Chevalier, we find that the two routes suggested 
above will take one through country almost entirely of the types 
included by the same writer within the " Zone Soudanienne," with 
an approach at places along the Anglo-French boundary to the con- 
ditions occurring in his " Zone Sahelienne," It would be difficult 
and misleading to express these zones definitely in terms of latitude, 
but one might hazard the statement that the Guinea Zone passes to 
the Soudan Zone somewhere betAveen 8° and 10° North, and the latter 
extends either to the northern boundarj^ or verges on a drier belt 
beyond the latitude of 12° or 13° North. If a complete botanical 



190 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

survey were possible, one could then subdivide each belt into its 
different areas and provinces, with their special floral characteristics, 
but at present one must be content to indicate broadly the general 
composition. 

The Soudan Zone, indeed, includes the greater part of Hausaland 
and is representative of the typical West African savannah and 
savannah forest. It merges into the drier sandy " steppe " conditions 
in the north and into the mixed deciduous and semi-evergreen forests 
farther south. The only giants in height are the silk-cotton-trees 
{Eriodendron orientale), but baobabs of enormous girth are common, 
and the largest timber trees are probably the Maje {Paradaniellia 
Oliveri) and the Kawo (Afzelia Africana), fair specimens of the dry- 
zone mahogany, Madachi {Khaya Senegalensis), occurring also in 
favourable situations. 

Across the central part of Northern Nigeria, let us say from Konta- 
gora and South Sokoto through the whole of Zaria and South Kano 
to South Bornu (but excluding the Bauchi plateau, of which I cannot 
speak from personal knowledge), the plants named in the list here 
given might be regarded as the average association of species, trees, 
shrubs and herbaceous, the chief Natural Orders being represented 
as follows : 

Anonace.^ by the common wild custard apple, Gwandar daji, 
Anona iSenegalensis, a shrub. 

Capparidace.^ by the Ingidido, Cratceva Adansonii, by shrubs or 
woody undershrubs of genera Boscia and Mcerua, some thorny 
scramblers of the genus Capparis, and the familiar weed Gasaya, 
Gynandropsis pentapihylla. 

BixiNE^ by the Rawaya, Cochlospermum tinctorium, a shrub. 

HypericinE/E by the shrub Kaskawami, Psorospermum Senegalense. 

OcHNACE^ by the Namijin kade, Lophira alata, a tree very typical 
of the region, two or three species of Gomphia, and a new sj^ecies of 
Ochna, a small shrub with crenulate leaves. 

Malvace^ by numerous species of Hibiscus, including the cultivated 
Rama (chiefly K. cannabinus) and Cotton, with the Ramaniya, 
Urena lobata, and various undershrubs and suffrutescent weeds, mostly 
of the genus Sida. The Kuka or baobab, Adansonia digitata, and 
the Rimi or Silk-cotton Tree, Eriodendron orientale, marking the sites 
of human habitations, past or present, are typical species of this 
area, as is also the red-flowered Gurjiya, Bombax buonopozense 
(Bombacacese). 

Sterculiace.^ by the Kukuki, StercuUa tomentosa, a tree, with 
which we may place the common undershrub Hankufa, Waltheria 
Americana. 

Tiliace.e by several species of Greivia, the most familiar being 
the Dargaza, G. mollis, by two or three species of Corchorus, 



NIGERIA 191 

edible herbs allied to jute, and by shrubby weeds of the genus 
Triumfetta. 

SiMARUBACEiE by Haunoa undulata, a small-sized tree characteristic 
of the region, and by Irvingia Smithii, a tree more abundant in the 
South. 

BuRSBRACE.^ by two species of frankincense-tree — BoswelUa 
Dalzielii and B. odorata — and by Commiphora Kerstingii, a green-barked 
tree familiar as an enclosure fence in towns. 

Meliace^ by Khaya Senegalensis, the mahogany of the Soudan 
Zone, by Trichilia emetica, and by Pseudocedrela Kotschyii ; also by 
the naturalized Kurnan nasara, Melia Azedarach. 

Olacace.s; by the Tsada, Ximenia Americana, a shrub with small 
yellow, acid plums, and by the evergreen climbing shrub, Opilia cel- 
tidifolia. 

Celastraceje typically by the shrub Gymnosporia Senegalensis, 
and less by two or more species of woody twining Hippocrates. 

Sapindace^ by the woody twiner Paullinia pinnata, the 3-foliate 
shrub Schmidelia Africana, and the world-wide twining weed Cardio- 
spermum Halicacabum. 

Anacardiaceje by the tree Odina Barteri, by other species of 
Odina of more local distribution, and by two species of Annsphrenium. 

CoNNARACE^ by the abundant little shrub Byrsocarpus coccineus. 

PROTEACEja by a single species of Proiea, a shrub with large capitate 
flowers, of local distribution in the Central areas. 

PoLYGALACE^ by Securidaca longipedunculata and the field weed 
Poly gala arenaria. 

Leguminos^ by — 

Larger trees : the Maji or Kadaura, Paradaniellia Oliveri, and 
the Kawo, Afzelia Africana. 

Medium-sized and smaller trees : Parkia filicoidea, Prosopis 
oblonga, Pterocarpus erinaceus, Isoberlinia doka, Berlinia acuminata 
in ravines, Tamarindus Indica ; several Acacias, e.g. A. Sieberiana, 
A. campylacantha, A. Arabica ; Albizzia Chevalieri, Entada Sudanica ; 
Afrormosia laxiflora and Burkea Africana. 

Small trees and shrubs : Detarium Senegalense, Bauhinia reticulata 
and B. rufescens, Erythrina Senegalensis, Lonchocarpus laxiflorus, 
Dichrostachys nutans. Mimosa asperata on stream-banks. Cassia Sieberi- 
ana, C. Kotschyana and others, along with several shrubby species 
of Cassia and the dwarf C. mimosoides, Swartzia Madagascariensis, 
Ormocarpum bibracteatum. 

To these must be added the Zamarke, Sesbania punctata, and other 
spp., and a host of herbaceous plants or half woody undershrubs, 
chiefly belonging to the genera Crotalaria, Indigofera, and Tephrosia, 
others of Desmodium Eriosema, etc., and twiners of Vigna and 
Bhynchosia. 



192 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

The chief cultivated Leguminosse of the region are : Indigo, 
Indigofera arrecta and other spp., Arachis hypogcea, Vigna sinensis 
in numerous varieties, and Voandzeia subterranea. 

Rosacea mainly by Parinarium curatellcefoUum, to which may be 
added P. polyandrum in the South and P. macrophyllum in the North. 

CoMBRETACEiE by several species of Terminalia, of which the com- 
monest are the Baushe (of more than one species) and the Kandari, 
T. macroptera ; more fully by a number of species of Combretum, which 
are trees often gum-yielding, and very typically by the Marike, 
Anogeissus leiocarpus. 

Myrtace^ by Eugenia Owariensis, a tree, and E. coronata, a shrub. 

Lythrace^ by the " henna " shrub, Lawsonia alba, and the weed 
of damp places, Ammannia Senegalensis. 

Araliace^ by an interesting species, Cussonia Nigerica, a small 
tree of peculiar habit. 

RuBiACE^ by Adina microcephala, a fair-sized tree by bush 
streams ; by very numerous small trees and shrubs, e.g. Crossopteryx 
Kotschyana, Sarcocephalus Russegeri, Pavetta Barteri, Feretia canthioides, 
the Gardenia erubescens and the Gauden kura, G. lernifolia, the 
Giyaiya, Mitragyne Africana, typical of the islets of foliage clothing 
the grassy swamps, Moralia Senegalensis on stream-banks, and by more 
humble but abundant species of Oldenlandia, Spermacoce, Octodon, etc. 

SAPOTACEiE by the Shea Butter Tree, Butyrospermum ParJcii, 
probably the most characteristic member of the association. 

Ebenace.^ by the African Ebony, Diospyros mespiliformis. 

Apocynace^ typically by the arrow-poison woody climber Stro- 
phanthus sarmentosus, which is ahvays wild, and S. hispidus, which is 
generally planted near villages — both species called Kwankwanni ; 
also by the more common and inferior rubber vine, Landolphia florida, 
and shrubs Carissa edulis and Cryptolepis Nigritiana, the woody twiners 
Toecazea Barteri and other spp., with numerous others. 

Asclepiadace^ by the very typical giant milkweed Tumfafiya, 
Calotropis procera, probably always in association with man, the smaller 
undershrub Asclepias lineolata, and several suffrutescent herbs with 
tuberous and sometimes edible rootstocks of the genera Xysmalobium 
and Schizoglossum. 

LoGANiACE.^ by Strychnos spinosa, 8. alnifolia, and S. triclisioides, 
all shrubs or small trees. 

BoraCtINACE.3E by Cordia Abyssinica, a small tree, the undershrub 
Trichodesma Africanum, three or four weeds of the genus Heliotro- 
pium, etc. 

Bignoniace^ by Stereospermum Kunthianum, a small tree, and 
the Aduruku, Netvbovldia Icevis, confined to towns and rarely more 
than a tall, slender shrub ; the Rahaina or Rawuya, Kigtlia Mthiopica, 
occurs, but in an interrupted distribution. 



NIGERIA 193 

Verbenace^ by Vitex Cienkowskii, a fair-sized tree, V . diver sifolia , 
a small tree or shrub, and undershrubs such as Lantana salvifolia, Lippia 
Ukambensis, and a few species of Clerodendron, etc. 

EuPHORBiACE^ by Uapaca Guineense, usually only a rather small 
tree in the deciduous forest, Bridelia ferruginea and B. scleroneura, 
both shrubs, Phyllanthus floribundus, forming sometimes thicket-like 
clumps, P. reticulatus, a shrub, Flueggea microcarpa, a white-berried 
shrub, Antidesma venosum, and very typically by the Jan yaro, 
Hymenocardia acida, a shrub which in these open regions has nearly 
always an ochre-red bark. Numerous herbs and half-woody weeds 
are common, belonging to the genus Euphorbia {E. piluUfera, E. 
uEgyptiaca, and congeners), Acalypha, Phyllanthus, etc., the Castor 
Oil shrub {Ricinus communis) and the Physic Nut {Jatropha curcas) 
are cultivated, while thoroughly representative through the whole 
area are the familiar cactus-like Tinya, Euphorbia unispina and E. 
Poissoni, and the Kerana, E. Barteri, the latter at least never away 
from habitations. 

MoRACE^ by a host of species of the genus Ficus (or Urostigma) 
not yet fully elaborated botanically, e.g. Baure, Chediya, Durumi, 
Kauriri, Wa, etc. 

Ulmace^. a representative variety is Celtis integrifoUa, a 
fairly large tree. 

Salicace^ by one species of Salix. 

LoRANTHACE^ by scven or eight species of the parasite Loranthus, 
called Kauchi, clothing deciduous trees with epiphytic foliage. 

Orders represented mainly by flowering herbs, undershrubs, etc., 
are : 

Menispermace^ by the popular medicinal twiner Jibda kassa, 
Cissampelos Pareira. 

Nympheaceje by at least four species of Bada or water-lily, 
Nymphcea. 

Papaverace^ by the Yellow Poppy, Argemone Mexicana. 

Caryophyllace^ by species of Polycarpcea characteristic of the 
dry zone. 

Geraniace^ by the familiar weed Biophytum sensitivum. 

Droserace^ by the widely distributed Sun-dew, Drosera indica. 

Ampelide^ by numerous vines of the genera Vitis, Cissus, and 
Ampelocissus, of which perhaps the most striking are Dodoriya, 
Vitis quadrangidaris, and Dafara, Vitis pallida, while wild vines 
with edible berries called Tsiberi kinkini are generally of one or other 
species of Ampelocissus. 

CucuRBiTACE^ by the familiar cultivated Kabeova or pumpkin, 
Cucurbita Pepo, and Duma, the bottle-gourd, Lagenaria vulgaris, 
with its endless varieties, the Guna or water-melon, Citrullus vulgaris, 
and by many wild and half-wild species, e.g. the Balsam Apple, 

13 



194 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Momordica balsamina, the Loofah gourd, Luffa JEgyptiaca and L. acutan- 
gula, Cucumis prophetarum, and one or more species of tuberous- 
rooted Trochomeria. 

FicoiDE^ by common succulent weeds, e.g. Trianthema monogyna, 
T. pentandra, and Giesekia pharnaceoides, and by species of Mollugo 
in river-beds, etc. 

CoMPOSiTiE by some weeds of cosmopolitan distribution, e.g. 
Ageratum conyzoides, Eclipta alba, etc., and by very numerous herbs 
and sufifrutescent plants, amongst which the genus Vernonia is the most 
abundantly represented, including one typical of the region, viz. 
V. nigritiana, with several species of Aspillia, Coreopsis, etc., and the 
chewstick shrub, Vernonia amygdalina. 

Melastomace^ by a few species of Dissoiis and Osbeckia. 

CAMPANULACE.3S by a common little blue-flowered weed, Cephalo- 
stigma Perrottetii, and a water herb, Sphenoclea Zeylanica. 

Hydrophyllace^ by three or more species of Hydrolea, e.g. 
H. Guineensis, etc. 

Lentibulace^ by ten or more species of Utricularia. 

Convolvulace^, a conspicuous order, well represented by numerous 
species of Ipomcea, a few of Merrimia, and a few erect undershrubs 
of the genus Astrochlcena, to which one may add the little blue- 
flowered weed Evolvulus alsinoides, of wide distribution in the 
world. 

SoLANACE^ by the " Thorn Apple," Datura Metel, by numerous 
species of Solanum, some edible, e.g. the several cultivated varieties 
of the native bitter tomato, Gauta, varieties of S. Melongena ; others 
poisonous, e.g. Gautan kura, Solanum incanum, and others ; also by 
two common weeds of the genus Physalis, and the popular herb simple, 
Dandana, Schivenkia Americana. 

ScROPHULARACEvgs by Scoparia dulcis, of world-wide distribution, 
and by several parasitic species of Striga, of which the most familiar 
is the Makasar adwa, S. Senegalensis. Besides numerous humble 
weeds of cosmopolitan genera, e.g. Moniera, Ilysanihes, etc., mostly 
occurring in damp places, two or three species of Sopubia may be taken 
as characteristic of the bush-lands. 

AcANTHACE^ by a variety of weeds, etc., of the genera Blepharis, 
Monechma, Justocoa, etc., to which the following may be added as 
characteristic of the Order in Hausaland : Nelsonia campestris, a 
soft herb of slightly acid taste, Peristrophe bicalyculata, an occasional 
fodder plant, and Dyschoriste Perrottetii, the mucilaginous seeds of 
which are used to remove spicules from the eye. 

Pedaliace^ by the locally cultivated Ridi, Sesamum Indicum, and 
other wild species of Sesamum, by the weed Ceratotheca sesamoides, 
and by the half-shrubby Rogeria adenophylla. 

Labiate by several cultivated tubers, such as the Tumuku and 



NIGERIA 195 

Risga, by odorous species of Ocimum and JEolanthus, e.g. the Dodoya, 
Ocimum Americanum, the weed Acrocephalus polytrichus, and by 
many common herbs of various other genera. 

Amaranthacece by the native spinage, Alayafu, Amaranthus cau- 
datus, the Zaki banza, A. viridis, a wild species sometimes cultivated, 
and by several of the common weeds found in other countries — Celosia 
argentea, Pupalia lappacea, etc. 

Thymel^ace.^ by the poisonous Tururibi, LasiosypJion Kraussii, a 
yellow-flowered, low, suffruticose plant with a woody rootstock, and 
by two of three species of Gnidia. 

Aristolochiace^ by the twiner Aristolocliia albida. 

Laurace^ by the leafless twiner Cassytha Ouineensis. 

The Monocotyledonous Orders may be said to be represented as 
follows : 

Hydrocharitace/e by the yellow-flowered aquatic herbs Ottelia 
lancifolia and Boottia Abyssinica. 

Orchid ACE^ by a fair number of tuberous terrestrial orchids, of 
which Lissochilus arenarius is the most typical, several Habenarias 
and Eulophias, and a very few epiphytes, e.g. Ansellia Congoensis. 

Scitamine^ abundantly by Kosmpferia Mihiopica in open woods, 
Costus afer in shady ravines, and Fitta, the food-wrapper leaf, 
Clinogyne filipes, in streams, etc. 

IridacE/E by several species of Gladiolus, e.g. G. quartinianus, and 
of Tritonia. 

Amaryllidace^ by Crinum yuccceflonim, the red-flowered HcBman- 
ihus rupestris, Pancratium trianihum, and Curculigo Gallabatensis. 

Taccace^ by the tuberous Tacca involucrata. 

Dioscoreace^ by Dioscorea preJiensilis and other cultivated yams, 
chiefly in the South or on pagan hills, and by some species which are 
either wild or escapes. 

LiLiACE^ by several species of Urginea, e.g. U. Nigritiana, U. 
Indica, etc., by other bulbous species of the genera Anthericum, Dip- 
cadi, etc., by the climbing lily, Gloriosa superba, several species of 
Chlorophytum, Aloe Barteri, and by prickly scramblers such as 
Asparagus Pauli-Guilelmi, Smilax Kraussiana, etc. 

Alismatace.e by some flowering water-plants, e.g. Burnatia ennean- 
dra, Lophotocarpus Guyanensis, etc. 

CoMMELiNACE^ by various species of Aneilema — A. lanceolatum, 
A. Sinicum, etc., of Commelyna — C. nudiflora, C. umbellata, etc., and 
of Floscopa and Cyanotis. 

Palm^ by the Giginya, Borassus flabellifer, var. JEthiopum, the 
Goriba, ^Hyphcena Thebaica, chiefly in the North, and the Tukuruwa 
or Bamboo Palm, Raphia vinifera, in ravines only. 

AROiDE.a: by Culcasia scandens, by the Kinchia with yellow rhizome, 



196 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Stylochiton Dalzielii, Amorphophallus Barteri and A. dracontioides, 
Anchomanes Dalzielii, and other species. 

Cyperace^ by very numerous species of Cyperus, e.g. the edible 
Aya, C. esculentus, and the uncultivated Aya aya, C. rotundus, C. 
Fenzelianus, etc., and several of Pycreus, Fimbristylis, Kyllingia, 
Bulbostylis, etc. 

Gramine^ by the predominant tribe, Andropogonece, with numerous 
other genera — Eragrostis, Aristida, Digitaria, Pennisetum, Chloris, etc., 
and by a single locally distributed bamboo, Oxytenanthera Abyssinica. 
The chief cereal is Guinea Corn, Dawa, Sorghum vulgare ; both 
species of sugar-cane, Rake, Saccharum officinarum, and Takanda, 
Sorghum vulgare, var. saccharantum, are cultivated. 

The FiLiCES are poorly represented by the widely distributed 
Adder's Tongue, Ophioglossum vulgatum, the water-fern, Cratopteris 
Thalictroides, by Adiantum lunulatum, A. Schiveinfurthii, and a few 
species of Nephrodium asplenium, etc., by no means typical of the 
region. 

Having thus given a bird's-eye view of the floral composition in 
the central region of Hausaland, one may proceed to examine the 
variations revealed in passing south to the semi-evergreen forests 
and north to the drier open savannahs. 

Southwards the transition is gradual, and nowhere abrupt, from 
forest savannah with annual bush -fires and consequent tendency to 
revert to grass, to forests in which the number of species is greater and 
the deciduous element is more mingled with evergreens, either by the 
persistence of species which in a drier region are deciduous, but retain 
their foliage where the increased rainfall allows of this variation, or 
by the appearance of species which always possess the evergreen habit. 
Bombax buonopozense is an example of the former and probably also 
Afzelia Africana and several others. 

Some of the added constituents either absent from or more rare 
in the area of lesser rainfall are : 

Anonace^ : Xylopia parviflora, Hexalobus Senegalensis, Popowia 
Mannii. 

Capparidace^ : Ritchiea sp., Capparis viminea, etc. 

BixiNE^ : Oncoba spinosa. 

Sterculiace^ : Cola laurifolia. 

Rutace^ : the Fasa kwari, Zanthoxylum Senegalense. 

Meliace^ : Trichilia retusa. 

Anacardiace^ : Spondias lutea, Hcematostaphis Barteri, and the 
cultivated mango. 

Sapindace.^ : Blighia sapida. 

CoNNARACE^ : Scrambling shrubs, e.g. species of Agelcea and 
Cnestic. 




Fig. 38.— Marsh or " Fadama, ' with islets of foliage, Benue overflow, near Yola. 




Fig. 39. — The Lower Niger in flood. 




Fig. 40. — Fringing Forest on River Benue in the rainy season. 

To face p 196. 



NIGERIA 197 

Leguminos^ : Tetrapleura Thonningii, Piptadenia Africana, Ery- 
throphloeum Guineense, Cynometra Vogelii, Pterocarpus esculentus, 
Dialium Guineense, Millettia sp. near M. Sanagana and other species 
of Millettia, Cordyla Africana, Berlinia Heudelotii, Cmsalpinia 
Bonducella, Lonchocarpus cyanescens, Baphia pubescens and B. nitida. 

RosACEiE : Parinarium subcordatum. 

CoMBRETACE^ : Several species of scarlet-flowered Combretum of 
climbing habit — C. racemosuni, G. constrictum, etc. 

Myrtace^ : Napoleona Vogelii. 

RuBiACE^ : Morinda citrifolia, Cuviera acutiflora, Canthium 
Vanguerioides, Ixora radiata, Uncaria Africana, Oxyanthus unilocularis, 
some species of Musscenda, etc. 

Rhizophorace^ : Weihea Africana. 

Sapotace^ : Mimusops sp. 

Apocynace^ : Voacanga obtusa and F. Africana, Landolphia 
Owariensis and other spp., Carpodinus hirsuta, Plenisceras Barteri, 
and the tree Wadda, Rauivoljia sp. near R. Welivitschii. 

Loganiace^ : Anthocleista Vogelii. 

Convolvulace^ : Calonyction speciosum, Merremia umbellata, etc. 

Btgnoniace^ : Spathodea campanulata. 

AcANTHACE^ : Acanthus montanus, Asystasia Coromandeliana, etc. 

Verbenace^ : Vitex chrysocarpa and V. Angolensis. 

PiPERACE^ : Piper umbellatum and Piperomia p)ellucida. 

Gesnerace^ : Streptocarpus nobilis. 

EuPHOBBiACE^ : Alchornea cordate, Mallotus oppositifolius. 

Horaces : ChloropJwra excelsa, Ficus Vogelii and other spp.^ 
Myrianthus serratus. 

Ulmace^ : Trema Guineensis. 

Ampelide^ : Leea Guineensis. 

PoLYGALACE^ : the cultivated Polygala butyracea and the dwarf 
species, P. Clarkeana. 

Balanophorace^ : the root-parasite Thonningia sanguinea. 

Amongst Monocotyledonous Orders the Scitaminece are more in 
evidence, Palisota thyrsiflora {Commelinacece) appears (along with a 
Begonia on moist rocks — B. rostrata), and the water-loving Aroid, 
Cyrtosperma Senegalense. 

The Oil Palm, Elceis Guineensis, becomes locally common, ferns 
become epiphytic, and the Elk's-horn fern, Platycerium jEthiopicum, 
appears. 

Northwards the savannah forests, with plenty of broad-leaved trees 
and shrubs, or the open park-like formations with surface well covered 
with grasses and herbs, give way in some places to still drier Acacia 
forests, and in others to open areas of scrub, nearly treeless, the soil 



198 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

possessed by grasses and low, scattered shrubs, often thorny. Never- 
theless, good pastures are often to be found, frequented by the Fulani 
in the comparatively short rainy season, and only at some points 
towards the French boundary do the conditions approach those described 
by Barth in the latitude of Zinder and Timbuctoo. For example, part 
of North Bornu, with a rainfall sometimes not exceeding 10 inches, may 
exhibit features entitling it to rank with the upper region of Chevalier's 
" Zone Sahelienne." A typical association in these scrub regions is 
familiar to the Hausas in three of the plants mentioned below, viz. 
the Sabarra, Guiera Senegalensis, the Magariya, Zizyphus jnjuba, and 
the Dashi, Balsamodendron Africanum. Sokoto, with an average 
rainfall of 25 or more inches, still possesses thinly treed savannahs 
and bush -lands, with a vegetation composed of grasses, small sedges, 
low shrubs and the commoner leguminous and other weeds. 

Nor does the transition occur evenly across the whole region. In 
the eastern part between Kano and North Bornu the Acacia type 
prevails, and whole areas may occur occupied largely by Acacia Seyal, 
with yellow or rusty ochrey bark. On the western side Acacias, though 
present, do not appear to prevail, and between Kano and Sokoto there 
exists a stretch of broad-leaved forest in which most of the species 
found in Central Hausaland reappear, but after all these differences 
may be found to hold only over limited areas. 

The wide and well populated circle around large northern towns, 
highly cultivated and more or less stripped of trees to supply fuel 
does not quite display the natural conditions of the bush, where 
uncontrolled fires prevent natural regeneration of forest on cleared 
land, and where open grassy formations with stunted vegetation 
tend to encroach on the higher types of tree savannah. 

The species more characteristic of the northern drier belt within 
the Soudan Zone — if an arbitrary limit is allowed we may place it 
about 12° North latitude — may now be briefly indicated, though it 
will be understood that many of them are already present farther 
south. 

Capparidace^ : most of the species of Capparis, Boscia and Mcerua 
existing farther south here prevail ; the low shrub Boscia Senegalensis 
is common, while Cadaba farinosa is a characteristic shrub. 

SiMARUBE^ : the Aduwa, Balanites jEgyptiaca, is a typical species 
of this region. 

BuRSERACE>E : the Dashi, Balsamodendron Africanum, a shrub 
yielding African Myrrh, is familiar, with its congener B. pedunculatum. 

Rhamnace^ : the Kurna, Zizyphus Spina-Christi, usually planted 
in towns, the Magariya, Z. jujuba, and the Magariyar kura, Z. 
mucronata, the last two being very characteristic of the open savannah. 

Anacardiace^ : the Danya, Spondias sp., a fair-sized tree with 
yellow, plum-like fruit having a leathery rind, is abundant. 



NIGERIA 199 

Legtjminos^ : Acacias are the most typical, but are not as a 
rule markedly flat-topped, e.g. A. Seyal, A. Senegal, A. albida var. 
saccharata, Dichrostachys platycarpa, forming thorny thickets, while En- 
tada Sudanica, Acacia Sieberiana, A. campylacantha, Albizzia Chevalieri 
and others are also evident. Parkinsonia aculeata is found in towns ; 
the Tripoli or Senegal Senna, Filasko, Cassia obovata, is common, and 
the Tsamiya, Tamarindus Indica, becomes a predominant tree. 

RosACEiE : the Ginger-bread Plum, Gawasa, Parinarium macro- 
phyllum, is more familiar. 

CoMBRETACE^ : the Geza, Combretum sp. near C. altum, a 
shrub or small tree, with several gum-yielding trees of the same genus ; 
the low shrub Sabarra, Guiera Senegalensis, is perhaps the most 
typical plant of the nearly treeless savannah. 

CuRCURBiTACE^ : the half-Avild Gurji, Cucumis Melo, var. agrestis, 
is common, and the Bambus, a variety of water-melon, is known in 
the North. 

RuBiACE^ : a characteristic species is Eandia Nilotica, a thorny 
shrub ; Gardenia Sokotensis is a new species found on low rocky hills. 

Apocynace.^ : the Kariya, Adenium Honghel, an unarmed cactus- 
like shrub, deciduous, with rose-coloured flowers, planted in towns, 
is characteristic. 

Asclepiadace^ : the small milk-weed, Glossonema Nubicum, and the 
twiners Oxystelma Bornuense, Pergularia tomentosa and Leptadenia 
lancifolia, are all abundant, while the Karan masallachi, Caralluma 
Dalzielii, generally planted farther south, is found wild on bare rocky 
places. 

Euphorbiace^ : very typical are the two milk hedge Euphorbias, 
Aguwa, E. sepium, and Fidda sartsi, E. lateriflora. 

Horaces : species of Ficus planted for shade grow to a large 
size, especially the Chediya, F. Thonningii, and the Durumi, F. 
syringifolia ; other species generally start as epiphytes. 

The Gramine^ is the prevailing Natural Order of Monocotyledons, 
and includes all types — little annuals, perennial-rooted Andropogons, 
etc., and the Burugu, Panicum stagninum, which blocks the streams. 
The fragrant Nobe, Cymbo2)ogon Sennariensis, is a characteristic 
tufted species, whilst the bur-grass Karangia, Cenchrus catharticus, 
has long since spread far southward. 

Rice and wheat are cultivated ; the Bulrush Millet, Gero, Pennisetum 
typhoideum, tends to displace Sorghum, and a wild rice, Oryza silvestris, 
is found. The cultivated sugar-cane is the Takanda, Sorghum vulgare, 
var. saccharatum. 

Of LiLiACE.^ the onion and garlic are features of cultivation. 
Several bulbous herbs not peculiar to the North are common, e.g. 
Dipcadi occidentale, Urginea spp., etc. 



200 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

The Goriba or Dum Palm, HypJicene Thebaica, is predominant, 
accompanied also by the Giginya or Deleb Palm, while the Date begins 
to appear. 

Within the limits of the Soudan Zone of vegetation many different 
types of savannah may be found, besides the expected alterations in 
botanical groupings resulting from the presence of perennial moisture 
or due to elevation and rocky outcrop. Leaving the latter out of 
account, a few notes may be made of some of the varieties familiar to 
travellers in the Northern Provinces. 

1. Tree Savannah or Savannah Forest. 

Across a considerable area of Central Hausaland, e.g. occupying 
a large part of the Zaria plateau west of the Bauchi Highlands, 
the country, where not cleared for farming, is covered with an open 
deciduous forest of fair height. This is a fairly closely wooded type, 
and although it contains few truly evergreen elements apart from 
those lining the streams, there is, perhaps owing to differing vegeta- 
tive periods for different species and to the double flowering season 
noted for many trees in West Africa, practically always a fair 
amount of foliage present. A proportion of the trees have well 
developed stems and fairly high crowns, with a leafy canopy which 
filters but never excludes direct sunlight, and the average height of 
the larger trees is from 30 to 40 feet. In the best developed 
portions of such forest the grasses do not predominate, but frequent 
clearings or patches of stony outcrop lead to the open conditions 
in which hardy perennial grasses take root, and annual burning 
results in the encroachment and multiplication of areas of the 
lower bush savannah referred to below. 

This variety of forest is typically seen in Zaria province, e.g. 
between the village of Ruka and the Koriga stream, near which point 
a sudden drop in elevation occurs, and is familiar in parts of South 
Sokoto, Kontagora and Nassarawa, etc. Lophira alata has its chief 
habitat here, but perhaps the prevailing and most characteristic tree 
is one called Doka, which has been identified as Isoberlinia doTca, 
Craib, et Stapf . It has broad, shining leaves, and large, flat 5-6 seeded 
pods which dehisce with curling valves. It seeds abundantly, and young 
seedlings spring up quickly in the forest or by wayside clearings, etc. 
Along with it will be found its congener, the Fara doka, Isoberlinia 
Dalzielii, Craib, et Stapf., less abundant, and differing as to its more 
obvious features in having leaves not shining, a paler grej^ bark and a 
general slight degree of pubescence of all parts. Both species exude 
a coarse red resin, which does not appear to be of value. 

Most of the arborescent species mentioned in the list of the average 
association detailed above are to be found, sometimes harbouring 



NIGERIA 201 

epiphytic Ansellias and a few woody climbers but no typical lianes, 
and an undergrowth composed of Leguminous and Composite herbs 
and undershrubs with some grasses. This type of forest probably 
at one time covered a much wider area and had a greater extension 
northward than at present. As mentioned above, a large proportion 
of its constituents may again be found in the Duru forest between 
Sokoto and Kano, while within the memory of officials of the present 
administration areas of woodland previously visible from Sokoto have 
been denuded for firewood. It tends progressively to give place to 
the following more open variety of savannah. 

2. Bush Savannah. 

This is probably the form of " bush " with which travelling officials, 
hunters, and others are most familiar in every province, and is, when 
not overloaded with tall grass, deserving of the term " open orchard 
savannah." It is composed of scattered shrubs and small trees of 
short growth and of a considerable sameness, the whole picture being 
practically filled in with grasses, which may grow to a height of 6 to 
8 feet in the rains, but which are swept off by bush-fires in the dry 
period, leaving bare the intervening spaces, soon to be reoccupied by 
suffrutescent plants with persistent rootstocks, and later by weeds 
and the same grasses as before. This resurrection is not due to seeding, 
which is itself abundant, but mainly to the fact that the majority of 
bush grasses have perennial underground stems, which, once given 
occupation, are difficult to dislodge, and, assisted by the recurrent 
fires, which kill off the seeds and the seedlings of broad-leaved trees, 
have everything in favour of their natural progress to predominance. 

The commoner bush grasses of this habit found here are : 
Andropogon Gay anus, Cymbopogon Ruprechtii, C. dijilandrus, C. 
giganteum, C. hirtus, C. rufus, Andropogon tectorum, A. apricus, Rott- 
boellia exaltata, Pennisetum pedicellatum, etc. In clumps, generally 
found in special situations, e.g. near river banks, etc., are Vetweria 
zizanoides, Saccharum spontaneum, Arundo donax, etc. It is possible 
that some of these species which now cumber the soil might be put 
to use in supplying the raw material for paper. 

The prevailing shrubs and small trees of this formation are generally 
somewhat as follows : Bauhinia reticulata and B. rufescens, Detarium 
Senegalense, several species of Combretum with the dwarf C. herbaceum ; 
also Afrorniosia laxifiora and occasional Acacias, e.g. A. Sieberiana, 
Entada Sudanica, Dichrostachys nutans ; bright flowering species, such 
as Cochlospermum tinctorium ; several shrubby species of Hibiscus 
Cassia Arereh, C. Goratensis and other species, Lonchocarpus laxiflorus, 
Securidaca longipedunculata, Grewia mollis, Feretia canthioides ; the 
Gardenias — G. ternifolia, G. erubescens, etc. ; Sterospermum Kun- 
thianum, Sarcocephalus Eussegeri, Parinarium curatellcefolium. Psora- 



202 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

spermum Senegalense, Ximenia Americana, Anona Senegalensis, 
Pseudrocedrela Kotschyi, Strychnos spinosa and other spp., Bridelia 
ferruginea, Hymenocardia acida, Gymnosporia Senegalensis. Occa- 
sional larger trees will often be species of Terminalia, Prosopis ohlonga, 
Butyrospermum Parkii, Lophira alata, Vitex Cienkotvskii, Sterculia 
tomentosa, Pterocarpus erinaceus, or even Afzelia Africans and 
Paradaniellia Oliver i. 

In the above association remark must be made of the Taura, 
Detarium Senegalense, which is here rarely of dimensions meriting the 
designation of tree, and therefore very different from the large timber 
known in the southern forests and found also on the forested slopes 
of Patti at Lokoja ; of the Makarfo, a tree of twisted habit, not often 
over 30 feet high, with flaking bark, apparently much inferior to the 
Afrormosia laxiflora, if it is this species, in the greater mixed deciduous 
forests farther south ; and of the Tsada, Ximenia Americana, which 
is here unarmed, has rather thin, glabrous leaves, sometimes almost 
shining, and thus differs in habit from the coastal variety, if the identity 
is certain, which is spiny, has dull leaves sometimes half-succulent, 
and is appropriately called by the French " Citron de la mer." 

3. Park Savannah. 

The open park-like formation is another which is typical of this 
region. It is, perhaps, best seen where the population is not quite 
sparse, as in the latter case the previous type tends to take posses- 
sion. The Shea Butter Tree is the one which more than any other 
gives the tone to this type, but Parkia filicoidea and, especially in the 
North, the Tamarind are perhaps equally representative. The two 
first-named, though not necessarily indicating the proximity of a village, 
have probably in most cases owners, and the intervening spaces 
may or may not be more or less cultivated. Open park-like country 
may, however, occur apart from any contemporary interference by 
man, and wide stretches of it appear alternating with scattered orchard 
bush or with open grass -land. The grasses are of the previously 
mentioned types, with many species of Eragrostis, Aristida, small 
annual tufted grasses and sedges, along with Cassia mimosoides, Olden- 
landia grandiflora, 0. Senegalensis and other Leguminous and Rubiaceous 
weeds. Other trees which well maintain the park-like appearance 
are Terminalia macroplera, occasional species of Ficus, Vitex Cien- 
koivskii, Acacia Arabica and A. Sieberiana. 

In flat, wide-stretching meadows which are often marshy in the 
rains, this formation also maintains its character, single trees or 
island-like clusters of tree and shrub dotting the expanse of heavy 
grass which is burnt to desolation by the yearly fires. These islets 
are generally found to be composed of Giyaiya, Mitragyne Africana, 
with shrubs such as Feretia canthioides, Sarcocephalus Russegeri, and 



NIGERIA 203 

scrambling undershrubs added thereto, while the edge of such a meadow 
or " fadama " is in some cases fringed with deciduous high woods, in 
which occasionally timbers like Khaya Senegalensis and Paradaniellia 
Oliveri may appear along with the vegetation characteristic of Type 1 . 

4. Evergreen Fringing Belts. 

Along the water-courses which intersect the savannah lands will 
be found dark evergreen strips of foliage, which, when extending 
beyond the stream-banks and forming a fairly dense canopy, whatever 
the nature of the underwood, are generally implied in the Hausa word 
" kurumi." The streams may not be always truly perennial, but the 
verdure remains because the moisture in the soil persists long enough 
to maintain the non-deciduous type, although bush-fires may reach 
their very margins. Where a perennial stream of any magnitude 
occurs, species will be found whose distribution in the Soudan Zone 
is confined to such localities, but which are widely represented in the 
South. 

Instead of enumerating the constituents of these strips of fringing 
forest, we may briefly refer to the vegetation of the River Benue, which 
has been already indicated as in some degree marking the boundary 
between the semi-evergreen or mixed deciduous forests and the drier 
tree savannah and open bush lands. The evergreen galleries along 
the streams or fringing the swampy glades may be taken as on the 
whole botanically similar to the bank foliage of the Benue and its 
backwaters, creeks and tributaries. One feature of this type is the 
abundance of woody climbers, often concealing the foliage of their 
supports, and conspicuous to the eye in the flowering season are the 
Combretacece, which are here scrambling and climbing shrubs instead 
of erect trees, e.g. the flame-flowered Combretum racemosum, C. con- 
strictum, etc., Quisqualis Indica and others ; also two or three species 
of Landolphia with other rubber vines, and of Musscenda, scarlet- 
fruited Connaracece, Uncaria Africana, climbing by its old flower-stalks 
becoming woody hooks, and Alchornea cordata, the most typical liane 
of these formations. Other twiners are the showy moon-convolvulus, 
Calonyction speciosum {Ipomcea bona-nox), the Cowhage, Mucuna 
pruriensis, Dioclea reflexa, Entada scandens and numerous Ampelideoe. 
These tend to form a dense and sometimes impenetrable tangle, but 
where trees of timber size occur the undergrowth is more scanty and 
a variety of forest weeds appear, in which the Scitaminece may be 
prominent. 

The Benue region is rich in trees, of which the following species 
may be mentioned : Goron ruwa, Irvingia Smithii, and Gedar kurumi, 
Pterocarpus esculentus, Trichilia retusa, the large timber tree called 
Kiriyar kurumi (undetermined), Erythrophlocum Guineense, Millettia 
sp., Sanagana and M. sericeuSy Cynometra Vogelii, Anthocleisfa 



204 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

nobilis, Berlinia Heudelotii, Baphia nitida, Chlorophora excelsa, Cola 
laurifolia, Parinarium subcordatum, Kigelia ^thiopica, Uaptaca Guineensis 
(here a large tree and sometimes prop-rooted), Ficus spp. Smaller 
trees and shrubs are : Spathodea campanulata, Voacanga obtusa and V. 
Africana, Morinda citrifolia, Xylopia j^CLfviflora, Zanthoxylum Sene- 
galense, Oncoba spinosa, Vangueria euonymoides, Ixora radiata, Poly- 
sphceria macrostyla, Garcinia ovalifolia, Myrianthus serratus, Elceis 
Guineensis and Raphia vinifera. Not all of these extend far beyond 
the Benue, but the majority of them will be found in one or other 
fringing belt far into the deciduous region, and perhaps the two which 
best represent this extension of the semi-evergreen to the savannah 
are the woody climber Alchornea cordata and the tree Irvingia Smithii. 

In a general view, Northern Nigeria, thus lying beyond the equatorial 
belt, possesses plant features which, apart from river and stream fringes, 
range between the mixed deciduous and xerophilus habit, and in the 
dry season the prevailing character of the open savannah forests is 
a monotonous drab or grey, intersected by the dark lines of greenery 
following the streams or encircling the swamps. The climate is largely 
of the continental type, with a temperature ranging from 120° F. to 40° 
or less (exclusive of thermometer readings on the Bauchi plateau), and 
a rainfall which throughout will usually fall between 30 and 50 or 60 
inches, with diminution to 20 or even 10 inches in the most northerly 
provinces. Such a climate, with the concomitant regularity of two, 
not four, well marked seasons, the dry and the wet, is entirely that 
associated with the occurrence of savannah formations, scattered bush 
with prevailing grasses, suffrutescent herbs and small trees, much open 
grass or thinly timbered park-land, with stretches of thick woods 
which are generally not heavily grassed and never cumbered with 
impenetrable undergrowth. 

Trees which are valuable timber species in the moist southern 
forests often scarcely attain reputable dimensions in the deciduous 
zone. 

These conditions also, which are doubtless partly the result of ill- 
considered human operations, put certain definite restrictions on 
cultivated species and determine the character of the natural products 
of the wild. The staple cereal is Dawa or Sorghum, instead of maize, 
with Gero or Pennisetum typhoideum in the North. Possibly the limit 
of Guinea Corn as a staple of native cultivation is also the limit of 
the savannah forests, i.e. of the region of trees of secondary size, short 
of the region of Acacias, of Geza, Combretum altum, and of scrub, 
where Bulrush Millet is the commoner. Both species are generally 
cultivated along with beans, Vigna Sinensis. The sweet potato displaces 
the yam and cassava ; industrial cultivation is represented by cotton 
and indigo. Of forest products, the most representative are Shea nuts 
and gum arabic, rather than rubber and large timber ; and lastly, both 



NIGERIA 205 

cattle-grazing and horse-breeding are important industries proper to 
the region. 

VII. Some Trees of Hausaland. 

By Dr. J. M. Dalziel. 

A few notes on some of the better known trees of Northern Nigeria 
are here given, the Hausa name being appended in most cases. 

Afrormosia laxifiora. Harms (Leguminosse). Makarfo. 

In the mixed deciduous forests towards the coast this appears as 
a large timber tree, in certain regions dominant both in abundance 
and size, and is also a constituent of the moist evergreen forests. In 
Northern Nigeria it never forms a straight stem, never attains the 
dimensions of a timber tree, and has generally a twisted stem and main 
branches. Its habit, therefore, rather than its mere presence, affords 
a striking instance of the changes accompanying the limited rainfall of 
the savannah forests, and its distribution probably does not extend 
beyond the northern boundary. The trunk has a somewhat pale 
piebald appearance, resulting from the flaking of large pieces of the bark 
exposing lighter portions below. The centre wood is so dark in colour 
as to have led European foremen of works to report it as lignum vitae, 
and the wood is hard enough to earn for it in some districts, along with 
other trees, the designation " break axe." It has shining leaves, 
whitish flowers and thin, flat pods. 

Afzelia Africana, Sm. Kawo; " African " or " Rhodesian " Mahogany, 
" Mahogany Bean," etc. 
A large tree, common to nearly all types of forest in West Africa, 
tropical high forest, mixed deciduous and savannah. In Northern 
Nigeria large specimens may still be found, though these do not generally 
have tall, straight stems, but show the wide-spreading umbrella crown 
common in drier regions. 

ParadanielUa Oliver i, Rolfe. Kadaura or Maje. 

This has previously been classed with Daniellia thurifera, Bennett, 
the so-called West African Copaiba Balsam Tree. 

In the Northern Provinces of Nigeria it is one of the largest trees, 
50 to 80 feet, with strong, straight stems and affording good timber 
for local use. The chief native use of the oleo resin is to fumigate 
garments. Its distribution probably stops short of the northern 
boundary. 

Isoherlinia doka, Craib, et Stapf. Doka. 

A tree which is the prevailing type in the savannah forests of 
Central Hausaland, generally 30 to 40 feet high, with broad, shining 



206 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

leaves, rather small white flowers and large flat pods containing 
five or six discoid seeds. The valves of the pods curl up after 
dehiscence, and young seedlings spring up vigorously where not choked 
by grass, farm clearings in Zaria province being often quickly occupied 
by them. 

A coarse red resin exudes from injuries or punctures of the 
bark. 

Isoberlinia Dalzielii, Craib et Stapf. Fara doka. 

Another new species of similar occurrence and habit, differing in 
having a more grey appearance associated with a slight pubescence, 
leaves not shining and pods less smooth. A species of the wild silk- 
worm, Anaphe Moloneyi, and perhaps others, are found on them. 

Pterocarpus erinaceus, Poir. Madobia ; " Senegal Rosewood," 
" African Kino," etc. 
A tree generally of 30 to 40 feet or more in open savannah forests, 
easily recognized by its bright yellow flowers, the regular venation 
of the leaves, and the bristly, flat, one-seeded pods. The blood-red 
resin is a variety of Kino, and in districts where the Camwood is 
not found, the bark of Madobia is sometimes sold as a substitute. 
The wood is hard and fine-grained. 

Cassia Sieberiana, DC. and C. ; Kotschyana, Oliv. Marga or Gamafada. 
These are small trees with conspicuous yellow flower racemes, 
having a superficial resemblance to laburnum. They are abundant 
in the dry savannah regions as well as in savannah forest, and flower 
freely in the dry season. The pods are long and cylindrical and do 
not dehisce. . Cassia Arereh, Del., is similar, but the leaves are more 
acuminated and the pods split up longitudinally. 

Detarium Senegalense, Gmel. Taura. 

A good timber tree in the mixed deciduous and higher savannah 
forests, as also in the mountainous peninsula of Sierra Leone. Fairly 
large specimens of timber dimensions occur in the rocky forest over- 
looking Lokoja, but the Hausa Taura, hitherto identified as botanically 
the same, is of a very different habit, abundantly represented in the 
open bush savannah as a shrub or small tree having somewhat flattened 
fruits, oval, less succulent than, and one-half or one-third the size of, 
those shed by the forest specimens. 

Tamarindus Indica, Zinn. Tsamiya ; " Tamarind Tree." 

A very familiar tree in the northern Hausa States and Bornu, 
as well as in French territory to the north, but much less common 
on parts of the border-line between Southern and Northern Nigeria, 
so that probably its actual distribution is local and interrupted. Barth 



NIGERIA 207 

places its limit at Tagalel, in Damerghu, or about 15° North 
latitude. 

In Hausaland it is a conspicuous tree, less from its dimensions than 
from the beauty of its foliage, sometimes umbrella-spreading and at 
others compact, and giving a good deal of shade when in full leaf. 
The ground becomes littered with the small leaflets in the dry months, 
and as a rule little undergrowth is to be found beneath it. 

In Sokoto and Kano provinces, and elsewhere in the North, speci- 
mens with a dense, compact and symmetrical crown are common, the 
branches often reaching to within 3 or 4 feet of the ground. The fruit 
has familiar medicinal and culinary uses, but rarely develops the soft 
rich pulp of the Indian specimens. One of the wild silkworms, Anaphe 
sp., feeds on the leaf, the silken nest being called " Tsamiyar'Tsamiya." 
A familiar association which did not escape the notice of Dr. Barth 
is that of tamarind and baobab, in which case the former is often 
without a proper bole and spreads itself half scandent amongst the 
stout branches of the baobab. 

Parkia filicoidia, Welw. Dorowa ; " West African Locust Bean." 
A characteristic tree of the savannah forests, and one of the most 

typical members of the open park-like formations. It appears to be 

scarce in Bornu, but abundant from Zaria to Katsina, and its northern 

limit is probably about 14° North latitude. 

The pods afford both food and fodder, the fermented cakes called 

Daudawa, made from the seeds, being an article of local commerce. 

In the bush, far from villages, Dorowa trees are ownerless, but elsewhere 

they are generally private property. 

Burkea Africana, Hook. Farin makarfo. 

A tree of 30 to 40 feet, of irregular distribution in open savannah 
forests, fairly common between Yola and Bornu as well as in Southern 
Sokoto. It has light, silky foliage, flowers in pendulous, creamy spikes, 
and dark, almost black, bark. The hard wood is used for handles 
of axes and hoes. 

Prosopis oblonga, Benth. Kiriya. 

A common tree of the savannah region, extending beyond the 
Anglo-French boundary, but better developed in the Benue region, 
where fair timber specimens occur. The wood is hard, with red centre 
wood, and takes a beautiful polish. It is recognized by its acacia- 
like foliage, spikes of creamy flowers and stout brown pods, with seeds 
sometimes used like those of Dorowa. 

Bauhinia reticulata, DC. Kargo. 

A shrub or small tree, one of the commonest constituents of the 
bush savannahs ; readily recognized by the cleft leaves, rusty bark 



208 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

and flat, twisted pods. The tough bark forms an emergency tie-tie, 
and its long vast fibres furnish strong cordage, which is its chief use 
in Northern Nigeria. The bark and leaves, containing tannin, have 
astringent uses. 

Acacia Sieberiana, DC. Fara kaya, or " White Thorn Acacia." 

A very widely distributed species in the deciduous zone, not usually 
gregarious and occasionally flat-topped. It is easily recognized by 
its generally dark foliage and pale bark, the flowers not yellow, but 
in small, creamy-white balls, and by the long white thorns. It yields 
a soluble gum, which is perhaps not of the best quality. 

Acacia Arabica, Willd. Bagaruwa ; Indian " Babool." 

One of the commonest species, especially in the northern Hausa 
States and Bornu, and a source of gum arable. The flowers are in 
bright yellow balls and the foliage is a good camel food. The jointed 
pods are " Sant " or " Gambia " pods, used all over the Soudan for 
tanning. 

Acacia Senegahnsis, Willd. Dakwora. 

Usually only a shrub, not often over 10 feet, sometimes gregarious, 
and characteristic of the thin bush savannahs ; it has grey bark, 
flowers in white spikes, and three sharp recurved stipular hooks at 
the base of each leaf. 

This species yields probably the best gum from Senegal to Somali, 
and the root-bark affords a very tough fibre. 

Acacia albida, Del., var. saccharata, Benth. Gawo. 

A fair-sized tree, confined to the open dry country in the North, 
extending into French territory, and an important camel food, but not 
a gum yielder. The flowers are in creamy-white spikes and the pods 
are yellow and twisted. It is peculiarly deciduous in the wet season, 
and bursts into foliage just at the cessation of the rains. 

Acacia Seyal, Del. Dussa ; " Talh of the Soudan." 

A rather small tree, not often over 20 feet, but gregarious and 
very abundant in North-east Hausaland and Bornu, less common, 
but local, in Sokoto, etc. It has a yellow or ochrey bark, white 
thorns and brilliant yellow balls of flowers, and the pods are narrow, 
sickle-curved and constricted between the seeds. The gum is of good 
quality, but not equal to that of A. Senegal. 

Acacia campylacantha, Hochst. " Farichin shafu " (=Falcon's claw). 
A fairly tall tree with white flower-spikes and strongly curved 
spines suggesting the native name. It is sometimes gregarious in 
limited forest patches, and the gum is said to be good in colour, 
cleanliness, etc. 




Fig. 41.— a Baobab (Adansonia digitata). 




Fig. 42.^Giginya or " Fan Palm " (Borassus flabellifer, var. [ffithiopum),- with 
Water-lilies (Nymphaeacese). 



NIGERIA 209 

AUbizzia Chevalieri, G. et P. Katsari. 

A tree of 30 to 40 feet, common in the more open savannah forma- 
tions, especially in the northern districts. It has whitish flower-balls, 
with long, pinkish stamens and thin, flat pods. The bark is sometimes 
used for tanning. 

Entada Sudanica, Schweinf. Tawatsa. 

A small tree of the savannah forests and open plains, easily dis- 
tinguished by the peculiar jointed pods, each embossed seed section 
falling out and leaving the empty marginal frame. The flowers are 
in yellowish axillary spikes, generally two or three together. 

Mimosa asperata, Linn. Kaidaji. 

Forms dense thorny thickets fringing the open bush streams. 
The flowers are in pinkish balls, and the leaves possess the sensitive 
quality in a mild degree. 

Lophira alata. Banks (Ochnacese). Mijin kade. 

An " African Oak " and one of the most familiar trees of the 
savannah forests and open country. It is apparently very similar 
to Lophira procera, the " Red Iron wood " timber tree of the southern 
forests ; frequently stunted by forest fires. The seeds yield an oil and 
the bark is medicinal. The flowers are in handsome white panicles, 
appearing about November or December, and the leaf and habit often 
give it an appearance resembling the Shea Butter Tree, but the leaf 
is beautiful and finely veined. An extraordinary fact is the wide- 
spread belief of pagan tribes in the efficiency of the leaf as a charm. 

Eriodendron orientate, Steud. (Malvaceae). Rimi ; " Silk-cotton Tree." 
A giant in the evergreen forests, and still a comparative giant in 
the dry zone. In Northern Hausa towns the only very tall trees are 
Rimi ; the wood is light and the stems are sometimes hollowed out 
for canoes : the floss of the seeds is Kapok, and has the usual local 
uses. Barth says its distribution eastwards stops at 11° East 
longitude, and that it is therefore absent from Bornu proper. 

Northwards it apparently scarcely extends beyond the Anglo- 
French boundary. 

Bombax buonopozense, Beauv. Gurjiya ; " Red-flowered Silk-cotton 
Tree." 
A member of the evergreen forests, but quite a common tree of the 
open country and savannah forests, sometimes more or less gregarious, 
and extending at least beyond the Anglo-French border. It reaches 
about 40 feet or more in height, with crowded spines on the bark and 
tulip-like red flowers appearing during the deciduous period, generally 
after the middle of December and in January. 

14 



210 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Adansonia digitata, B. Juss. Kuka ; " Baobab." 

A characteristic tree of the dry savannah regions, often grouped 
in inhabited areas, with enormously stout stems, but in height limited 
to 40 to 60 feet. Specimens of 30 to 40 feet girth are not quite un- 
common, the swollen stem, with soft, spongy wood, being an adaptation 
to a dry climate, by storing water to meet excessive transpiration 
by the leaves. 

The bark is smooth and often has a shiny purplish tinge. Apart 
from fibre from both bark and wood, the dry fruit pulp and the seeds 
are prepared in various ways as food and drink. Large specimens 
are still found at Maradi, north of the Sokoto boundary, but chiefly 
stunted trees are met with at Zinder. 

Sterculia tomentosa, G. et P. (Sterculiacese). Kukuki. 

A member of the semi-evergreen forests and common also in the 
dry zone as a medium-sized tree with soft, palmate-shaped leaves and 
pods four or five together, splitting to expose the black seeds with 
yellow arils. A watery juice from the bark refreshes thirsty travellers 
and a kind of gum tragacanth exudes from the trunk. 

Hannoa undulata, Planch. (Simarubeae). Namijin gwabsa or Takan- 

dar giwa. (One of two species called by the latter name, vide 

Cussonia.) 

A common tree of no great size in the savannah forest. The leaves 

are pinnate, with five to seven leaflets on long stalks, the flowers, in 

creamy, fragrant panicles, appearing in October or November, and the 

fruit is a black plum with unpleasant taste. 

Irvingia Smithii, Hook. fil. 

A tree of evergreen and mixed deciduous forests which invades 
the ravines and fringing belts in the savannah region as far at least 
as Kontagora. In the Benue region it is a fairly large tree of 40 feet 
or more, often gregarious, as in a patch of moist forest opposite Katsina 
Allah, along with Pterocarpus esculentus. The scarlet fruits are known 
as Goron ruwa or Goron biri (i.e. Water or Monkey Kola), and are 
eaten by monkeys. 

Balanites JEgyptiaca, Del. Aduwa ; " Desert Date." 

Typical of the Soudan and of the northern drier provinces of Nigeria 
and extending into French territory ; characterized by its bifoliate 
deciduous leaves, spiny habit in dry soil and evergreen bark. The 
yellow oval fruit has a thin layer of sugary, bitter-sweet pulp, and the 
kernel yields Betu oil. 

Boswellia odorata, Hutch., and B. Dalzielii, Hutch. (Burseraceae). 
Hano or Ararabi. 
Two new species of " Frankincense Tree," yielding a fragrant 



NIGERIA 211 

gum resin. They reach 30 feet or so in height, have white bark which 
peels ofif in thin sheets, racemes of white flowers and pinnate leaves 
with serrate leaflets. 

Commiphora Kerstingii, Engl. Dali or Bazana. 

A small tree, commonly used as a fence support around native 
compounds. The bark is smooth and green, and the soft wood can 
be hollowed out for quivers, 

Balsamodendron Africanum, A, Rich. Dashi, 

A shrub commoner in the northern regions, extending beyond the 
Anglo-French boundary. In arid regions it forms a good hedge, with 
some resemblance to the blackthorn. The leaves and bark are fragrant, 
and it yields a gum resin which is a variety of African myrrh, 

Khaya Senegalensis, A, Juss, (Meliaceae), Madachi ; " West African 
Mahogany " of the dry zone. 
A large tree for the dry savannah region, but one of the smaller 
of the mahoganies. In the North, where dry conditions prevail, it 
tends to favour the banks of streams or the edges of marshy meadows, 
and is never buttressed, but often acquires a good spreading crown. 
Good timber specimens have been found on the Gurara River, but 
apart from this, and perhaps some other favoured localities, it does 
not as a rule exceed about 4 feet to 4| feet in girth. It occurs from 
Gambia to Nigeria and Kamerun, and is again found as a West African 
element in the flora of Uganda and Mozambique, Northwards it 
reaches North Sokoto, but apparently does not extend to Zinder, 
The bark is a reputed bitter tonic in native medicine, 

Psevdocedrela Kotschyi, Harms. Toman or Tonas ; " Dry-zone Cedar," 
In Northern Nigeria this is rarely more than a small to medium- 
sized tree of 20 to 30 feet, and not usually of good straight growth, 
probably from the effect of annual fixes, but yielding a fine wood. 
The leaflets are undulate-margined, the flowers are in graceful panicles, 
appearing about February and March, and the dry, erect capsules, 
full of winged seeds, split from above downwards in five valves. Occa- 
sionally little copses of the species occur, as it seeds freely and numerous 
seedlings arise — most of them, however, doomed to perish in the next 
bush-fire. In protected localities it might be fostered into a useful 
timber tree. Natives find various medicinal uses for the bark, 

Trichilia emetica, Vahl, Jan sayi, 

A fairly common tree across Central Hausaland, not often much 
over 20 feet in height. It has medicinal properties ; the white flowers 
are fragrant and used to rub the teeth, and the seeds yield a less 
important oil. 



212 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Trichilia retusa, Oliv. 

A large timber tree with tall, straight stems, found in the Benue 
region. The flowers are white, appearing about January, in axillary 
racemes or below the leaves ; the leaflets are generally five or three, 
with wide, shallow indentation at the tip. 

Odina Barteri (Anacardiacese). Faru. 

A fair-sized deciduous tree of the savannah forests, with pinnate 
pubescent leaves and inconspicuous flowers in pendulous, clustered 
racemes. It yields a sort of resin, and the small fruits, tipped with 
four sharp points, are eaten by birds. 

? Spondias sp. Danya. 

A very common tree of the drier savannah forests, very abundant 
in the North ; it has light foliage of pinnate leaves with small 
leaflets and a yellow, very pleasantly flavoured fruit, with a tough rind 
like that of the mango. The fruits litter the ground in the months 
of May and June. The wood is very hard and used for making a heavy 
kind of basin known as akushi. 

Anogeissus leiocarpus, G. et P. (Combretaceae). Marike. 

This is one of the " Chew-sticks " of Yoruba, and while occurring 
in fringing forests and evergreen patches, it is very common in the open 
savannah regions, but probably does not extend beyond the northern 
boundary. It may be 50 feet in height, and possesses light, graceful 
foliage, pale bark and small yellowish flowers in globose heads, forming 
tiny dry two-winged fruits. It affords an inferior gum and is much 
used medicinally. 

Terminalia sp., near T. macropiera, G. et P. Baushe. 

A fairly large tree, 40 feet or more in height, with the oval winged 
and embossed fruits of the genus, along with its congeners, e.g. T. 
ElUotii, Engl, and Diels, T. Baumanii, Engl, and Diels, etc., very 
abundant and typical of the savannahs of Northern Nigeria. Bows 
and sticks are made from the roots. 

Terminalia macroptera, G. et P. Kandari. 

A smaller tree with much broader leaves, typical of open park- 
like formations. 

Combretum spp. 

Several arborescent species of Combretum are truly characteristic 
of the open and bush savannahs, and are well represented even in the 
northern parts, where, however, in some districts, they are replaced 
by Acacias. They are practically all gum-bearing ; the flowers are 
small and yellowish in axillary spikes, but the genus is generally 



NIGERIA 213 

easily recognized by the fruits having four papery wings and the usually 
whorled arrangement of the leaves. The Northern Nigerian species 
have not all been fully determined, and the native names are at present 
somewhat confused and may include more than one species. Most of 
them in this region are shrubs or small trees, occasionally reaching 
30 feet or so, with smooth or hoary foliage. The Taramniya is 
generally C. leonense, Engl, and Diels ; the Chiriri of Sogoto includes 
probably C. Hartmannianum, Schweinf., and other species ; the Dale 
is C. glutinosum, Perr., or near it. 

Parinarium curatellcefoUum, Planch (Rosaceae). Rura. 

A small tree, very common in the bush and forest savannah, usually 
only about 10 to 15 feet high, with pale leaves and a dry, pear-like 
fruit. Of its congeners, P. macrophyllum, Sabine, the Gawasa or 
Gingerbread Plum, is its representative in most northerly provinces, 
and P. polyandrum, Benth., with grape-like bunches of purple not 
edible fruit, is common in the southern parts of the deciduous region. 

Eugenia Owariensis, Beau v. (Myrtacese). Malmo. 

A small tree, generally about 20 to 30 feet in height and always 
found in moist places, by streams, etc. It has shining, odorous foliage, 
white, fragrant flower-clusters, and a small black-purple, succulent 
fruit. 

Cussonia Nigerica, Hutch. (Araliacese). Gwabsa or Takandar giwa. 
A new species, occurring in the open and bush savannahs as a small 
tree from 10 to 15 feet in height, with peculiar bare, raking branches, 
producing at their ends clusters of digitate leaves or of long catkin- 
like spikes of inconspicuous flowers. Incisions in the rough, fissured 
bark yield a clear gum. (For the native name compare Hannoa 
undulata.) 

CratcBva Adansonii, G. et P. (Capparidese). Ingidido. 

A small tree, occasionally 20 feet high, fairly abundant in the North, 
of local distribution and common in towns. The leaves are trifoliate 
and can be used as a vegetable ; the flowers are white and the fruit 
yellow, spherical, and about the size of a small orange. 

Zizyphus spina-Christi, Willd. (Rhamnacese). Kurna. 

A small tree characteristic of the dry open regions and commonly 
planted in northern towns. It is generally about 10 to 20 feet high, 
spiny, with leaves three-nerved, and a rather dry, edible berry of 
pleasant taste. 

Z. lujuba, Lam., is the Magariya, and is similar, but in these regions 
generally has less of a stem and is more shrubby and thorny, and is 
not, as a rule, planted, though the fruit is even pleasanter. 



214 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Sarcocephalus Russegeri (Rubiaceao). Tafashia. 

A shrub, or occasionally a small tree, common in moist meadows, but 
found also in the open dry bush. The flowers are in rather large 
creamy balls, and the coarse red, succulent fruit is the analogue of 
the Sierra Leone peach, S. esculentus, Afzel, which grows to a large 
tree in the evergreen forests. 

Mitragyne Africana, Korth. Giyaiya. 

This is a characteristic tree of swampy areas in the deciduous 
regions, found by streams and marshes or forming island-clumps with 
a few lesser shrubs and weeds in the grassy meadows, which dry up 
in the rainless months. It is generally from 20 to 30 feet in height 
and has close, spherical heads of whitish flowers and smooth, but not 
shining, leaves with regular venation. 

Crossopteryx Kotsdiyana, Fenzl. Kasfiya. 

A small tree of 15 to 20 feet, with foliage resembling that of Giyaiya, 
bunches of whitish flowers, and abundant small black, pill-like fruits, 
which remain attached long after they are ripe. 

Adina microcephala, Hiern. Kadanyar rafi. 

A fairly tall tree of 30 to 40 feet, found in stream-banks in the 
savannah region. It has whitish balls of flowers and tapering smooth 
leaves. 

Morelia Senegalensis, A. Rich. Innuwar bauna. 

An evergreen shrub 10 to 20 feet high, common on stream-banks, 
and found both in the semi-evergreen forests and in the fringing belts 
of the deciduous region. The flowers are white and somewhat fragrant, 
and the fruit is spherical, tipped by the tubular remains of the calyx. 

Biityrospermum Parkii, Kotschii. (Sapotaceae). Kadanya ; " Shea 
Butter Tree." 
A typical tree of the savannah hinterlands, and one which gives 
the park-like character to many parts of Northern Nigeria, it barely 
extends to the northern boundary, and is rarer on the Bornu side. It 
is generally 25 to 30 feet high or more, with a dense crown and a 
curiously corrugated bark. Flowers, in white, head-like clusters 
generally appear about December. The brown, chestnut-like kernels 
are ripe about July. The milky juice and the coarser venation of 
the leaves readily distinguish this tree from Lophira alata. 

Diospyros mespeliformis, Hochst. (Ebenacese). Kanya or Kaiwa ; 
" African Ebony." 
A fairly large tree, up to about 40 feet in height, in the savannah 
forests and open country, extending north to beyond the Anglo-French 



NIGERIA 215 

boundary, larger in the mixed deciduous forests farther south and in 
fringing evergreen belts. The foliage is dark and the bark blackish ; 
the inconspicuous whitish flowers, of separate sexes on different trees, 
are attractive to bees. The wood is white, with a black heartwood, 
and the spherical yellow fruits (" Monkey Guava ") have a crisp rind 
and sweet edible pulp, with four or five seeds. 

Strychnos spinosa, Lam. (Loganiacese). Kokiya. 

A small thorny tree with opposite three- to five-nerved leaves, 
conspicuous by its round yellow fruit, which is orange-like, but has a 
hard rind and flat seeds embedded in a pleasant acid edible pulp. 

Cordia Abyssinica, R. Br. (Boraginea?). Aliliba. 

A shrub or small tree with broad leaves and white flowers, valued 
for the sweet yellow berries, which are used in making sweetmeats. 

Kigelia JEthiopica, Decne. ; var. Bornuensis, Sprague (Bignoniaceae). 
Rahaina or Rawuya. 
A species of " Sausage Tree," of irregular distribution in Northern 
Nigeria, known in Sokoto, etc., but commoner in the Benue region 
and in Bornu (possibly more than one species occurring). It grows to 
a fairl}'^ large size, with dense foliage and pendulous racemes of lurid 
purple and spotted flowers and large, yam-like fruits. 

Stereospermum Kunthianum, Cham. Jiri or Sansami. 

A small tree of the savannah forests, with smooth pale bark, 
beautiful pink caducous blossoms and long slender pods. 

Vitex Cienkowskii, Kotschii et Peyr. (Verbenaceaj). Dinya. 

A fairly large tree, chiefly of open forest country and extending 
at least as far as the Anglo-French border. The bark is somewhat 
smooth, the crown of digitate leaves fairly dense, and the black, damson- 
like fruits are used in making molasses and sweetmeats. The natives 
value the wood as strong and suitable for local use. 

Uapaca Guineensis, Muell. Arg. (Euphorbiacese). Ka Jafogo. 

In the open country a rather small tree, with the habit of a Ficus, 
but becoming a large tree, sometimes prop-rooted, in the Benue region 
and in some ravines. 

ChloropJwra excelsa, Benth. and Hook. (Moraceoe). The " Iroko " 

or " Odum." 

Some of the splendid Nupe canoes are made of this, but the tree 

really belongs to the southern forests, though it occurs in the Benue 

region and perhaps in some northward extensions in river valleys. 



216 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Celtis integrifolia, Lam. Zuwo or Dukki. 

This is a fairly large tree of the savannah forest region, found as far 
north at least as Sokoto. The leaves are edible and are used as fodder. 

Ficus or Urostigma spp. 

This genus has not yet been fully elaborated, and the native names 
cannot in all cases be definitely applied to distinct botanical species. 
The following appear to be fairly established : Chediya, Ficus 
Thonningii, Bl., one of the commonest shade trees, planted in towns 
and abundant far North in French territory ; Durumi, F. syringifolia, 
Warb., perhaps equally common, with shining heart-shaped and 
pointed leaves ; Baure, F. gnaphalocarpa, A. Rich, (the rough-leaved 
species with soft figs which are sometimes considered edible) ; Uwar 
yara, F. Capensis, Thunb. {sensu lato), recognized by the wavy or 
indented-margined leaves, and especially by the figs being borne in 
dense clusters on the trunk ; Gamji, F. platyphylla, Del. (the source 
of " Red Kano Rubber " and the host of one of the wild silkworms, 
Anaphe sp.). Kawuri probably includes F. kawuri, Hutch., and F. 
glumosa, Del. Wa is a species with broadly cordate leaves, strongly 
veined, and Shirinya is a narrow-leaved species. F. Vogelii, Mig., is 
a glossy-leaved rubber-tree, more abundant in ravines and in the 
moister forests farther South. 

The Gamji and Shirinya, and perhaps some of the others, almost 
invariably begin life as epiphytes. 

Most of the species have abundant aerial rootlets, and the latex 
of F. Vogelii, of Gamji, and perhaps of Kawuri and Shirinya, yields 
rubber of varying quality. 

Raphia vinifera, P. Beauv. (Palmeae). Tukuruwa ; " Bamboo Palm," 
" Wine Palm." 
This well-known palm is found in ravines in the savannah region 
as far as Zaria province, but is a proper member of swampy patches 
and moist forests of the South. Roofing poles and palm- wine are 
its products most used in the North. 

Borassus flabellifer, var. Mthiopum, Warb. Giginya ; " Deleb," 
" Palmyra " or " Fan Palm." 
The most characteristic palm of Hausaland, with tall, straight 
and often beaded stems. The germinating shoots from the planted 
nuts are a vegetable called muruchi, and the wood and leaves have the 
familiar uses in house-building, mat and basket weaving, etc. 

Hyphcene Thebaica, Mart. Goriba ; " Dum " or " Gingerbread Palm." 
The typical palm of the more northerly Hausa provinces, character- 
ized by its forked stems and obliquely fan-shaped leaves. The kernel 




Ji»i 










NIGERIA 217 

and the rind of the nut are used in certain food preparations, and the 
fronds have the usual applications for plaited utensils, etc. 

Phoenix dactylifera, Linn. Dabino ; " Date Palm." 

Introduced by Arabs and confined (with a few exceptions, e.g. at 
Yola Mosque) to the Northern towns. 

In Kano it may be possible to see the three palms, Deleb, Dum 
and Date, together, but the last is in no sense a tree of Hausaland. 

J. M. Dalziel. 



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APPENDIX III 
IMPORTS OF TIMBER INTO NIGERIA 



Wood and Timber, Rough 
Hewn, Sawn and Split. 


Superficial Feet. 


£ 


1910 
1911 
1912 
1913 
1914 
1916 
1916 


5,754,135 
3,246,924 
3,915,004 
4,531,202 
6,094,126 
4,194,935 
Information not yet available 


34,166 
35,920 
37,904 
43,157 
54,673 
45,027 


Totals . . 


27,736,386 


£250,847 



APPENDIX IV 

NIGERIAN TREES PROTECTED UNDER THE 
FORESTRY ORDINANCE 

. With the gracious permission of the Nigerian Forest Department 
and the Nigerian Government a copy of the schedule of protected 
trees under the Nigerian Forestry Ordinance has been inserted here. 

SCHEDULE A 
PROTECTED TREES 

1st Class Trees. 
Fee, 46s. ; Royalty, 10s. ; Total, 56s. 'per tree. 

{a) 11 feet minimum girth limit. 

Khaya. All species except K. Senegalensis. Mahoganies, 
Ogangwo (Yoruba) ; Gedu (Benin) ; Digiten (Brass) ; Dirinshi 
and Odala (Ibo) ; Efriyo-moniba (Efik). 

Entandrophragma. All species, scented Mahoganies. Ijebo 
(Yoruba) ; Onomokyukyu and Ikwapobo (Benin) ; Eden (Efik) ; 
Etori (Ekoi). 

Chlorophora excelsa. Iroko (Yoruba) ; Iroko (Benin) ; Odji 
(Ibo) ; Nsan (Ekoi) ; Efriyo (Efik). 

(6) 10 feet minimum girth limit. 
Gaurea Thompsonii. Walnuts. Obobonikwi (Benin). 
Gaurea. All other species. 
Lovoa Klaineana. Anamomila (Benin). 

(c) 8 feet minimum girth limit. 
Sarcocephaliis esculentus. Moist forest form. Opepe (Yoruba) ; 

Obiache (Benin) ; Owessu (Brass) ; Awesu (Jekri). 

(d) 6 feet minimum girth limit. 
Funtumia elastica. Rubber trees. 

Ficus Vogelii. 

(/) No minimum girth limit. 
Elceis Guineensis. Oil Palm. 



NIGERIA 229 

2nd Class Trees. 
Fee, 28s. ; Royalty, 8s. ; Total, 365. per tree. 

(6) 10 feet minimum girth limit. 

Mimusops Djave. Efam (Efik) ; Mfam (Ekoi) ; Ungu (Ibo). 

Canarium Schweinfurthii. Eben-etridon (Efik) ; Njasun (Ekoi). 

Detarium Guineensis. 

Piptadenia Africana. Agboin (Yoruba) ; Chen (Ibo) ; Ekhimi 
(Benin) ; Sanga (Ijaw). 

Cylicodiscus Gahunensis. Anyan (Efik) ; Okan (Benin) ; Aja-igi 
or Olosan (Yoruba). 

Agba of the Benis. Mobonran (Ijaw). 

{d) 7 feet minimum girth limit. 

Afzelia Africana} Apa (Yoruba) ; Kan wo (Hausa) ; Adja (Ibo) ; 
Ayin-bukbo (Efik) ; Aligna or Adya (Benin). 

Blighia sapida. Ishin (Yoruba) ; Alale or Gwanja-kusa (Hausa). 

Lophira procera. Eki (Yoruba) ; Eba (Benin) ; Kuru (Ijaw) ; 
Umowenek (Efik). 

Tamarindus Indicus? Tsamia (Hausa). 

(e) 6 feet minimum girth limit. 
Mimusops multinervis. Emido (Yoruba) ; Apassa (Efik). 

3rd Class Trees. 
Fee, 185. ; Royalty, 6s. ; Total, 24s. per tree. 

(6) 10 feet minimum girth limit. 
Santiriopsis Klaineana. Incense Tree. Odonomo-kyu-kyu (Benin). 
Poga oleosa. Inoi (Efik) ; Inyere (Ekoi) ; Imonor (Ibo). 
Brachystegia spicceformis. Ako or Eku (Yoruba) ; Akpakpa 
(Ibo) ; Ukung (Efik). 

(c) 6 feet minimum girth limit, 

Carapa. All species. Ibegogo (Benin). 

Albizzia fastigiata. Ayinre-eta (Yoruba). 

Albizzia Broiunii. Ayinre-bonabona (Yoruba). 

Pterocarpus tinctorius. Camwood. Ukpa (Efik) ; Nkohen (Ekoi) ; 
Uhie (Ibo) ; Auchi (Brass), 

Pterocarpus Osun. Barwood. Osun (Yoruba) ; Ukpa (Efik). 

Khaya Senegalensis. Dry-zone Mahogany. Ogangwo (Yoruba) ; 
Madachi (Hausa). 

Erythrophloeum Guineense. Sasswood. Erun (Yoruba) ; Ifwan 
(Efik) ; Inyi (Ibo) ; Gwaska (Hausa). 

Erythrophloeum micranthum. Ihi (Ekoi) ; Iringi (Ibo). 

^ 4th class in Northern Provinces. ■ 6th class in Southern Provinces. 



280 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Schrehera Golungensis. Opele (Yoruba). 

AJrormosia laxiflora. Yellow Satin Wood. Ainyesan (Benin). 
Parkia biglobosa} 

Parkia filicoidea} Darowa (Hausa) ; Irugba (Yoruba). 
Pseudocedrela Kotschyi." Tuna (Hausa) ; Emigbegi (Yoruba). 
Irvingia Barterii. Oro (Yoruba) ; Okherli (Benin). 
Mammea sp. Bolo (Ijaw) ; Bolo (Brass). 
Casearia sp. Ebo (Yoruba). 
Otutu of the Yorubas. Aiye (Ondo). 

Klaineodoxa Gabonensis. Alukon-raba (Yoruba) ; Ifainaki (Egba) ; 
Odudu (Ondo). 

Diospyros.^ Ebonies. Kainya (Hausa). 



4th Class Trees. 
Fee, 9s. ; Royalty, 35. ; Total, 12s. per tree. 

(c) 8 feet minimum girth limit. 
Terminalia. All species except T. Togoensis. 
Terminalia Superba. Afara (Yoruba). 
Uputtu of the Benis. 
Diospyros dendo. Obiletu (Efik). 
Diospyros mespiliformis. Kanran (Yoruba). 
Diospyros Mombuttensis. Ogan-pupa (Yoruba). 
Diospyros atropurpurea. 
Diospyros crassiflora. Aborpor (Benin). 
Cordia Millenii. Omo (Yoruba). 

Triplochiton Johnsonii. Arere (Yoruba) ; Obeche (Benin). 
Triplochiton Nigericum. Arere (Yoruba). 

Mitragyne macrophylla. Uwen (Efik) ; Ebar (Brass) ; Ebar 
(Ibo) ; Abura (Yoruba). 

Daniellia Ogea. Ojia (Yoruba) ; Udeni (Ibo) ; Ozia (Benin). 
Yinrin-yiniin of Ijaws and Ikales. 
Jebere of the Ondos. Alofin (Jebu). 

(e) 6 feet minimum girth limit. 
Berlinia acuminata. Aj)ado (Yoruba) ; Ekpogoi (Benin). 
Berlinia auriculata. 

Cordia. All species except C. Millenii. Aliliba (Hausa). 
Pausinystalia sp. Idagbon (Ondo) ; Wenren-wenren (Jebu). 
Microdesmis sp. 
Ohiomo of the Benis. 

^ 4th class in Northern Provinces. - .^th class in Southern Provinces. 

^ 4th class in Southern Provnicea. 



NIGERIA 231 

Ewai of the Benis. 

S'pondias sp. Ekika-aja, Opon (Yoruba). 

Saxoglottis Gahunensis. Ndat (Efik) ; Tala (Ibo) ; Tala (Brass) ; 
Edat (Ekoi) ; Atala (Yoruba). 

Sarcocephalus sp. Opepe-ira (Yoruba). 

Pycnanthus Kombo. Akomu (Yoruba). 

Oromosia monophylla. Akoriko (Yoruba), 

Ashasha of the Yoruba. 

Alstonia Congensis. Awun, Ahon (Yoruba) ; Dubu (Brass) ; 
Eba (Ibo). 

Parkia fiUcoidea} Danowa (Hausa). 

Parkia biglobosa} 

Acacia } All species. Gabarua (Hausa). 

Butyrospermum Parhi. Shea Butter. Emi-emi (Yoruba) ; 
Kadanya (Hausa). 

Pterocarpus erinaceus. Apepe, Ara (Yoruba) ; Madobia (Hausa). 

5th Class Trees. 
Fee, 45. Gd. ; Royalty, Is. 6c?. ; Total, 65. i^er tree. 

(6) 10 feet minimum girth limit. 

Eriodendron. All species. Silk Cotton Tree. Araba (Yoruba) ; 
Ukum (Efik) ; Shakka (Brass) ; Okha (Benin) ; Akpe (Ibo) ; Rimi 
(Hausa). 

Bombax. All species. 

Ardiaris toxicaria. Oro (Yoruba) ; Nuwo (Ekoi) ; Odjiwawa 
(Ibo). 

(c) 8 feet minimum girth limit. 
lya-Igbo of the Yorubas. 

(e) 6 feet minimum girth limit. 

Tetrapleura Thonningii. Aridan (Yoruba) ; Da wo (Hausa). 

Erythrina. All species except E. Senegalensis. 

Paradaniellia Oliveri. Balsam Copaiba Tree. lya (Yoruba), 

Pentaclethra macrophylla. Apara (Yoruba) ; Ukana (Efik) ; 
Ukpakara (Brass). 

Lonchocarpus Zenkeri. 

Daniellia. All species except D. Ogea. Gum Copal Trees, lya 
(Yoruba). 

Cynometra. All species. 

Ricinodendron Africana. Erimmado (Yoruba) ; Okwen (Benin), 

Uapaca Guineensis. He (Ibo). 

Uapaca Staudtii. Akun (Yoruba). 

' 3rd class in Southern Provinces. ^ 7th class in Southern Provinces. 



232 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Garcinia sp. Agberibede (Yoruba). 
Scottelia Kamerunensis. Okilolo (Ijaw). 
Oropa of the Yorubas. Odoko (Yoruba). 
Erohun of the Ikales. 

(/) 4 feet minimum girth limit. 
Xylia Evansii. 
Trichilia Heudelotii. 

Pseudocedrela Kotschyi} Emigbegi (Yoruba). 
Ukpi-nikwi of the Benis. Enyin Mbukpo (Efik), 

6th Class Teees. 
Fee, 2s. 6d. ; Royalty, Qd. ; Total, 3-9. per tree. 

(c) 8 feet minimum girth limit. 
StercuUa cordata. Ogugu (Yoruba). 

(e) 6 feet minimum girth limit. 
StercuUa ohlonga. 

Pentadesma butyracea. Candle Tree. Udia Ebiong (Efik). 
Adina microcephala.^ Kadanyar rafi (Hausa). 
Anogeissus leiocarpus. Ayin (Yoruba) ; Marike (Hausa). 
Isoberlinia." Both species. Doka (Hausa). 

(/) 4 feet minimum girth limit. 
Chrysophyllum. All species, Osan (Yoruba), 
Polyadoa umbellata. 
Baphia nitida. Irosun (Yoruba). 
Baphia pubescens. Ubara (Efik). 
Baphia polygalacea. Mbomo-nkuku (Efik). 
Parinarium macrophyllum. Gawasa (Hausa). 
Parinarium mobola. 

Funtumia Africana. Ako-ire (Yoruba) ; Bassa-bassa (Benin). 
Tamarindus Indicus.^ Tsamia (Hausa). 
Eugenia Owariensis. Malmo (Hausa). 
Vitex. All species. 
StercuUa Barterii. Eso (Yoruba), 

Lophira alata. Ipawhaw (Yoruba) ; Namijin-kadai (Hausa). 
Xanthoxylon Senegalensis. Ata (Yoruba) ; Fasa-kwari (Hausa). 
Spondias lutea. Hog Plum. lyeye (Yoruba) ; Tsada-Masar 
(Hausa), 

Cola. All species. 

Ita of the Yorubas, 

Hannoa Klaineana. Igbo (Yoruba). 

Macrolobium. All species. 

1 3rd class in Northern Provinces. 

* 3 feet minimum girth in Northern Provinces. 

• 2nd class in Northern Provinces. 



NIGERIA 233 

Ormosia laxiflora} Ba-fini, Makarfo (Haiisa) ; Shedun (Yoruba). 
Prosopis oblonga. Kirya (Hausa). 

Lonchocarpus sericeus. Ipapo (Yoruba) ; Njassi (Ibo) ; Obong 
(Efik). 

Dialium Guineense. Awin (Yoruba) ; Ohiorme (Benin). 

(/) 3 feet minimum girth limit. 
Adina microcephala." Kadanyar Rafi (Hausa). 
Isoberlinia." All species. Doka (Hausa). 
Ormosia laxiflora.^ Makarfo (Hausa). 

ig) No minimum girth limit. 
Borassus Mthiopica. The Fan Palm. Giginya (Hausa). 

7th Class Trees. 
Fees, Nil, except when taken under a Fuel Permit. 

{g) No minimum girth limit. 

Acacia. All species, when in Southern Provinces. 

Anona. All species. Afe (Yoruba) ; Gwandar-daji (Hausa). 

Conopharyngia. All species. 

Deinbolia insignis. 

Erythrina Senegalensis. Majiriya (Hausa). 

Garoinia conrauana. Efiari (Efik) ; Odji (Brass). 

Hannoa undulata. Ikwepokin (Benin). 

Holarrhena Wulfsbergii. 

Kigelia pinnata. 

Millettia Thonningii. 

Musanga Smithii. Umbrella Tree. Aga (Yoruba) ; Uno (Efik) ; 
Oro (Brass). 

Pachylobus edulis. Eben (Efik). 

Parinarium. All species except those detailed in 6th class. 

Pterocarpus esculentus. Gedar-kurumi (Hausa) ; Gbingbin 
(Yoruba). 

Ochna m^iltiflora. Toi-tsi (Ibo). 

Rauwolfia vomitoria. 

Spathodea. All species. 

Sterculia. All other species except those detailed in other classes. 

Terminalia Togoensis. 

Treculia Africana. Afon (Yoruba). 

Xylopia Mthiopica. Eru (Yoruba) ; Kimba (Hausa). 

Chrysobalanus Icaco. Ikate (Yoruba). 

1 .3 feet minimum girth in Northern Provinces. 

2 6 feet minimum girth in Southern Provinces. 
* 4 feet minimum girth in Southern Provinces. 



234 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

8th Class Trees. 
Minimum girth limit, 12 inches. 

Fees — On trees over 24 inches in girth, M. per tree. 

On trees 12 to 24 inches in girth, 3d. per tree. 
Rhizophora racemosa. Red Mangrove. Egba (Yoruba). 
Rhizophora mangle. Red Mangrove. 
Avicennia Africana. White Mangrove. Ofun (Yoruba). 

For the purposes of this schedule, the girths must be measured 
at a vertical distance of 4 feet 6 inches from the ground at the foot 
of the tree, or in the case of buttressed trees at the place where the 
highest buttress merges into the stem. 

SCHEDULE B 
PROTECTED MINOR FOREST PRODUCE 

1st Class. 
Fee, 15s. ; Royalty, 5s. ; Total, 205. per permit. 

Rubber — taken from wild rubber-yielding trees and vines. 

2nd Class. 
Fee, Is. 6d. ; Royalty, 2s. Qd. ; Total, IO5. per permit. 

Bamboo poles — taken from the midribs of the Tombo palm [Raphia 
vinifera) or other species of Raphia. Piassava fibre from the stem 
and midribs (leaf stalks) of the Raphia and other species of palms. 

And in the Northern Provinces : 

Poles, gofas, etc., not to exceed 6 inches in diameter, taken from 
Isoberlinia sp., Anogeissus leiocarpus, Ormosia laxiflora, Lophira alata 
or Pterocarpus erinaceus. 

3rd Class. 
Fee, 4s. 6d. ; Royalty, Is. M. ; Total, 6s. per permit. 

Chew-sticks — or native tooth-brushes taken from the roots of 
the lyin tree [Anogeissus leiocarpus). 

Native sponges — made from the bast fibres of various species 
of vines and lianes. 

Pandanus fibre (from the screw pine) and the leaf stalk of all 
species of Phryniura, taken for the manufacture of mats. 

Gum copal. 

Gum arabic — and other gums jorocured from Acacias. 









f2sa 

S " 

Sim's 



CHAPTER IX 
THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 

INDIGENOUS TREES OF NIGERIA 

B. Southern Provinces. 
Palmae. 

Baphia Hooheriana. Hooker's Palm or the Piassava Palm. Aiko 
(Yoruba) ; lya (Efik) ; Angor (Benin) ; Ori (Oban, Ekoi). 

It is found ehiefi}^ in the Calabar, Warri, and Ondo provinces 
of Nigeria, mixed with 11. vinifera at the edges of estuaries 
and rivers in the evergreen forest zone. 

One of the main differences between this palm and R. vini- 
fera is that the fruit is much shorter (at the most 1| inches 
long and | inch in diameter) and more stumpy in shape, coming 
abruptly to a point at the tip. R. vinifera, on the other hand, 
is much longer, reaching 2| to 3 inches in length and f inch to an 
inch in diameter, and it is very elliptical in shape. The bunches 
of fruit of this palm, R. Hookeriana, are much smaller, rarely 
exceeding more than a foot in length, and containing 50 to 
75 nuts, whereas R. vinifera may have bunches 3 feet long, 
each containing 500 nuts or more. In the stem, too, this palm is 
smaller, often not reaching more than 6 to 9 inches in diameter, 
with a total height of 20 feet, whereas R. vinifera will reach 
over a foot in diameter and a total height of over 60 feet. 
The natural cleaning of the stem begins much later in this 
palm, and does not reach anything like the height of that of 
R. vinifera. In many specimens, in fact, the stem remains 
alwajT^s more or less covered with the very upward tending 
branches. In this respect it reminds one a little of R. Ruffia. 
The leaves, however, are more similar to R. vinifera, but only 
about half the size, especially in length ; they are not quite so 
wide, nor are the leaf stalks quite so large. 

The timber is very similar, but more fibrous and of a looser 
texture than that of R. vinifera. It is a little easier to cut. 
In the older specimens the foliage still retains its dark 
green colour compared with the dry, yellowish hue which 
R. vinifera takes on as it gets older. It is a somewhat slow- 

235 



236 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

growing, shade-bearing tree. It likes a somewhat rich soil, but 
can, however, stand in water, and appai-ently withstands floods. 
Natural regeneration appears to be good. 

The timber has not been cut for export nor for local use. 
The fronds are occasionally used for a similar purpose as that 
of R. vinifera, and sometimes the leaves also. 

Native Use. — The fronds and leaves are used in a similar 
way to those of E. vinifera. The base of the leaf stalk is cut 
off into lengths up to 6 feet (it almost encircles the tree and 
extends much further up than in the case of R. vinifera) and 
laid in stagnant water. After the intervening substance between 
the fibres has got more or less soft and partly rotted away, 
the whole is taken out and the fibres cleaned with a kind of 
comb. These are then diied, and packed together in bundles 
of 20 pounds upwards, and sold to the European factory as 
Piassava. This industry is more widespread in the Eket 
district of the Calabar province, but it has taken a great number 
of years of thought and careful attention to bring it up to its 
present dimensions. The cutting of the leaves is undertaken 
mostly by the men and the rotting and cleaning of the fibre 
mostly by the women. Before the war Piassava fibre was 
rarely worth more than £28 per ton. It is now worth over 
£70. Unless, however, a price of at least £20 per ton is offered 
in Liverpool market for this fibre, it is doubtful if the industry 
can be made profitable for everyone concerned, producers 
included. 
Raphia vinifera. The Palm Wine Tree, or Tombo Palm, or Bamboo, 
the last named being the name used by the English-speaking 
Jekris. Ako (Yoruba) ; Emmaha Augor (Benin) ; Oukot 
(Efik). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ondo, Benin, Warri, Owerri 
and Calabar provinces and the Colony of Nigeria, at the edges 
of the streams and rivers in the evergreen forest zone, where 
it grows in large groups and pure forests. 

It is a medium-sized palm, growing separately with one 
stem, which clears itself of the leaf fronds for about half its 
height between the twelfth and fifteenth year. The trunk 
then is comparatively smooth, except for the very large scars 
of the leaf stalk. The fronds are the longest of any of the 
African palms, reaching sometimes a length of 40 feet, roughly 
sickle shaped ; in section they reach about 2 inches diameter 
at the broadest part, and are a yellow-brown colour. The 
leaves come out from the stalk almost at a right angle, thus 
making them much wider and, owing to their greater length, 
much finer and heavier foliage than that of the Oil Palm, or 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 237 

even the Coconut Palm. In fact, an isolated specimen growing 
well could be not unfavourably compared to the Royal Palm 
in the grandeur of its spread of leaf and the beauty of the 
outward-spreading, fan-shaped bold crown. Both the male 
and the female flowers are very conspicuous. The bunches 
of fruit, up to 3 feet in length, hang down like enormous 
elongated bunches of yellow grapes. The nuts are covered 
with a smooth yellow hard skin, set in scales very similar to 
those of a cone, except that each scale is tightly joined to the 
next. When the fruit decays, or is boiled, the scales come 
off as well as the j^ellow, fibrous matter, which gives a yellowish 
tinge to the water. The main difference between the base 
of the Oil Palm and that of the leaf of this tree is the extension 
of it more than half round the bole in the case of R. vinifera, 
and also flatly and smoothly down the stem. On the 
other hand, in the Oil Palm the leaf grows more abruptly 
out of and away from the stem. Owing to the Tombo Palm 
stem being smaller (on the average only 9 inches in diameter), 
the base of the frond extends nearly all round the tree, the 
lower one overlapping the higher one, and each placed 
in revolving fashion round the trunk, one above the other. 
The leaf scars of the Oil Palm are much smaller. Owing to 
the greater length of the leaf of this palm, the crown does not 
appear to be such a tuft of leaves at the top of the tree as in 
the case of the Oil Palm. In old age it appears more as a 
cylindrical mass of leaves occupying the upper half or third 
of the tree. 

The timber is more fibrous and soft than that of the Oil 
Palm. The fibres, however, are dark brown, almost black when 
very wet or after they have lain in water for any length of time. 

On the whole the tree is slow-growing, even slower than 
the Oil Palm. It stands a good deal of shade in the earlier 
stages, but later on is apparently a light-demanding tree. It 
grows in freshwater swamps and at the edges of such places. 
Although it thrives best in certain localities, it can be planted 
and does grow on solid and comparatively dry land near 
Calabar. In the Calabar province they are often planted as 
an avenue leading up from the main road through the farm 
to the house. It will stand floods. Natural regeneration is 
good, and with the spread of propagation it tends to be more 
widely distributed. In the Calabar and Ogoja provinces seeds 
were distributed to the natives for planting for the production 
of palm wine to take the place of that obtained from the Oil 
Palm. The timber has not been used for export, nor has it 
been cut for local use. The leaf stalks, however, have been 



238 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

used for building labourers' lines and in some European houses. 
In a similar way the leaves themselves have been used as a 
roofing material after being made up into small mats. 

Native Use. — The tree is tapped near the base of the leading 
leaves, or at the base of the male inflorescence, for the produc- 
tion of the sap, which is collected in calabashes. These are placed 
in position every evening and emptied every morning, and 
replaced in position. Occasionally the chimpanzees climb up 
the palms, drink the wine in the calabash and replace it. A 
native once shot a chimpanzee, finding it was the thief of 
his palm wine and not a human being. The wine is of a 
white, sometimes almost creamy colour, and when fresh is 
quite thin and foamy. It has a rather pleasant, sweet, and 
almost sharp taste. After being kept a few days it begins 
to ferment, and even moderate quantities are intoxicating. 
Either fresh or fermented, it is sold in bottles or calabashes 
in the local markets. The supply scarcely, if ever, exceeds 
the demand. The natives often j)ut pieces of the bark of 
Tala, Saccoglottis Gabunensis, in the wine to give it a more 
bitter taste. Occasionally also the bark of mahogany and 
other trees is used. Tala, however, is the correct bark to use, 
and it forms an article of local commerce for this purpose. 
Owing to the comparative inaccessibility of some of the " stands " 
of this tree away in the swampy regions near the estuaries 
of some of the larger rivers, such as the Benin and the Siluko, 
there are still vast areas where neither the leaves are cut nor 
the palms tapped for wine. The seeds are boiled and placed 
in the bottom of a canoe, and when sufficient canoes have 
been got together, each with its quota of boiled nuts, these 
are trodden with the feet of those in the canoe, and both the 
nuts and the scaly shell as well as the small amount of yellow 
flesh are thrown in the water of a half -stagnant river. This 
yellow substance partly blinds and stupefies the fish, the smaller 
ones of which come half floating and swimming to the surface, 
the larger ones being washed along near the bed of the 
river. These are caught in convenient places where the river 
has been staked all across its width and bamboo netting put down, 
except for an opening where a flexible net is used. Some 
of the people go about in small canoes, netting the fish that 
come to the surface. One of the most famous spots to see 
this is in the Osse River, in the reach just below Noami, 
where the combined fishery forces of the Jekris and, to a 
lesser extent, Sobos and Ijors, for a day or two in succession 
in April each year, carrj'^ on this work. The catch of fish 
obtained is enormous. Unless, however, it can be soon 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 239 

smoked and dried, much of it goes bad. This method of 
getting fish is also used b}' individual natives in stagnant 
backwaters of rivers and in isolated pools. The poison 
apparently does not spoil the taste or other quality of the 
fish. Occasionalh' this palm is also used for getting out the 
Piassava fibre, but it appears to be more difficult, and it is 
doubtful if it is as valuable as the fibre obtained from R. 
Hcokeriana. Owing, however, to the fact that both species 
grow in the same locality and often quite mixed together, it 
is highly probable that part of the Piassava obtained is 
taken from this palm. In order to stimulate the flow of 
sap, a fire is often made at the base of the tree, which 
burns all the lower leaves and even part of the top, and 
thus induces an extra flow of saj^, but of course to the 
detriment of a continual yield, as the tree subsequently dies. 

In many parts of the country there is a regular local 
industry in the making of roofing mats from the leaves of this 
palm. The small ones, about 3 feet long, are, however, sold 25 
for 3d. and the big ones, over 6 feet long, 25 for 6d. In some 
places they are cheaper. As a roofing material they are very 
durable, and will last at least seven years. If, however, they 
are put on very thickly, overlapping more than two-thirds 
of their width, and the roof is thoroughly smoked from 
the inside, it becomes nearly black, and will last fifteen 
years. For native houses it is one of the most used roofing 
materials, except in the Benin country, where the large Ewayon 
leaves are used. Roofing mats are, of course, being superseded 
by galvanized iron in the more civilized places. The leaf stalk 
is used both as a pole for pushing lighters or heavily laden 
canoes through comparatively shallow water, or as a boat-hook, 
or pushing and guiding pole for the smaller canoes in getting 
up swift, winding and comparatively narrow rivers. 
Raphia Ruffia. Roofing Palm. 

Chief Characteristics. — It does not form a proper stem, like 
other raphias ; the long, thin leaves sprout out from the ground, 
and only when the tree is some years old is there any trace of 
a stem, which is quite short. The petioles are thin, compared 
to the length, and the leaflets are thin and narrow. 

Distribution. — It is found in the Calabar and Ogoja Provinces 
of Nigeria. It is often planted near watercourses in damp 
valleys to provide roofing material for the natives, who make 
mats from the leaves (Ikom, Obubra districts). 
Phoenix reclinata. Swamp Date Palm. Elekikobi (Yoruba) ; 
Ukukon (Benin). 

A common tree of the Warri province of Nigeria. It is 



240 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

usually found in or at the edge of the mangrove swamp, where 
it appears to thrive. It is often rather bent in shape, and 
does not exceed 10 feet in height. It is usually partially 
gregarious, thougn the groups of this species are much smaller 
than those of P. spinosa. The natives in this locality scarcely 
use it at all. The fruit is rather smaller, and it bears in a less 
prolific manner than P. spinosa. 
Phoenix spinosa. Wild Date Palm. Okun (Yoruba) ; Ukukon 
(Benin). 

It is a common tree in the Ogoja, Benin, Ondo and Ibadan 
provinces of Nigeria. In appearance more like a very thin 
stemmed Oil Palm, on nearer approach the bluish-green, almost 
silvery, more open, shorter and rather sharply pointed fronds 
readily distinguish it from the Oil Palm group. The fruit is 
the shape of a very small date, many of which are borne on 
thin fibrous twigs of a very stout stalk. It is usually found 
in the open deciduous or savannah forest zone. 

The natives use the stems for rafters and house-posts ; the 
fruit and bark are used medicinally; and the leaves are used 
for making sieves, hats, mats and bags. 
Calamus dearatus. Benin Cane or Rattan. Erogbo (Benin). 

It is found in the Benin province of Nigeria. It is one 
of the rarer canes of the forest, has a yellow flower, and is found 
near Okenuhen. The canes are used for fences and house- 
building. 
Eremospatha macrocarpa (Mann and Wenal). Small Benin Rattan. 
Ukan (Yoruba) ; Ikan (Benin). 

It is found in the Benin, Calabar, Ondo and Abeokuta 
provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a common ^-inch thick cane, which attains a length 
of nearly 200 feet. It grows in clumps and climbs up over 
the surrounding trees. The fruit is yellow and rather like 
a small larch cone which has not opened. It is used for making 
rope and baskets, tying timber rafts, house-building, etc. ; in 
fact, it is the best cane in West Africa. 
Eremospatha sp. Large Benin Rattan. Okakan (Benin). 

It is found in Ondo, Abeokuta, Benin, Warri, Brass, Owerri, 
Calabar and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a large creeper, nearly an inch in diameter and 
attaining a length of nearly 200 feet. It is usually found 
partly growing on other trees in more or less open places at 
the edge of the forest, near river banks, in the evergreen forest 
zone ; it is also found at the edges of swamps in the same 
region. It often forms dense cane brakes. One of the most 
typical features of this cane is the reddish-orange cone-like 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 241 

fruit, which is borne in large clusters on the terminal shoot 
of the creeper. 

The light-yellow, long spikes of the male flowers are most 
conspicuous early in the season, especially when seen from a 
canoe when passing down a river like the Osse. 

The natives strip off the bark and long shoots of fish-hook- 
like spines, and use the comparatively smooth canes as supports 
for the canoe mats and for making tying material for house- 
building ; it is also used for making rope. When whole, it 
is used in making bridges as well as for joining logs together 
for rafting purposes. When cut into short lengths and bent 
at one end, it can be used for walking-sticks. 

It is rather a slow-growing creeper, and usually ten or 
twelve grow out of one root stock. In 1904 this cane was 
examined in England as a substitute for rattan, but it was 
found to be more brittle, and the internodes were found to be 
too close together to be attractive as walking-sticks. Still 
later, in 1908, it was tried for basket work, but was found to 
be too coarse both in structure and texture of grain. 
ElcBsis Ouineensis. The Oil Palm, the West African Palm. Ope, 
Ipa ukoro (Yoruba) ; Udin (Benin), 

It is found in all the Southern Provinces of Nigeria and 
as far North as Zungeru, in the Northern Provinces. It belongs 
to the evergreen forest zone, though it will spread with 
cultivation into the mixed deciduous and dry zones. 

It is the common palm of all the farms and forests of the 
moist and mixed zone of Nigeria. It bears a bunch of fruit 
containing as many as two thousand individual fruits in one 
drupe. In the drier parts there may be only as many as one 
hundred seeds. There is one forked palm on the right-hand 
side of the line about seven miles from Ibadan, just beyond 
Moor Plantation. This is a very rare occurrence, and I have 
only seen one in twelve years' travelling in Nigeria. The male 
inflorescence is not unlike a very close horse's tail, turned up 
on end. The orange-brown-coloured female flowers are very 
small, and do not last long (a few days). The male flowers 
always appear first, and above the female in each case. The 
natives say some trees only bear male flowers, but it is doubtful 
if this is ever true, except in very isolated cases. It bears 
fruit in the fifth year, and will go on for about a hundred years. 
There is a most marked difference in the height of a tree which 
has grown up in the " high forest " and one which has come 
up in an old farm, the former being fully 100 or even 150 feet 
high and the latter only 20 to 30 feet in height. In a similar 
way the bole of the forest-grown palm is only about 3 feet in 
16 



242 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

girth, whereas the farm-grown palm may be over 6 feet in 
girth. It goes without saying that the latter bears larger 
bunches of fruit and the individual nuts are larger and also 
more numerous. 

Between the twelfth and fifteenth year the tree begins to 
clear itself of the lower leaves, thus forming a clean bole up 
to the tuft of fronds at the top. 

Owing to the fact that the bunches of fruit form in the 
axis of the leaf stalk, they are compressed very tightly, and 
thus ripen comparatively slowly. By cutting off the leaf 
immediately below the fruit, the ripening period is shortened 
by three weeks. This is, of course, partly due to the increased 
amount of light. Cutting leaves, however, above the fruit, 
or at all excessively in number, leads to a deceleration in growth, 
so that pruning should only be moderate. Both in the forest 
and in the open, epiphytic ferns, figs, and other plants grow 
amongst the leaves on the stem, and more especially later 
at the top of the tree. The trees are rarely, if ever, cleaned 
of these hindrances to healthy growth, but naturally they 
retard the flowering and ripening of the fruit. The leaves 
are also used for making brushes for sweeping the ground. 

Native Use. — Oil is made from the pericarp of the fruit, 
and from the kernels, for rubbing on the skin. The leaf 
stalk is used for roof-poles. 

Natural regeneration is good, although the Oil Palm thrives 
best in a deep, moist soil with considerable mineral content. 
It is, however, found growing amongst rocks on laterite and 
poor sandy land, and that in such case the rainfall is 
deficient, i.e. below 40 inches. A few small plantations have 
been made. It is noticeable that self-grown seedlings grow 
much slower than those transplanted. In the first year the 
self-sown seedlings grow only one pair of leaves, whereas 
those transplanted grow five or six in the same period 
Apparently the Oil Palm does not thrive unless the soil is 
kept well covered and a good surface tilth maintained. With a 
planting distance of 20 to 24 feet there is considerable scope 
for the planting of other crops between. The chief difficulty 
appears to be to grow these at a profit without impoverishing 
the soil or hindering the quick development of the Oil Palm. 
On suitable soil the most profitable crops appear to be the 
following : ground-nuts, beans (three or four kinds), Egusi 
Bara, Citrullus vulgaris. 

A fuller consideration of this subject, and the Oil Palm 
generally, will be found in the separate section about it. 
Elcesis Guineensis, var. Thompsonii. The Palm of Everlasting 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 243 

Life or King Palm. Eviromilla (Benin). This is the meaning 
according to the Benin name. 

It is found in the Colony of Lagos, and Abeokuta and Benin 
provinces of Nigeria. On the whole, it is an uncommon tree, 
but there is no doubt of its being an indigenous tree to this 
part of Africa. The leaves are long and very compressed, 
being set at an acute angle to the leaf stalk and of smaller 
size than in any other species. It gives the palm almost the 
appearance of a Cycad. It also looks as if the leaves had closed 
up with the cold or were not fully developed. The leaves also 
are of a much darker green (almost olive-green) than the ordinary 
palm. Amongst the Benis it is considered the Sacred Oil Palm 
Tree, the nut obtained from it being especially revered. From 
the Resident's office is seen one of these trees which was 
planted in the Benin City Arboretum some nine years ago. It is 
a very slow-growing palm, having scarcely one quarter of the 
rate of growth of the ordinary oil palm. The stem is much 
thinner in proportion to the height than the ordinary oil palm ; 
and it does not attain more than half the height of an oil palm. 
When growing in a group, it gives quite a funereal appearance. 

The nuts are used by the natives as "Ju-ju" of divination 
to see into the future. It is said that " the nuts talk," in the 
Benin country, where the tree is held to be that of everlasting 
life. 
Elcesis sp. Ope trumfo (Yoruba). 

Abeokuta province, Yoruba country. 
ElcBsis sp. Small Oil Palm. Ope Ifu No. I (Yoruba) ; Ogiedi 
(Benin). 

Abeokuta province, Yoruba country. 
Elcesis Guineensis, var. Lisombe. Palm, or Lisombe Palm, or 
Soft-shelled Palm. Ogeddin (Benin). 

The main difference of this species is in the small oblong, 
pointed fruit on a much smaller drupe, and the larger quantity 
of oil obtained from the pericarp and the very small kernel 
in the nut. It is also much softer to crack. The foliage looks 
a fresher green than the ordinary variety ; also the leaflets 
are placed at an acuter angle to the leaf stalk than the other. 

It is not very prevalent in the Benin, Abeokuta, Calabar 
and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 

Silviculture. — The nuts, when sown, do not germinate true 
to species, except for a few per cent. It is planted in the Indem 
country of the Ogoja province. 

Native Use. — The oil is collected in a similar way to the 
other, but is liked more by the natives of Benin. The kernels 
are used for making oil as well. 



244 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Hyphcene. Dum Palm or Forked Palm. Kaba, Kodago, Kwalo 
(nut), Goriba (Dr. Dalziel's Hausa list). 

It is found in the Zaria and Niger provinces of Nigeria. 

The only branched palm in West Africa. It attains a 
height of 30 feet. It is more or less gregarious in habit, though 
the individual groups of palms are not very large. It is appar- 
ently somewhat fire-resisting, though this may be due to its 
being found amongst the dry-zone vegetation. The stem is 
short and the two forks often crooked, so that little or no use 
is made of the wood by the natives. The seeds are turned 
into buttons, and so have recently obtained a value for this 
purpose. They were first sent to England from the Soudan, where 
apparently the tree is much more common than in West Africa. 
Borassus flabelliformis, var. ^thiopica. Palmyra or Black Run 
Palm, Fan Palm, Bottle Palm, Arac Palm. Agbon, Olodu, 
Igoti (Yoruba) ; Oluwa (Benin). 

It is a common tree in the dry-zone forest regions of Ibadan, 
Benin, Onitsha, and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. This palm, 
with the swollen upper part of the bole making it appear more 
like a large inverted bottle, is thus not to be mistaken for any 
other. The huge fan-shaped leaves distinguish it from either 
the Coconut Palm or the Oil Palm. In the distance, too, 
the leaves appear more silvery-green, and not the yellow-green 
of the Coconut, or the bright, fresh green of the Oil Palm, 
or the sombre dark green of the Wine Palm. A large mass 
of coconut-shaped nuts, but with a smoother, more yellow 
surface, and more cylindrical in shape, without the ridges of 
the coconut, are another feature of this tree. At the base 
of each nut the old sepals of the flower remain, appearing like 
large dark-brown leaf scars. The young seedlings are easily 
seen amongst the grass, sticking up as they do like little 
silvery-green fans of varying size, in detail showing the 
folds of a fan most distinctly, the leaf opening out in a similar 
way to a fan. The bole is dark brown and practically smooth, 
showing no leaf scars, and only faintly lined vertically down 
the stem. The base is only slightly swollen, and the roots 
do not form a large mound round it, as is the case with the 
Oil Palm, and to some extent with the Tombo Palm. Inside 
the fruit there are two or three large, flattish nuts. 

The timber is fibrous, hard, but very durable and quite 
termite proof. Although the upper part of the stem is hollow, 
long sectional pieces, four by two, and even thicker, can be 
cut out. It planes up with a smooth surface, and the grain 
looks very pretty with the thick fibres. It nails fairly well 
and splits longitudinally. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 245 

It is a light-loving tree, moderately fast growing for a 
palm. It is usually found growing gregariously in groups of 
a few acres up to hundreds of acres in extent. However, it is 
rarely thick enough to thoroughly shade the ground. Natural 
regeneration is good, even though in most areas annual grass- 
fires run through the trees and to some extent char the fruit. 
No plantations have been made of these species. 

The timber has not been exported, but locally it has been 
used for house-building, as well as for fences near the railway. 
The natives occasionally use it for house-building, but they 
do not know how to tap it for the wine. The leaves are some- 
times used for making temporary shelters. The fruit is some- 
times eaten, and has a pleasant taste. The nuts might be 
exported for making into buttons. 

Cyanastracea;. 

Cyanastrum cordifoUum. Ikoto. 

It has an edible fruit. Found in the Benin province of Nigeria. 

Liliaceae. 

Draccena sp. Dragon's Blood. Ewanenimi (Benin). 

It has a very long, thin leaf of the usual monocotyledonous 
type and with a somewhat branched stem, with thin papery 
bark. 

It is fairly common in the Benin country. It is one of 
the few monocotyledonous trees of the forest, and thus easily 
distinguishable from other trees. The parallel veins of the 
leaf are very long and laid fairly close together. The stem 
is very porous and not woody, being more fibrous in type. 
It reaches a girth of about 4 feet and a height of 40 feet. 

Native Use. — The leaves are used by the natives medi- 
cinally ; and occasionally the sap is used to blind people. 
Draccena surculosa. Dragon's Blood. Ope, Igbo. 

Is found in Olokemeji. 
Draccena cylindrica. Boundary tree. Peregun (Yoruba) ; Uk- 
pogun, Ogihu (Benin). 

Found in the Olokemeji Reserve. 
Draccena cylindrica. Boundary tree. Peregun (Yoruba) ; Uk- 
pogun, Ogihu (Benin). 

It has a wider and shorter leaf than the Ewanenimi tree, 
but again with the parallel veins, which are, of course, tj^pical 
of the monocotyledon. It does not really form proper timber, 
but the stem is of a spongy, fibrous nature. It reaches a girth 
of about 5 feet and a height of about 50 feet. It usually has 
one stem, which is unbranched for a very considerable length, 
but sometimes a whole group will grow up in one place. 



246 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Both this and the former species are propagated very easily 
by cuttings. In fact, it is possible to take the end of a branch 
complete with the leaves and put it in the ground, when it 
will grow. It likes a comparatively deep moist soil, though 
it will stand any amount of drought without actually dying. 
It stands pruning well and grows moderately rapidly. 

It is useful for making live fences. 

Native Use. — Both Yorubas and Benis use the tree for 
boundaries, simply sticking cuttings in wherever it is wished 
to mark a place. " Ju-ju " places are also marked in this way. 
The leaves are used medicinally in Benin. 
Draccena Perottetii. Boundary tree. Ope, Kanakan (Yoruba). 

Found in the Mamu Forest. 
Draccena sp. Boundary tree. Oro Igbo (Yoruba) ; Uruaro 
(Benin). 

A common Dracaena found in the Benin and Abeokuta 
provinces of Nigeria. It is often used for making fences to 
farms and boundaries for village or farm land, and for marking 
special " Ju-ju " places. The Benin people state that it has 
more latex than the other species of this genus. 

Marantaceae. 

Clinogyne, syn. Donax cusputata. Yoruba Soft Cane. Toto (Y.). 
It is found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria. It is 
a small soft cane which grows gregariously in groups from a 
quarter to half an acre in extent in the Olokemeji Reserve, to 
a height of about 5 feet, and has large, alternating, very fine 
parallel -veined leaves. Inflorescence, raceme or panicle-like 
bracts, deciduous. Some species yield starch or fibre. Toto is 
found quite abundantly in the middle of the Olokemeji Reserve. 
It is used for mat-making, and considered most valuable. 

Orchidaceae. 

Polystachya sp. (Lindl.). Eme-ela (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve in the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 
Polystachya odorata. Afoma (Yoruba). 

This is a parasitic plant, very similar to mistletoe, which 
attacks many kinds of trees and has recently been found on 
the six-year-old teak at Mamu and Olokemeji, in the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 

Ulmaceae. 

Celtis solenostigma. Hard Celtis (large). Ita (Yoruba) ; Ita, 
Uta (Ikale) ; Ohianamemme, Ohia (Benin) ; Omoin, Itako, 
Ita gangan (Egba). 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 247 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ondo, Benin, Owerri, 
and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria, in the mixed deciduous forest 
zone, where it is usually very jDrevalent. In many places it 
is almost gregarious. 

It is a large tree 10 feet in girth, with smooth stem and 
large, long, thin buttresses. It has a bigger leaf (6 inches) 
than the other Ita, with a very prominent mid vein on 
the leaf. 

The fruit is dark coloured. The root buttresses are very 
long and thin, extending sometimes 15 feet up the trunk of 
the tree. They are, however, shallower and thinner than in 
the case of mahogany and cotton trees. They merge gradually 
at an angle of about 15 degrees into the stem. The bole may 
reach a length of about 90 feet, and is usually very straight. 
The crown is compressedly spherical, rather shallow in propor- 
tion to the size of the tree, but fairly wide-spreading. Occa- 
sionally, if the bark has a yellow tinge, especially in smaller 
specimens, the tree may be mistaken for Opele, Schrebera 
Golungensis. 

Timber is white and very hard, and splits well when it is 
dry. When dry it is inclined to be brittle, though it shows 
considerable lateral strength. The texture of the grain is fine, 
and it planes up with a smooth surface. It is liable to split 
with nails, but it saws well. Under cover it is durable ; in 
the open, unless very carefully dried, it is liable to decay. 
When thoroughly dry it hardens very considerably, and is not 
attacked by white ants, especially when used in a suitable place. 
When dry it will float, but the wood is liable to become dis- 
coloured by contact with water. 

As firewood it burns slowly, gently and steadily, giving 
out much heat. It is a fairly rapid-growing tree, at first shade- 
bearing and later somewhat light-demanding ; in the older 
stages it scarcely protects the soil. Up to the pole stage it 
is a soil-improving tree, the leaves making a rich humus. 
Natural regeneration appears to be good. It does not sprout 
from the stump. Considering its size it is fairly wind-firm. 
No plantations have been made of this tree. 

The timber has not been exported, not has it been sawn 
up for local use. Considering its prevalence, it deserves a trial. 

Native Use. — It is considered the best firewood in Benin, 
and also used as firewood among the Yorubas. 
Celtis sp. ? Soft Celtis (small). Ita ita (Yoruba) ; Ohia (Benin). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ondo, Benin, and Ogoja 
provinces of Nigeria, in the mixed deciduous forest zone, where 
it is very prevalent. 



248 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

It is a medium-sized tree up to 4 feet in girth, with medium 
sized, thin leaves and white-coloured twigs. The stem is 
slightly scaly and yellowish-green in colour, especially in the 
upper parts. A very common tree in the deciduous forest. 
With its yellowish-green bark in the upper part of the bole 
it is very similar to Opele, Schrebera Golungensis, and can often 
be mistaken for it. The trunk, however, is not slightly pitted, 
as is the case with Schrebera. On the whole, this tree is shorter, 
reaching a height of about 40 feet. The root buttresses are 
much slighter than in the case of C. solenostigma, though 
they are of a similar shape, being very thin and merging 
gradually into the trunk to a height of about 5 feet from the 
ground. 

Timber is white and fairly hard, but not durable. It 
hardens somewhat on exposure to the air. The texture of 
the grain is fine, but occasionally cross-grained. It planes 
moderately well, and takes nails moderately well also, more 
so than C. solenostigma. It saws easily and splits well. 

As a firewood it burns steadily and slowly, giving out great 
heat. It does not crackle nor cause sparks. 

It is a moderately fast growing, at first shade-bearing, 
and subsequently a light-demanding tree. During most of its 
life it is a soil-protecting and soil-improving tree. Natural 
regeneration is good. It sprouts a little from the stump, 
but not strong enough for purposes of reproduction. 

The timber has not been exported, nor has it been sawn 
up for planks for local use. Being smaller than C. soleno- 
stigma, after trial it may not be found so useful, but it could 
be used for similar purposes. 

Native Use. — Firewood of the best kind, and occasionally 
used as side house-posts. 
Trema Africana. African Elm. Ehunogo, Ehrunbogo (Benin) ; 
Affi (Ibadan and Oyo) ; Afoforo (Egba) ; Offun (Lagos). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan and Benin provinces 
of Nigeria, in the mixed deciduous forests, where it is moder- 
ately prevalent. 

It is a medium-sized tree with nettle-like leaves, which wither 
rapidly. It has a very thin, smooth bark. The fruit is small, 
thin and long, and is eaten by pigeons. It grows up where 
old trees fall in the forest, and is also a common tree in old 
farms. Medium-sized specimens are in general appearance, 
from a little distance, very similar to Iroko, and it can be mis- 
taken for this tree. The crown, however, is narrower, and the 
foliage is somewhat thicker, and the leaves and branches are 
placed rather closer together than those of Iroko. The bark 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 249 

is slightly fissured, and does not show lenticels like the Iroko, 
especially not on the roots. In proportion to the size of the 
tree, the root spurns are larger than in the case of Iroko. It 
it usually found growing singly, whereas groups of Iroko are 
often common, or anyhow several are found in one locality. 

The timber is white and of medium hardness, but very 
durable indeed. It is termite proof. It planes well, but does 
not split easily. It saws well and takes nails fairly easily. 

It is of fairly rapid growth, at first shade-bearing, and later 
a somewhat light-demanding tree, with soil-protecting and 
soil-improving qualities. Natural regeneration only appears 
to be moderate. It sprouts from the stump. 

The timber has not been exported, not has it been sawn 
up for local use. 

Native Use. — The timber is used amongst the Benis as 
rafters and ceilings for house-building, as it is uncut or squared. 
Trema affinis or T. Africana. African Elm. Afofero (Yoruba). 

Found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria. 

Moracese. 

Antiaris toxiaria. False Oroko. Oro Aiyo, (Egba) (Yoruba) ; 
Ogiovu (Benin). 

It is a common tree in the Calabar, Ogoja, Owerri, 
Warri, Benin, Ondo, Ibadan and Abeokuta provinces of 
Nigeria. 

It is a large tree, reaching a girth of 15 feet and a bole 
length of 70 feet, of very cylindrical shape. There are large 
surface roots, which stick up out of the ground on roadsides, 
but form only low root spurns. The bark is grey, smooth 
and almost shiny in the sun. The crown is heavier and less 
open than Iroko, but otherwise in habit it is similar. The 
leaves on the whole are smaller and the foliage generally is 
of a lighter green than the Iroko, except when the latter puts 
on new leaves in February or March. The fruit is a little 
spherically shaped nut with a papery covering easily removed, 
disclosing a round nut with small markings all round it. Two 
kernels are found inside on cracking it. The slash is yellowish 
white, and gradually a little thin white latex exudes. The 
tree usually appears after a few years on abandoned farms. 
The leaf is rough to the hand, almost as bad as Ficus asperata, 
but there are no hairs on the under surface. On the whole 
the branches are much flatter than Oroko, though the top 
of the crown is round. The timber is soft and white all through. 
Termites attack it. It is very light and might almost pass 
as a substitute for cork. It has large and wide medullary 



250 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

rays, more especially in the root. In cross section the root 
looks almost porous. 

Native Use. — Amongst the Yorubas the bark is used medi- 
cinally and the wood for doors, benches and matchet handles. 

It grows very fast and likes light. Scale insects like to 
make their nests in a junction of a branch with the stem, 
where there is quite a hollow. In youth the firm and almost 
horizontal branches are quite a contrast to the long, up-shoot- 
ing or drooping branches of Oroko. It has not been cut 
either for local use or for export. 

The roots are used for making corks in the Calabar district. 

It is used often as a " Ju-ju " tree, like the Iroko, chiefly in 
the Calabar Division. The hunters sit near the tree, when 
in fruit, because the Maxwell's Duika, Yellow-backed Duika, 
Red-headed Duika, etc., eat the fruit. The bark is used in 
sections for making bags by sewing the two ends together, 
as well as one side. 
Antiaris sp. Ovu (Benin). 

It is a common tree in the Benin and Ondo provinces of 
Nigeria. It is medium-sized, reaching a girth of 9 feet and 
a bole length of about 50 feet. The leaf is larger, but the 
crown appears thicker and heavier than Antiaris toxiaria. 
The seed is the same size as Antiaris T., but the root spurns 
are very slight, even less than Antiaris T. The branches spread 
out from the stem, thus making the crown longer and narrower 
than Antiaris T. In this respect the Antiaris sp. is more like 
the Oroko than the Antiaris T. 

The timber is white and soft. No proper heart wood. It 
splits well. 

It is a shade- bearer and is often found in the thick forest. 
It grows much slower than Antiaris T. 

It has not been cut for local use or exported to Europe. 
PerhajDs it could be tried for wood pulp. 

In Benin the branches of this tree are used for making 
figures of their ancestors, which are placed outside the house. 
The bark is used for making bags in a similar way to that of 
Antiaris T. It is also used for making rope or string for 
tying bags. 
Antiarus sp. Cedar-like Lauro. Oregbon I (Yoruba) ; Opputtu 
(Benin). 

It is a common tree found in the Benin and Abeokuta 
provinces of Nigeria. It is very similar in habit and shape 
to the Antiarus toxiaria, but it does not attain nearly such a 
large size. The tree exudes very fine, white latex in a very 
small quantity. The timber is soft and white and not durable. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 251 

It is a soil-protecting and soil-improving tree, and stands a 
good deal of shade. The tree has not been cut for local use, 
nor has it been tried as a timber for export. 
Ficus sp. Common Fig. Obobo (Yoruba) ; Ohau (Benin). 

It is a common tree of the Calabar, Ogoja, Owerri, Warri, 
Benin, Ondo, Ibadan and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 
One of the most typical features of this tree is its free growth, 
open crown, and green, yellow and orange-coloured bark from 
the base upwards. It is a medium-sized tree, attaining a girth 
of 10 feet. The small red-coloured figs attract pigeons espe- 
cially, as well as other birds, to the trees in the fruiting season. 
The leaf is small for a Ficus and oval in shape. The wood 
is white and soft. The white latex which exudes from the trunk 
when cut distinguishes this tree from the satin wood, Afrormosia 
laxiflora, with which it might be confused owing to the similar 
shades of green, yellow and orange-colour of the bark. It 
is chiefly found in the secondary forest, also near villages in 
the evergreen forest zone. Owing to the parrots and pigeons 
carrying the seed, reproduction from this source, both in 
epiphytic and tree form, is very good, but it is most usually 
found growing alone in an open place, without any support 
from other trees. It is very fast growing and impatient of 
shade. 

The wood has not been used locally nor for export, nor 
does the native apparently have any use for it, as it soon rots 
when cut down. 

The native occasionally eats the ripe fruit. 

Ficus exasperata. Emido, Oboba (Yoruba). 

This tree is found in the Abeokuta province. 

Ficus Thonningii. Opoto (Yoruba). 

This is one of the smaller fig-trees of the mixed deciduous 
zone. As with the others, it is not used as a timber tree, but 
occasionally for fences. 

Ficus triangularis. Abadan (Yoruba) ; Obadan-nikwi (Benin). 

It is a common tree in the Benin, Ibadan and Abeokuta 
provinces of Nigeria. It is chiefly found in the mixed de- 
ciduous forests. It is of no use as a timber tree, but is used 
occasionally for fences by the natives. 

Ficus Vogelii. Lagos, Abba or Abbo Rubber. Abadon (Yoruba) ; 
Obadan (Benin). 

It is the common tree of the Calabar, Ogoja, Onitsha, Benin, 
Ondo and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. This is the most 
common fig-tree, and is usually found along the sides of roads 
in the native villages. The very large, shiny leaf (not quite 
as glossy as Ficus Indica) is one of the most typical features 



252 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

of this tree. In Benin it is usually deciduous for about thirty- 
six hours, and the pinkish tips of the fresh leaves and the great 
rapidity of their development are remarkable. The bark is 
dark brown and rougher than the other species. In the Benin 
Forestry Compound there is a large specimen. On the whole, 
it is less common in the evergreen forest than near villages 
or roads. In the forest it is most often found as an epiphyte 
growing on oil palms, Sasswood, and oil-bean trees. The timber 
is white and soft ; it has not been used for local purposes 
nor for exports. The " Balata rubber " of the Upper Niger 
district is obtained by roughly coagulating the latex of this 
tree in the air, with or without reagents, such as the latex 
of Bauhinia reticulata, or salt. The natives use the tree for 
making fences by sticking in pieces of the stem of suitable 
length, and in a similar manner it is used as a shade tree on 
the sides of roads in the villages. This is more especially 
the case in the villages in the dry zone, where other shade 
trees are scarce. Pigeons and parrots spread the seed, and thus 
its reproduction is assured. 
Ficus platyphylla. Gambia Rubber. 

It is also found in the upper reaches of the Ogan River, in 
the Ogo province of Nigeria. 
Ficus asperata. Sandpaper Leaf. Ekpin (Yoruba) ; Ameme 
(Benin). 

It is a common tree in the Ogoja, Owerri, Benin, Onitsha, 
Ibadan, Ondo and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

It is often found as a small, scrubby tree, though when 
fully grown it reaches a girth of 8 feet, especially in the Benin 
province. The rough leaves are harsh to the touch. 

The pigeons are very fond of eating the fruit and seeds. 
The wood is white and soft. 

The leaf is of the usual Ficus style, with a short stalk and 
deeply dentated, making almost a five-lobed leaf. 

The leaves might be useful as a substitute for sandpaper. 
It has not so far been cut for export or local use. 

Native Use. — The leaves are used for cleaning calabashes 
by the Yorubas and Benin j)eople. 
Ficus sp. Ograw (Yoruba). 

Found in the Abeokuta province. 
Musanga Smithii. Cork-wood or Umbrella Tree. Agbawo or 
Aga (Yoruba) ; Ogohen (Benin) ; Oro (Brass). 

It is a very common tree, found growing in new clearings 
amongst the evergreen and mixed forests of the Calabar, 
Ogoja, Owerri, Onitsha (?), Warri, Benin, Ondo, Ibadan and 
Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 253 

It is a medium-sized tree with an umbrella-shaped crown. 
It is the most distinctly gregarious tree of any in the forest, 
often alone covering many acres of land, supported on a series 
of aerial roots, the centre one of which is really the tap-root. 
The tree looks altogether top-heavy when mature (it is short- 
lived). It reaches a girth of nearly 5 feet. The bark is thin 
and of a light brown colour, spotted here and there with large 
yellow lenticels. The large pink sheath containing the im- 
mature staminate flower is often found lying on the forest 
pathway after the storm. The leaf is reminiscent of the horse 
chestnut, but with about eight digits. The young leaflet is 
of an orange-red colour. It is doubtful if it passes an age of 
thirty years. 

The timber is white and soft, with no distinguishing heart- 
wood, but with brown pith half an inch in diameter. When 
properly dried it has a fine, smooth grain and is usually free 
of knots. It dries much harder than when freshly cut. It 
splits well, but it is rather brittle. 

It is the quickest growing of all the African forest trees, 
and certainly reaches timber size before any other. Regenera- 
tion by seed is prolific, seeds often germinating after lying 
dormant for over a hundred years, when a heavy forest is 
cut down. It is a light-lover, protecting the soil with its 
heavy foliage, and enriching it by making a good mould when 
it falls to the ground. It will stand a little shade as a young 
seedling. Very few trees will grow under it, though it is a 
useful " nurse." 

The timber is used for floating other wood heavier than 
water, but it has not been exported or cut for local use. The 
roots are used medicinally, and hunters tap the tree for water 
in the dry season. 

Native Use. — As the Yoruba name implies, a group of the 
aerial roots is used for a native chair. Young 6-inch stems, 
split in half, cut about 4 feet long and dried, are used upright 
to form the walls of temporary farm-buildings. The wood 
is also used in place of cork, and for making matchets and 
knife scabbards in the Benin and Ibo countries respectively. 
Chlorophora ezcelsa. African Oak, African Teak. Iroko (male), 
Iroko (female), Oba's Tree, Rock Elm. Iroko (Yoruba) ; 
Uloko, Oroko Ulokoodigpe, Uloko-nushinogbon (Benin) ; Odji 
(Ibo, Asaba) ; Ofryio (Efik) ; Nsan (Oban, Ekoi). 

It is a very large forest tree, reaching a girth of 30 feet 
and a bole length of 90 feet under favourable conditions. 
The male tree is usually thinner and of more compressed build, 
whereas the female shows more spreading growth and larger 



254 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

size; it is also quicker growing than the male. The female 
has stout, finger-thick, solid catkins, whereas the male has 
thin, long, open catkins up to 6 inches long. The timber of 
the male is darker brown and closer grained than that of the 
female, and also harder. The sapwood is wider in the female 
tree, but there is also a very wide difference between trees 
of both genders when they are grown in the open, old farms, 
or in dense, high forest, the latter yielding the hardest and 
closest-grained timber. The crown is almost umbrella-shaped 
and open, so that the leaves appear large in proportion, and 
it is usually possible to see through it. Three or four large 
limbs form the mainstay of it (see plate No. 37). The 
yellow lenticels on the stem, especially in younger specimens, 
and also on the red roots, are typical of the tree. The slash 
is yellowish, with little red spots in it. A little white latex 
flows out too. 

In proportion to the size of the tree the root spurns are 
not very large, reaching 3 or 4 feet up the tree, and being well 
rounded, do not spoil the shape of the base of the bole. In 
older specimens the bark becomes brown, and finally almost 
grey in colour, and scales off to a slight extent. Although it 
forms very large side roots, it has a tap-root going to con- 
siderable depth. The loose seeds are small and flat, being 
not unlike those of alder, but rather larger and thinner. 

It is found in all the Southern Provinces of Nigeria, both 
in the evergreen and mixed forest zones, where it is none too 
prevalent. 

Timber. — Sapwood is yellowish white, and the heartwood 
of a yellow brown to dark brown (oak to teak brown). It 
is moderately hard, very durable and termite-proof. It does 
not plane very well, being sometimes cross-grained ; it can, 
however, be worked up to a smooth finish. The grain is rather 
open and the pores very long. It has, however, an oily feel, 
and a certain amount of sheen. It takes nails with difficulty, 
splits moderately well and saws easily. It soon darkens on 
exposure to the air and light, becoming in this respect much 
darker than oak in a similar period. When seasoned properly 
it does not warp excessively. If taken green from the forest 
zone into a drier climate it will split. In the past a good deal 
of timber has been used in this state. 

It is a moderately fast-growing, at first shade-bearing and 
subsequently a light-demanding tree, with soil-protecting and 
soil-improving qualities. It is deciduous for a few weeks in 
the year, generally in February or March, but specimens vary 
a great deal in this respect. Natural regeneration is very 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 255 

good, and in suitable localities it tends to spread more and 
more with the advance of the native farms into the forest. 
It stands transplanting very badly. Nursery sowings, however, 
show an enormous percentage of germination, the seedlings 
often coming up more thickly than grass. The ground pig eats 
the roots of transplanted seedlings, especially in localities where 
there are less desirable trees. It will grow as much as 6 feet 
in one year, and wherever it has much light in the forest, self- 
sown seedlings will grow 3 or 4 feet each year. The leaves 
are attacked by a minute coccus which causes them to 
swell up into an irregular shape, including the bud, thus stop- 
ping the growth for that season. Inside each of these swellings 
there are several of the young insects. Only the younger 
trees are attacked, and from the pole stage onwards trees do 
not appear to suffer nearly so much. In localities, too, where 
the trees grow very rapidly they appear to be less attacked, 
if at all. It is not very susceptible to fire, though in the mixed 
deciduous the base of the stem is often burnt. It is one of 
the most storm-firm of all the African trees. The bole is very 
cylindrical, especially if the tree which has been growing in 
the forest is given plenty of space to grow. The increment 
put on the bole is very great, being as much as 11 inches in 
circumference in one year. 

In 1906 sample logs of this timber were sold in the Liver- 
pool market as Iroko at 5d. per superficial foot, sale measure. 
Since that date it has been sold as African Oak and African 
Teak at a similar price, and appears now to be fairly well 
established in the market. As there are large supplies in many 
districts, such as the Yoruba country, Onitsha, Ahoada and 
Ogoja districts, there should be no difficulty in keeping the 
market supplied with moderate quantities year by yea^r, at 
perhaps, though, slightly increasing costs. Locally the tree 
has been felled and sawn up for planks, scantlings, rafters, 
beams and general constructional work. By the Railway 
Administration it has thus far been considered the best wood 
for sleepers. Amongst the natives it is often worth more than 
it is to the European, the price varying from half a crown 
to 4s. 6d. per cubic foot for sawn boards 12 feet long, 12 inches 
wide and 1 inch thick. 

Native Use.— The most valued of all woods for wall-plates 
and door lintels, treasure-boxes, washing-basins for chiefs. 
Doors, too, are made of it in Benin. Women place little pieces 
of chalk, yams, plantains, cowries, coco yams at the base of 
the tree, and it is said they will be blessed with children. Chiefs 
sacrifice a goat with a mat and a fine white cloth to propitiate 



256 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

the witches, who are supposed to hold their court in the Iroko 
tree and try to catch one of the sons of the chief. 
Treculia Africana (Dene). African Breadfruit. Afon (Yoruba) ; 
Ije (Benin) ; Ijeni (fruit). 

This tree is usually found near the edge of the villages of 
the Calabar, Benin, Ondo and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

It grows to a large size, with a bole length of 20 feet and 
a girth of 9 feet, but it is usually a rather open-crowned, 
spreading tree. For its size the foliage is not over-dense. 
The leaves are single and roughly lanceolate, with a dark-green 
and rather shiny upper surface. The most conspicuous feature 
of this tree is the huge green, perfectly spherical-shaped fruit. 
Immature fruits of all sizes, from a cricket-ball upwards to 
a size of 18 inches in diameter, are seen growing close against 
the stem of the trunk and bigger branches of the tree. Some 
years ago, one of these ripe fruits fell off a tree at the edge 
of the Benin market and struck a woman on the shoulder 
with such force that she died a few days later. The natives 
subsequently cut the tree down. 

The chief use of the tree is the fruit, which is placed in 
water to rot so that the seeds can be more easily extracted 
from the concentrically arranged fibres growing from the centre 
of the fruit outwards to the periphery. These are subsequently 
cooked and eaten, often being beaten up in a soup. From 
the outside the fruit looks as if it were made up of thousands 
of little green fibres closely packed together from the centre 
of the fruit, with the ends sticking out on the surface, thus 
giving it a rough feeling to the touch and making it appear 
as if it were full of holes. 

The junction of a branch with the stem shows a large 
swelling all round the base of the branch, which thins out to 
its regular size about 6 to 9 inches away from the trunk. 

The tree is comparatively slow-growing, but of a soil- 
protecting and light-loving nature. In the dry season, great 
quantities of dew condense on this tree, so that underneath 
the soil is kept moist. Probably more dew falls on this tree 
than Myrianthus arbor eus, which shows a similar feature. 

Thus far the wood has not been used for any purpose. 
Treculia sp. Small-fruited .(\frican Breadfruit. Izenagan (Benin). 

Found in the Benin province. 
Morus sp. Aye (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province in Nigeria. 
Myrianthus arbor eus. Shapo Obibere (Yoruba) ; Ihege (Benin). 

It is a small to medium-sized tree, with short stem rarely 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 257 

exceeding 8 feet in height, and a much-branched, heavy crown, 
with very lai'ge leaf, cut up in the form of a large digit, much 
more pronounced than the horse chestnut. The leaves, on 
falling, rot and form a heavy layer of black humus. In the 
dry season the dew condenses to such an extent on the leaves 
that the tree drips in the morning, and the neighbourhood of 
such trees is always moist when the rest of the forest is dry. 

The large, rough, elongated, pear-shaped fruit, like an 
overgrown sweetsop, is quite characteristic of this tree. 

It is found in the Ondo, Benin, Owerri, Warri, Calabar 
and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 

It is scarcely big enough for timber, but would make a good 
undergrowth for a light-loving species such as mahogany or 
teak, and would kill all weeds on good soil. Usually found 
on good soil. The timber is white and soft. 
No botanical name. Iragbo-Amuje (Yoruba) ; Igogo (Benin). 

It is a large tree with almost hard white wood, more the 
texture of Triplochiton. The fruit is a drupe, with a small 
nut inside. Termites do not attack the wood. It is a quick- 
growing tree, which comes up very frequently in old farms. 

It is a common tree in the Benin country. 

It is a shade-bearer. 

Native Use. — In the Benin country it is used for door lintels 
and cross-pieces in house-building. 

Urticaceae. 

Urera. Ela (Yoruba) ; Akinrankiri (Benin). 

Found in the Yoruba and Benin countries. 

Proteaceae. 

Faurea speciosa. Red-brown timber. 
Found in the Calabar province. 

Olacaceae. 

Heisteria parvifolia. White Nut (?). Ikereoha (Benin). 

It rarely exceeds the height of about 8 feet and a girth 
of about 1 foot. 

This is a small shrub with red flowers of four petals at right 
angles to each other, in the middle of w^hich a white-coloured 
fruit forms. On peeling off the white skin, a black nut is 
disclosed, which is edible. It tastes more like a hazel-nut. 
The red flower is the most distinguishing feature, and makes 
this plant show up amongst the evergreen zone. 

It is found in the Ondo, Benin, and Calabar provinces of 
Nigeria. 

17 



258 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

It is a shade-bearing and slow-growing shrub, with soil- 
protecting and soil-improving qualities. It serves a very 
useful purpose amongst the undergrowth in the forest. Natural 
regeneration appears to be fair, but no plantations have been 
made with this species. The nuts have not been tested in the 
export market. Amongst the natives the nuts are very popular, 
and it is the only use which they have for this shrub. This 
chiefly refers to the Benin district. 
Heisteria sp. ?. Benin Nut, Edible Nut. Evialegbi (Benin). 

It is found chiefly in the Benin province of Nigeria, though 
probably its area of distribution extends to the Ondo and 
Ogoja provinces as well. It is a tall, comparatively thin- 
boled tree in proportion to its height. Attaining a girth of 
about 8 feet, the bole is 40 feet in length. The bark is dull 
green and not very thick, being more in the nature of cortex 
than real bark. The most typical feature of the tree is the 
fruit, which is a spherically-shaped nut with a pointed tip. 
When dry, it is marked with shallow groves about half a milli- 
metre apart, all converging to the tip. When cracked, the 
kernel obtained is rather pleasant to the taste, with plenty of 
oil. The timber is a yellowish colour and moderately hard. 
It is fairly durable, though it is attacked by a small wood- 
borer when it is left lying in the forest. It is a moderately 
fast-growing tree, but is a shade-bearing, soil protecting and 
improving tree. Natural regeneration appears to be poor. 
No plantations have yet been made with it, but its yield of 
nuts should be tested. The timber has not yet been exported, 
nor has it been cut for local use. So far, the chief use of the 
tree is the nut, but even here proper tests have not yet been 
made, and it is only the natives who really know the tree. The 
exact oil content has yet to be tested. 
Coula edulis. Nkula in the Gaboon, Gaboon Nut. Omumu 
(Benin). 

An edible nut containing oil. It is nearly round in shape, 
but slightly depressed at the top, with a soft shell. 

Chief Characteristics. — The tree is of medium size, with 
narrow crown and small leaves, the fruit being borne on the 
upper side of the branches. It is moderately common near 
Ugo and also on the Siluko road (both in Benin). This is 
apparently a rare tree in reality, and it may be mistaken for 
Ivialegbi. 

The timber is brown with a red tinge, almost hard. 

Native Use. — The nut decorticated is sold in the native 
markets and eaten as a delicacy. 

Value. — According to report made some years ago, it was 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 259 

valued at £7 per ton in Liverpool. It was difficult to get 
sufficient for a sample. 

Loranthacese. 

Loranthus leptolopus. African Mistletoe, or Red-flowering 
Loranthus. 

Found in the Yoruba and Benin country. 

Menispermacea;. 

Cissampelos Owariensis. Ebewaki (Benin). 

A medicinal plant. 
Cissampelos Pariera (L.). Jokoye (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 

Anonaces. 

Enantia polycarpa (Kew). Abeokuta Bark, Kanda or Canta Bark. 
Ghido (Yoruba). 

Found in the Egba province. 
Enantia chlorantha. African Yellow Wood. Yarn (Yoruba) ; 
Ehranbabogo (Benin). 

It is a common tree of the Ondo, Benin, Owerri, Ogoja 
and Calabar provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a medium-sized tree, attaining a girth of 5 feet and 
a bole length of 25 feet. The most peculiar feature of the 
tree is the fruit, a bundle of reddish clubs all coming out of 
the twig at one point. The stem is dull green, with scattered 
lenticels here and there. The bole is uneven near the base 
and almost divided by large spurns, which makes it difficult 
to cut out a square log. Standing in dense shade usually, 
and often with a piece of the bark removed, showing the yellow 
cambium layer or wood, it is easily distinguished from other 
trees. 

The 3^ellow wood is similar both in the sap and in 
the heartwood. It splits well, even into tiny thin, lath-like 
pieces. It is soft, but planes up into a smooth surface. The 
medullary rays are often prominent, and make the wood look 
very pretty. The sheen of the wood also adds to its appearance. 

The tree is a shade-bearer and rather slow-growing ; 
perhaps in more open localities it would grow faster. Natural 
regeneration does not appear to be good, though more extensive 
observations on this point may reveal more. Small quantities 
of seed are borne each j^ear. It sprouts a little from the stump, 
but this method of reproduction cannot be relied upon. Cut- 
tings have not yet been tried. It likes a good moist soil of 



260 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

the evergreen forest and lower parts of the mixed deciduous 
forest. It has not yet received a place in the forest 
plantations. 

Samples of the timber have been tried in England and 
used with good effect as a substitute for American " White- 
wood," to which it is similar in texture. Its small size rather 
hinders its more extensive use. In the Benin district it 
is used as cross-pieces and rafters in building ; wooden shovels 
are also made from it. It is occasionally used to make a 
yellow dye, especially the bark. Native caps are made from 
the bark, which is fibrous. It is also used for verandah-posts 
and door-frames. 
Dennettia tripetala. Igberi (Yoruba) ; Ako (Benin). 

It is a common tree in the Benin, Ondo (?) and Abeokuta 
provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a medium-sized tree, reaching a maximum girth of 
6 feet, with a short bole and a much-branched crown. Most 
commonly seen as a shrub-like tree in the mixed deciduous 
forest. The flower has three petals, with red colour inside 
and brown outside. The flowers grow on the stem or the 
twigs with little or no stalk, usually two or three in one 
place. 

The timber, which is white and soft, is eaten by termites. 
There is no proper heart wood. 

It is a shade-bearer, and rather slow-growing tree. It 
likes good soil, and is rather an indication of a loose, good 
and deep soil. 

It has not been exported or used locally. 

Native Use. — The fruit, which has a peppery taste, is eaten. 
The chiefs only eat the fruit after it has become red and really 
ripe. The small boys use the new young leaves uncooked to 
make the mouth warm when the rain falls. 
Dennettia sp. Agedegbo, Ako (Benin). 

This tree was determined from specimens obtained in the 
early part of 1917 from Olokemeji, where it is somewhat common. 
Owing to the fact that only immature and mature fruiting 
specimens were sent, it may be identical with Dennettia tripetala. 
It is, however, a much smaller tree, and the fruit is not nearly 
so large and is a more oblong shape than D. tripetala. It is 
a small, much-branched tree and yields a hard, whitish-yellow 
wood which might be used as substitute for lancewood. The 
Benis eat the fruit, but the Yorubas have no use for the tree. 
Xylopia Mthiopica. Negro Pepper. Eru (Yoruba) ; Unie (Benin) ; 
Atta (Efik). 

Is a medium-sized tree with silvery smooth, grey trunk, 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 261 

and found growing near the banks of rivers in all the southern- 
most provinces of Nigeria. 

It is stated to be useful for oars and masts for small boats, 
according to the report on the Exhibition of 1867. Since that 
date, however, it has not been used for this purpose. The 
bole reaches a girth of about 5 feet and a length of about 
45 feet. The crown is narrow and comparatively long, but rather 
compressed and compact. The foliage is dense and compara- 
tively close together. The root spurns are slight and narrow, 
not extending very far up the bole. In proportion to its height 
the trunk is thin and very cylindrical in shape, though occa- 
sionally near the base it may not be absolutely round and 
tends to bulge out rather more on one surface than the other. 
The fruit, when ripe, is like a bunch of black keys, or 
little short, round-ended pieces of wood, all projecting out of 
one central stalk or fork, which is the most typical feature of 
the tree. The cortex is comparatively thin, and remains 
smooth even in the mature trees. The bole tapers only very 
slightly, and does not divide or send out any branches until 
the crown is reached. 

The sapwood is white, as also the heartwood, except that 
the latter tends to have a very light yellowish-brown tinge, 
especially as it seasons. It is moderately hard, showing great 
elasticity, planing with a smooth surface, splitting moderately 
well, taking nails and not warping or shrinking to any great 
extent. Even fresh it is comparatively a dry wood. It saws 
well and shows considerable textile strength, as also strength 
in compression, is moderately heavy and termite-proof. The 
texture of the grain is very fine and even, and the grain is 
very straight. 

This tree is somewhat slow-growing, shade-bearing, soil- 
protecting, and soil-improving. Natural regeneration is 
moderate. It does not sprout from the stump. It stands a 
certain amount of flooding, but it seems to demand a good 
soil with plenty of moisture, including a very moist atmo- 
sphere. No plantations have been made of this tree. 

The timber has not been felled for export, nor has it been 
cut for local use, but it appears to deserve a trial as a substitute 
for lancewood, or other woods which show considerable elas- 
ticity. It should be noted that it belongs to the same family 
as that of the lancewood. Owing to the straightness and com- 
parative evenness of the bole for a very considerable length, 
it might be suitable for shafts or even telegraph poles. 

The fruit is used as a kind of comestible amongst most 
of the natives, as it has a peppery taste which is not unpleasant. 



262 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

It is usually dried and sold in the native markets, several 
bunches for a pennj'. By some it is almost looked upon as 
a medicine. 
Xylopia parviflora (Eng. and Diels). Small-flowering Negro 
Pepper. Sesedo, Issa oku (Yoruba) ; Aghako or Oziza (?) 
(Benin). 

This tree is found in the Abeokuta and Benin provinces 
of Nigeria, where it is none too prevalent. It is a medium- 
sized tree with a very straight, thin and tall bole. Except 
for its size it is very much like X. Mthiopica ; the fruit is much 
smaller and scarcely to be seen from the ground. The timber 
is grey-white, and the heartwood, though occasionally a light 
brown, is scarcely to be distinguished from the sapwood. It 
is hard, durable, and said to be termite-proof. It does not 
take nails easily, nor does it split well, but it saws compara- 
tively easily. Natural reproduction by seeds appears to be 
poor. It scarcely sprouts from the stump. It is a shade- 
bearing, soil-protecting and soil-improving tree. 

The timber has not been exported. The bark and roots 
are used medicinally. 

It is used locally for house-building, as verandah-posts 
or supports for the roof. It has considerable tensile strength 
and stands compression better still. 
Anona Senegalensis (Pers.). Wild Custard Apple. Abo (Yoruba). 

This is found in the Oyo and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 
It is a small, shrub-like tree, with a short stem of about 4 or 
5 feet, and has a very oval leaf, almost ovate in shape. It 
bears a yellow fruit which divides up into the typical segments 
common to this family. It resembles the Sugar Apple, has 
a delicious taste, and the fruit is most refreshing on a hot day 
at the end of the dry season. The tree is fire-resisting. Being 
deciduous, it is not a soil-improving tree. It is soil-exacting, 
but is also found in rocky localities. The tree is not very 
prolific, but sprouts very strongly from the stump and to a 
less extent with root suckers. The small timber is occasionally 
used for house-building. 
Anona palustris (Foster). Alligator Apple. Afe (Yoruba). 

The wood is supposed to be soft, and to have been intro- 
duced into the country some years ago. 

It is found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria. The 
fruit is edible, the foliage dense and heavy. In the dry season 
the dew condenses on the leaves sCnd towards morning drips 
off on to the ground, thus keeping the immediate vicinity of 
the tree quite moist. The leaves, when decayed, make a rich 
humus. It is one of the most valuable soil-improving trees. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 263 

Anona Mannii. 

It grows in the forest region of the Central and South 
Provinces of Nigeria. It is a medium-sized tree bearing large 
green fruit close to the stem. 
Popowia Mannii. 

A specimen of this Popowia has been found in Alasko, near 
the Oha River in the Ibadan province of Nigeria. 
Anona Afzelii. Probably the same as Dennettia sp. Ako, Agge- 
degbo (Benin). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Benin and Warri provinces 
of Nigeria. 

It is a medium-sized tree of the more swampy parts or 
moister regions of the evergreen forest zone. The leaves 
are a very large size, often reaching a length of 1 foot. The 
wood is yellowish-white and soft and not very durable. Owing 
to the very dense foliage, quite a thick layer of humus is formed 
in the shade of the tree, so that its soil-improving properties 
are very great. It would be a valuable tree for underplanting 
mahogany or any deciduous tree, both with a view to providing 
soil cover and improving the soil. 

The natives do not use this wood. 
Hexalohus grandiflorus (Benth.) Afara (Yoruba). 

Found in the Abeokuta province. 
Uvaria Afzelii. Gbogbonshe (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria. A small 
tree with hard wood. 
Uvaria Busgenii. Paddlewood. Umaja or Umazza (Benin) ; 
Uruiju Arogu (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Calabar, Ogoja (?), Benin, Ondo and 
Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a large tree, and reaches a girth of about 10 feet with 
a good bole and limbs. The crown is narrowish, being formed 
by many small branches. The bark is light green, scaling 
off and leaving yellow patches with a red edge to each ; 
otherwise it is smooth and almost shining. It is a common 
tree of the evergreen forest. With the exception of slight 
hollows near the base of the stem the bole is quite 
round. 

The timber is a faint orange-colour with a reddish tint. 
There is very little difference between the heart and sap wood, 
except that the former is a lighter colour. It splits well and 
planes into a smooth surface. At the corner of a square block 
pieces are liable to split off. The grain is a little open and the 
pores are rather long. 

Termites (white ants) make no impression on it. The 



264 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

timber is hard, with a certain amount of rigidity, and yet has 
no resilience. 

It is a slow-growing tree and shade-bearer. Judging by 
the number of small trees found, reproduction from seed must 
be good. It does not sprout from the stool, and root suckers 
are thrown up after the trees have been felled. It likes moist 
and deep soil, which must be moderately good, e.g. the red 
soil of Benin and sandy loam of Badagry district. 

In 1906 samples of the wood were sold in the Liverpool 
market as Sabicu and realized Is. to 2s. per superficial foot. 
It has also been used for European house-building in the 
Calabar province. 

Native Use. — It is chiefly used for making paddles. It is 
also used for joists and posts by the Benin people. 
Uvaria Chamce (Kew). Eruju (Yoruba). 

It is a large shrub with sweet-scented flowers. Lagos 
Island. 
Artabotrys sp. Ako gbogbonshe (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 
Monodora temiifolia. African Nutmeg. Lakosin (?) (Yoruba) ; 
Unyenghen (Benin). 

In j'ounger trees there are a few narrow white streaks in 
the dull green bark, which gives it quite a distinctive appearance. 

Chief Characteristics. — It is a medium-sized tree with yellow 
flowers tinged with white, most conspicuous after they have 
fallen to the ground. The flower has three petals with 
wavy edges, and reminds most people of an orchid. In fact, 
many have asked whether it is not an orchid. The leaves 
are light green, especially on the under-side, though darker 
as the rainy season advances. The fruit is a spherical drupe, 
containing several small nuts or seeds. The tree flowers before 
the leaves come fully out, so that it looks very handsome 
indeed. It is, in fact, one of the prettiest of all the flowering 
trees. It flowers at the end of February or at the beginning 
of March. It reaches a girth of about 2 feet and a bole length 
of about 10 feet, though it is often much branched from about 
4 feet from the ground. 

It is quite common in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria, 
especially in the Olokemeji Reserve and on the road between 
that place and Mamu, in the Benin province, as well as being 
found in the mixed deciduous forest zone. 

The timber is hard and white and fairly durable. It is 
tough and does not split well. 

Although it stands a little shade it is a somewhat slow- 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 265 

growing, light-loving tree, but does not protect the soil. Natural 
regeneration appears to be fair. It sprouts well from the 
stump, often in this wa,y forming quite a clump. On these 
stool shoots it bears flowers and fruit early. It transplants 
badly, more especially when placed in the open. It is 
somewhat exacting as to soil, demanding a certain amount 
of moisture as well as depth. It is somewhat fire-resisting, 
sprouting out again after such injury. 

As it does not really reach timber size, it is not of much 
use for local constructional purposes. 

Native Use. — The smaller trees are used as walking-sticks 
and the larger ones are sometimes used for hoe and axe handles. 
In clearing the land for farms, stool shoots are left standing, 
to act as supports for the tendrils of the yams after they have 
been planted. 
Monodora myristica, var. grandifolia. Calabash Nutmeg. La- 
koshe or Abo Lakoshe, Ilakosin, Igbo (Yoruba) ; Ukposa, 
Eddo Binoyoba (Benin). 

It is found in the mixed deciduous forests of the Ibadan, 
Ondo, Benin, Owerri, and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria, where 
it is somewhat prevalent. 

Chief Characteristics. — It is a large tree, up to 7 feet in girth, 
with open crown and thin foliage. The flowers are very con- 
spicuous when they fall, having three very large pointed red 
petals streaked with white, almost reminiscent of an orchid. 
The edge of the petal is wavy, too. On the tree, the flowers 
hang from the under-side of twigs with very short petioles. 
It is the most handsome and largest flowering tree amongst 
the Monodoras. It is, however, never quite so much covered 
with flowers as the M. tenuifolia. The flowers are con- 
siderably larger, being quite half to one inch longer. The 
bole reaches a length of about 15 feet, but is often branched 
lower down. The fruit is a large drupe, containing a number 
of small nuts. 

The timber is whitish, hard and somewhat tough, and does 
not split well. 

It is a moderately fast-growing, light-demanding tree. 
With the exception of the period when it loses leaves, it is a 
soil-protecting and soil-improving tree. 

Although it scarcely reaches timber size, it might be tried 
for smaller constructional purposes, such as handles, posts, 
or rails. The quantities, however, are not verj^ large. 

Native Use. — The nut is ground up and used in soup. 
Monodora brevipes. Yellow-flowering Nutmeg. Ause, Lakosin 
(Yoruba) ; lyoha (Benin). 



266 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Grows abundantly throughout the Tropics. The seeds are 
useful as condiments or as medicine. 

Myristicaceae sp. 

Pycnanthtis Kombo. White Cedar, Akomu (Yoruba) ; Oraocham 
(Benin). 

It is found in the Calabar, Ogoja, Owerri, Benin, Ondo 
and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a very common tree, especially at the edges of roads 
and in old farms. It is not so common in the original forest. 
It grows up to 15 feet in girth. It has a very cylindrical 
bole, with long, straight, outstanding branches growing close 
together, more or less forming a flat crown. The leaves are large 
and pinnate, and the small fruit, which grows in clusters, half 
opens, disclosing a bright red interior with one round seed 
covered with pink, mace-like fibre. The slash is pinkish- 
white, and heavy, sticky white latex streaked with red exudes 
very freely after it has been cut. 

The timber is soft and white and not durable. It has not 
so far been used either for export or locally. 

Lauraceae. 

Ocotea cf. Egg-shaped fruit tree. Agkwokhau (Benin). 
Found in the Benin province. 

Capparidaceae. 

Cratceva Adansonii (Guill. et Pierre). Egun oran (Yoruba). 

Tree 30 feet high with yellow flowers. Found growing at 
Fiditi, Oyo province. 
Cappiaris Thonningii. Ekkana, Awoa (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 

Rosacese. 

Parinarinm sp. Babu (Yoruba) ; Oria (Benin) ; Oko (Ibo, Owerri) ; 
Oguru (Brass) ; Edat (Efik) ; Ukpoi, Edat, Mpuri (Oban, 
Ekoi). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria, and Asaba district, Benin province. 

It is a large tree with irregular surface to the bole, muscular- 
like protrusions being seen here and there, as well as similar 
shaped depressions. The crown is wide and flattish, and of 
light foliage. The fruit is a large, nasty-smelling, apple- 
shaped drupe. 

The timber is white, with apparently little difference betvveen 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 267 

sap and heart wood, and it is hard and tough, not splitting 
at all easil3\ 

It is a somewhat slow-growing, shade-bearing, soil-protecting 
and soil-improving tree, said to be termite -proof. It has 
considerable resiliency, and stands a certain amount of bending 
strain. 

The timber has not been used for export, nor has it been 
sawn up for planks for local use. 

Native Use. — The Yorubas use the timber for making 
mortars for food. 
Parinarium sp. Red Mahogany. Abue (Egbado, Yoruba) ; Da- 
badogun (Benin). 

It is plentiful in the Benin and the Abeokuta provinces 
of Nigeria. 

Chief Characteristics. — It grows into a large tree, but is 
often seen as a small tree, suppressed by other quicker-growing 
trees. The dense, somewhat spreading crown is a typical 
feature of the tree. Its large leaves attract attention, espe- 
cially compared to the size of the tree. The bole is often crooked 
and covered with dark green cortex, with only a limited amount 
of fine bark. 

It has a hard, red wood, not unlike mahogany, but with 
a more fibrous grain. It is durable, especially when left in a 
wet place. It works up with a good surface and very pleasing 
colour, making it thoroughly worthy of being a substitute for 
mahogany. Being a shade-bearer, soil-protecting and soil- 
improving tree, it should eventually find a place in the forest 
plantations. Despite its slow growth, its other silvicultural 
qualities are worthy of attention. 

It has not yet been exported, not has it been felled for 
local use. For the former it appears to deserve a trial. 

Native Use. — It is used for firewood. 
Parinarium robustum. Sometimes called Mahogany Nuts, Nikko 
Nuts ; Benin Mahogany. Ugibisaro (Benin) ; Aiyeni (Egbado) ; 
Aiye, Aghaghe, Aiyeni (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Abeokuta and Benin provinces of Nigeria, 
in the evergreen forest zone, where it is not very prevalent. 
It is a large forest tree, reaching a girth of over 12 feet and 
a bole length of about 70 feet. In the dry season, in the dis- 
tance, the leaves show the typical dried-up j^ellow appearance 
of the Parinariums, especially being somewhat shiny in appear- 
ance. The fruit is not unlike a very large, very dark green 
plum, but rather more flattened and not so round. The inside 
nut is compressedly spherical, showing five large eyes or holes 
out of which seeds germinate. 



268 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

The sapwood is yellowish -white and somewhat broad in 
proportion to the size of the tree, and the hard wood is 
mahogany-red coloured, but with more fibrous grain. It planes 
up with a smooth surface and splits fairly easily, especially 
when nailed. It is moderately hard and quite durable, and 
is not supposed to be attacked by white ants (termites). Like 
most of the Parinariums, the fresh wood smells something like 
honey, and the timber tends to darken on exposure to the 
air, thus improving in colour. 

On the whole it is a shade-bearing tree and not very fast- 
growing. It has soil-protecting and soil-improving qualities. 
Natural regeneration only appears to be very moderate. Like 
most of the Parinariums, the kernels of the fruit are pecked 
out by various birds. No plantations have been made of 
this tree. 

Quite by accident, in 1906 some logs obtained from this tree 
were cut and exported, and sold in the Liverpool market as 
Benin mahogany at 4d. per superficial foot. Since then, how- 
ever, none has been cut. 

Amongst the Benin natives the timber is occasionally 
used for house-building. 
Parinarium excelsum. Essago (Benin). 

It is found in the Ondo, Benin, Owerri and Calabar provinces 
of Nigeria, in the evergreen forest zone, where in certain 
localities it is very prevalent. 

In appearance it is like the rough-skin plum of Sierra Leone, 
but a larger and taller tree. The leaf usually looks dry and 
grey, especially underneath. The crown is oval and \&vy 
dense, with a mass of large limbs. The bark is covered with 
white lenticels, which make it look grey. It usually bears a 
large crop of fruit each year. 

It reaches a girth of over 12 feet and a bole length of about 
50. In proportion to the height, the bole is not so long as in 
the cases of many other forest trees. The fruit is more uneven 
in surface than that of P. robustum, and the surface is also 
more or less speckled with little white raised lumps, giving 
it a roughness to the touch. The fruit inside is yellowish- 
white, rather hard and not unpleasant to taste. Where it is 
found, especially in the more swampy parts, it is often almost 
gregarious in habit. It is an evergreen tree. 

The wood when freshly cut smells like honey. The sap- 
wood is yellowish-white and the heartwood is brown. On 
the whole it is much harder than P. robustum. Occasionally 
it appears cross-grained, and does not plane up with such a 
smooth finish. It saws less easily, and it is hard to drive nails 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 269 

into it. It does not split well. It is rather a heavy wood 
and does not float. 

It is a somewhat slow-growing, shade-bearing tree, which 
thoroughly protects the soil and improves it with its leaf fall. 
Natural regeneration appears to be none too good. No plan- 
tations have been made of this tree. 

It has not been felled for local use, but occasionally it has 
been used for firewood, which is of somewhat high calorific 
power. The fruit is occasionally useful to temporarily assuage 
hunger in the forest. 

It was sold as African greenheart at Is. 6d. to Is. 9d. 
a cubic foot in the Liverpool market in 1906. 

Native Use.— None, and the fruit is not eaten. Elephants 
eat the fruit. 
Parinariumpolyandrum (Benth.) (?). Plum. Ako Idofun (Yoruba). 
Smaller fruit than P. curatellcefolium and very hard; 
similar flowers, the leaves rough and only slightly grey-green 
on the under-surface. Stem reddish-brown with long lenticels, 
leaves larger and longer. 

It is found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria. 
Native Use.— The tree is used by the natives for building 
farmhouses. 
Parinarium curatellcefolium (Planch.). Abo-Idofun (Yoruba). 

A small tree 10 feet in height and 1 foot in diameter, with 
large umbelliferous flowers of a white colour. The leaves 
are rough and shiny on the upper surface, and with more white 
underneath than the P. polyandrum. 

Native Use.— The fruit is edible, though not usually eaten. 
No use as firewood. The wood is used for building farm-sheds. 
Parinarium Gabunense. Mahogany Nut. Abere (Yoruba). 

Found in the Ondo province. 
Chrysobalanus sp. Niko Nut. Igata (Yoruba). 
Found at Ebuttemetta. 

Leguminosae (Caesalpineae). 

Cassia Sieberiana. Cassia. Aridan-toro (Yoruba) ; Ezzi, Apagban 
(Benin). 

It is commonly found in Benin, Ibadan and Abeokuta 
provinces of Nigeria, more especially in the latter. It is a small 
tree bearing large and long racemes of yellow flowers in Feb- 
ruary, making it very reminiscent of the laburnum. The tree 
is leafless at the time, so that the flowers are all the more 
conspicuous. The almost rectangular branching habit of this 
tree, combined with the rather thin twigs, is very typical. It 
yields a hard, red wood, but the sapwood is yellowish-white. 



270 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

The natives use the fruit medicinally and the timber for house- 
building. The pods are usually about a foot long and half an 
inch in diameter. 
Cassia toro. Cassia. Ako Kere (Yoruba). 

It is found at Olokemeji, in the Abeokuta province of 
Nigeria. Its medicinal use as a remedy for ringworm is not 
known to the natives of that locality. 
Cassia fistula. Cassia. Bembedo (Yoruba). 

It is rather an uncommon tree of the Benin province of 
Nigeria, one specimen being found in the Idah district ; 
the longer (1 to 2 feet) and stouter (f to 1 inch) pod is most 
typical of this tree. It is otherwise much the same size as 
Cassia Sieberiana. The natives use the fruit medicinally, 
but look upon the tree as a " great medicine." 
Cassia podocarpa (G. and P.). Cassia. Asunwon (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve. 

Shrub with j^ellow flowers. 
Cassia occidentalis. Blackwater Plant. Rere (Yoruba). 

It is a small shrub-like herb with large upright flowers, 
which is usually found growing in waste places at the edge 
of villages in the Yoruba country, in the mixed deciduous 
forest zone. A medicine to cure blackwater fever is made 
from this plant, though doctors now say it is not an infallible 
cure. 
Ormosia laxiflora (Benth.). False Dalbergia. Shedun (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Ibadan, Abeokuta, Onitsha and Ogoja 
provinces of Nigeria, chiefly at the edge of the dry-zone forest. 

It is a small tree, 12 feet high and 18 inches in girth, with 
almost brick-red or orange-coloured bark, which is thin and 
often scarred by natives. It has a long, thin pod with thin, 
flat seeds. It reminds one very much of a small Dalbergia. 
It stands the annual fires well, though it gets singed each year. 
The base of the bole is often somewhat enlarged with the 
constant cutting of the bark both of the stem and the upper- 
most roots. 

The timber is yellowish-red and not very hard, but rough 
to work up, being more in the nature of a turner's than a 
joiner's wood. The grain is often by no means straight, and 
the wood shows a little figure. 

Withstanding the fires so well, it serves, or should serve, 
as a nurse for the introduction of more valuable species amongst 
the dry-zone trees, especially on the laterite soils. Natural 
regeneration is good and it sprouts well from the stump. Root 
suckers do not appear to be so prevalent as in many dry-zone 
species. It is a light-loving species, which does not protect 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 271 

the soil properly, though the foliage is comparatively dense 
for that type of tree. It is slow-growing. No plantations 
have been made. 

It does not attain sufficient size for export, but it might 
be tried for local turnery work. It is useful for local hut- 
building. 

Native Use. — House-building, and the roots when boiled 
are used in medicine as a tonic. 
Afrormosia elata. African Satinwood, Yellow Satinwood. Ayin 
(Yoruba) ; Anyeran, Anyesan, Ehranobapotineddo (Benin) ; 
Egbi (Ibadan) ; Elo Uta (Ibo, Owerri). 

A very conspicuous tree, with its orange-red trunk near 
the base, gradually shading off to yellow higher up, and towards 
the branches a light-green colour. Large, irregular-shaped 
pieces of bark fall off from time to time, in a similar way to 
the plane-tree of Europe, though with its reddish trunk it is 
not so much like the plane as Afzelia Africana. The root 
flanges or spurns are very thin and do not extend beyond about 
three feet up the stem of the tree. In plate No. 82 one of 
these trees, growing near Benin, shows the open, rather narrow 
crown with its few main limbs supporting it. 

It is commonest in the Benin, but also found in the Ondo, 
Owerri and Calabar provinces in the moist evergreen forests. 
It is also seen in secondary forests of the same zone. 

The timber planes well, but does not split. It saws easily, 
but takes nails with difficulty. It is sometimes figured, espe- 
cially logs from the base of the tree. 

It is pretty easily killed by fire at the roots, though other- 
wise it tends to spread with cultivation. The sapwood is 
almost white and the heartwood a yellowish-green, when 
fresh, but a dull yellow when dry. It is very hard and with- 
stands the attacks of white ants (termites). Even the sap- 
wood of a young tree had not rotted after six years near the 
bank of the Ogba, Benin province. It grows moderatelj^ 
quickly. 

The flower is inconspicuous and small, and the pod is also 
small, being about 2| inches long and h inch broad, containing 
two or three flat seeds. The tree does not bear very heavih', 
and in consequence natural regeneration is not very good, 
though such seeds as actually form properly seem to germinate 
well. In youth it bears some shade, but in middle age seems 
to be almost a light-demander. 

Although when freshly cut the wood does not float, when 
thoroughly dry it would not be difficult to float it with a lighter 
species. 



272 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

The timber was reported as satinwood and worth 3d. to 
Is. per superficial foot in the Liverpool market in 1906, and 
that moderate quantities (of fair length and squares) would be 
taken. 
Pterocarpus esculentus (Schum. and Thon.). Edible-fruited Padouk. 
Gbingbindo (Yoruba) ; Akpanagya, Uruhe (Benin) ; Nja (Efik). 

It is one of the most common waterside trees of all the 
Southern Provinces of Nigeria ; some of the rivers on the 
banks of which it is found are the Ovia, Ogun and Cross River, 
Belonging to the mixed deciduous forest zone, it is in the middle 
reaches of these rivers where it is most prevalent. 

A typical feature of this small tree is the bright, yellow- 
coloured flower, which quite brightens up the banks of the 
rivers at the end of February or March. Another most peculiar 
feature is the odd, somewhat kidney-shaped fruit with its 
rough surface corrugations, containing inside a hardish nut 
about 1 inch in diameter. Either the nuts or the fruit are 
often seen floating down the rivers, especially where they are 
tidal. The leaves are more typical of the Pterocarps, other- 
wise the fruit is most unlike either those of the genus or even 
of the family. The bole of the tree is short, smooth and almost 
silver-grey in colour, though it is often discoloured with the 
mud from the perennial floods of the river. It is usually seen 
with more than one stem. 

The timber is white and not over-hard. It is not very 
durable. 

The tree is not very fast-growing, but is an evergreen, with 
a short period in which nearly all the leaves fall. It serves 
a most useful purpose in holding the banks of the streams 
wherever it is found, and it is noticeable that its roots appear 
to extend a long way back and that it is one of the last trees to 
be washed out by floods. It sprouts fairly well from the stump 
when cut, unless it is almost at once submerged by the floods, 
which points to the fact that it should be cut only at the begin- 
ning or towards the end of the dry season. Natural regenera- 
tion appears to be fair, but no plantations have been tried 
with this tree. 

The nuts have not been examined to see what they contain, 
though they are of nutritive value. 

For export it does not yield large timber, and for local use 
it is rather small, but for local huts it might occasionally be 
used where other timber is scarce, as in the dry zone. It makes 
a fair firewood in those places. Although the fruit is supposed 
to be edible, very few natives have tried it, and apparently 
it is only used in times of great scarcity. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 273 

Pterocarpus Osun. African Padouk or Barwood. Osun, Osun 
dudu (Yoruba) ; Urae, Ureben (Benin) ; Opepe (Ikala, Ijor). 

It is found in the Ogoja and Calabar provinces of Nigeria, 
in the mixed deciduous forest zone, where it is none too preva- 
lent. A specimen was found near Ibami, in the Obubra district. 
It is a small tree with small yellow flowers and rather small 
leaves. The branches are placed close together and the crown 
is very dark and thick. The bole is short, rarely exceeding 
15 feet in length, and the bark a dark brown colour. The bole 
reaches a girth of about 5 feet. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood of a dull-red 
colour, but in proportion the sapwood is rather wide. It is 
moderately hard, fairly durable, but not termite-proof. It 
planes well, saws easily, takes nails ; it does not split very well. 

It is a somewhat slow-growing, shade-bearing, soil-pro- 
tecting and soil-improving tree. Natural regeneration does 
not appear to be very good. It is doubtful if it sprouts from 
the stump. It has not been cut for export, nor has it been 
felled for local use. 

On the Cross River the Camwood was sold to the European 
merchants, at the rate of 409 billets per ton, for £4 10s., so that 
with the added cost of river and ocean freight and sale charges, 
there was no profit when it was being sold at £6 10s. per ton 
in the Liverpool market. Better prices are always secured 
if it is shipped in squared logs, 24 inches square and 24 to 
30 feet in length. 

Apparently it is not the Camwood used by the natives, 
because plenty of trees are seen scattered about in the neigh- 
bourhood of Obubra untouched 
Pterocarpus erinaceus. African Rosewood. Apepe, Ara (Yoruba) ; 
Oyo, Upeka (Benin). 

This tree grows in the dry-zone savannah forests of the Ogoja 
province of Nigeria. It is of small size ; the flowers, which are 
yellow, appear in March. The timber is of little value, the tree 
not being large enough to yield a useful timber, but it has been 
sold as African Rosewood. It has a beautiful rose-red colour. 
Pterocarpus sp. So-called Camwood. Osun pupa (Yoruba) ; 
Akume (Benin) ; also spineless fruited Camwood. 

It is found in the Calabar, Ogoja, Benin and Ondo provinces 
of Nigeria. On the bank of the Cross River, near the Ossizza 
factory, there is a large s7ocimen, standing about 20 feet away 
from the water's edge. 

It is not very common, and chiefly found near river banks 
in the evergreen forest towards their northern limit. It is a 
medium-sized tree, reaching a girth of 9 feet at the most 
18 



274 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

and a height of 70 feet. The bole length does not exceed 
40 feet. The bark is light-brown, almost yellow-brown, with 
rough fissures and fibrous surface, more like an elm, though 
thinner. The branches are thin and light-coloured. In flower 
the tree is a mass of little yellow peaflowers, and numerous 
bees swarm round the crown of the tree, indicating its presence. 
Again, when the fruit ripens the crown is a mass of yellow- 
brown winged fruits all fluttering in the wind. They are 
always in bunches near the ends of the twigs. The fruit is 
round and flat, with no hairs on it, with a thin papery wing com- 
pletely surrounding and joined to it, which makes it rather thicker 
and stiffer than the other species. It is not at all typical of 
the Pterocarpus genus. The seed in the centre has a rough 
surface. The trunk usually is not quite straight, having a 
slight bend or two in its length. In habit, more like a Com- 
bretum or young elm to look at. The crown is round, almost 
spherical, and does not usually occupy more than one-third 
of the height of the tree. 

The sap wood is white ; the heartwood is of a dull purply 
colour, which is inclined to stain into the sapwood after the 
tree is cut down and exposed to rain. On the whole the colour 
of the wood is deeper than that of the other Pterocarpus, but it 
is said to yield a less fast and poorer coloured red dye than 
that of the other species, P. Osun. It is moderately hard. 
It planes well, and is sometimes cross-grained. It takes nails 
easily, but does not split very well, though it saws with com- 
parative ease. 

Although, it stands a good deal of shade in its youth, it 
is apparently a light-demanding tree with soil-protecting and 
soil-improving qualities. It is not very fast-growing. Natural 
regeneration appears to be poor, chiefly, perhaps, owing to 
the fact that the seeds are quickly eaten by small boring insects 
soon after they fall to the ground. It is rather exacting as 
to soil, and prefers the deep, moist, sandy loam. Only isolated 
specimens are seen. 

The timber has not been exported yet, and despite the 
fact that it does not reach such a large size as P. Osun, it 
deserves a trial. For local use it should find a place for house 
construction in a similar position to which the Osun and others 
are used by the natives. 

It has not been cut or used as a dye root, chiefly owing 
to its poorer colour. It is, however, used in house-building. 
Pterocarpus. Cross River Camwood. 

It is found in the Obubra district of the Calabar province 
of Nigeria, In habit it is very similar to the other Camwoods, 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 275 

Pierocarpus Soyauxii. Large Fruited Camwood. Arakpa, Ume 
(Benin) ; Ukpa (Efik). 

It is found in the Ogoja, Benin, Warri (?), Ondo, Ibadan (?) 
and Abeokuta (?) provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a common tree in the mixed deciduous forests, reach- 
ing a height of 80 to 100 feet, with a bole length of 50 feet and 
a girth of 10 feet. The bark is a darker colour than P. Osun, 
but a little rougher. The leaf is smaller than P. Osiin, but 
is unarmed. The most typical difference in this tree is the 
fruit, which is the largest of all, 2| to 3 inches in diameter, 
with plenty of prickly thorns in the centre of each surface. 
The wood is a much darker red, quite a dull, almost purple 
red. The root spurns on the whole extend higher up the trunk 
than P. Osun (up to 4 feet). The slash is white, but thin red 
latex soon exudes out of it. 

The wood is hardish, but the sap wood is very white and 
soft. The wood does not make the same kind of stain as P. 
Osun, though apparently it keeps its colour much better than 
P. Osun. When exposed to light, P. Osun loses it very quickly 
and becomes a dull-brown colour. The grain is open and 
varies a little in colour, giving it a pleasing effect. Termites do 
not attack it. It splits well. 

It sprouts from the stump slightly, but such shoots do not 
attain any size. Seedlings come up readily from fallen seeds. 
The seeds are liable to be eaten by the " ground pig " almost 
at once. It grows moderately quickly, but is a light-lover. 
It has an undivided stem. 

Samples were sent to Liverpool in 1916 and sold as African 
Padauk, and it was reported that " small quantities sell " 
satisfactorily. It has been cut for local use for buildings. 

Native Use. — It is used for making wooden shovels, all 
out of one piece. Also in house-building as wall-plates at 
the top of the mud walls, also in the Oba's house for 
uprights. 
Erythrophloeum sjJ. Sasswood. Inyi (Benin). 

This tree was determined from material from the Central 
Circle. 
Erythrophloeum Guineense. Sasswood, or Sassy Bark, or Ordeal 
Bark. Erun obo (Yoruba) ; Oginyi (Benin) ; Akpa Etuidiwi 
(Efik) ; Arachi (Ibo, Asaba) ; Inyi, Ibo (Onitsha, Ibo, 
Owerri). 

It is found in the Ibadan, Abeokuta, Ondo, Benin, Onitsha 
and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria in the mixed deciduous 
forest zone, where it is often very prevalent, more especially 
north of Ifon and Alabeta in the Benin province. 



276 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

It is a large tree, reaching a girth of over 10 feet and a 
bole length of over 30 feet. The crown, however, is large 
and wide-spreading, but generally spherical in shape. Com- 
paratively low down, the bole divides up into three or four 
main limbs. The trunk is seldom very straight, usually having 
a twist in one direction or another. The root spurns are 
moderately large, but are rounded in shape. The bark is dark- 
brown and thick, scaling off to a slight extent in old age. The 
fruit is a pod about 3 inches long and an inch wide, containing 
six or eight flattish black beans, black to brown. These burst 
when ripe, but the seeds only gradually fall to the ground. 
The fine pinnate leaves are close together and open out into 
dense foliage most typical of the Leguminoseae. The upper 
part of the limbs and trunk is light-brown. The flowers are 
minute and not often seen. 

The sapwood is dull yellow and the heartwood a dull 
red-brown. It is very heavy and hard, but not as hard as red 
ironwood or the Yoruba ironwood. It is very durable and 
quite termite-proof ; although sometimes a little cross-grained, 
with good tools it can be worked up to a smooth finish by 
planing. Holes have to be made in it for nails. It saws well, 
but splits only moderately easily. In the saw mill it was found 
that the hardness of the wood blunted the saws, which needed 
constantly sharpening. 

It is a slow-growing, shade-bearing, soil-protecting, soil- 
improving tree. Natural regeneration appears to be good, 
and it is moderately resistant to fire. Tends to condense dew 
in the dry season. It suppresses most other trees by shade. 
Amongst the dry-zone vegetation it clings to the banks of 
rivers, and is common on the upper banks of the upper reaches 
of the Ogun. No plantations have been made with this tree. 

In 1906 sample logs of the sister tree, E. micranthum, were 
exported and sold in the Liverpool market as a species of oak, 
so that this timber deserves a trial as a substitute for teak 
or oak. 

It was cut for the Public Works Department at Onitsha 
and found very suitable for decking of bridges. The small 
bridge over the Nkissi, near Onitsha, was built entirely with 
this timber. 
Erythrophloeum micranthum. Sasswood or Ordeal Bark. Ovinni 
(Benin) ; Erinji (Ijor) ; Ihi (Ibo, Owerri). 

It is found in the Warri, Benin and Calabar provinces of 
Nigeria. 

As a small tree, one of the first to appear when the mangrove 
swamp gives way to the evergreen rain forest near the coast. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 277 

On solid land it attains a large size, even larger than that of 
E. Guineense. The pod is a little larger than that of E. 
Guineense, and the bark smoother. The crown is dense and 
very large, almost spherical in shape, and reaching more than 
one-third down the length of the tree. 

The timber is very similar in its qualities to E. Guineense, 
but has a straighter grain in the larger specimens. It is very 
durable. 

It is a slow-growing, shade-bearing tree, with soil -protecting 
and soil-improving qualities. Natural regeneration does not 
appear to be very good, though numerous pods are borne on 
the tree almost every year. No plantations have yet been 
made with it. 

For local use, it has not been cut in a similar way to E. 
Guineense. The natives occasionally use this tree for making 
canoes. In the 1906 timber report from the Liverpool 
market it was valued as a species of oak at Is. 9d. per cubic 
foot, and was not considered so good as either red oak, Lophira 
procera, or white oak, Ostryoderris impressa. 

Native Use. — The bark is boiled in water and a beautiful 
red-coloured liquid is produced. It is administered as an 
ordeal trial for witchcraft, and is not poisonous if given in 
large doses. 
Brachystegia spicceformis. Agberigeddi, Ako (Yoruba) ; Okkwan 
(Benin) ; Etare (Oban, Ekoi) ; Ungu (Ibo, Owerri) ; Mpanju, 
Akpanya, Ikpanya (Efik). 

This tree is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan (?), Ondo, Benin, 
Warri, Owerri, Calabar and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a rough, scaly-barked tree of huge size (see illustration), 
reaching a girth of 30 feet and a height of 150 feet. The crown 
is flattish, formed by a few wide-spreading limbs and numerous 
small branches. The foliage is moderate for a Leguminous 
tree. The yellowish flowers are almost unseen, being placed 
underneath the leaves. The dark-brown woody pods burst 
with a bang not unlike a gunshot, and release four or five flat 
black, shiny beans about h inch across. The foliage goes almost 
black on reaching the ground, killing all the small plants. A 
brownish gum exudes from the tree when cut, and this hardens 
into a reddish, opaque mass similar to Almeidina, and in fact 
is the source of this gutta percha-like substance. 

Timber. — It is a rather hard, light-brown wood with 
pretty, almost evenly distributed streaks of darker brown 
shade in it. It is very durable. The white sapwood soon 
rots on exposure to the weather. It is suitable as a furniture 
wood. 



278 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

SilvicuUural Characteristics. — It bears a good deal of shade. 
It reproduces almost every year plentiful mature seed ; grows 
fast, but not so rapidl}' as the cotton-tree, Ricinodendron 
and others. It is sometimes distinctly gregarious, as, for in- 
stance, south-west of Benin City. 

European Use. — It has not been exported, but the P.W.D. 
have used it for verandah-posts and planks. It has been much 
admired for the good colour of the wood and the streaky grain. 
Native Use. — By the Benin people it is not considered a 
good wood, but the gum is sometimes used. 
Daniellia ogea. Gum Copal. Ogea (Yoruba) ; Ogea (Benin) ; 
Udeni (Ibo, Owerri) ; Mpanju, Ikpanya, Akpanya (Efik). Also 
known as D. oblonga and Cyanothyrsus ogea, but now called 
D. ogea. 

This tree is found growing in the heavy-rain intermediary 
forest of Benin, Ondo country and Mamu Reserve. It is a very 
fine tree with straight rounded bole, often reaching a height 
of 120 feet before the first branch. The bark is light grey 
and slightly ringed. The flowers blue and not very noticeable. 
Timber. — Of no commercial value, as it is soft and rots 
quickly. 

Uses. — A good gum copal is obtained from it, the best in 
the ground, after the tree has rotted. It is used for varnish 
making ; worth 30s. to 60s. a hundredweight. 
Daniellia Fosteri. Gum Copal. Oguja or Ogea (Yoruba). 

Found near Olokemeji and Ijebu-Ode. It yields a third- 
quality resin according to Holland in The Useful Plants of 
Nigeria. 
Daniellia Punchii (Kew). Gum Copal. Ajia (Yoruba). 
Daniellia caudata. Benin Gum Copal. Mogbara, Ashuwole (Yoru- 
ba) ; Ogea (Benin) ; Agbara (Ikale.) 

It is found in the Ondo, Benin and Ogoja provinces of 
Nigeria. The bole is the straightest and most cylindrical of 
any of the African forest trees. It often attains a height 
of over 100 feet before the first branches are reached. The 
cylindrical shape is further enhanced by the few quite concentric 
rings on the bark, horizontally arranged round the trunk of 
the tree. The barii is otherwise quite smooth and of a silvery- 
green or light-green colour ; for the size of the tree it is very 
thin, and the tree may reach a girth of 25 feet, and the bark 
then is usually only | to f inch thick. The slash is yellowish- 
white ; the sapwood is w^hite and scarcely distinguishable from 
the heartwood, which gradually takes a pinkish tinge when 
it is dry. The flowers are blue and not unlike those of the 
fuchsia, and the tree is easily seen at the end of the dry season 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 279 

by the bare crown with its blue flowers. The path later on is 
covered with these. There are practically no root spurns, the 
stem emerging straight away from the ground. The crown 
is very flat, and does not usually occupy more than one-fifth 
of the total height of the tree. The branches are few and of 
slight and almost feathery build. The timber is soft, not 
durable nor termite-proof. It saws easily, does not split very 
well, and considering its softness it does not plane at all well 
nor with a very smooth surface. Natural reproduction by 
seed appears to be poor, although plenty of seeds seem to 
ripen ; there is one seed in each pod. It is a light-loving, 
deciduous tree, but for eleven months of the year it is certainly 
a soil-protecting and soil-improving tree. It demands a deep, 
moist and somewhat rich soil, though judging by the various 
localities in which it is found it is doubtful if it is really exact- 
ing as to soil. 

In 1906 sample logs of this timber were sent to the Liver- 
pool market and considered to be a species of mahogany, but 
of no value. Natives have not used it to any extent for local 
purposes. 
Piptadenia Africana. Light African Greenheart. Agboin (Yoru- 
ba) ; Sanga (New Calabar) ; Iteruku (Efik) ; Ebbome (Oban, 
Ekoi) ; Ekhimi (Benin). 

This is a common tree in the Abeokuta, Ondo, Benin, Warri, 
Owerri, Onitsha, Calabar and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 
It is one of the most prevalent trees in the evergreen forests, 
but is also found in the mixed deciduous forests, especially, 
in both cases, near the edges of the waterways. It is a very 
large tree, attaining a height of over 120 feet and a girth of 
over 12 feet. The bole is often 80 or 90 feet in length and 
perfectly straight. The crown is thin, ovally flat, but wide- 
spreading. The thick, heavily foliaged and drooping appear- 
ance at the ends of the branches makes the tree a most hand- 
some ornament to a station. At the root, flanges are com- 
paratively long and widespreading, reaching often over 6 feet up 
the stem, having root spurns quite 12 or 15 feet away from the 
tree. The stem divides up into a few large branches which 
form the crown ; the bark is yellow-brown and smooth, but 
when the tree is growing in the sunlight it becomes a much 
lighter colour and sometimes almost grey. The slash is yellow, 
with a light- brown tinge ; the flowers are quite inconspicuous 
when they appear in January or February, being formed of 
little narrow spikes. One of the most conspicuous features 
of this tree is the thin, flat pod, which may grow as much as 
1 foot long and nearly 1 inch broad. Six to eight seeds 



280 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

are contained in each pod, and these, including the wing, are 
2 inches in length. The flat seed, which is found in the 
centre, is brown and shiny, and is only about one-six- 
teenth to one-eighth of an inch in thickness. It has a tiny 
string-like attachment to the centre, which distinguishes it 
from Newtonia on the one hand and Cylicodiscus on the other. 
The young green foliage is also most distinctive and attractive 
in its freshly salmon-pink colour, also the greenish tips 
of the older leaves. The leaves themselves are bipinnate ; 
there are often twenty to twenty-four pairs of pinnae, each of 
which is about half an inch long. 

The sapwood is white and comparatively wide ; the heart- 
wood is a pretty light-brown colour, a little darker when fresh, 
but still retaining a good light-brown colour when it is dry. 
Although at first rather heavy and hard, it seasons as a com- 
paratively light and scarcely hard wood ; it planes well and 
saws fairly easily ; takes nails moderately well, but does not 
split at all easily, especially when fresh ; has an open grain 
and the pores are comparatively long. It is a durable wood 
and is almost termite-proof, especially when it is quite dry. 
When moderately dry the logs float in water. It weighs 
53 pounds per cubic loot. 

It is a light-loving species which does not protect or improve 
the soil, except in so far as it is a leguminous tree and its roots 
thus improve the ground. It is a moderately rapidly growing 
tree which stands a little shade in its youth. Natural re- 
generation appears to be only moderate. It sprouts well from 
the stump, and stump shoots appear to be very persistent. 
It is rather sensitive to fire and is easily killed by placing 
rubbish near its roots and then burning the heap. No plan- 
tations have yet been formed for this tree. In the forest the 
seeds fall to the ground and are soon eaten by a small boring 
insect. It likes a comparatively good soil, but is found on 
sandy soil which has great moisture ; it does not like flooding, 
but will stand a little. 

Locally, it is occasionally used as a house-building timber. 
The bark is occasionally chipped off for use medicinally. 
Europeans have cut it up and used it as verandah-posts, joists 
and verandah handi-ails. However, in an unseasoned state 
the sapwood was attacked by termites, and thus it was not 
entirely satisfactory. The heartwood when quite dry does 
not warp and appears to be very durable. 

In 1906 sample logs of this timber were sold in the Liverpool 
market as " Greenheart " at 2s. 9d. per cubic foot. Since 
that date no regular supplies have been sent to the market, 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 281 

so that it has not been thoroughly tested as to its value as an 
export timber. 
Isoberlinia Doka (Kew). 

It is found in the Ogoja, Abeokuta and Owerri provinces 
of Nigeria. 

It is a medium-sized tree with rather large, widespreading 
pinnate leaves. It is one of the few trees that are gregarious 
in habit, groups from half an acre to an acre in extent being 
found. The tree is used for house-building and withstands 
a certain amount of fire, as it grows at the edge of the dry-zone 
forest. 
Berlinia acuminata. Red Oak. Apado (Abeokuta), Ewon Pala 
(Ikale), Adugbin (Ibadan) (Yoruba) ; Ekpagoi (Benin) ; Ajia 
(Ibo, Asaba) ; Obuba (New Calabar) ; Hanabali (Oban, Ekoi). 

This is a common tree in all the Southern Provinces of 
Nigeria. Although it is found most frequently in the 
evergreen forest zone, a small, bush-like variety is also 
found in the open deciduous forest. The most conspicuous 
features of this tree are the large foot-shaped unripe pods ; 
these stick out, isolated, at right angles to the general 
direction of the surface of the ground — this makes them appear 
all the more prominent and most odd in appearance. When 
the pods burst, the large flat beans are released, and each 
side of the pod curls up, but appears speckled white with round 
dull spots along the middle. The flowers are white, nearly 
2 inches across, with one red streak in the centre. In the 
evergreen forest zone these flowers do not seem so conspicuous, 
but in the dry zone the tree is covered with blossom, making 
it one of the most beautiful. In the heavy forest zone the 
bole reaches the length of nearly 80 feet and the girth of over 
20. With its smooth, shiny grey bark, at the first glance it is 
not unlike a beech-tree. The root spurns are usually quite 
small, and do not extend beyond 2 feet up the stem. The 
slash is white and of a yellow colour on the inner edge. The 
leaves are pinnate, with one odd leaf at the end, being usually 
nearly 3 inches long ; the total length of the leaf is often over 
1 foot. The freshly ripened beans are almost square in shape, 
flat, and nearly a quarter of an inch thick. Each side of the pod 
is usually the size of an average man's foot, and sometimes 
larger ; it is also not unlike it in shape, but the curve where 
the instep should be is very slight. The crown is spherical 
and very large, often occupying one-third of the total height 
of the tree. The foliage is comparatively dense, and it is not 
possible to see through the top of it. The tree loses 
its leaves for a very short time each year. In the dry zone 



282 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

it is often not much more than a shrub, or at most a small 
tree 35 feet in height. 

The sap wood is white and wide. The heartwood is of a 
deep-red colour, especially when freshly cut ; when dry it still 
retains a good red colour, and from this feature it has been 
termed " red " oak. The timber saws fairly well, but splits 
badly ; it is somewhat hard to plane it up to a smooth surface, 
as it is sometimes cross-grained. The heartwood is termite- 
proof ; it takes nails only moderately well. It is a moderately 
hard and durable wood ; it does not warp very much. When 
the logs are dry they will float in water. The weight of the 
timber is 55 pounds per cubic foot. 

Considering the prevalence of the tree, natural regeneration 
is poor — rodents may account, of course, for many of the 
beans ; it sprouts well from the stump. In the dry-zone 
forest region root suckers appear too. It is a shade-bearing 
and soil-improving tree ; it does not grow very fast. No 
plantations have yet been made with this tree, though it 
deserves a place in experimental plantations. It demands a 
good soil, and the roots go down to a greater depth than many 
of the other trees. 

Locally it is used as a house-building timber, and occasion- 
ally the dried pods are used as firewood. 

In 1906 sample logs of this tree were sold in the Liverpool 
market as red oak at 2s. per cubic foot. It was not considered 
as good as Aligna or as Erumacie. Since that date no further 
shipments of this timber have been made. A further testing 
of the market by small trial shipments of logs would thoroughly 
reveal its value as an export timber. 
Berlinia auriculata (Benth.). Red Oak. Ekpagoize (Benin). 

Found near the Okwo River in the Siluko sub-district of 
the Benin province. It is not quite such a large species as 
the B. acuminata. 
Parkia biglobosa. African Locust. Aridan Abatta, Irugbo Abatta 
Iru (Yoruba) ; Ubgori, Lakobemi, Enymi (Benin) ; Inya (New 
Calabar) ; Ekok (Oban, Ekoi). 

It is a verj'^ common tree in the Calabar, Owerri, Warri, 
Benin, Ondo (?) and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a large tree, with vv^ide spreading fruit flanges. It has 
darker and heavier foliage and a wider crown than Parkia 
filicoidea. It often shows up on river banks with its light- 
red young leaves. It should be easily distinguished from 
other similar trees of this family by its cluster of beans, similar 
to French beans, when ripe. These are yellow, and the spice- 
like scent and the round balls of staminate flowers of a crushed 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 283 

strawberry colour are not easily forgotten. Often only the 
yellow pistil is found lying on the path. It likes a damp to 
wet soil, and is usually found growing at the edge of, or actually 
in, freshwater swamps. 

Timber. — The wood is hardish, but is said to rot easily, 
though it appears to be rather doubtful, and probably only 
applies to unseasoned wood. 

Natural regeneration by seed is good. The tree stands a 
good deal of shade in its younger stages of growth. No 
other trees will grow under it, and few can stand any or much 
of its shade. 

European Use. — It has not so far been used by Europeans 
for export or local use. 

Native Use. — The seeds are cooked and eaten to some 
extent by the Yorubas and Benin people. 
Parkia filicoidea. African Locust. Irugba (Yoruba name for 
fruit) ; Igba the tree (Yoruba) ; Gumui (Mendi) ; Olibracha 
(Egba) (Yoruba). 

This is a common tree in Abeokuta, Oyo, Benin, and Ogoja 
provinces of Nigeria. It is found in the deciduous forests. 
It reaches a height of over 60 feet, with a girth of 5 feet. One 
of the most distinguishing features of this tree are the very 
feathery leaves, which appear after the flowers. The large 
spherical balls of the red staminate flowers enliven the tree in 
the early part of the year ; later in the year masses of pods, 
each about 9 inches long, hang down from the ends of the 
twigs. The base of the bole is often gnarled, partly with the 
slight root flanges and by the almost continual cutting of 
the bark by the natives. Normally the bark is brown and com- 
paratively smooth. The bole is short, dividing about 20 feet 
from the ground into a large number of small branches. On 
the whole, as the tree advances in age the branches tend to 
become pendulous. The crown, spherical in shape, is inclined 
to be irregularly broken up — partly by the different length 
of the branches. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood a dull-brown 
colour ; for the size of the tree the sapwood is wide. It saws 
indifferently well, splits badly ; it is hard to plane ; it is said to 
be termite-proof. The wood is hard and tough. 

The tree is a light-loving but not soil-improving species, 
except in so far as the root globules take up nitrogen and free 
it for the use of other plants. Naturally, generation is none 
too good. Root suckers appear to some extent ; it sprouts 
most readily from the stump. Perhaps the lack of young 
self-sown seedlings is due to the fact that the seeds are largely 



284 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

used by the natives. In a few places small plantations have 
been made with this tree. It is very fire-resisting, and ap- 
parently the fruit-bearing capacity of the tree is not reduced 
to any extent by the prevalence of the annual grass-fires in 
the localities where it is found. During the whole of its life 
it is a slow-growing tree. 

The yellow pulp in the pods is eaten by the natives. The 
bark at the base of the tree is chipped o£E and used for making 
a tonic when infused with water. The tree is occasionally 
used locally as a house-building timber ; for this purpose it is 
used chiefly as uprights in the main buildings. 

The timber has not been tried for export, and it is doubtful 
whether its size warrants its use for this purpose. 
Tetrapleura Thonningii. Angular Pod. Aridan (Yoruba) ; Ig- 
mikkia (fruit), Ikhememi (tree) (Benin) ; Osshosha (Ibo, Asaba). 

The dark-green feathery foliage on its oval crown is very 
typical of this tree, especially when it is found near a roadside 
in the mixed forests. It is also often found on river banks at 
the edge of the dry zone or in other parts of the mixed forests. 
The indehiscent pods with four edges, leaving practically no 
centre, are most typical of the tree ; they are shiny and have 
a peculiar medicinal smell. The fruit is known as Igmikkia, 
by which name the tree is most usually called by Europeans, 
in the Benin country. 

The tree is prevalent in the Abeokuta, Ondo, Oyo, Benin, 
Onitsha, Owerri, Calabar and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a shade-bearer and thoroughly protects the ground 
all the year round, except for about two weeks when the leaves 
fall. Natural regeneration does not appear to be good, seed- 
lings being rarely found, and no plantations have been made 
with it, though if of more value it might be mixed with teak. 
The seeds always command a ready sale at a low price. 

The wood is hard, brown, and splits badly. No use 
has yet been found for it. It is sometimes cross-grained, the 
sapwood white. 

The natives use the timber for making doors, window-frames 
and benches. The seeds are sold in the Yoruba, Benin and 
Ibo markets ; they are cooked for soup, which acts as a slight 
aperient or is of other medicinal value. 
Millettia Thonningii (Baker). Ito (Yoruba) ; Ebakwe (Benin). 

It is found in the Benin and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 
It is a small tree really, reaching a girth of only 4 feet, with 
a short bole and a few somewhat slender and drooping branches. 
The twigs and new leaves are distinctly of weeping habit. In 
February, in the mixed forest, the bare tree shows up with 





I'IG. v,-2. — Base of Bilinga (AJzelia Africana), 
14 feet in girth, Dajopa Forest Reserve 
Olokemeji Reserve 



Fig. 62. — Shea Butter (ButyrospermumParkii), 
7 feet in girth, near Oniloku Road, Oloke- 
meji Reserve. 





Fig. 63. — Afara (TerminaUa superba), base ot 
mature tree over 12 feet in girth, Oloke- 



FiG. 64. — Afzelia Africana, 14 feet in girth, 
showing bole and usual fork, Ijaiye Range, 
Dajopa, Olokemeji Forest Reserve. 



To face p. 284. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 285 

its beautiful clusters of lilac-coloured, pea-shaped flowers, 
and later in delicate contrast to the fresh, light-green leaves. 
The trunk is usually not quite straight, being bent about 8 or 
10 feet from the ground. The bark is smooth, thin, and almost 
of a silvery-grey colour. The branches are very whippy and 
difficult to break. 

Timber. — The wide sapwood is white and the narrow heart- 
wood green-brown when freshly cut. It is very hard, of fine 
grain and texture, and planes with a smooth surface. It does 
not split ; is very rough and flexible. 

It is a shade-bearer and grows slowly. The fruit is a small 
black and pointed pod which opens when ripe, having about 
three or four beans inside. It is easily killed by fire, but 
sprouts freely from the stool. It does not crack nor warp. 

It has not been exported nor cut for local use, but it should 
be a good wood for turnery. 

Native Use. — It is used for knives and axe-handles. 
Cynometra Afzelii. Waterside Cynometra. Akushunmajadin, 
Alade (Ikale) ; Iku (seeds), Aka, Eggi (Yoruba) ; Ogabezzi, 
Ogikiomi Upakeka (Benin). 

It is -a common tree in the Benin province of Nigeria. On 
the whole it is smaller than C. Mannii, though it has a similar 
habit. It grows, too, in similar localities, though for the most 
part it is confined to the evergreen forest zone. It also 
grows more or less in gregarious groups. The shade of this 
species is just as dense, if not denser than that of the fore- 
going. The leaf of the Cynometra is distinguishable from most 
other leaves because the mid-rib of it is placed towards the 
inner or almost straight-sided edge of the leaf. In fact, if 
two leaves are held closely together, they almost look as if 
they were one which had been cut in half. Benin natives 
have no use for this tree except as firewood. 
Cynometra Mannii. Waterside Cynometra. Ekkun (Yoruba). 

It is a common tree on the banks of streams in the Ibadan 
and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. One of the most charac- 
teristic features of this tree is the pinkish-red colour of the 
fresh leaves, hanging at the ends of the drooping branches. 
In November each year the large, corrugated, single bean in 
each almost indehiscent pod is another curious feature of 
this tree. The trunk is usually short — in fact, often divided 
into three or four separate stems, almost at the base. Narrow 
fringes consisting almost entirely of this species are found 
on river banks. The dense shade cast by this tree prevents 
any other species from growing underneath. The timber is 
hard and difficult to split, and apparently it is not attacked 



286 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

by white ants. The tree is a shade-bearer. Natural repro- 
duction from the seed is good, it being distributed often by 
water. It also sprouts from the stump. A few root shoots 
also appear. The tree has not been cut for local use nor has 
it been used for export. The natives use the wood for making 
posts and doors. 
Cylicodiscus Gabunensis. African Greenheart. Osho, Aja, Iji (II.), 
Ajaigi (Yoruba) ; Okan (Benin). 

Distribution. — In the Abeokuta, Ondo, Benin, Warri, Owerri, 
Calabar provinces of Nigeria. 

Chief Characteristics. — It is a very large tree of the ever- 
green forest zone, attaining a height of 200 feet and a girth 
of 30 feet. It is armed in its earlier growth up to the pole 
stage, when all the brown thorns disappear. Its long, brown 
pods, up to 3 feet long and 1| inches wide, opening from one 
side only, with their long, thin, papery seeds, are most typical 
of the tree. 

Compared to its size the bark is thin, and in old age it is 
inclined to scale off in small pieces. In the distance it looks 
practically smooth. This is one of the most gigantic and 
impressive trees of the forest, with its enormous bole stretching 
cylindrically up amongst and over the other trees, with a 
large, widespreading, somewhat flatly shaped spherical crown. 
The leaves are pinnate, with three of four pairs of little ovate 
pinnae, with one odd one at the end. The flowers are minute, 
forming little, thin, knitting-needle-thick spikes of yellow 
bloom. These last only a few days, and only once in thirteen 
years have I seen the flower. The tree and pod are unmistak- 
able, even when it is a large one. The numerous brown pods 
hang down amongst the foliage and appear to be much longer 
than those of any other Leguminous tree. This feature alone 
distinguishes it from any similar species. The bole divides up 
into a few large limbs and many small branches, making the 
foliage lighter and thinner than many other Leguminous trees, 
but not so thin as that of Piptadenia Africana. The root 
spurns are very slight and rounded, merging into the bole 
of the tree 1 foot to 3 feet above the surface of the ground. At 
the base of the bole the bark is sometimes cut off by the 
natives for " Ju-ju " purposes, and then an additional swelling 
appears there. 

The sapwood is white and narrow, the heartwood greenish- 
brown when fresh, and yellowish-brown after it has lain in the 
forest for a few years. It is very hard — in fact, one of the very 
hardest of African timbers. Under cover it is very durable. 
In the open it does not last so long. It is termite-proof. The 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 287 

sapwood, however, rots in the open, and the heartwood softens 
very considerably. It is somewhat fibrous, but it planes up 
well, with a smooth surface. It does not take nails, saws well, 
and splits moderately well. It has considerable elasticity. 
It makes a very hot-burning firewood, but is inclined to crackle 
and make sparks. 

It is a moderately fast-growing, shade-bearing, soil-protecting 
and soil-improving tree. Natural regeneration appears to be fair, 
but the seeds are often eaten by little boring insects, soon 
after they fall to the ground. It appears to be rather exacting 
as to soil, liking a deep, moist loam sand with good drainage. 
It is scarcely a fire-resisting tree, but very storm firm — in fact, 
one of the safest trees. 

In 1906 sample logs of this tree were sold in the Liverpool 
market as African Greenheart at Is. 8d. per cubic foot, and 
were stated to be good greenheart. Since then none has been 
cut or shipped to England. With the exception of its use for 
verandah-posts for a public building in Benin city, it has not 
been cut or sawn up in planks for local use. Considering the 
comparatively large quantity available, it deserves a fair trial 
both for export and local use, more especially for heavy con- 
structional work, such as bridges, piles, uprights. 

Amongst the Benis it is sometimes a " Ju-ju " tree, and is 
said to impart strength. 
Leptoderris. 

Owerri province of Nigeria. It is a medium-sized tree 
found growing near the Imo River, but not very common. It 
has a hard wood. 
Baphia nitida (Afz.). Awenu or Irosun. Borri Borri (Yoruba) ; 
Otwa (Benin) ; Ubara (Efik). 

Is a small tree, which is usually found near villages, being 
left by the natives when land is cleared. The white flowers 
are almost of pea shape. It has a small leaf, and does not 
usually get any larger than about four inches in diameter. 

It is found in the Ondo, Abeokuta, Benin and Calabar 
provinces of Nigeria. 

The real Camwood of commerce. 

It is very slow-growing, and is not a hard wood, with dark- 
red heartwood of small size in proportion to the size of tree. 
It forms late, too. If the stem is wounded, even the sapwood 
becomes a rich red colour like the heartwood. 

The probable origin of the word " Camwood " is taken from 
the Timani name, Cam, of the Baphia nitida tree in Sierra Leone. 
From another point of view this is all the more interesting, 
as the original exports of Camwood were made from Sierra 



288 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Leone in the early part of the nineteenth century, and this 
name " Cam " brings together the tree from which the Camwood 
is obtained and the tree botanically known as Baphia nitida. 

Native Use. — A piece of the wood and a leaf are placed on the 
ground where a woman has borne a child, whether it be on 
a road or in the house. Not used in Benin as a dye wood. 
Baphia polygalacea. Walking-stick Camwood. Asana, Ossusu 
(Yoruba) ; Aswen (Benin) ; Mbomokuku (Efik). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Benin and Calabar provinces 
of Nigeria. 

A small tree of typical Baphia habit, which is common 
in parts of the Benin district of the same named province. 
It has considerable elasticity, though it dries rather hard and 
does not give much in that state. It is a rather slow-grow- 
ing tree, which lights the shade of the forest, and is also a 
soil-protecting and soil-improving tree. Natural regeneration 
appears to be good in several places. It sprouts slightly from 
the stump, when felled. No plantations have yet been made 
with this tree. The walking-sticks have not been exported 
to England for trial in the market. 

The curiously shaped single root, sticking out almost at 
right angles to the stem, makes a good walking-stick ; it is 
curved as well slightly, too. When the bark is peeled off and 
the stem partially charred, it looks very efEective. 
Baphia pubescens. Benin Camwood. Awewi (Lagos) (Yoruba) ; 
Ositwa (Benin). 

It is a small tree, 30 feet high and 3 feet in girth, 
with usually half the bole sapwood white, and dark-red heart- 
wood, which is hard and close-grained. The flowers are white, 
with yellow tips to the two petals. It is often seen just outside 
villages, or where two paths meet. 

Native Use. — It is not used for dye, though apparently 
the wood is just as suitable as B. nitida. 
Baphia sp. Camwood. Mogbara (Yoruba, Ikale) ; Owe, Aswen 
(Benin). 

It has also been determined as Carpolohia lutea, and as 
one of the Oleacese. 

It is a shrub with a stem of about 4 feet in height. The 
fruit is a small nut containing three small kernels. The wood 
is very hard. 

Native Use. — The seeds are eaten. 
Macrolobium palisoti. Ogaba (Benin) ; Nya (Efik). 

It is a common tree of the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ondo, Warri, 
Benin, Owarri and Calabar provinces of Nigeria. It only 
reaches a girth of about 2 feet and a height of 20 feet. The 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 289 

leaf has two pairs of pinnse, with one end leaflet. The small 
pod containing two oi- three flat seeds is most typical of this tree ; 
the seeds are f inch in diameter and of a dark-brown colour ; 
the flowers are white ; the timber is cross-grained and rather 
hard ; the sapwood is white and the heartwood of a dark 
brown. The tree is a shade-bearer, soil-protecting and improving. 
It is usually found amongst the undergrowth in the thicker 
parts of the evergreen forest zone. Natural regeneration 
is usually good. The wood is used locally in the Yoruba and 
Benin country for posts ; it has not been sawn uj) for planks, 
nor has it been exported to England. 
Macrolohium stiptdacecB. 

It was stated it was found in the Calabar province. 
Nr. Macrolobium sj). Ogabeszi (Benin). 

It is found in the Benin province of Nigeria. It is a small 
tree of the evergreen forest zone. The foliage is very dense. 
The tree has a short bole of about 15 feet, and the crown is 
much branched ; the pod is rather larger than Macrolobium 
palisoti. According to the natives, this is the " Ogaba " of the 
waterside. The timber has not been exported to Europe, nor 
do the natives use this somewhat hard wood to any extent. 
Dialium Guineense. Pulley Wood, Velvet Tamarind. Awin (lb.) 
(Yoruba) ; Ohiorme (Benin) ; Amoyin (Egba). 

It is found in the Ibadan, Abeokuta, Benin, Calabar and 
Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. In the mixed deciduous forests 
it is very prevalent in certain localities. Of medium size, it 
rarely exceeds a girth of 5 feet. Where found, it often com- 
prises over 10 per cent, of the standing stock of the forest. 

The wood is used for small boats in Senegal. It exudes 
a red-coloured sap in small quantities. 

The fruit, with its flat and round, velvety little pods, is most 
typical of this tree. These are of a very dark chocolate colour, 
and in the distance appear almost black. The bole is usually 
silver-grey. The slash is light-red, and the reddish, latex- 
like substance exudes when the bark is cut. The crown is 
dense and compressed, being mainly made up of a number 
of small branches. In proportion the leaves are small and 
make a very dense foliage. The rusty-red slashing marks, 
or other marks caused by damage to the trunk of the tree, 
show up most distinctively, especially against the grey surface 
of the cortex, are one of the most distinguishing features of 
this tree. 

The sapwood is white, the heartwood is dull-red, rather 
larger in proportion than we should suspect, compared with the 
size of the tree. It is hard and tough, and does not split well. 
19 



290 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

It planes up, however, with a smooth surface, is very durable and 
termite-proof. It does not take nails well, but saws fairly easily. 

It is a somewhat slow-growing, shade-bearing, soil-protecting 
and soil-improving tree. Natural regeneration appears to be 
good. It appears to be a little exacting in regard to soil. It 
is slightly fire-resisting, chiefly, perhaps, owing to the fact 
that few weeds or grass grow in its shade. No plantations 
have been made of this tree. It bears a good crop of fruit 
almost every year. 

It has not been felled for export, nor has the timber been 
sawn up for local use. It was formerly used in the Congo 
for pulley-blocks, for which purpose it is said to be admirably 
suited. Amongst the natives it is sometimes used for house- 
building. 
Nr, Newtonia. Boji Albizzia or Giant Pod. 

It is rather an uncommon tree of the Boji Hills forest ; 
the enormous flat, papery pod makes it easily distinguishable 
from any other tree. 

The pod is about 15 inches long and 9 inches wide, with a 
slight depression in the middle of one side. 
Pithycolobium altissimum. Bent Pod or Gambia Pod. 

It is a medium-sized tree, found at the edge of swamps 
near the sea coast in the evergreen forest zone. It appears 
to stand a waterlogged soil. 

The pods are used for tanning hides and making ink (Moloney). 
It has curious semicircular pods, which are typical of the tree., 
containing eight to ten seeds. 
Afzelia sp. Waterside Ekpagoize. Ekpagoize (Benin). 

It is found in the Benin province of Nigeria. It is a medium- 
sized tree, reaching a girth of 7 feet and a bole length of 
40 feet. 

This tree has often been confused botanically with Berlinia 
acuminata, but it is undoubtedly an Afzelia. The flowers 
are of a reddish colour and very pretty ; the foliage is not quite 
so heavy as that of the other Afzelias ; the pod is rather smaller 
than that of either Afzelia Africana or Afzelia cuanzensis. The 
wood is a reddish-brown colour, a little cross-grained, but 
more durable than the other Afzelias. It does not split well, 
and can only be planed with difficulty ; the grain is very coarse 
and fibrous. Samples of this timber have been shipped 
to England and sold as red oak. The natives scarcely ever 
use the wood, partly because the tree is not very prevalent. 
Afzelia cuanzensis. Bilinga, Red-arilled Afzelia. Aiyo (Yoruba) ; 
Aligna (Benin) ; Igbin (Brass) ; Onuru, Oshoshi (Ibo, Owerri) ; 
Mbarakun (Oban, Ekoi). 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 291 

It is found in the Benin, Ondo, Abeokuta, Calabar, 
Owerri and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a medium-sized tree, with a pod, which is usually slightly 
crumpled or bent, containing about six or eight black nuts, 
with a red aril at the base, and each nut is pointed more, and 
less rounded, than in A. Africana. On the whole it is found 
more in the deciduous mixed forest than on the edge or in 
the dry-zone forest region, where A. Africana abounds. The 
bark does not scale ofE so much as that of A. Africana. It 
stands more shade than A. Africana. It does not reach such 
large dimensions, though logs up to 18 inches square and 
24 feet in length could be obtained. 

Up to the present the tree has not been cut to the same 
extent as A. Africana, though the wood is very similar and 
apparently just as durable. 

No separate report has been made on the timber as to its 
value in the European markets. 
Afzelia bella. Calabar Afzelia. Aligna (Benin). 

It is found in the Calabar province of Nigeria. It is more 
common in the Caraeroons. 

It is a small tree, with large white flowers with a pretty, 
reddish streak in each petal. The pod is of usual Afzelia size 
and appears rather large for the size of the tree. The type 
specimen stands on the Calabar Golf Course, between the seventh 
and eighth holes. It is apparently uncommon, though more 
may be found on closer study of the forests. The fruits appear 
to have the same qualities as those of other Afzelias. In 
Nigeria it has so far not been utilized. The bark is not so 
scaly as that of A. Africana. 
Afzelia pachyloba {nov. sjp.). Forest Afzelia or Yellow Aril. Apa 
(Yoruba) ; Orodo (Benin). 

It is a medium-sized tree, with long, pointed nuts with a 
bright sulphur-coloured aril instead of the orange-colour of 
Africana or red of Cuanzensis. It does not appear to be such 
a common tree as A. Africana, but much the same number 
of trees as that of A. cuanzensis. 

It is found in the evergreen forests of Ondo, Benin and 
Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood is brown. It 
is very bard, almost as hard as Lophira, according to the natives. 
Self-sown seedlings do not appear in large numbers. 

It is used for similar purposes as A. Africana. It is a shade- 
bearing and soil-improving tree. 

No separate report has been made on the timber, and so 
far it has not been exported to the English markets. 



292 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

This may be the tree which yielded the so-called teak in 
the Benin forests some years ago, and fetched a price of 5d. 
per foot superficial. 

The bark scales off in a similar way to Afzelia Africana. 
Afzelia bracteata (T. Vogel). Benin Bilinga. Ekpagoize (Benin). 

It has a red flower, is found in the Benin province, but is 
apparently rather rare. 

The Benin name indicates that it is the Ekjiagoi or Berlinia 
of the waterside. It is usually found near or on the bank of 
a stream. It is a large tree, which is otherwise similar to the 
other Afzelias. 

The natives have apparently not tried it for building pur- 



Afzelia Africana. Yoruba Bilinga. Apa (Yoruba) ; Olokokima, 
Aligna (Benin) ; Ayibukpo (Efik) ; Adja, Arachi (Asaba Ibo). 

Trade Name. — Bilinga, similar wood from the French Congo, 
so named for some years. 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ondo, Benin, Owerri, 
Onitsha and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 

The round, orange-coloured aril at the base of the black 
nut is typical of this tree. It sometimes has a reddish tinge, 
bxit it is always round and completely surrounds the base of 
the nut, in contradistinction to A. cuanzensis, in which the 
aril is red and pointed and much thinner in build. 

The spherically-shaped crown with its flattish top is most 
typical of this tree. The largish leaves and the paucity of 
their number make the foliage open, so that daylight can be 
seen through it. In the distance it aj)pears dense. 

The sapwood is white, and the heartwood a rich oak- brown 
colour. It is one of the most durable West African timbers. 
It planes well and can be worked up with a good finish. It 
does not split well. It is obtainable in logs up to 30 inches 
square and 30 feet in length. 

Though slow in growth it would average that of many 
European trees. It stands a good deal of shade in its youth, 
but it is really more of a light lover than a shade-bearer. Self- 
sown seedlings are few ; apparently rodents eat them. In a 
similar way it is difficult to make a plantation, many being 
eaten or dying in the transplanting. One of the most successful 
methods evolved is that of sowing seeds in lines about 4 feet 
apart ; a large number then come up and provide ample for a 
crop on the same land. They are not transplanted. When of 
middle age it will stand fire and the shade of the tree keeps 
the ground moist. 

It is a soil-protecting and soil -improving tree ; good crops 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 293 

of seeds are borne almost every year. The flowers are reddish, 
with white edges to the petals. The reddish tinge is quite 
distinctive in this genus, the white being that of Berlinia. 

The bark drops off in large scales in places on the trunk 
towards middle and old age, in a similar fashion to the European 
plane. However, they do not leave the stem as smooth, though 
the lighter patches where the bark falls off brighten the bole 
up and make it quite distinctive amongst the other trees. 

The timber has been constantly used by the P.W.D. at 
Onitsha. In the Liverpool market it was stated that it might 
be marketable as oak, at a low figure, in 190G. A similar species 
was being shipped from Gaboon in 1914 and fetched a fair price. 
Albizzia fastigata (Oliv.). East Indian Walnut. Ayinre langara, 
Ayinre ogo (Eg.) (Yoruba) ; Uwowe Lugu, Uwowelabafun 
(Benin) ; Uyat (Efik). 

It is a large tree, up to 7 feet in girth and of corresponding 
height. Fruit narrower than A. sp. ; only half an inch, with four 
or five seeds in each. This species has the most durable wood 
of all the Albizzias, but is not termite-proof, and has heart- 
wood of a brown colour and white sapwood. The smallest 
leaf of all the Albizzias is met with in this tree, having 
very fine pinnae. 

Although not indigenous to Africa, it is now found almost 
everywhere in all the mixed deciduous forests of the Southern 
Provinces of Nigeria. The bark is rather rougher than that 
of A. Brownii. The basal root spurns are narrower, though 
they do not project more than 2 feet up the stem. On the 
whole the foliage is thicker, and the crown gives the appear- 
ance of being a little denser and not so feathery as that of 
A. Broionii. 

The wood planes well, splits fairly easily, takes nails and 
saws well. It is what the carpenters would call a wood 
easy to work. The grain is of fine texture and has a certain 
amount of lustre. 

It is a fast-growing, light-loving tree, which does not protect 
the soil. The leaves, however, form a rich humus, which 
enriches the soil. Natural regeneration appears to be good, 
and with the spread of farms this tree tends to increase its area 
of distribution. It will stand a little shade in its youth. A 
few plantations have been made with this tree. 

Up to the present the timber has not been exported, but 
deserves a trial as an African Walnut, though it is difficult 
to obtain large-sized logs. It has occasionally been cut for 
local use. It is used by the natives for firewood, and occa- 
sionally, when split, for temporary house-building in the farms. 



294 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Albizzia Brownii. African Walnut. Ayinre, Ayinre Bona Bona 
(Yoruba) ; Owe we noleraare, Ikpawudu (Benin). 

It is a large tree, up to 7 feet in girth, with wide fruit 2 inches 
across, containing four or five seeds. There are three or four 
pairs of pinnae to each leaf, which is the largest of all the Al- 
bizzia leaves. The heartwood is more like walnut in colour, 
though of course softer and with more open grain. It could 
no doubt, however, be used as a substitute for walnut. 

It is a common tree in the mixed deciduous forests of the 
Abeokuta, Ibadan, Benin, Owerri, and Ogoja provinces, where 
it is tending to widen its area of distribution with the spread 
of cultivation. 

The fruit is very papery and almost transparent. It is 
rather larger than Albizzia sp., Shemusholoshi, but of about 
the same length. Its smooth, almost orange-coloured bark 
in the earlier stages is almost typical of the tree. As it gets 
older, a somewhat more corky bark forms in large scales which 
can be stripped off. The lop-sided shape of the pinnae is 
very typical of the tree, making the leaves look almost like 
those of a true Gum Copal, The main vein is near the 
straighter side of the leaf. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood a mahogany 
brown. It has rather an open grain, but a good deal of lustre, 
and is easily worked. It planes well and takes nails easily. It 
splits fairly well and saws quite easilj'. It is not quite so 
durable as A. fastigata, but it is more durable than the other 
Albizzias, except A. sp., Shemusholoshi. It is not termite-proof. 
It has considerable tensile strength compared to the other 
species, and a certain amount of elasticity. 

It is the fastest growing of all the Albizzias and a light- 
loving tree. It scarcely protects the soil, but the leaf fall 
makes a good humus. It stands a little shade in its youth. 
Natural regeneration is very prolific. No plantations have 
been made with this tree. It appears to be a little more 
exacting as to soil than the other Albizzias, but will grow on 
almost any soil. 

The timber has not been exported, but deserves a trial 
as a substitute for walnut. Owing to the fact that there 
are considerable supplies, and that it reaches a size to produce 
logs of the requisite dimensions, it appears to offer some pos- 
sibilities as an export wood. Locally it has often been used 
for cutting up into planks, and is liked among the Yorubas 
for this purpose. In other places it has been used as a house- 
building wood, as well as for firewood. It has also been used 
for making beams, planks and doors. The roots, leaves and 





o 2 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 295 

bark have been used amongst the Yorubas for medicinal 
purposes. 
Albizzia sp. Walnut. Owewe nolemare (Benin) ; Ayinre 
(Yoruba) ; Semusholoshi (Jebu) ; Akkihien, also Owewe lagebon 
(Benin). 

According to Mr. H. N. Thompson, Chief Conservator of 
Forests in Nigeria, who has seen the fruit of this tree, it is 
most certainly an Albizzia. 

Cliief Characteristics. — It has been described by a German 
as not unlike a solitary-standing pine, with its dark foliage 
of small pinnate leaves, which are larger than Piptadenia 
Africana and j'et smaller than Cylicodiscus Gabunensis. In 
the above description it is very similar in habit to Piptadenia 
Kerstingii. The dark brown bark, which is roughish, is light- 
brown on the upper part of the stem. The crown is fiat, con- 
sisting of two or three wide, outspreading branches. It has 
the usual flat, pajiery pod. The leaves are used by the Benin 
people for soup. 

Distribution. — It is found in the Abeokuta province of 
Nigeria. 

Timber. — It is fairly close-grained, though not nearly so 
hard as either Piptadenia Africana or Cylicodiscus Gabunensis, 

Use. — The Yorubas use the bark medicinally as a stomachic, 
and the trunk is usually swollen at the base owing to the cortex 
being removed so often. 
Albizzia rhombifolia. Walnut. Ayinre, Ayinre langara, Ayinre 
ogo (Yoruba) ; Owowe (Benin), 

It is found in the Ibadan and Benin provinces of Nigeria, 
in the mixed deciduous forests, where it is. quite prevalent. 
It is a medium-sized tree, attaining a girth of about 6 feet 
and a bole length of 30 feet. It is commonly seen in old farms, 
and usually more than one is found in the same locality. The 
thin, yellow, spiky flowers are rather pretty. The fruit is 
rather smaller than that of the other species. 

The sapwood is white, and the heartwood is a light yellow- 
green. It is soft and not very durable ; it is attacked by 
white ants (termites). However, it saws well, planes well, 
takes nails easily and splits moderately well. It can be cut 
into good-sized planks. 

Timber, yellowish-green, and yields large planks. 

It is a fast-growing, light-loving tree, which scarcely protects 
the soil, and only slightly improves it with its leaf fall. Natural 
regeneration is good, the seedlings growing up rapidly in any 
open place in the mixed deciduous forests. 

The timber has not been tried for export, nor has it been 



296 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

used to any extent for local use. It deserves a further trial 
both as an export wood and as a wood for local floor- boards. 
Its qualities are far from properly known. 

Among the natives it is used as firewood. 
Albizzia sp. Walnut. Ayinre Ayinre, Ayinretta (Yoruba) ; Ikpa- 
wudu, Owawelugu (Benin). 

It is a large tree, up to 6 feet in girth. It has rather 
narrower pinnae, but of similar round shape to A. Broumii. 

It is a common tree of the mixed deciduous forests in 
the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ondo, Benin, Onitsha, Owerri and 
Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 

The root spurns are very small. The bark gets rougher 
than that of A. Broivnii in old age, the crown is longer and more 
feathery, and the leaves appear to be more of a silvery green. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood is of a yellowish- 
brown colour, tending to become a light brown when exposed 
to the air. It is comparatively soft ; is not termite-proof. It 
is easy to work, planing and sawing well, and taking nails 
easily and splitting fairly well. It is, however, less durable 
than A. Broivnii or fastigata. When split and dried it is more 
durable than when cut up in the ordinary way. The wood 
hardens very considerably on exposure to the sun. 

It is a light-loving, fast-growing tree. It scarcely protects 
the soil, but the leaf fall enriches it. Natural regeneration 
appears to be good. It tends to spread with the increase of 
farms, more especially on the poorer laterite soils. A few 
plantations have been made with this tree. The volume of 
produce per acre is less than in the case of A. Brownii, but 
apparently greater than any of the others. It is less rapidly 
growing than A. Brownii, but faster than the others. 

The timber has not been used for export, and it is doubtful 
if it would repay the cost. Locally it has been used for planks, 
but it is not liked so much as that of A . Brownii or fastigata. 
By the local people it is used for firewood, and occasionally 
for building temporary houses. 
Anglocalyx ramiflorus (Taub). Ekiyawa (Benin). 

It is a large tree, attaining a girth of 8 feet, but the trunk 
is not over-long in proportion. It is a shade-bearing, soil- 
protecting and soil -improving tree. The bark is a dark olive- 
green and smooth. It is found in the Benin province of Nigeria. 
Natural regeneration appears to be poor. The wood is yellow- 
ish-brown and floats when quite dry. The timber was valued 
at nothing in 1906 and stated to be a whitewood in the Liver- 
pool market. 

Native Use. — None. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 297 

Ostryoderris impressa. White Oak. Awaw or Erumacie (Yoruba) ; 
Ori, Ehrurumesi, Erurunuesi, Awaw, (Usshin) (Benin). 

It is a common tree in the Calabar, Ogoja, Benin, Owerri 
and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. To be seen along the 
Benin-Siluku Road, as also in the Badagry district on the 
Ayobo-Osuke Road. 

It is a straight-boled, tall tree, with fiattish crown made 
up of few straight branches with large pinnate leaves, making 
it appear flatter than it really is. The bark is slightly scaly 
with fine fissures. The slash is red, exuding a red latex. It 
reaches a height of 150 feet with a girth of 12 feet. The white, 
papery, pointed, flat, lozenge-shaped fruit, with a small kidney- 
shaped seed attached to the centre of the surface of one side, 
is most typical of the tree. The spurns are almost non-existent, 
so that the tree can be felled near the ground without trouble. 

The timber is white in the sap and brown-white in the 
heart wood, but not over-hard, very tough and not splitting 
easily. It is hard to fell, being very flexible. It planes moder- 
ately well. The colour darkens with age. 

It is a light-loving tree after the first few years. It grows 
moderately rapidly. It is a soil-improving and covering tree. 
Natural regeneration appears poor, though many seeds are 
usually seen on the ground. Insects appear to eat them rapidly. 
No plantations have been made with this tree, but experiments 
would show whether it grows well from seed. 

In 1906 a sample log was exported and sold in the Liverpool 
market as white oak at 2s. per cubic foot, and it was recom- 
mended for shipment by the brokers. 

Native Use. — It is used as posts for frames on which yams 

are tied in the Benin farms. In temporary houses, small trees 

are trimmed and squared for the forming of the walls, instead 

of dried mud. 

Dalbergia saxatilis. West African Blackwood (?). Awow (Benin). 

It is a small tree of the mixed deciduous forest of Benin ; 
it is occasionally used by the natives for hoe and axe handles. 
Dalbergia sp. West African Blackwood. Emosobegan, Paran 
(Yoruba). 

Found in the Olokemeji Reserve. 
Dalbergia sp. North Benin Blackwood. 

This is found near Aroko, in the Onitsha province, and near 
Ishoka, in the Benin province. It is a small tree with very 
hard wood. In habit very similar to Ormosia laxiflora, with 
its orange- coloured bark, which is rougher than O. laxiflora 
and not so scaly. The wood is used for axe and hoe handles 
by the natives. 



298 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Dalbergia hostilis (Benth.). Yoruba Blackwood. Ogan Oga 
(Yoruba). 

This Dalbergia is fairly common in the Olokeraeji Reserve, 
in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria. 
Copaifera sp. True Benin Gum Copal. 

This tree is found near the Uhi, close to the source of the 
Ossiomo Eiver, Benin province. This apparenth' is rather an 
uncommon tree. The Benin natives do not know how to tap 
the tree for gum, nor how to use the gum. 
Cf. Copaifera. En3'enewu. Enj^enewu (Yoruba). 

Found in the Yoruba country. 
Copaifera sp. Boji Hills Copaifera. 

So far it has not been tapped for the gum, the local people 
apparently not knowing its value. 
Bauhinia rufescens (Kew). 

Found in the Oyo province. 
Bauhinia reticulata (D.C.). Dry-zone Bauhinia. Abafe (Yoruba). 

This Bauhinia grows in dry, open country. It is a small, 
spreading tree bearing white flowers. 

Uses. — The fibrous bark is used for tying, and an infusion 
from the leaves is used in coagulating rubber latex. The 
stem is occasionally used for making house-posts. It is a fire- 
resisting tree and shades the soil. 
Bauhinia Thonningii (Schum.). 

This is a small shrub-like tree of the upper part of the 

Benin province of Nigeria. It is found near Agbede. It has 

red flowers. The sap of this tree has sometimes been used 

for coagulating rubber. 

Physostigma venosum. Calabar Bean or Ordeal Bean. Eseri (Efik). 

It is found growing in the Calabar district. The seed is 
poisonous ; used in ordeals and medicinally. 

The most noticeable feature is the furrow (about J inch 
wide and deep) in the upper side of the bean. None of the 
closely allied Mimosa species show this peculiarity. 
Entada scandens. Sword Bean, Match-box Bean, Mackay Bean. 
Kakoba, Akhuro (seed) (Benin). 

This large creeper is found in the Benin and Calabar 
provinces of Nigeria. It is not verj^ prevalent. The most re- 
markable features about it are the stoutness of the stem, which 
attains a diameter of nearly 1 foot and the total length of over 
100 feet, and its immense pod, which is often over 3 feet in 
length. The pod is divided into segments, each nearl}- 2 inches 
square, and each containing one large bean, almost a square 
in shape, 1| inches and nearly f inch thick. These beans have 
occasionally been used for making match-boxes, for which they 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 299 

are admirably suited. The outer part of the stem of the creeper 
is very rough and ahnost corrugated, especially near its base ; 
the leaves are very small, considering the size of the whole 
creeper. It is comparatively slow-growing. It grows in the 
dense evergreen forest, and when drawn taut over the first 
branches of one of the large trees it is not unlike the bole of 
a small tree itself. When cut, the two ends part with a bang, 
like the breaking of a ship's hawser. The natives use the 
smaller parts of the stem for fly-switches, for which they are 
very good and durable. The creeper is, however, not cultivated. 

Entada Soudanica. Ogurohe (Yoruba). 
Found in the Ibadan province. 

Entada Abyssinica. Unwanwanis (Benin). 

It is found in the upper part of the Benin province near 
Ishoka. It is a large creeper with rather smaller bean than 
E. scandens. The beans have been used for making small 
match-boxes in Europe. The natives consider the bean a 
" Ju-ju." 

Diodea reflexa. Ishe, Agbarin (Yoruba). 

A climber, found in the Ibadan province. 

Mucuna urens. Ox-eye Bean. Awipu (Benin). 

Found in the Benin and Abeokuta provinces. 

Mucuna sp. Preussii. Yerepe (Yoruba). 

Found in the Olokemeji Reserve and Benin province. 

Acacia pennata (AVilld.). Acacia. Okwekwe (Benin). 

It is found in the upper part of the Benin, Ibadan, Ogoja 
and Abeokuta provinces. It is a small, scandent shrub with 
very sharp thorns, but which yields one of the strongest fibres 
for making fishing lines or native rope. It forms almost im- 
penetrable masses which are very unpleasant to go through 
without a matchet. 

Acacia Sieberiana. African Rosewood. Sie (Yoruba). 

This is a somewhat uncommon Acacia of the Oyo province 
of Nigeria. Being of medium size, its very handsome racemes 
of yellow flowers show up to great advantage. The bark is 
rough, the bole short, and usually divided 8 or 10 feet from 
the ground. The sapwood is white and the heartwood a rose- 
pink colour, which makes it not unlike the tj^pical rosewood 
of commerce. The heartwood is comparatively wide, and it 
is very hard, durable and termite-proof. It saws well and 
splits moderately easily, but does not take nails at all well. 
Reproduction by seed is apparently poor J it sprouts fairly 
well from the stump. It is a light-loving species, but being 
of the leguminous familj' it is a soil-improving tree. The 
wood has not yet been exported, but locally it has occasionally 



300 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

been used for house-building, the forked stem being much 
appreciated by the natives. 
Acacia Farnesiana (Willd.). Farnesian Acacia. Bonni (Yoruba), 

It is found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria. It is a 
small tree growing up to 6 feet in girth. It has a small pod 
containing eight seeds inside. The inside of the pod is white 
and the seed is brown. The flower is yellow, and is used by 
girls in decorating their ears. Usually found in towns, where 
it is planted. The seeds are sold in the market. 

The timber is dark-red, surrounded by a narrow white sap- 
wood. It is hard, like ebony. The bark is very much fissured 
and j)eels off in large scales. 

The seeds of this tree and Jagiri are used with water for 
scraping the leather for making the fells smooth. Sold at Itaku 
and Shapon markets. 
Acacia campylacantha. Confectioner's Gum or African Catechu. 
Ede (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Oyo, Borgu, Niger, and Nassa- 
rawa provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a very common tree, growing almost everywhere in 
groups. The stem is of a whitish to slight yellow colour, 
almost reminding one of the larch, but the whole tree is armed 
with short, sharp thorns. It reaches a girth of nearly 4 feet 
and a height of over 50 feet. The slash is light-brown, and a 
pale, yelloMish-pink gum exudes from it. The tree usually 
forks about 20 or 30 feet from the ground, the other branches 
being rather crooked in shape. In February or March a mass 
of small yellow flowers appear, and in the autumn small pods 
cover the tree. The sapwood is white, and the heartwood 
varies from a dull red-brown to a rich, almost rosy red. In 
the latter case it is exceedingly pretty wood. The wood is 
moderately hard ; it splits and planes badly, saws fairly well, 
and only takes nails indifferently. The wood dries rather 
harder and is more durable than when freshly cut and than 
would be expected. It is said to be termite-proof. A reddish 
colouring matter exudes from the heartwood, but this feature is 
typical of the cutch which is obtained from a similar tree in India. 

Natural regeneration by seed appears to be good, hosts of 
young trees being found near the older ones. In fact, in 
localities of low rainfall it is tending to spread and fill up all 
■v^acant spaces after the annual grass-fires have burnt all the 
vegetation. It is a light-loving tree which does not protect the 
soil. The leaves are not unlike conifer needles, and enrich the 
soil to a certain extent, more especially as the tree is deciduous. 

As a timber it has not been cut for export, but certainly 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 301 

the better-coloured wood, and that Avhich has been more slowly 
grown, deserve a trial. 

So far, the greatest use of this tree has been the production 
of the pink-coloured transparent gum which is one of the best 
of the confectioner's gums in Great Britain. Very large quan- 
tities are exported everj^ year from the Northern Provinces. 
Large round tears or lumps form on the stem of the tree 
when it is cut. Locally the tree is used for house-building, 
but it is not considered a durable wood. 

Leguminosse (Mimoseae). 

Acacia ataxacantka. Benin Rope Acacia. Ewon (Yoruba) ; 
Okwenkwen (Benin). 

A common creeper of the mixed deciduous zone. It is 
found in the Abeokuta, Oyo, Ibadan, Ondo, Benin, Warri, 
Onitsha, Owerri, Calabar and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 

It is usually found growing in large impenetrable masses 
3 to 4 feet high. It is armed throughout with short but very 
sharp, bent prickles. 

It often grows up in waste places where the bush has been 
cleared in the mixed deciduous forest zone. 

Both the Yorubas and Benis use the inside fibres of this 
creeper for making a very strong kind of rope — in fact, it is 
the strongest of all native-made ropes. It does not get so stiff 
or harsh as that made of Eso from the Firmania Barteri. 
Distemanthus Benthaniami (?) (Baill.). Alinyan (Benin). 

Found in the Benin province. 
Erythrina suherifera (Kew). Attagbo (Yoruba). 

It is a moderately common tree of the Abeokuta province 
of Nigeria. Its most distinguishing feature is the size of the 
leaf, which is similar to the tulip-tree. It reaches a much 
larger size than E. Senegalensis and has a girth of over 6 feet. 
The bark is a dark duck-egg-green colour, with a few white, 
shallow longitudinal fissures. The prickles on the stem are 
more scattered and much larger than those of E. Senegalensis. 
The slash is white and the bark thin when compared to the size 
of the tree. The wood is white and soft, and not durable. 
It cuts and saws easily, but does not plane well. It is a light- 
loving tree which does not protect the soil. It has not been 
cut for local use, nor for export. As a soft whitewood for 
interior use it ought to find a local market. 

Leguminosse (PapilionacesE). 

Erythrina Senegalensis (D.C.). Coral-flower. Ologun she-she 
(Yoruba) ; Esanigbakhehe, Ohehe (Benin). 

It is a common tree in the upper part of the Onitsha, Benin, 



302 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Ondo, Ibadan and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. One of 
the most tj'pical features of this small tree are the small, pink, 
coral-like flowers which appear in Februarj'. The tree is armed 
with a few thin but very sharp thorns ; the foliage is slight 
and open. On suckers or stool-shoots the leaf is much larger 
and almost lyre-shaped. It is usually found in waste places 
or in open clearings in the mixed deciduous forest. It yields 
a soft wood which is not durable. It is sometimes used for 
making fences. 

Tephrosia Ansellii (Hook). Boro (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 

Tephrosia Vogelii (H. K. F.). Fish-poison. Were, Igun, Laye 
Igu (Yoruba). 

This small shrub is apparently indigenous to Africa, but 
is usually seen planted in the fields of the Abeokuta, Oyo, 
Benin, Owerri and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. It is not 
unlike a large upright vetch, but with a strong, green stem, 
almost woody in growth. It reaches a height of about 3 feet 
and flowers very profuselj^ and bears a large number of pods, 
not unlike those of the runner bean. The plant is cut down 
and placed in the water where it is desired to catch all the 
fish, chiefly in stagnant pools of rivers or ponds. The effect 
of the poison from it blinds and stupefies the fish so that they 
are easily caught. Under the Game Preservation Ordinance, 
its use has been j^rohibited, but with its widespread culti- 
vation and general utility it has been found very difiicult 
to eradicate the custom or the plant. Incidentally it is a 
very good green manming crop for agricultural land. How- 
ever, most natives are unaware of this fact, and it is 
usually only planted for the purpose of using it as a fish- 
poison. 

Burkea. 

A species of Burkea was found near the Oyan River in the 
Oyo province of Nigeria. 

Lonchocar^ms sericeus. African Wisteria. Ipapo, Apapo (Yoruba). 
This tree is found in the Olokemeji, Ibadan, Ilesha and 
Calabar districts. It is a medium-sized tree, which bears lilac- 
coloured flowers. As the flowers appear before the leaves in the 
dry season, it is then very ornamental, and is in fact one of 
the prettiest flowering trees. The wood is very hard and 
the heartwood green when freshly cut. 
Timber. — This is not of much service. 
Uses. — Hoe-handles are made from the branches, and the 
bark is used in medicine. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 303 

LoncJiocarpus sji. Mamu Lonchocarpus. 

Found in the Mamu Forest. 
Lonchocarpus cyanescens. Yoruba Indigo. Elu or Ela (Yoruba). 

This is one of the intermediate forest climbing shrubs, 
but has been cultivated throughout the country. 

Uses. — The well-known Yoruba blue dye is made from the 
leaves. The stem is sometimes used for house-building posts. 
It is a shade -bearing, soil-improving tree. Natural regeneration 
appears to be poor. 
CcEsalpina Bonducella. Shayo (Yoruba). 

The bean of this creeper is used in games amongst the 
Yoruba boys. 
Mundulia suberosa (Benth.). Lakuta (Yoruba) ; Ugbehen (Benin). 

It is rather an uncommon tree, found in the Olokemeji 
Reserve of the Abeokuta province of Nigeria. It is a small 
tree, a part of which is used for killing fish. 
Indigofera hirsuta. Indigo. Epa ile (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Mamu Reserve of the Ibadan province 
of Nigeria. 
Indigofera stenophylla. Indigo. Aro Boro (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 
Pentaclethra macrophylla. The Oil Bean. Apara (Yoruba) ; Opagga, 
Ukpagga (Benin) ; Ataka (Ibo, Asaba) ; Opochala (Ibo, Niger). 

It is a large-sized tree, reaching a girth of about 12 feet 
and a bole length of 40 feet. The root spurns are very extensive 
and often reach 4 or 5 feet up the stem, thus quite breaking 
up the base of the bole. The bark at first is a light yellow- 
broAvn, darkening in old age to a deep brown, and scaling off 
somewhat. 

Chief Characteristics. — It has dense foliage and a heavy, 
branched crown, and very flat pods about 1 foot long and up 
to 2i inches broad, containing seven or eight large, flat brown 
beans about 1 inch in diameter and \ inch thick. The pods 
open with a loud report not unlike the sound of a 12-bore gun. 

Distribution. — It is found in the Lower Province of Nigeria, 
near the watercourses outside Abeokuta, Jebu, Ode, Benin, 
Onitsha, Owerri, Calabar and Ogoja. 

Silvicultural Qualities. — The tree grows readily from self- 
sown or artificially sown beans, as is seen in the Avenue at 
Benin City, which was sown at stake in 1904. It bears pods 
in the twelfth year in the open, but later in the forest. It 
is usually very prolific, bearing at least some pods every year. 
The bole is not always very straight, and it has a distinct 
tendency to form strong side branches, and the crown is there- 



304 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

fore a large oval one. The flowers are little yellow spike, 
which are very inconspicuous ; they are borne on the old wood 
rather on the underside of the twig, in November or December 
and later. The tree stands dense shade, and it thoroughly 
covers the ground and prevents the growth of weeds. 

It has a tendency to branch comparatively low down, 
when growing as an avenue tree, and thus does not grow 
so tall. This, however, has an advantage that the large pods 
have not so far to fall to the ground, and thus are not so 
dangerous to passers-by. The oil-beans have been collected 
and sold in England in small quantities. 

The sapwood is of a dirty white colour and the heartwood 
of a dark brown, forming comparatively early in the life of a 
tree. The wood is very hard, but sometimes rather soft- 
grained, rather fibrous in texture, and the pores are somewhat 
wide and deep. It does not plane well, splits with difficulty ; 
holes have to be made before nails can be put into it, and it 
saws none too easily. It is very durable and termite-proof. 
Considering its hard wood and comparatively early production 
of seed, and the huge pods, it is by no means a slow-growing 
tree. It reaches a height of 9 to 12 feet in twelve j^ears. The 
pod is the stoutest and largest, but not the longest, of all 
African timber trees. The beans are collected in boxes and 
sold to the factories at 6d. to 9d. each. To be made quite 
safe for eating they have to be boiled nearly twelve hours, 
the outer husk of the bean being rather hard, though not 
very thick. The future will alone show whether this tree will 
prove of greater value for timber or oil production. 

Uses. — The timber has been shipped to Europe and sold 
as greenheart at Is, 6d. to Is. 9d. per cubic foot. Locally, 
in the Benin City district and elsewhere, it is used for making 
mortars for beating yams and other food. The beans are 
eaten by the natives in most parts, though they are not con- 
sidered a delicacy. The empty pods are used where firewood 
is scarce, as they burn well. It is, and has been, very extensively 
used as a shade- tree for public roads in the Owerri district, 
as well as in Afikpo and Benin. Some people object to the 
falling pods, but it is an excellent shade-tree, especially in 
the dry season, as it is an evergreen tree. It is a soil- 
protector, and would do for underplanting or interplanting 
teak. 
Pterogopodium. Agba, Pink Mahogany. Asokale, Asu Kole 
(Ikale) ; Asre (Yoruba) (Egbado) ; Agba (Benin). 

The scattering of the white flowers on the path or road- 
way is an indication of the presence of the tree, quite apart 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 305 

from the wonderful bole, exceeding nearly all others in cylin- 
drical shape. 

Chief Characteristics. — It is a very large forest tree, with 
clear bole of 90 feet and open crown formed with two or three 
large, upspreading limbs, flatly oval on the top. It is quite 
reminiscent of an old elm in the shape of the crown. The single- 
seeded winged fruit is most tj'pical, no other species of Legu- 
minosese having a similar seed except the nearly related 
Pterolobium (?). The bark is comparatively thin, silvery-grej^ 
in colour, with a few more or less well-defined ridges running 
horizontally round the trunk here and there. These are most 
typical, and it is the only tree which shows them. In some 
places they amount to small nodules of bark. 

This tree is found commonly in the Benin and Ondo pro- 
vinces of Nigeria, where it is prevalent, and in the northern part 
of the Benin province, and seen in almost gregarious patches 
in the secondary forest. The slash is yellowish-white, and 
in the younger trees a dirty pinkish sap exudes, but later on, 
especially from deep cuts, the gum copal forms and gradually 
hardens into solid lumps of various size. 

Silvicultural Peculiarities. — It loves a deep soil with plenty 
of moisture, which may even be flooded or partially water- 
logged during the rainy season. A chalky or limy soil seems 
to suit it best. It is a fast-growing, light-loving tree, though 
it stands a little shade in its youth. The light, feathery foliage 
does not shade the ground, though when in falls it enriches 
it. The root spurns are most slight, extending only from a 
few inches to 1 foot above the surface of the ground ; in fact, 
sometimes the trunk appears to come straight out of the ground, 
like a round log on end. Natural regeneration is none too good, 
but this is chiefly due to lack of light in the mixed forests. 
No plantations have yet been made with this tree. 

It has not been exported, but it deserves a trial as a 
furniture-wood for drawing tables and office equipment gener- 
ally. It is sawn up into planks and boards at Koko Town, 
and contains a gum which makes the saws stick a little. It 
makes a good, soft wood for table tops, of a pinkish colour 
and clear, close grain. The gum is sold. 

Native Use. — It has been used for canoe making in the Ondo 
province. The gum is used for an illuminant, and was at one 
time used entirely for this purpose. In 1906 logs of this timber 
were sold in Liverpool market as a kind of mahogany of light 
colour. 
Prosopis oblonga. Yoruba Charcoal Wood. 

It is found in the Ibadan and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria, 
20 



306 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

and may yet be found in the Onitsha and northern part of 
the Benin provinces. On the whole, it is not common, and is 
seen singh'. Two typical specimens of this tree stand in the 
Olokenieji Reserve Arboretum. It has small, pinnate leaves, 
very much like tamarind, but they are almost silvery-grey and 
hang down, instead of being green and rigid, as the tamarind. 
The twigs and branches are very slight, compared to the thick 
ones of the tamarind. The bark of the trunk is grey, too, with 
thin cortex, which becomes slightly fissured in old age. The 
trunk is straight and tall, compared to tamarind. The crown 
is longish and thin, with a few small branches. It is somewhat 
feathery in habit and is delicate in build compared to most 
dry-zone trees. It is one of the most typical of dry-zone 
trees. The seed is small, about the size of apple-pips, contained 
in a papery pod, from 1 inch to I| inches long. It stands the 
annual grass-fires comparatively well, despite the fact that 
the bark is none too thick. 

Timber. — Hard, white wood, termite-proof and very durable. 
The bark is thin but rough, and small pieces can be pulled 
off with the fingers. It is a deciduous tree, though it does 
not lose its leaves for a long period. It is a light-loving tree, 
which does not protect the soil, though the leaves (few as they 
are) make a good leaf -mould. It is slow-growing, and does 
not reach a girth exceeding 5 feet. Natural regeneration 
appears to be poor, but further observations on this point 
may disclose more. No plantations have been made with this 
tree, though, with its desirable qualities, some experiments 
seem to be indicated. It does not sprout well from the stump, 
nor do any root shoots appear before or after it is cut down. 

It has not been exported, and has only been used occa- 
sionally locally. 

Use. — The timber has been used for sleepers in Togo, where 
it has proved the most durable of all timbers for that purpose. 
In the Yoruba country it has been used for making charcoal 
of the best kind for iron-smelting. 
Detarium Senegalense. Hard Mahogany. Ogwega (Benin). 

This is none too prevalent a tree of the Benin and Ogoja 
provinces, where it is found in the mixed forests. It reaches 
a girth of over 12 feet and a bole length of over 40 feet, but 
in proportion to its height, the crown usually occupies more 
than half of it. The crown is usually widespreading and 
spherical in shape. The fruit is like a mango in form, but 
after the surface begins to decay, the fibres, instead of being 
fine and all coming out from the central nut, as in the mango, 
spread out vein-shaped all round the nut, starting more or 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 807 

less as thick veins at the base, and then subdividing into 
thinner ones, spreading round the nut in an irregular manner. 
The decaying fruit has a most unpleasant, not to say dis- 
tinguishing, smell. However, this is more than compensated 
for bj^ the jsleasant taste of it when served as stewed fruit. 

The sapwood is whitish-yellow, and the heartwood brown- 
red. It is hard, with somewhat fibrous grain, yet planes up 
with a good surface. Takes nails, but does not split well. It 
is durable, and supposed to be termite-proof, except for the 
sapwood, which the white ants often destroy. It saws moder- 
ately easily. In older trees the wood sometimes shows a little 
figure. 

It is a somewhat slow-growing tree and a shade-bearer, 
with soil-protecting and soil-improving qualities. In fact, in 
most cases it is only found on comparatively rich soil, and in 
this respect appears to be more exacting than many other trees. 
Natural regeneration does not appear to be very good, but this 
may be due to the fact that animals eat the seeds. No plan- 
tations have been made of this tree. 

In 1906 samples of this timber were sold in the Liverpool 
market as mahogany at 2|d. per superficial foot, 3s. per cubic 
foot. It was reported to be of very hard texture, a dirty brown 
colour, and only one log sold. Since that date, however, none 
has been exported. It has not been felled for local use. The 
fruit can be stewed, and makes a nice addition to the other 
African fruits. 

Native Use. — The shell of the nut is used for making prayer- 
beads and strung on a wire. 
Druosia laxiflora. Shedun (Yoruba). 

Found in the Olokemeji Reserve and Ibadan province. 
Paradaniellia Oliveri. Ilorin Balsam, African Balsam of Copaivi, 
Balsam. lya (Yoruba) ; Osia (Benin) ; Ozia (Ishan) ; Ozaba 
(Ibo Asaba). 

Found in the dry zone of the Southern Provinces of Nigeria. 
A common tree, growing to a height of 40 or 50 feet. 

Use. — Balsam of Copaiba. 
Xylia Evansii. Bentpod. 

It is found in the Ogoja pi'ovince of Nigeria in the mixed 
deciduous forest zone, but it is by no means a very common tree. 

A medium-sized tree, with the curious bent-shaped pod 
typical of the Xylia, found in the Obubra and Ikom districts 
of Nigeria, on the left bank of the Cross River. It has a hard, 
red wood, which splits well. The sapwood is white, but not 
very wide in an average-sized tree. 

It is a slow-growing, shade-bearing tree, which thoroughly 



308 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

protects the soil and improves it with its leaves decaying year 
after year. 

The natives have not used the tree, nor has it been felled 
for local use by Europeans. It has also not been tried for 
export. 

Pandanacese. 

Pandanus candelabrum. Screw Pine. Ebbo (Benin). 

In some rivers of the Abeokuta, Ondo, Benin, Warri, Onitsha, 
Owerri and Calabar provinces of Nigeria it is a common water- 
shrub or small tree. Often it is seen only a tangled mass of 
long prickly leaves, armed with spikes all down each side and 
half floating in and above the surface of the water. Sometimes, 
again, it is seen as a tree with two or three more or less com- 
plete whorls of branches on the uppermost part of the stem 
and a mass of drooping leaves from the crown. The white 
stem is supported by several soft, corky-looking aerial roots. 
It seldom exceeds 2 feet in girth and 30 feet in height. The 
white flower is very conspicuous, with its cone-like shape, which 
becomes more pronounced as the fruit begins to ripen and turns 
green. The scent is very pungent and overpowering. The 
trees form almost impenetrable thickets at the edge of the more 
sluggishly flowing rivers. These often impede navigation and 
have to be cut away. 

The stem is very porous when dry, and cannot be said to 
yield timber, though the cork-like material might serve for a 
light substitute for it. 

Natural regeneration appears to be very good. 

The fibre has not been exported in any quantity, but it 
is very tough, and apparently very durable and of moderate 
length (average 3 feet). 

Native Use. — When dried the leaves are used for making 
mats for wrapping goods as well as for sleeping-mats. In the 
Benin and Jekri country, long (2 feet) thin receptacles are made 
which are used for salt, which is sold in these bags in the 
market. The bag keeps the salt dry. It is sometimes planted 
near villages in damp places for the purpose of obtaining the 
mat material locally, where it is not found naturally in the 
swamps. 

Humeriacess. 

Aubrya Gabunensis. Brass Mahogany-bark Tree. 

This is a very large forest tree of the Brass district, with 
a bark very similar to that of mahogany, but to which it bears 
no relationship. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 309 

The trees are sometimes cut down by the natives and used 
for large dug-out canoes. The timber is termite-proof, and 
the natives say that canoes made from this timber are very 
durable, though rather heavy, and liable to become water- 
logged when filled with water. It is of a dull reddish-brown 
colour and has rather a coarse grain, 

Rutaceae. 

Zanthoxylum Seneijalense. Dry-zone African Satinwood. Ata, 
Odan (Yoruba) ; Ughahan (Benin). 

It is found in the Ibadan, Abeokuta, Benin, Onitsha 
and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria, at the edge of the mixed 
deciduous zone and the lower part of the dry-zone forest region. 
It is only a medium-sized tree, attaining a girth of about 
4 feet and a height of about 50 feet. The bole always remains 
armed Avith short, woody protrusions, each having a black 
thorn at the apex. In the upper part of the bole and the 
branches there are only thorns. The pinnate leaf has usually 
three jjairs of pinna? and one end-leaf. All the leaves are broader 
and about only half as long as those of Z. macrophyllum. On 
the whole, this makes the foliage appear thicker, and, in fact, 
gives greater shade than Z. macrophyllum. In proportion 
the bole is shorter and the crown larger and more spread out 
than in the case of Z. macrophyllum. The bole has a greater 
tendency to divide lower down into three subsidiary stems, 
thus spoiling the length of it for timber. The bunches of 
small, black seeds are smaller than those of Z. macrophyllum^ 
and if anything the seeds are also smaller too. 

The timber is very similar to that of Z. macrojihyllum,, the 
sapwood and heartwood being the same colour, except that 
the heartwood is often of a little darker shade, and bears 
a greater proportion to the diameter of the tree than in 
the case of Z. macrophyllum. On the whole it is harder, 
and more often shows a little figure. Although it does not 
reach such a large size, in many ways it is superior, the 
grain being rather finer, and showing more sheen, and 
if anything it works up to a finer texture when planed. It 
is just as durable and termite-proof. It is a light-loving tree, 
but will stand a certain amount of lateral shade. Owing to 
the prevalence of grass-fires, it is slower-growing than Z. macro- 
phyllum, but if anything it shades the ground better, and 
considering where it usually stands, it is a slight soil-improving 
tree. Natural regeneration is fair. No plantations have 
been made with this tree. Samples of this timber have not 
yet been exported, though, as it is a sister tree to the West 



310 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Indian Satinwood, it ought to command a similar price. It 
has not been felled for local use. The natives occasionally 
cut it for house-building timber, but it is not at all popular, 
owing to its being armed with spikes. 
Zantlioxylum macrophyllum (Oliver). True Benin Satinwood. 
Atagbo (Yoruba) ; Ughahan, Okor (Benin). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ondo, Benin and Calabar 
provinces of Nigeria, in the mixed deciduous forest zone, 
where it is very prevalent, especially in old farms. 

Chief Characteristics. — It has a very large leaf, up to 6 feet 
long, with forty pairs of leaflets, each rather smaller than those 
of Z. Senegalense. There are no thorns on the branches, but 
many on the stem, which is thoroughl}' armed until old age, 
when most of the woody spikes drop off. It bears a large 
bunch of small, black, spherical-shaped seeds. It is a common 
tree in abandoned farms of the mixed deciduous forest zone. 
The thorns are more sharply pointed than Z. Senegalense and 
not so woody at first, but later form a thorn at the top of 
each wooden protrusion. One specimen found in the Olokemeji 
Reserve had very few wooden protrusions, each armed with 
a thorn, but there were larger leaves than Z. macrophyllum, 
though in all not quite so long. In old age the stem is almost 
smooth, and may reach a girth of nearly 6 feet and a length 
of over 30 feet. The crown is slender and broken up with 
three or four main branches. The base of the bole in old age 
is spotted with yellow lenticels. 

It is a light-loving, quick-growing tree, which does not 
protect the ground, and only to a certain extent acts with its 
leaves as a soil -improving tree. Natural regeneration is very 
good, and on the whole, at the edge of the evergreen and mixed 
deciduous forest zone, with the increase of farms it is tending 
to spread in greater numbers than before, and in some places 
groups of them are found, whereas in the original forest only- 
isolated specimens are obtained. No plantations have been 
made with this tree. 

The sapwood is light-yelloAv and the heartwood of a 
darker yellow shade. In quickly grown trees it is not very 
large, but in the older trees comprises more than two-thirds 
of the diameter of the tree. The timber is hard, fine-grained, 
planing up smooth in texture. It does not take nails well, 
nor split well, saws, however, cleanlj^ and occasionally shows 
a little figure. 

In 190G samples of this timber were sold in the Liverpool 
market as Sabicu at 2s. to 2s. 6d. per foot, and reported of a 
very hard nature. Since then, however, none has been cut 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 311 

or exported. Locally it has not been nsed in any form. It 
should be noted, however, that this is a sister tree of the West 
Indian Satinwood, and considering that it grows to a larger 
size than that one, the timber should demand a still higher 
price. 

Use. — In the Benin country the timber is used for making 
door-plates before putting dried clay on the top, and also used 
for doors. 
Zantfioxylum sp. n. Dwarf Satinwood. Boji. 

Chief Characteristics.— The friiit is a mass of red berries 
very similar to the Mountain Ash of Europe, but a small tree 
armed with a few scattered spines of short length, but not 
very woody, more in the nature of thorns. It attains a girth 
of 10 inches and a height of 15 to 20 feet. 

Distribution. — It was only found on the summit of the 
Boji Hills from an elevation of 4,500 to 5,000 feet, where other 
vegetation gave out and only grass grew otherwise. 

It has a very hard, yellow wood of the usual satiny nature. 
It made very good firewood on the mountain top. 
Zanthoxylum sp. (Kew). Pterocarpus sp. African Satinwood, 
Urueben (Benin). 

It is found in the Benin and Ondo provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a common tree near the banks of rivers in the ever- 
green forest. It is of medium -size, reaching a girth of about 
7 feet ; the bole is long (40 feet) ; the root buttresses reach up 
the bole about 3 feet. The stalk has a few prickles, especially 
when it is small, but they disappear in old age. The leaf is 
smaller than P. osun, but much the same as Akume, Pterocarpus 
sp. The habit is typical of a Pterocarpus and not of Zan- 
thoxj'lum. The bark is quite smooth and always unarmed. 
The fruit is ovoid and flat, with the seed at one end, rather 
different in this respect to Pterocarpus, and without the prickles 
on it. The slash is white, and soon red drops of latex-like 
fluid exude from the tree. The branches are upsprcading 
and the crown is large, though narrow, the bole being about 
two-thirds of the total height. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood is yellow when 
young and dark-red, like P. osun, when old. It is hard, but 
splits well. Termites attack it. It is cross-grained and stands 
a little bending ; otherwise it is brittle, when bent far. 

It is slow-growing and a light-lover. It likes a good soil 
which is moist and has depth. It docs not sprout from the 
stool. Seed reproduction is good, and the seedlings are found 
in the neighbourhood of old trees. It is a deciduous tree for 
three months in the year (dry season). 



312 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

It has not been cut for local use or exported to Europe. 
It is used for making shovels for mud-puddling in the building 
of Benin houses ; also for pegs in the walls of a chief's house. 
Toddalia sp. Oie (Yoruba). 

A climbing shrub common in Tropical West Africa. The 
fertile stamens are equal in number to the petals. Leaves 
digitate. 

Uses. — Condiments and medicine. 
Mgle Barteri. Calabash Orange. Shange, Bale (Yoruba). 

This is a small tree growing near the villages, cultivated 
for its shade and for medicinal purposes. The fruit looks 
like an orange, but the shell is hard and it is not edible. 
Clausena Amsata (Oliv.). Alapari, Obuko (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 

Simarubacese. 

Irvingia Barteri. Dika Nut, Wild Mango. Oro, Auro 
(Yoruba) ; Ogwi (tree), Okherli (seed) (Benin). 

It is foimd in the Abeokuta, Ondo, Benin, Warri, Onitsha, 
Owerri, Calabar and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 

With its smooth, shining, small dark-green leaves it is 
quite distinguishable from other forest trees. The very 
spherical shape of the crown and the short bole are also most 
typical of the tree. It is often found near river banks or in 
damp localities. Wherever found, it is usually preserved by 
the natives, though not actually cultivated or tended. 

The flower is inconspicuous, but the fruit is like a small 
mango, becoming quite yellow when ripe, though much harder 
and of a much sharper flavour. 

The wood is hard and durable ; the sapwood is yellowish- 
white and the heartAVOod yellow. It is impervious to white 
ants. 

The tree is a shade-bearer, especially in youth, but grows 
very slowly. Those planted near LeopardstoAvn, Calabar, 
were only 6 to 8 feet high after ten years' growth. It is true 
they received little or no attention and occasionally the grass 
Avas burnt near them. 

No regular plantations have been made, though one plot 
was planted in the Mamu Reserve in 1910. Further experi- 
ments in cultivation, and especially pruning and tending to 
see how early the tree will bear fruit, are worth undertaking. 
A method to increase the size of the fruit, and with it the size 
of the kernel, might be discovered and thus make it a profitable 
tree to grow in plantations. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 313 

Reported on by the Imperial Institute in 1904, and kernels 
worth £14 a ton then in London. 

Native Use. — House-building. The fruit is eaten, and then 
the nut is cracked and the kernel beaten up and served as 
soup. Fruit or nuts or both are sold in the markets of Benin 
and Yorubaland. 
Irvingia Smithii. Benin Dika Nut (?). Akwekwe (Benin). 

It is found occasionally in the Benin province of Nigeria. 
It is a tree with similar growth to Irvingia Barteri, but reaches 
a larger size, up to 12 feet. The bole length is also greater, 
40 feet. The fruit is larger than Irvingia Barteri, but of the 
same shape. It is rather uncommon in the evergreen forest. 
The crown is smaller and occupies only the upper third of 
the stem. The branches are larger, too, and of lesser number 
in proportion than Irvingia Barteri. 

The wood is yellow in the sapwood and brown in the heart- 
wood, and hard. It is hard to split. The heartwood is very 
small, being only about 1 foot out of a diameter of 4 feet. 
Termites do not attack the wood. 

It is a shade-bearer and grows slowly. It does not sprout 
from the stool, but reproduction by seed is good. The duikas 
eat the fruit. 

It has not been cut for local use nor exported to Europe. 

It is used, by tying four seeds together like Ogwega, for 
a game. The fruit is not eaten because it is not sweet. 
Irvingia sp. Pwekupweku (Benin). 

It is a common tree in the Benin province of Nigeria. It 
is a large tree, reaching a girth of 15 feet and very tall. The 
fruit is yellow, and large as an African mango, but with 
a very much sweeter smell and sweet taste. The branches 
are liattish, and so the crown is wide, with a long bole 
and shallow crown. It has a long, lanceolate leaf with 
insignificant veins. The wood is hard, with white sapwood 
and brown heartwood. * It grows on good soil, which is moist 
and deep in the evergreen forests. It is a shade-bearer and 
grows moderately fast. 

Native Use. — The fruit is used for killing rats after it has 
been cooked and mixed with palm oil chop. It is then 
given to them, and they at once fall down dead. 

Simarubaceae (Planch). 

Hannoa undulata. Whitewood. Igigun (Egba) ; Igbo (Lagos) ; 
Orisi (Igbado, Yoruba). 

It is found in the Calabar, Owerri, Benin, Warri, Ondo, 
Ibadan and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 



314 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

It is a very large tree, reaching a girth of 12 feet and a bole 
length of about 50 feet, which grows up very readih^ in old farms 
or clearings in the evergreen forest and lower parts of the 
mixed forests. It has a large, broad leaf, which is deciduous 
for about a month in the year. The flower, which is white in 
colour, is in the form of racemes (?). The bark is green, with 
grey streaks up and down, and the slash is white with yellow 
markings ; it smells sweet, too. The fruit is oblong and black, 
more like a plum. The spurns are very slight. 

The wood is very soft and white all through. It dries 
without warping, but if not cut properlj^ is liable to be attacked 
by small borers of the furniture kind. It planes with a smooth 
surface. It is very light, more so even than Musanga wood. 
The grain is fine, though such pores as there are, are long. It 
splits well and adzes well too. It shrinks considerably in 
drying, but this might be obviated by girdling and drj'ing 
very gradually in shade Avhen cut green. 

It is a very quick-growing tree, almost as fast as Ricino- 
dendron. It is a light-lover, and is rather intolerant of shade, 
except in its youth. It grows best from seed reproduction, 
as the power from the stool is very slight and soon dies back. 

It was sampled in 1912 at Degema, but has not been ex- 
ported to Europe. A trial as a wood for making pulpwood seems 
indicated. It is split up into flat pieces for doors and mantel- 
pieces, also for making the walls of temporary houses, each 
piece being set upright to the other, with any round edge on 
the outside. 

Burseracese. 

Pachylobus edulis. Native Pear (Ohan), Incense Tree, Elemi 
Gum. Ibagho (Yoruba) ; Onumu (Benin) ; Eben (Efik). 

It is found in all the Southern Provinces of Nigeria, chiefly 
as a planted tree in the neighbourhood of villages, and on the 
sides of the roads leading to them, being more prevalent in 
the Benin and Oban than the other districts. It is a medium- 
sized tree, reaching a girth of about 7 feet and a height of 
about 70 feet. 

The gum, which exudes when the tree is cut with a 
matchet, smells very much like incense when burnt, and is 
of a white colour. It is alwaj^s planted in the villages, partly 
for shade, chiefly for food, especially in the Oban country. 

The fruit is first of all a grey, and then a purple colour, 
and a very cylindrical plum shape, in all about 2| inches long 
and rather more than 1 inch in diameter. It is very much 
like turpentine to taste, especiall}^ when not quite ripe, and in 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 315 

the centre of the fruit there is an oblong nut rather more than 
1 inch in length, more or less round, with four ribbed edges, 
all culminating at the apex. The leaves are large, consisting 
of four to six pairs of pinnae, which are shiny and dark-green 
on the upper surface, and almost silver-grey underneath. The 
trunk is often very much cut about and chipped, and little 
pieces of the white gum are often seen in the old scars. It 
usually bears fruit heavily every year. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood is of a faint pink 
colour. It is not very hard, but more like mahogany in texture 
and character. Owing to its irregular growth and branching 
habit, it is often rather knotty and cross-grained. 

It is a shade-bearing, somewhat slow-growing tree, which 
only partially protects the soil, but on the whole improves 
it with its fall of leaves. Natural regeneration appears to be 
rare, chiefly perhaps owing to the fact that the natives pick 
the fruit even before it is quite ripe, and take it away to 
eat in their houses. It is usually planted by the natives as 
a transplanted seedling, about 3 feet high. Considering the 
poor flavour of the fruit, it is rather surprising that it is so 
widely planted and comparatively speaking so much tended 
by the natives in certain districts. It is moderately fire-resist- 
ing and dew-collecting, especially in the dry seasons, the ground 
in the vicinity of the trees often being quite damp with the 
condensed dew falling off the leaves. 

It has not been felled for export or for local use. The 
tree, however, provides grateful shade in the more open parts 
of the country', in the neighbourhood of villages. 

The gum has not been collected for export, but is con- 
sidered of value. However, no tapping experiments have been 
tried. 

Native Use. — The fruit is called a pear, and is liked by most 
natives, who eat it raw. It is sometimes sold in the markets 
at five for one penny. 
Canarium Schiveinfurthii. Pink Mahogany, Bastard Mahogan3^ 
Sometimes sold as Gaboon Mahogany or African Elemi. Anikan- 
tuhu, Ako, Ibagbo (Yoruba) ; Onuraukyukyu (Benin) ; also 
known as Ikwapbo. (The Benin name means Kyukyu or bird, 
Onumu or Incense-tree.) 

Chief Characteristics. — Evenly striated bark of orange to 
light-yellow colour, turning grey on exposure to full rays of 
the sun. The seed is small and similar to that of Pachylobiis 
edulis, but much smaller. 

Distribution. — A few in the Western, more in the Central 
west and south of Benin, and most common in the Eastern 



316 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Circle, especially north of Calabar, in the mixed deciduous 
forest zone, and to lesser extent in the evergreen forest zone. 

It is a large forest tree, with a girth of over 12 feet and a 
bole length of about 90 feet. Being more or less preserved 
by the natives when found in the forests, in clearing for their 
farms, it is often now seen on the roadsides. The slash is 
white, and as the roots beside the road are often cut by the 
natives, the yellowish-white gum exudes, forming a small 
white layer on the surface of the root. This has a most 
pleasant smell, and is not unpleasant to taste. It is closely 
allied to, if not much the same character as, the " Balsam of 
Tolu." The leaf is comparatively small, with three or four 
pairs of pinnce, and growing more or less in tufts, this being 
reminiscent of the Mahogany famih^ The root spurns are 
very slight, and in this respect it is more like the European Ash, 
and usually there are one or two main roots which spread 
out, down the slightly enlarged bole at the base. Other- 
wise the tree is one of the most cjiindrical in shape, falling 
away with the increasing height less than almost any other. 
It is a deciduous tree. The pores are very fine and rather 
longer than in the ordinar}^ mahogany, and the wood is not 
so sheeny. 

The sapwood is white, and in fast-grown trees often 6 inches 
through. The heartwood is of a delicately pink mahogany 
colour, darkening to a light-brown mahogany on exposure 
to the air and sunlight. It is not very hard, and splits fairly 
well. It planes up with a smooth surface. It saws well and 
also takes nails fairly well. It has very considerable elasticity. 
It is lighter than most kinds of mahogany. The logs will 
float as soon as at all dry. 

In youth it stands a good deal of shade, but later on it is 
on the whole a light-demanding tree. It is a fairly quick- 
growing tree, but tends to become very slow when left alone 
in the open. It needs a rich soil, but is also found on poorer 
land. It needs more moisture than many others. Although 
not a soil-protecting tree, the leaves yield a fair amount of 
humus in their annual fall. Natural regeneration is fair, but 
it is rather susceptible to fire, and much of it is thus killed. 
No plantations have been made of this tree. 

In 1906 a sample was sold in the Liverpool market as 
Gaboon Mahogany at Is. 6d. per cubic foot full measure, and in 
1907 sample logs of this tree were exported to the Liverpool 
market, where they were sold as light Benin Mahogany at 2d. 
per superficial foot. Since then none has been felled. 

The natives occasionally cut the tree for planks, and use 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 317 

the wood for making canoes, chiefly owing to its lightness 
and elasticity. 
Canarium sp. Rough-barked Canarium. Ekugbi, Ekugbo (Yoru- 
ba) ; Onuraukyukyu (Benin). 

Chief Characteristics. — A large tree, with larger fissures 
than C. Schweinfurthii, about 6 inches apart ; the bark is in- 
clined to scale off in between. The leaves are a little larger, 
but the gum is very similar and used for similar purposes. 

Distribution. — It was found in the Olokemeji Forest Reserve. 

It is deciduous for about three weeks in the year, chiefly 
November, but otherwise it is a soil -protecting and soil-im- 
proving tree. 

The tree has not been felled for export or for local use. 
Nor do the natives appear to have used it for any purpose. 
Canarium Mansfeldii. Gaboon Mahogany. 

This species is found on the banks of the Upper Cross River. 
Canarium sp. Oyife (Yoruba). 

Found in the Yoruba country. 
Canarium sp., syn. Schweinfurthii. Incense Tree. Anikantuku 
(Yoruba) ; Onumukyukyu (Benin). 

Found in the Ilaro district and Benin. 

Meliaceas. 

Carapa procera. Scented Mahogany Cedar, Crab Wood, Toulou- 
couna Oil. Efu lya, Abo-oganwo (Yoruba) ; Ibbegogo (Benin). 

It is a common tree, found in the Calabar, Ogoja, Owerri, 
Warri, Benin, Ondo and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a small tree, growing to a girth of about 6 feet. The 
pinnae and the whole leaf are both much larger than the 
mahogany leaf, even including that of grandifoUa. It often 
grows with a divided bole, two small stems shooting upwards 
from about 3 feet from the ground. The leaves grow in very 
distinct tufts on the edge of the branches. The bark is smooth 
and a light-green colour, with a few vertical uprights when 
the tree is old. The fruit is a large, roughly round, woody 
drupe. The covering shell dehisces into eight parts, releasing 
about twenty hard, brown, round-cornered, almost square 
nuts. The seeds are eaten by porcupines. It is found in 
the freshwater swamps in the evergreen forest and in damp 
places of the mixed deciduous forest. The timber is pink 
when freshly cut, and the heartwood has the red-brown typical 
of the Mahogany family. The small size of the timber rather 
militates against its reaching the high value of mahogany. 

The tree is a shade-bearer in its younger stages of growth, 
and even when older it still stands a considerable amount of 



318 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

shade. Self-sown seedlings are not often seen. Perhaps this 
is due to so many of the seeds being eaten by animals. The 
stump scarcely sprouts after it has been freshly cut. Con- 
sidering the size of the tree, a verj' fair number of nuts ripen 
each year. 

No use has been made of the seeds, though they yield a 
similar oil to that of the Crab Oil Tree of South America. 

In 1906 a sample of the timber was sold in the Liverpool 
market as Mahogany Cedar, scented, at 2|d. and 3id, per 
superficial foot. 

Native, Use. — The bark is used by pregnant Yoruba women 
and for sores and as a cough mixture. It is used underneath 
palm leaves as a roofing material in the Benin country. 
Khaya grandifolia, later grandis (Stapf.). Big-leaf Mahogany, 
Benin Mahogany. Akor, Oganwo (Yoruba) ; Gadeau, Og- 
wangu (Benin) ; Odala (Ibo Asaba) ; Digiten (Brass) ; Dirinshi, 
Diki (Ibo Owerri) ; Asamogo (Ibibio) ; Upono (Efik) ; Obon (?) 
(Oban, Ekoi). 

It is found in the Ondo, Benin and Ogoja provinces of 
Nigeria, at the edge of the mixed deciduous forest zone, 
where it is very prevalent in some places, such as at the edge 
of the Ifon Owo-Akure Road. 

Chief Characteristics. — It is a large tree of the mixed forests. 
It attains a girth of 14 feet and a corresponding height. It 
is, however, taller in proportion than K. Punchii. It has long, 
upward-tending root flanges, though not so large as those of 
K. Ivoriensis or the Coast Mahogany. The crown is open 
compared to the other Khayas, except K. Senegalensis . It has 
conspicuously large pinnate leaves, with three or four pairs of 
leaflets quite 10 inches in length, each leaflet being 4 inches 
long. The stem is smoother than K. Punchii, and in that 
respect more like K. anthoteka. The leaves of this species are 
the most shiny of all ; in fact, the others appear dull beside 
them. The bole, on the whole, is cleaner than K. Punchii and 
longer, though it forks or divides into a head in the charac- 
teristic Mahogany way. The shininess of the leaves is one of 
the greatest characteristics of this tree. The capsule is some- 
what larger than K. Punchii. It is also a little thicker, and 
the tip is not so long or sharp. It opens out into five segments, 
as a rule, but sometimes there may be only four. The seeds 
themselves are a little oblong in shape and not quite so square 
as in K. Punchii, although they are just as thin and flat. 

The timber is the typical Benin Mahogany, with somewhat 
long pores, first of all rather pink, then a rich mahogany-brown 
colour. Occasionally the sapwood is very wide in proportion 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 319 

to the size of the tree, but this is more in the case of very 
quickly grown trees. It sometimes shows yery rich figure 
of a " roey " nature as well as " fiddleback," more especially 
in the root buttresses. Here, owing to the storms to which 
the tree is exposed, the fibres of these buttresses become frac- 
tured and compressed, thus giving a broken and mottled appear- 
ance to the grain after it has been cut up lengthways. In this 
species the wood of the " curls " often shows a rather bolder 
roe than in the case of those obtained from K. Punchii or 
Ivoriensis. 

On the whole this is the most quickly growing of all the 
Khayas. In its youth it stands a certain amount of shade, 
and, in fact, always, but it would appear to demand a good 
deal of light for its full and quick development. It is a 
thoroughly soil-protecting and soil-improving tree. The leaves 
make a rich humus. Natural regeneration is good, and, in fact, 
appears to be much better than in the case of the other Khayas. 
It sprouts from the stump a little. It appears to be somewhat 
exacting as to soil, preferring somewhat deep, rich and moist 
sites. In plantations it has already found a place. It has 
also been planted, mixed with other species of Khaya, in the 
small nurseries, plantations and lines of trees made by the 
timber-lease holders. It does not seem to be attacked so 
severely by the leading-shoot borer as in the case of K. Punchii. 
Owing to the fact that the seeds usually fall on more open 
ground, it is not eaten so quickly by the little boring insects. 

The timber is being constantly exported and mixed up 
with the other species of Khaya. Being lighter, it floats 
higher on the water than the other species, more especially 
Entandrophragma. It has occasionally been used bj^ the natives 
for making canoes, as also for sawing up into planks. 
Khaya Punchii. Uhi Mahogany, Benin Mahogany. Oganwo 
(Yoruba) ; Ogwangu (Benin) ; Eggi (Ibo Asaba). 

This tree does not attain such a large size as either 
K. grandis or K. Ivoriensis, but it often exceeds a girth of 
12 feet and a bole length of 70 feet. The bottom log of a tree 
is often found to show figured wood. This is perhaps owing 
to the bark being constantly removed, and to the succeeding 
occlusion of the wounds following at different times, according 
to when the bark is removed. 

Chief Characteristics. — It has a comparatively small leaf, 
with five or six pairs of leaflets. It has slight root spurns, 
or protuberances, or even in some cases none at all. It is 
generally particularly rough at the base, owing to the bark 
having been continually removed by the local people. Higher 



320 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

up, the stem is covered with brown-coloured bark, which is 
slightly pitted. The leaves are in tufts, though to a lesser 
extent than either K. grandis or Ivoriensis. The large masses 
of small white flowers remind one of lilac. It is of the same 
white colour. It flowers in February, when it is also in new 
leaf. Compared with K. grandis it usually has a shorter and 
somewhat more curved bole. 

Distribution. — It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan and 
Benin provinces of Nigeria. 

The capsule is of medium size, splitting open into five 
segments which remain attached at the base. On the whole 
it is rather thinner than K. grandis or Ivoriensis, but does not 
come to such a sharp point as either of those two. 

The timber is very similar in grain and texture to the other 
Khayas, but if anything it is a little heavier and a little closer 
texture then either grandis or Ivoriensis, especially in those 
districts where it grows in the mixed deciduous forests, and 
where the base of the trunk is burnt with an occasional 
grass-fire. 

Although not quite so fast-growing as the other Khayas, 
it is a fast-growing tree with soil -protecting and soil-improving 
qualities. Natural regeneration is fair, though the little thin, 
flat seeds are very soon attacked by a little boring insect when 
they fall to the ground. However, when rapidly gathered 
after having fallen, they retain their germinative capacity 
for a greater length of time than in the case of the Entandro- 
phragmas. On the whole, if the locality is not too dry or fires 
too prevalent, this tree tends to widen its area of distribution 
with the spread of farms. The leading-shoot borer attacks 
this tree in its younger stages perhaps even more than the 
other Khayas, more especially when it is planted pure. In 
this connection it should be noted that this Khaya, as well 
as the others, is not gregarious in habit, being always found 
singly, though varying much in number per square mile. This 
factor rather indicates that pure plantations should not be 
made, or at any rate that it should only be planted in small 
groups mixed with other species, also in small groups, from a 
quarter to one acre in extent. In leased timber areas it has been 
planted mixed with other species. On the whole, it has not 
been exported so much as the other Khayas. It has been sold 
as Niger Mahogany. 

Value. — 3d. to 6d. per superficial foot from Sapoba, in the 
Benin province. The natives occasionally cut it for sawing 
into planks. 
Khaya anthotheca ?. White-barked Mahogany or White Mahogany, 





lis 



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25s 



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III 


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THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 321 

King of the Timber. Funfun (Yoruba) ; Ogwangu Nufwa, 
Ogigedu (Benin). 

Many specimens of this tree are found in the mixed forests 
on the banks of the Ovia River in the Ifon district of the Benin 
province, and also isolated trees near the banks of the Owena 
River in the Ondo province. 

The chief characteristic of this tree is the speckled white 
bark, which gives the stem generally a light, almost white or 
grey colour. The white patches in the bark occur irregularly 
scattered all round the bole, being chiefly confined to the lower 
half of it. In young trees the four very strong lateral roots 
show up prominently above the ground, leading away from the 
tree more or less at right angles and remaining above the 
surface of the ground for two or three feet. This feature to 
some extent persists even in old age, but then it is not so pro- 
nounced, as these roots tend to form more or less stout but- 
tresses similar to the others, but coming out more abruptly 
and forming a more shelf-like protuberance from the stem. 

The timber is supposed to be lighter, and of a lighter colour 
than that of the other Khayas. However, it appears to be 
only rather more of a pinkish -brown when freshly cut, taking 
on the typical mahogany-brown once it is exposed to the air. 
So far, it has always been sold mixed up with the other species 
cut in the same area, and realizes similar prices. It may 
perhaps have even helped towards the scoring of the higher 
average price of 6d. per superficial foot which was obtained 
from one area where this species is found. 
Khaya n. sp. Mahogany. Ogwangu (Benin). 

This was found in the Benin province of Nigeria. In the 
wood, it shows a considerable difference to the other Khayas, 
being a much lighter red-brown colour and of more open 
texture. 
Khaya Ivoriensis. Coast Mahogany. Obi, Oganwo, Akpakor 
(Yoruba). 

This species is supposed to be that from which most of the 
coastal mahogany is obtained, more especially in the more 
low-lying regions. The wood is of a richer and darker colour 
and somewhat heavier than that of the other species. The most 
typical feature, though, is the very sheeny nature of the wood 
and the very considerable size of the medullary rays, which, 
however, are not conspicuous, as in the wood from Nigeria. 
Khaya Senegalensis. Dry-zone Mahogany. Oganwo (Yoruba) ; 
Ogwangu (Benin). 

Chief Characteristics. — The tree has an open crown with a 
few upspreading branches, and apparently much less foliage 
21 



322 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

than its " confreres." The leaves are small, very grey, specially 
on the under -surface, giving them almost the character of 
Eucalyptus leaves. The bole is shorter than the other Khayas, 
with a slightly scaly bark and only a small thickening of the 
base and no root buttresses at all. The bark is darker than 
Khaya Punchii, though the scales are often grey. The capsule 
is almost frequently four-sectioned, though this is not an 
absolute rule, as other Khayas have been found bearing cap- 
sules dividing into three, four and five sections. It does not 
exude gum so readily as Khaya Punchii, and the gum is of 
a redder colour. Illustration No. 67 shows the lower part 
of the bole of a tree 10 feet in gii'th. 

Distribution. — It grows on the banks of the Ogun River 
above the Iseyin-Oyo Road, Ibadan province, Akure, Benin 
and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. It is found as one of the most 
prevalent trees near Obudu and in the Onitsha province north 
of Ogrugu. 

Timber. — It is of redder brown colour than either Khaya 
Punchii or grandis, and has a greater sheen. The texture of 
wood is a little closer, and, owing to the annual grass -fires 
burning the stem, is slightly figured. Logs could not be cut 
much more than 20 feet in length, owing to the bole not always 
being straight, though the large branches would make small 
ones and curls. 

Silvicultural Qualities. — It stands a great deal of drought, 
though in its drier area of distribution it is usually to be found 
near river banks. The seed keeps a high percentage of ger- 
mination for some months after being picked. It demands 
more light than either of the other Khaj'as, and grows freely 
from the beginning. It has also a greater tendency to branch 
than the other Khayas, but this may be due to its being 
attacked more by the leading-shoot borer than the other species, 
as more of these insects are found in the open than in the 
mixed forests. It is almost gregarious, as groups of trees 
are usually found together. 
Khaya sp. Orro (Yoruba) ; Geduloha (Benin). 

This tree is found in the Ilaro district of the Abeokuta 
province. There appears to be some doubt as to whether 
this is really a distinct species, but the fact remains that the 
wood is very much darker and of rather a duller colour than 
most of the other Khayas. It shows also a very rich, wide 
roe, and in this respect the wood is more valuable than that 
of many other species. It is somewhat similar to the best 
counter-top wood obtained from the Entandrophragmas. It 
does not appear to be a very common tree, but it attains a girth 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 323 

of over 12 feet, and the bole is straighter and considerably 
taller than most of the Khayas. 
Pseudocedrela Kotschyii. Dry-zone Cedar. Hard Cedar Mahogany. 
Emi gbegeri (Yoruba, Ibadan). 

It is found in groups and isolated specimens in the Ibadan 
province of Nigeria, in the dry-zone forest and at the edge 
of the mixed deciduous areas, more especially in the Olokemeji 
Forest. With its somewhat regularly fissured bark, showing a 
criss-cross pattern, it is distinguishable from the other dry-zone 
trees. The silvery pinnate leaves in tufts and the charred 
base of the stem, combined with the grey trunk, all help to 
identify it. The little mahogany-like capsule, covered with 
silvery hairs when unripe, is another feature. When these 
burst open, leaving the empty capsule on the tree for a time, 
there is no doubt about its being of the Mahogany family. 
In the distance the grey, almost silvery-coloured bark makes 
it stand out as compared to others such as Dwarf Ironwood 
or the Shea Butter Tree. Reaching a girth of about 6 feet 
and a bole length of 25 feet, it is one of the largest drj'-zone 
trees. 

The sapwood is pinkish-red, when fresh, and the heartwood 
a rich red-brown, darkening slightly on exposure to the light. 
It is harder than mahogany and heavier. The grain is closer 
and on the whole finer, but with a similar sheen. It often shows 
a little figure. It saws well, planes smoothly, takes nails, and 
has a good appearance in the plank. It is said to be termite- 
proof. It is considerably stronger than mahogany. 

Somewhat slow-growing, even from naturally growing 
root suckers, it is a light-loving tree, giving scarcely enough 
shade to protect the soil. In its youth it is a soil -improving 
tree. Natural regeneration is poor, root suckers being the 
strongest form of reproduction. It sprouts slightly from the 
stump, but not sufficiently for reproduction of a crop. A fair 
crop of seeds is found each year, but Usually, owing to grass- 
fires, much of this is destroyed. Plantations are being made, 
but natural growth has been encouraged in places, and gives 
further promise of better gro\vth. 

It has not been exported, but it is occasionally felled for 
local use. It is one of the most valuable trees of the dry 
zone. 
Entandrophragma utilis. Short-capsuled Mahogany, Sapeli or 
Heavy Mahogany. Ijebbo, Jebu, Ashuwole, Papala (Yoruba) ; 
Ogipogo, Ubilesan Onamakyuku, Plekkog© (Benin) ; Eplekgo 
(Jekri) ; Edem (Efik) ; Atori (Oban, Ekoi). 

This tree is found in the evergreen and mixed forests of 



324 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

the Ondo, Benin, Calabar and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 
It is one of the most common mahoganies of the forest, 
and reaches the largest girth of any of the African trees. 
The biggest of all showed a girth of 56 feet, measured 
above the top of the buttresses, and one which showed 
437 rings of growth had a girth of 52 feet, measured at 
20 feet above the ground. This one, too, yielded 15 logs of 
various sizes. 

The leaves are rather smaller and show the ribs rather 
more prominently than in E. cylindrica, but the growth, which 
is in tufts, is similar. It is deciduous for about three weeks 
in the year, in November, when inconspicuous flowers first 
appear and then the leaves. The capsule is about 3 inches 
long and nearly 1 inch in diameter. It is of the usual pen- 
tagonal shape, and there are five seeds, placed one over the 
other on each side of the central pentagonal core. The seeds 
are nearly square in shape, with a rounded back about an eighth 
of an inch thick. The wings are four times the length of the 
seed, making each about 2| inches long. The seeds lose their 
germinative power in about three weeks, and are always 
attacked by a small boring insect. 

The bole has comparatively slight root spurns, which ter- 
minate at about a maximum height of 20 feet from the ground. 
It is very straight, and may attain a height of 90 feet. The 
stem is, however, much more pitted than that of E. cylindrica. 
The bark is of a green to grey colour, very reminiscent at 
times of a beech-tree, especially at a distance. The crown 
is flatly spherical, being composed of a few very large limbs. 
The slash is white and brown ; the sapwood is white and the 
heartwood of a red-brown colour, with a very strong cedar- 
wood scent when freshly cut. Even when the wood is seasoned 
and freshly planed, this scent is very noticeable. It saws and 
splits easily, planes up moderately, and takes nails fairly easily. 
It is not termite-proof, but the most common attack is 
by a lymexylon, if the logs are left lying unsquared in the 
forests. Many figured logs have been obtained from this 
species of tree. In the younger stages, the sapwood is 
comparatively wide. Natural regeneration is very good in 
some places. The tree grows very rapidly indeed. In its youth 
it stands a certain amount of shade, but later on it is a light- 
loving tree. It is a soil -protecting and soil-improvhig tree. 
Isolated trees have been planted and small plantations made 
in various parts of the country. Planted under proper con- 
ditions and with favourable seasons, an average growth of 
6 feet in height may be expected. The young trees are occa- 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 325 

sionally attacked by the leading-shoot borer, but this is not 
very serious, particularly if a suitable mixture with other 
trees has been formed. 

This timber has been one of the main export products 
of the Sapeli and South Benin forests. The chief market 
for this wood was, previous to the war, in Hamburg. How- 
ever, from Hamburg, the markets of Copenhagen, Sweden, 
Finland, Russia and Austria were also supplied. Being 
almost half as heavy again as Khaya Mahogany, it costs 
more in proportion to bring over to Europe. Owing to the 
better and larger size of the logs which can be obtained from 
these huge trees, there was in these markets a greater demand 
for this timber for counter-tops than for Khaya timber. This 
to some extent counterbalanced the disadvantage of the extra 
weight. This timber was also considered of a duller colour 
and more liable to split than the Khaya wood. However, 
as many of the trees from which the largest logs have been 
obtained are mature, and over-mature, it is natural that the 
wood cannot be in a prime condition. 

The timber is very popular amongst the local people for 
the making of canoes and for house-building. 
Entandrophragma cylindrica. Heavy Mahogany or Cedar Mahog- 
any. Jebu, Oro, Issisi, Alepo, Alopa (Yoruba) ; Ikwabobo, 
Agiekpogo (Benin) ; Atore (Efik). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Oyo, Ondo, Benin, Calabar 
and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. It is one of the common 
mahogany-trees of the evergreen and mixed deciduous forest 
zone. It is the tallest of all African trees, the bole alone 
often attaining a height exceeding 100 feet. It is also one 
of the straightest and most cylindrical trees in Africa. The 
root spurns are very slight compared to the size of the tree, 
and do not extend usually more than 10 feet up the stem. The 
bark is smooth and not unlike the beech ; in old age, however, 
it becomes slightly pitted and the bark scales off in places. 
The crown is deeper and more spherical than in the case of 
Entandrophragma utilis. The ends of the branches are most 
conspicuous, with theii- most pronounced tufts of leaves. The 
leaf is often about 4 inches long, but in young shoots may 
attain a length of nearly 3 feet, with over thirty pairs of pinnae. 
The slash is white, with small, yellow, stone-like granules in it. 
The bark is thick. 

The capsule is nearly 6 inches long and an inch in diameter. 
It is similar in shape to that of Entandrophragma utilis, and 
opens in a similar way. The seeds are rather larger and the 
wings considerably longer. It is deciduous for about a week 



326 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

in November, when the flowers, which are of a light-greenish 
colour, appear, and then the leaves. 

The sapwood is white and comparatively wide, except in 
very old trees. The wood, when freshly cut, smells slightly 
like a red herring, and in colour is not unlike the flesh of 
kippered herring. 

The heartwood is of a red-broMn colour, rather dulling on 
exposure to the air and becoming a dark-brown colour. The 
pores are very long, much more so than either in the E. utilis 
or the Khaya genus. The timber splits well, saws easilj'-, and 
takes nails moderately well. It is not always easy to plane 
it down to a smooth surface. It has a distinct tendency to 
warp unless properly seasoned. It is not termite-proof, but 
the attacks of the white ants are slow. The sapwood is more 
commonly attacked by a lymexylon. For interior work it is very 
durable; sometimes it has a very prettj^ dull -brown wavy sheen. 

Natural regeneration is good in many places. Isolated 
trees have been planted and small plantations made in different 
parts of the country. The growth on the whole is even more 
rapid than in the case of E. utilis. In favourable localities 
it will exceed an annual height groAvth of 7 feet. Although 
it will stand a considerable amount of shade in its youth, it 
is more of a light-loving tree in old age. It is a soil -protecting 
and soil -improving tree. 

This is one of the chief mahoganies exported from the 
Benin and Sapeli forests, but it does not attain such an average 
high price as that of the Khaya genus. However, from all 
accounts it appears that the majority of figured logs have been 
obtained from this species ; this compensates to some extent 
the disadvantage of this being the heaviest wood of all the 
mahoganies. It often floats just level with the water, and has 
sometimes been known to sink. In pre-war days it used to 
fetch 4d. per superficial foot, and the best market for it was 
in Hamburg ; but, as also in the case of E. utilis, the wood was 
supplied to the markets in Austria, Russia, etc. It is common 
to make three logs each 30 feet long from the bole. Both 
this tree and E. utilis yield some of the best curls which are 
obtained from the mahogany. 

The local people used to be very fond of using this tree 
for making canoes, and I have seen a canoe over 80 feet long 
and having a draught of over 6 feet. It has also been largely 
used in house-building. 
Lovoa Klaineana. African Walnut. Abuwe (Yoruba) ; Ikwahobo, 
or usually known amongst the timber men and forest officers 
as Anamomilla in Benin, Apobo (Jekri, Ijor). 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 327 

It is one of the most prevalent trees on the banks of the 
Ogba stream in the Benin province, and it is also found in the 
Ondo, Abeokuta, Owerri and Calabar provinces of Nigeria. 

This tree grows to a large size, reaching a girth of over 
12 feet and a bole length of over 60 feet. The root spurns 
are slight compared to Mahogany, extending onh' from 4 to 
6 feet up the stem. 

Chief Characteristics. — The small, almost quadrangular-shaped 
capsule, which splits open with four sides and centre square in 
section with only eight seeds, two placed on each face, is 
about the size of a little finger. At its base the bole is not 
entirely circular in shape, but tends to form four distinct narrow 
small buttresses, giving it almost a quadrangular shape. The 
bark is a dark brown colour, which gets rougher with old age 
and scales off to a small extent. Compared to the size of the 
tree it is not very thick. In the younger trees it is quite smooth 
and more of a yellow-brown colour. The leaves are pinnate, 
with three or four pairs of pinnse. The four-sided capsule is 
a most typical feature of this tree, and distinguishes it from 
Entandrophragma. The leaves are of a dark colour. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood is a good walnut- 
brown, sometimes with very striking dark-brown or black 
streaks in it. The sapwood is comparatively narrow and the 
heartwood forms comparatively early in the life of the tree. 
The Avood is only moderately hard ; it planes well, and takes 
nails ; it saws easily, and splits moderately well. It is, however, 
attacked by termites, but not when used for interior work. 
It shrinks but little and does not warp very much. The grain 
is rather finer than that of the ordinary mahogany, but the 
pores are often much longer. It has a pleasant lustre, but tends 
to darken a little with age, especially when not exposed to the 
brightest light. The tree is a moderately fast-growing, shade- 
bearing species, with soil-protecting and soil -improving qualities. 
Natural regeneration appears to be moderate. It sprouts 
slightly from the stump. Seed years are none too frequent. 
The seeds themselves are soon eaten by boring insects when 
they lie on the ground ; even when picked up they soon lose 
their germinative capacity, and should be planted within a month 
of being gathered, as they are so liable to get dry. The tree 
is a little exacting in regard to soil, apparently demanding 
plenty of moisture, depth and a good deal of humus. No 
plantations have been made with this tree, but a great number 
of isolated trees have been planted by timber-lease holders 
in their areas. 

In 1906 samples of this timber were sold in the Liverpool 



328 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

market as African Walnut at Id. per superficial foot. Since 
then, however, the qualities of this timber have become 
better known, and it now finds a ready sale at rates varying 
from 2d. to 5d. per superficial foot. Although it is a mahogany 
by family, it is usual to sell it as African Walnut, as the colour 
and texture of the wood are very similar to walnut. 

Native Use. — In the Benin province it has been used for 
canoe-making. 
Guarea Thomjysonii. Cedar Mahogany, Cedar or Close-grained 
Mahogany. Sidu (Yoruba) ; Obobonikwi (Benin) ; Akpaku 
(Ibo Asaba). 

It is a large forest tree of the evergreen forest zone, 
attaining a girth of 12 feet, which is most commonly found 
in the Benin district of Nigeria. 

Chief Characteristics. — The trunk is dark-brown with 
smoothish bark, which has a tendency to scale off a little. 
The pinnate leaves are shiny and form very distinctive tufts 
at the ends of the branches, though not quite so much as in 
Entandrophragma. 

The fruit, which is quite soft, is a dehiscent capsule, of 
a dark brown colour ; when ripe, three black seeds covered 
with red pulp are released. The seeds are ellipsoid in shape 
and smaller than those of G. sp., Obobonufwa. The seed is 
nearly half an inch long and covered with white streaks follow- 
ing round its narrowest circumference. The crown is very thick 
and dense compared with G. sp., Obobonufwa. The bole length 
is shorter, and the shape of it is not so regular nor so round 
as that of G. sp., Obobonufwa. The crown is flatly spherical 
in shape, reaching fully a third of the total height of the tree. 
The flowers are yellow and borne in long spikes about 1 foot 
in length. 

The sapwood is white and the heart of a mahogany-brown 
colour, with a slightish red tinge when freshly cut, which 
rapidly goes a light brown colour, though not such a light 
brown as in the case of G. sp., Obobonufwa. It has a strong 
cedar scent when freshly cut, and even the old wood retains 
this scent when planed up afresh. The gi'iiin is flue, though 
a little fibrous. The pores are long and open. It has, however, 
a nice sheen, giving a better appearance than that of G. sp., 
Obobonufwa. It planes easily, but does not split very well. It 
takes nails fairly easily and saws without difficulty. It is 
not termite-proof. It has considerable tensile strength and 
elasticity. In proportion the heartwood is very large and forms 
comparatively early in the life of the tree. It has a closer 
grain than any of the mahogany of the Benin district. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 329 

The tree is a fast-growing one, at first shade-bearing, and 
later a more light-demanding species, with soil-improving 
and soil -protecting qualities. Natural regeneration appears 
to be fair, though the seeds are eaten by insects, and they do 
not appear to keep their generative capacity for a great length 
of time. It appears to be rather exacting as to soil, liking 
one with a fair degree of moisture, mineral content and of 
considerable depth. No plantations have yet been made of this 
tree, but isolated specimens have been planted by the timber- 
lease holders. It bears good crops of seed every few years. 

Owing to the comparative shortage of mahogany trees 
on some areas, this tree is now felled as a timber for export, 
and is sold as Scented Mahogany at 3d. to 6d. per superficial 
foot. Locally it has been cut for planks. 
Guarea sp. Cedar Mahogany, Scented Mahogany. Sida, Sendar, 
Odogbo, Akokogbo (Yoruba) ; Obobonufwa (Benin) ; Akpaku 
(Ibo Asaba). 

It is a large forest tree of the evergreen zone, attaining 
a girth of over 12 feet, which is most commonly met with in 
the Benin district of Nigeria. 

Chief Characteristics. —The bole is covered with smooth 
grey bark, which peels off very gradually in large pieces more 
like a plane ; it is sometimes relieved by patches of yellow or 
red lichens. It has tufts of pinnate leaves at the end of the 
branches. 

The fruit is a greyish-brown coloured, dehiscent capsule, 
which contains three large seeds covered with orange-coloured 
flesh. The seed is black, and wider and thicker than the G. 
Thompsonii, though the length is about the same ; this makes 
it flatly ovate. The seed is covered with white streaks in the 
same way as Guarea Thompsonii. The root spurns are narrow 
and extend further up the stem than in the case of G. 
Thompsonii, though in the younger trees the stem is very 
cylindrical. The silvery-coloured bark is most typical of this 
tree, thus distinguishing it most clearly from G. Thompsonii. 
It is very similar in appearance to Sideroxylon Aylmeri of 
Sierra Leone, so that indeed it ma}^ be a species of Sideroxylon, 
or even the same. 

It is found in the Ondo, Abeokuta and Benin provinces 
of Nigeria. 

The sapwood is white and narrow and the heartwood 
light-brown, rapidly darkening to a more mahogany brown. 
When freshly cut it has a strong cedar scent, which goes off to 
a certain extent when it is dry, but on planing the wood up 
again there is always a slight cedar scent. It is closer grained 



330 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

than G. Thompsonii, but it has not so much sheen. On the 
whole the colour is poorer. It is not considered quite so durable 
as G. Thompsonii, nor is it termite-proof. It planes well 
and saws easily, splits moderately well, and takes nails with- 
out diflficulty. It is of a very light colour for mahogany. It 
has a good, mellow texture. 

It is at first slightly shade-bearing, but later a light- 
demanding tree. It grows comparatively rapidly. It 
thoroughly protects the soil and enriches it with its leaf fall. 
Natural regeneration appears to be only moderate, perhaps 
owing to the fact that the seeds soon lose their germinative 
capacity or are eaten by animals. It appears to be somewhat 
exacting as to soil, liking one with considerable depth, 
mineral content and a fair degree of moisture. 

In 1906 sample logs of this timber were considered of a 
lower value than mahogany, and were sold as Scented Mahogany 
at 3|d. to 3|d. per superficial foot. Since that date the timber 
has been regularly shipped from the Benin district and sold 
as Scented Mahogany, and it is usually worth from 2|d. to 6d. 
per superficial foot. Owing to the comparative scarcity of 
large girth mahoganies [Khaya sp.) in some localities, it is being 
felled in increasingly large quantities. 
Trichilia Heudelottii. Rere, Ako Irere, Asana (Yoruba) ; Ovallo 
(Benin). 

It is found in the Abeokuta and Benin provinces of Nigeria. 

It has a smaller leaf than Trichilia sp., and is rather 
a smaller tree than T. Prietiriana. The heartwood is brown- 
red and very hard ; the sapwood is white. 

It is a slow-growing, shade-bearing, soil-protecting and 
soil -improving tree of the mixed forest zone. 

Occasionally it is used as a house-building timber, when 
there is nothing else available. 
Trichilia sp. Iseko (Yoruba) ; Ogiovalo (Benin). 

It has a larger leaf than T. Heudelotii. It is found in the 
Abeokuta, Ondo and Benin provinces of Nigeria. The heart- 
wood is brownish -red and the sapwood is white. It reaches 
rather a larger size than T. Heudelotii, attaining a bole length 
of about 15 feet and a girth of 5 feet. The seeds are very 
similar to those of P. Prietiriana. It is termite-proof. 

It is a somewhat slow-growing, shade-bearing, soil-protecting 
and soil-improving tree. Natural regeneration appears to be 
slight It apparently demands a good soil, and is found in the 
mixed deciduous forest. 

It has not yet been tried as an export timber, but it might 
be iisef ul as a hard mahoganj^ both for export and for local use. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 331 

Amongst the natives it is occasionally used as a house- 
building timber, the tree having a fork at a convenient distance 
from the ground. 
Trichilia Prieuriana. Awe, Eriagbo (Yoruba) ; Igogo (Benin) ; 
vSomabari (Oban, Ekoi). 

Chief Characteristics. — It is a dark-foliaged tree, usually 
found dominated in the mixed forest, with thin, scaly bark 
and thin, long leaves, with four or five pairs of pinnae. The 
seeds are reminiscent of Guarea. 

Distribution. — It is found in the mixed deciduous forests 
of the Abeokuta, Ibadan and Benin provinces of Nigeria. 

Timber. — It has a hard, red heartwood of close grain 
and white sapwood ; it does not shrink nor warp to any 
extent. 

It is a slow-growing, shade-bearing, soil-protecting and 
soil-improving tree. Natural regeneration appears to be poor, 
perhaps owing to the fact that the seeds decay very rapidly 
when lying in the ground. 

In the dry season the dew condenses very readily on this 
tree, and thus makes the ground very moist underneath. 

It does not reach really export timber size. It has not 
been used either for export or locall3\ However, for smaller 
constructional work it deserves a trial. 
Turrcea Vogelii. Asha omode (Yoruba) ; Ovioza (Benin). 

It is rather an uncommon tree of the Benin province of 
Nigeria. It is quite small, only attaining a girth of about 
2 feet. It usually stands in the shade as part of the under- 
growth of the evergreen forest. 

The natives have no particular use for it. 
Turnea heterophylla. 

This tree is found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria. 
It is a small tree which has been specially noticed in the Ilaro 
Forest Reserve. The Yorubas do not have any special use 
for this species of Meliaceae. It is considerably harder than 
either mahogany or cedar mahogany. 
Ekebergia Senegalensis (Juss.). 

It is a medium-sized tree found in the Abeokuta province 
of Nigeria. It is distinguished by its white flowers, and is 
found growing in the Olokemeji Arboretum. The leaves are 
large for Meliaceae, but the position of the flower-stalk and 
the bark are typical of this family. The natives have not 
used the wood thus far. It would make rather an ornamental 
shrub-like tree in a garden. 
Melia Azedarach. Bead Tree or Persian Lilac. Eke O^'^inbo 
(Yoruba). 



332 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

A tree found growing plentifull}'. It is of medium size, 
bearing a very ornamental flower. It yields timber, gum, oil 
and medicaments, and is also used in the preparation of 
liquors. The fruit is poisonous. 
? Mahogany. Onyemo (Benin). 

This tree is somewhat uncommon in the Benin province 
of Nigeria. It is closely allied to the African Walnut. It is 
apparently a mahogany, so far as the texture of the timber 
is concerned, and the grain is very similar too. It is a medium- 
sized tree with a bark less pitted than that of the Entandro- 
phragmas and with a more greenish tinge. The slash is white, 
the sapwood whitish-yellow and the heartwood light-brown, 
becoming darker on exposure to the air. It has occasionally 
been cut in Benin and used as mahogany. 

Polygalaceae. 

Carj)olobia lutea (Don). Oshunshun (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Abeokuta and Benin provinces of Nigeria 
A shrub-like tree. 
Poly gala arenaria. Okuturupu (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 

DIchapetaiaceae. 

Chailletia floribunda (Planch). Kukumarugbo (Yoruba). 

This is a small tree of the mixed deciduous forest zone. 
It is a shade-bearing and soil-protecting tree. 

The timber is hard and durable. Locally it has not been 
used to any extent, though it might find a place in temporary 
buildings as verandah-posts or window-frames. The timber 
is said to be termite-proof. The flowers are very conspicuous 
and quite enliven the forest with their bright colours. 

Euphorbiacces. 

Ricinodendron Africanus. African Wood Oil Nut. Erimado, 
Ekku (lb.) ; Funfun Puttuputtu (Yoruba) ; Okkwen, Okwen- 
seva (Benin). 

It is a large or more often medium-sized tree with smooth 
grey bark, rather thin branches in more or less whorls, and 
open crown. The fruit has two lobes, with one seed in each 
lobe. The leaf is digitate, with a varying number of digits, 
from three to five. The leaves are rather smaller and much 
thinner and finer in texture than those of R. Rantenii. The 
root spurns are smaller, and do not appear much more than 1 foot 
to 2 feet above the ground, nor do the roots themselves usually 
extend above the ground. It reaches a girth of about 8 feet. 







l^^^-^'^^ 





"2. — Forest on banks of Oshun River, looking downstream. Fig. "a.— Large Arere Tree (Triplochiton Nigeri- 

Oshun Forest Reserve. cum), already girdled and dead. 





74. — Forest on banks oi Oshun River, looking upstream, Oshun 
Forest Reserve, Jebu Ode District, 



< >. — Ride between Compartments C and D. 
Mamu Forest Reserve, Funtumia seedlings on 
either side, six to eight years old. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 333 

The timber is a little more closely grained than that of 
R. Rautenii, but otherwise very similar. On the whole the 
bole has a less good shape, tapering rather more in proportion 
to its height. The timber length of the tree does not usually 
exceed 25 feet. Natural regeneration is very good, though 
this tree does not bear seed so heavily as the sister species. 
It sprouts well from the stump, but the stump does not last. 
In its youth it will stand a little shade, but is really a light- 
loving tree, with soil-protecting, soil-improving qualities. It 
is not quite so rapid a growing tree as R. Rautenii, even though 
it is one of the quickest growing trees. It appears to like a 
moist, comparatively rich soil. 

In 1906 samples of this timber were sold in the Liverpool 
market as a species of mahogany. It is, however, probable 
that these were logs from a different kind of tree, as the 
wood is too dull a brown colour to be really like mahogany. 
Locally it has not been sawn up for planks, but deserves a 
trial as a box-making and pattern-making wood. 

Native Use. — It is felled indiscriminately with R. Rautenii 
and used for a similar purpose. 
Ricinodendron Rautenii. Yoruba Coffin Wood. Ekku, Puttuputtu 
(Yoruba) ; Okwen-seva, Okkwen nebo (Benin). 

A large tree, up to 12 feet in girth, with stout branches 
and roughly fissured bark reminding one of oak. The fruit 
is slightly three-lobed, containing three seeds. The leaf is 
digitate, with the number of digits varying from five to seven. 
The leaves are larger and thicker and with a rougher surface 
than those of R. Africanus. The crown is thicker, more wide- 
spread, and roughly spherical in shape. The roots usually 
come out of the ground near the base of the tree and form 
rough root spurns, extending 3 or 4 feet up the bole of the 
tree. The bole reaches a length of 30 feet. 

It is one of the commonest trees in the moist secondary 
forests and at the edge of the mixed deciduous forests in 
Benin, Abeokuta, Calabar. 

The timber of this tree was described as a " species of 
mahogany " and suitable for the Liverpool market in 1906. 

Native Use. — By the Yorubas it is cut down and sawn up 
into planks for making coffins. Mostly medium-sized trees 
are used for this purpose. None of the natives apparently 
know how to use the nuts. 
Ricinodendron sp. Species of Mahogany. Okwen seni (Benin). 

The African oil-nut, with four nuts in each fruit, appears 
to be the same, but this larger number of nuts is the specially 
distinguishing feature, and has been given a distinct name 



334 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

by the Benin people. It is, however, rather doubtful if it 
is really a different species from R. Rautenii. 

Native Use. — It is used in much the same way as the other 
two species. 
Uapaca Heudelotii. Mahogany. Yeye (Yoruba) ; Oyen (Benin) ; 
He (Bonny and New Calabar). 

It is found in the Owerri and Yoruba provinces of Nigeria. 
With its slightly curved trunk and large mass of widespreading 
aerial roots, extending almost to a quarter up the height of 
the tree, it is distinguishable from other trees of this zone. 
Usually found growing near water, or in regions that are flooded 
periodically. It sends out fresh red-coloured aerial roots. The 
leaves are somewhat shiny and give a greyish appearance in 
the distance. The bark is finely fissured and dark brown. 
Often covered with moss at the base. It attains a girth of 
about 10 feet and a bole length of about 25 feet. 

It is a somewhat slow-growing, shade-bearing tree. It 
protects the soil and enriches it with the fall of its leaves. 
Its mass of aerial roots tends to moderate the speed of the 
flooded river and holds the banks up, preventing corrosion, 
and in many cases tends to help the formation of higher and 
more solid banks, owing to the deposit of sand between and 
near the network of aerial roots. 

The timber is very similar to mahogany in grain, though 
a little harder. It has considerable elasticitj\ It is finely 
fibrous, and does not plane up with such a smooth finish, nor 
does it split well. It is termite-resisting and moderately 
tough. It saws with difficulty. The sapwood is stained with 
reddish colouring matter, and the heartwood is a dull red- 
brown. The pores in the timber are longer, and resemble 
mahogany in this respect ; though, being fibrous to the touch, 
the difference is shown. 

The timber has not been exported, nor has it been sawn 
up for local use. Occasionally it is used by the natives for 
house-building, and some of the crooked roots and branches 
are used as ribs for boats and building up canoes. 
Uapaca Guineensis (Much, and Arg.). False Mahogany. Abo 
Emido, also known as Yeye and Yere (Yoruba) ; Onye (Benin). 

Chief Characteristics. — Large aerial roots supporting the 
bole at a height of 8 to 10 feet from the ground. When 
cut, the slash is red ; the sapwood is whitish, tinged with 
the red colouring matter of the heartwood, which is a 
dull red. 

Distribution. — Banks of the Ogun, Olokemeji Forest Reserve. 

In most respects the timber is similar to that of Heudelottii. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 335 

On the whole, however, this species is a little harder than 
the other. 

This tree is somewhat slow-growing and stands less shade 
than the Heudelotii. It is of the greatest value, with its aerial 
roots, in protecting and increasing the height and stability 
of the river banks at the edge of the dry forest zone. It is 
one of the few trees that are not washed out of the banks in the 
flood season, and even when they do fall over into the river 
they remain attached to the bank and lessen the force of the 
current. Natural regeneration is none too good. 

The timber has not been exported, nor has it been felled 
locally for conversion into planks. Occasionally the natives 
use the smaller trees for house-building. They also consider 
the places in the rivers immediately near or overhung by one 
of these trees as the best localities for fishing. 
Bridelia micrantha. Yoruba Ironwood. Ira Odan, Asa Gidi 
(Yoruba). 

It is found in the Ibadan and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a small tree or shrub up to 8 feet high, with a large 
alternate leaf. The bark tends to be fibrous and can be stripped 
off in a similar way to the other Bridelias. 

The timber is very hard, moderately durable, and said to 
be termite-proof. Its small size and somewhat crooked nature 
hinders its more extensive use. 

It is occasionally of use for house-poles in temporary build- 
ings, and makes good firewood, giving intense heat. The leaves 
yield a rich humus and improve the soil. 

Native Use. — The bark is mixed with Hausa salts and then 
drunk with lime and water as an aperient. 
Bridelia Zenkeri, syn. atroviridis. Yoruba Ironwood. Asha, Asha 
ragha (Yoruba) ; Oviaruza, Assivi, Ogangan (Benin). 

It is a comparatively common tree of the Abeokuta, Oyo, 
Benin and Owerri provinces of Nigeria. The roughly fissured 
bark, scaling off in criss-cross fashion, in papery or fibrous 
layers, is most typical of the tree. The bole is short, seldom 
reaching a greater length than 15 feet. It is usually forked about 
this height and then spreads out, rather reminiscently of the 
elm. It yields the hardest wood of all the African trees, except 
perhaps Okuta (the stone). 

It is occasionally used for house-building by the natives. 
Bridelia stenocarpa. Benin Ironwood. Arasha, Asha, Aroro 
Ashasha (Ondo), Aiveygbo (Eg.) (Yoruba) ; Assivi (Benin). 

This tree is found in the Benin and Calabar provinces of 
Nigeria, where it is somewhat prevalent, but found always 
singly in the forest. In habit it is not at all unlike the wych 



336 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

elm. The leaf is of similar size and shape, the bark peels off 
in fibrous layers, but is otherwise fissured in lattice-work 
fashion. For the size of the tree the bark is comparatively 
thin ; the slash is light-brown, sometimes a whitish-grey. The 
sapwood is white and the heartwood is dark-brown and very 
hard. It saws well, but is almost impossible to split, and it 
will not take nails. It has a short bole of about 20 feet, is 
deciduous for a few days in the year, but is otherwise a soil- 
protecting and soil-improving tree. Samples were at one time 
on the way to be exported, but were sunk by accident, the 
wood, of course, being much heavier than water. 

The natives occasionally use it for house-building. 
Excoecaria sp. Orupa (Yoruba). 

It is a small tree, up to 18 inches in girth, with smooth, 
yellowish-red bark, and has maple-like seeds in pairs joined 
at the base. The stem gives a greyer impression than that 
of Ormosia laxiflora, and it is also much smoother. 

Distribution. — It is found in the dry-zone forest of the 
Ibadan, Abeokuta and Onitsha provinces of Nigeria. 
Timber. — Not very hard and of a yellowish colour. 
Native Use. — The bark and roots are used medicinally. It 
is sold in the Lagos medicine market. 
Antidesma venosum. Aroro (Yoruba). 

It is a small tree, about 9 feet high. Found in the Oloke- 
meji Reserve. 
Antidesma sp. Ogbamaton (Benin). 
Found in the Benin province. 
Tra^ia Manniana. Esisi (Yoruba) ; Ogangan (Benin). 

Found in the Ondo and Benin provinces. 
Microdesmis puberula (Hook.). The Benin Apata Wood. Apata 
(Yoruba) ; Ehranpata, Esanpata, Omomeran (Benin). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan and Benin provinces 
of Nigeria. 

It is a small tree with hard wood of a brown colour. It 
reaches about 15 feet high with a girth of about 12 inches. 

On the whole this is a slow-growing, soil-protecting and 
soil-improving shrub. It serves a useful purpose in the under- 
growth and is of local value as well. 

Native Use. — The wood is used for making the musical 
instrument known to the Benin as Apata, a kind of harp- 
shaped frame made of wire, but much smaller. 
Microdesmis sp. Essunsun, Ubelluname, Ubellunowe (Benin) ; 
Njorgora (Oban, Ekoi) ; Akiti (Ibo Owerri). 

It is a common tree of the Benin, Ondo, Ogoja and Calabar 
provinces of Nigeria. A medium-sized tree of about 6 feet 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 337 

in girth, attaining a bole length of about 40 feet. Its small, 
pretty five-petalled flowers fall off the tree and cover the path 
or neighbouring bushes ; their scent is very pleasant and is 
reminiscent of honey and flowers. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood light red brown, 
rather hard, of close grain and close texture ; it planes moderately 
well, but it is rather hard to saw and does not split. It is 
durable under cover, but does not last when exposed to the 
weather. It hardens very considerably when exposed to the 
air. The timber was used for verandah-posts in the Calabar 
district, but did not prove very suitable, as a large borer often 
attacked it. The timber is not absolutely termite-proof. The 
natives occasionally use the wood for house-posts. 
Phyllanthus reticulatus. Iranje (Yoruba). 
Found in the Olokemeji Reserve. 
Phyllanthus sp. Awe, Erigaba (Yoruba) ; Eghogho (Benin). 

Found in the Olokemeji Reserve. 
Cyclostemon. Oyen (Benin). This may be the same as Uafaca 
Hevdelotii. 

It is a medium-sized tree of the Abeokuta and Benin 
provinces of Nigeria. It has aerial roots and likes a damp, 
moist soil. It has red flowers which come out in February. 
It yields a hard, reddish wood, which is rather fibrous. 
Manniophyton Africanum. Ebumen (Benin). 

This is a small creeper similar to that known as Okwe by 
the Benis. 
Manniophyton sp. Okwe (Benin). 

This is a long creeper found in the Benin and Ogoja provinces 
of Nigeria. 

The nut of this creeper is most commonly seen in the cooked 
state in the markets, when it appears like a dark-coloured 
marble. The soft shell can be cracked between the fingers, 
and the hardish white nut is seen inside, being about 1 inch 
in diameter and very meaty. A few of these almost take 
the place of a meal. Thus far the plant has not been cul- 
tivated, the natives only picking the fruit as they find it 
in the forest. The fruit is four-cornered and contains one nut. 
Palissya cordata. Ipa (Yoruba) ; Unwonwen (Benin) ; Abo 
Asha (Ibadan). 

It is found in the Benin forest. A medium-sized tree, 
which might be examined with a view to being a source of 
dyeing material. 
Macaranga Barteri. Arasa (Yoruba). 

A small tree or shrub found in Tropical West Africa. 
Claoxylon Barteri (Hook.). Itakun, Okare (Yoruba). 
It has small flowers. Found near Ipetu. 
22 



338 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Anacardiaceae. 

Spondias lutea. Non-indigenous Hog Plum or Yellow Plum, 
lyeye, Akika Aka (Yoruba) ; Ogikan or Ogege (Benin) ; Nsuka- 
kara (Efik). 

Although indigenous to India, it has become very wide- 
spread in its area of distribution in Africa, Avhere it is found, 
partly planted or as a " garden escape," in all the Southern 
Provinces of Nigeria. It is a medium-sized tree, reaching a 
girth of about 5 feet and a height of about 50 feet. The very 
evenly and comparatively deeply fissured bark, in comparison 
to the size of the tree, is the most typical feature of it. A 
very open crown, and few straight upward- and outward-tending 
branches, with very slight side branches and twigs also dis- 
tinguish this tree from many of the forest trees. The little 
yellow fruit, about 1 inch long and f inch in diameter, is 
very much like an elongated Mirabel plum. It is between 
an eighth and a quarter of an inch of yellow flesh when the 
nut or stone is reached inside. The leaves are thin and pinnate, 
with ten to twelve pairs of pinnae on each leaf. Sometimes 
the bark is rough and almost prickly. The branches and cortex 
in smaller trees are more or less covered with little nodules 
which sometimes develop into small thorns. The fruit is 
sweet, but rather sharp to the taste, almost tart. It is, 
however, refreshing in the hot weather whilst on the 
march. 

The timber is whitish-yellow, not very hard, although it 
is scarcely attacked by white ants, chiefly perhaps owing to 
the fact that any green piece of wood with some bark on it 
will grow when lying on the ground. It planes well, splits 
easily, and takes nails. 

It is a rapid-growing, light-loving tree which does not 
thoroughly protect the soil nor enrich it very much with its 
foliage. Natural regeneration is poor. It is most readily 
propagated by means of cuttings, which may even be about 
6 inches in diameter and quite as long as posts. With the 
spread of farms and other buildings it tends to become more 
widely distributed over the country. It demands a moist soil 
with a fair amount of depth. 

The timber does not show such qualities as to justify its 
export, but occasionally the larger trees might be sawn up 
for planks for local use. It is very useful for making live 
fences, which grow fast and do not cast much shade. In fruit 
the tree also looks very pretty. 

Native Use. — The tree is used for live fences for gardens 
and farms. The fruit is eaten, but not to an enormous extent, 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 339 

as it is said to form tartar on the teeth. Amongst the Yorubas, 
parts of the roots and branches are used for axe and hoe 
handles. 
Spondias sp. Ekika Aja (Yoruba). 

This tree may be the same as Pseudospondias microcarpa, 

but it has only been determined from a specimen obtained 

from the Oshun Reserve. This is somewhat further south 

and in a moister region than the Pseudospondias microcarpa. 

Pseudospondias microcarpa. Okika (Yoruba). 

It is a somewhat rare tree in the Abeokuta and Ibadan 
provinces of Nigeria. Apparently there is a small-fruited 
tree of this species in the Olokemeji Reserve. The tree itself 
attains a larger size than S. lutea, reaching a girth of 8 feet 
and a bole of 20 feet. The growth is less free and the bark 
is much darker and more fissured than S. lutea. It has not 
been felled for export ; the natives have no particular use 
either for the wood or the fruit. 
Anacardium Occidentale. Non-indigenous Cashew Nut. Kaju 
(Yoruba). 

This tree has become a garden escape on the Ekoi plains 
near Lagos, where it forms dense thickets. It is not indi- 
genous to West Africa. The tree bears well, and the Brazilians 
resident in Lagos make a jam out of the fruit. The nuts are 
roasted and regularly sold in the market, to Europeans chiefly. 
The branches of the tree are sometimes lopped off and cut 
into short pieces for firewood. It is usually of very sprawling 
habit, with a short bole only 3 or 4 feet long. It is not found 
in the forest proper. 
Botanical name unhnoivn. Blacksmith's Charcoal Wood. Akkun 
(Yoruba) ; Azimommon, Onyenu (Benin). 

It is found in the Benin and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria, 
Obagie Reserve and Oyon River. 

It is a large tree, with large leaves and compact crown. 
It has a very small, berry-like fruit ; found growing on moist 
soil in the evergreen forest, sometimes found in the fringing 
forest of river banks of a dry zone. 

Timber. — The timber is very hard, grey in colour and perhaps 
flexible. The bark is rough and finely fissured. It is inclined 
to peel off. The slash is pink. The wood is very fibrous, and 
in the cross-cut section the pieces between the fibres look 
like very small i3inholes. The wood when freshly cut has 
a sweet, rather pleasant smell. 

European Use. — It has not, so far, been sold for export 
or local use. 

Native Use. — The stems of the small trees are used for axe- 



340 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

handles, and this tree is esteemed by the blacksmith for making 
charcoal. It is also cut into planks. 
Anacardia sp. Rat Poison Mango. Akkum (Yoruba) ; Pweku 
Pweku, Azemome (Benin), 

The Benin native name means literally " Rat-kill, rat-kill," 
but I have never been able to discover exactly how the 
poison is used. It is rather a rare tree of the Benin forest 
of the Benin province. It reaches a height of about 80 feet 
and a girth of 9 feet. It bears a large fruit about the size 
and shape of a good mango. This is certainly one of the best 
fruits of the native trees. It has a much sweeter scent than 
that of the mango, and the taste is also much sweeter. 
From experiments made it is not poisonous to chickens, goats 
nor sheep, but none of them, except the chickens, took it 
at all willingly. The fruit is said to be very poisonous to 
man, but its delicious flavour tempts the tasting of it. Cer- 
tainly, in very small quantities it is not poisonous, and it 
would be interesting to know in what quantities it is so. The 
slash is yellowish- white. The sap wood is white and the heart- 
wood of a dull brown colour. It is a hard and heavy wood. 
It saws with difficulty. It is a shade-bearing and soil- 
protecting tree. The natural reproduction appears to be poor. 

The timber has not been used locally, nor has it been sampled 
for export. 

Celastraceae. 

Gymnosporia Senegalensis. Shepolo-hun (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 

Icacinacese. 

Pyrenacantha sp. nov. Abara (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Epe Colony of Lagos, Nigeria. 

Sapindaceae. 

Lecaniodiscus cupanoides. Akika. Aka-Ishin (Yoruba) ; Utan-tan 
(Benin). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ondo, Warri, Ogoja 
and Calabar provinces of Nigeria, It is a small, shrub-like 
tree, reaching a girth of about 1 foot and a height of 15 feet. 
The leaves are very small, the timber extremely hard and 
cross-grained. The wood is used by the natives for rafters, 
hoe-handles and sometimes mortar-pestles ; the root is said 
to have medicinal properties. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 341 

BUghia sapida. Akee or Akee Apple. Ishin Ishin-oka (Yoruba) ; 
Ukpi nufwa (Benin). 

It is found in the Southern Provinces of Nigeria. It has 
an edible aril, which is yellow in colour. It is cooked before 
being consumed. It is a very ornamental tree, and bears 
fruit when quite young, which, being orange-coloured, looks 
very pretty amongst the green foliage. 

The fruit is more or less triangular in shape, and when ripe 
splits open up to the base, releasing three black nuts with a 
yellow aril. The fruit is orange-coloured with a pink flush. 
It is a medium-sized tree, reaching a girth of about 6 feet and 
a height of about 60 feet. The bark is smooth and grey in 
colour and comparatively thin. The crown is oval in shape 
and much more open than is the case with Phialodiscus sp. 
It has a moderately large pinnate leaf with two pairs of pinnae. 
The flowers are small and comparatively inconspicuous. It 
is found chiefly in the mixed deciduous forest zone. It is 
most frequently seen in the neighbourhood of villages, where 
it has probably been planted. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood brown, moder- 
ately hard, durable and termite-proof. It planes well, though 
occasionally it is cross-grained. The wood is of fine texture 
and has a certain amount of sheen. It saws well, but does 
not split easily. It takes nails only moderately well. It 
tends to darken a little on exposure to the air. 

This tree is moderately fast-growing, at first shade-bearing 
and subsequently light-demanding. It is also a soil- 
protecting and soil -improving tree. It appears to like com- 
paratively rich soil, though it may also be seen on poor ground, 
where it does not thrive. Natural regeneration is not good, 
chiefly owing to the fact that many animals eat the seeds, 
besides human beings. It will bear fruit in the fifth year, 
more especially from stump shoots. It sprouts well from the 
stump and stands a great deal of pruning. 

The timber has not been cut for export, and only occasionally 
has it been sawn up for local use. It is, however, worthy of 
further attention as a local building timber. As an ornamental 
tree it is worthy of a place in a large garden. With its open 
crown it is a comparatively clean tree, and does not harbour 
flies and insects. 

Native Use. — In places of timber scarcity it is occasionally 
used for house-poles. The aril of the fruit is eaten after being 
cooked, but apparently this custom is much more prevalent in 
the West Indies amongst the descendants of the African slaves. 
In many parts of Nigeria it is quite unknown as an edible fruit. 



342 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Phialodiscus sp. 1 . Bush Akee. Awewe, Ishin Oko, Isinko 
(Yoruba) ; Ukpi nikwi (Benin). 

Identified from a specimen in the Forestry Arboretum, 
Calabar. 

Chief Characteristics. — The capsule splits into three and 
allows three black seeds to escape, with small yellow aril round 
the base. The whole fruit and the individual seeds are much 
smaller than Blighia sapida, though, as the Benin name in- 
dicates, this is so similar that it is called the black variety 
of Ukpi. The fruit is triangular in shape, otherwise very much 
the same size as African Oak, Oldfieldia Africana. 

Found in the Calabar, Owerri, Benin, Ondo and Abeokuta 
provinces of Nigeria. 
Blighia sp. Ishin Oko, Oko Ishin (Yoruba) ; Ukpi nikwi (Benin). 

Distribution. — Ibadan, Abeokuta, Jebu Ode, Benin, Owerri 
and Calabar provinces of Nigeria. Probably same as 
Phialodiscus sp. 

Chief Characteristics. — The very insignificant white flower- 
spikes, hidden away amongst the leaves, but attracting numerous 
bees in February and March, characterize this variety. It is 
a medium-sized tree, with light-green foliage, thin, lanceolate 
leaves, a thin grey bark, smooth and close and oval-shaped 
crown, through which one cannot see. The capsule is dehiscent, 
with three black seeds with yellow arils, smaller than Blighia 
sapida, but otherwise quite similar in shape, except that the 
capsule is more triangular than that of B. sapida, and shorter 
also and of a dark brown colour. It is not unlike the fruit 
of the real African Oak, Oldfieldia Africana, except that this 
is quite spherical in shape. 

Timber. — White sapwood and light-brown heartwood, 
which is moderately hard. It does not plane well, and is 
sometimes cross-grained ; the texture of the wood is fine, but 
is a little fibrous. It saws easily, but does not split well. The 
bole being very cylindrical in shape, comparatively long, even- 
widthed planks can be cut out of it. 

It is a somewhat slow-growing, shade-bearing, soil -protecting 
and soil-improving tree. Natural regeneration does not appear 
to be good. It is somewhat exacting as to soil, and does not 
thrive in a moist sand. It is somewhat fire-resisting. In the 
dry season a good deal of dew is condensed on the leaves, but 
not so much as in other genera, such as Anona. 

The timber has not been cut for export, nor has it been sawn 
up for local use. It deserves, however, further trial as a local 
building timber. A specimen, from which the tree was deter- 
mined, stands in the forest region of Calabar. 

Use. — Native implements of various kinds. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 343 

Deinbollia primata. Oju Agbigbo (Yoruba) ; Ebegogogbo (Benin). 
It is a small, shrub-like tree found in the Abeokuta and 
Benin provinces. The small orange-brown-coloured seeds are 
of similar shape to, though smaller than, Blighia sapida ; they 
are, however, more elliptical. The stem of the tree, if found 
with the proper crook in it, is used for making hoe-handles. 
The leaf is pinnate. This tree only attains a small size, and 
is found as undergrowth in the mixed deciduous forest zone. 

Cupania akeesia. Small Ukpi nufwa. Ishin-jeje, Ishin-gege 
(Yoruba) ; Ukpi nufwa (Benin). 

This is a small, shrub-like tree, common in the Abeokuta 
and Benin provinces of Nigeria. 

Rhamnaccse. 

Zisyi^hus nmcronata (Willd.). Walking-stick Wood. Ekanesie 
adie (Yoruba). 

This is a shrub-like tree of the dry-zone forest, but does 
not bear such a nice fruit as that of Z. jujuba. 

Tiliaceec. 

GlypJieaGrewioides (Rook.). Atori (Yoruba); Uwenyriotan, Uwem- 
riotan (Benin). 

It is a small tree, not much more than a large shrub, with 
small leaves, and very common in the undergrowth of the 
evergreen forest. It is not a hard wood. 

It is found in the Benin, Calabar, Abeokuta, Ondo and 
Ibadan provinces of Nigeria. It is usually found as one of the 
smaller trees forming the undergrowth in the evergreen forest. 
It yields a strong, hard wood near the junction of the roots 
with the stem, though otherwise it is soft. 

It is a shade-bearer, and usually grows in a moist place. 
Reproduction by seed, judging by the amount of self -grown 
seedlings found, must be good. It thoroughly protects the 
soil and enriches it. It thus serves a useful purpose in the 
undergrowth of evergreen forests. 

Native Use. — It is used as a " Ju-ju " whip in Benin and for 
walking-sticks. Small stump shoots can also be used for yam 
supports and for making hoe-handles. 
Cistanthera sp. False Hill Mahogany. Oro, Apata (?) (Yoruba) ; 
Abolo (?) (Benin). 

It is found in the Abeokuta and Benin (?) provinces of 
Nigeria. It is a very common tree on the hill-sides of the 
Olokemeji Reserve, and to a lesser extent in the Ilaro Reserve. 
It is a medium-sized tree, reaching a growth of 8 feet and the 
bole length of about 40 feet. The bark is very curious, with 



344 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

occasional very small, long and narrow fissures and tiny pits 
scattered more or less a foot apart up and down the stem. It 
is almost gregarious in habit. 

The timber is a red-brown colour with a white sapwood. 
It is very similar to mahogany and could probably be sold 
as such. It is moderately durable. A tree which fell down 
in the Olokemeji Reserve during 1910 was not absolutely 
unsound in 1915. 

It is apparently a slight shade-bearer and rather slow 
grower. Reproduction by seed is evidently rather doubtful, as 
few or no self-sown seedlings are found in the neighbouring forest. 
It has not been cut for local use, nor for export, though sample 
logs should be tried on the Liverpool market to test its value. 

The natives use the roots for medicinal purposes, but they 
do not use the timber. 
Grewia carpinifolia. Itakum Okere (Yoruba). 

Olokemeji. 
Grewia tetragastris. Ora-Igho (Yoruba). 

It is a shrub, reaching a height of about 5 feet, of the mixed 
deciduous forest in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria (Oloke- 
meji Reserve). 
Triumfetta rhomboidea. Boko pupa, Akobolobolo, Ilasa omodo 

(Yoruba) ; Nesuwa (Benin). 
Triumfetta cordifolia. Esura (Yoruba). 
Triumfetta sp. Apiko (Yoruba). 
Corchorus acutangulus. Abo-jaga (Yoruba). 
Corchorus olitorius. Eyo, Ganbe (Yoruba). 

These are common plants in the Ogoja and Abeokuta 
provinces of Nigeria. 

They yield long-stapled fibre worth about £27 a ton. Owing 
to the fact that they grow wild and are not cultivated by the 
natives, the difficulty is to be able to collect sufficient quan- 
tities in one locality to pay for the cost of retting, baling, etc., 
to make the fibre production a paying proposition. 

Malvaces. 

Hibiscus esculentus (F.). Okra or Achro (fruit). 

In most provinces of Nigeria. 
Hibiscus Greivioides. 

Yoruba country (?). 
Hibiscus quinquilobus (C. Don). Onegozi (Benin). 

Benin. 
Sida carpinifolia (Linn.). Oshopotu Dudu (Yoruba). 

It is found in Abeokuta province of Nigeria, and is used 
by the local people for making fibre. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 345 

Urena lobata. Bolobolo Fibre. Bolobolo (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 

It is a comparatively well-known fibre-plant, but has 
not, however, been cultivated, the natives having many 
other profitable crops to grow. 

Bombacaceae. 

Eriodendron Orientale. White Silk-Cotton Tree, Blind Wood or 
Kapok, Cotton Tree. Araba, Eggun (Yoruba) ; Okha (Benin) ; 
Ukum (Efik) ; Akbo (Ibo, Asaba) ; Shakka (Brass). 

It is a common tree in all the Southern Provinces of Nigeria, 
though it is not found in the most northerly part of the drier 
ones. With the exception of a few scented mahoganies, this 
is the largest African forest tree. Its huge root buttresses 
reach up over 20 feet from the ground. Its giant limbs, as 
thick as an ordinary tree-trunk, stretch out almost 100 feet 
from, and are supported on, the great column of the bole, often 
itself over 100 feet high. Large muscular-like protrusions 
join up the limbs with the trunk and the latter with the root 
buttresses, giving the tree a peculiar look. The flowers are 
white, with yellow stamens. The fruit is a soft, oblong, de- 
hiscent capsule, opening when ripe and releasing black seeds 
about twice the size of B.B. shot. Attached to this seed is 
a ball of white fluff. This last is known commercially as Kapok. 
At the time of the bursting of the capsule of this tree the whole 
air near by appears filled with white flakes, and the ground 
later is white as if after a fall of snow. It is almost the quickest 
growing of all the African forest trees. It grows in the ever- 
green forest as well as in the mixed deciduous forest. 

The timber is white and soft and inclined to have little 
yellow streaks. When dry it is brittle, though very fibrous 
to cut when fresh by either axe or saw. It soon rots when 
exposed to the weather. Natural regeneration by seed is good, 
especially on the banks of rivers. It tends to extend its area 
of distribution with the clearing of the heavy forest area in 
making farms. It is a light-demanding tree. 

In Germany, before the war, African Kapok found a ready 
sale at about 9d. per pound. Samples of Kapok were sent 
to England and were valued at less than those of the East 
Indian variety. 

The timber has been used as a " blind " wood for furniture, 
and had a regular market at Hamburg before the war. It has 
been tested in England for pulp-making, but the fibre is stated 
to be too short, and so it is of no use for this purpose. 



346 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Native Use. — The Kapok is used for stuffing pillows, for 
which Is. apiece is charged. Large oblong pieces of the root 
buttresses are used as native doors and as drying slabs for 
fresh dyed clothes. Whenever timber fails it is used for fishing 
canoes (the cheapest kind). 
Eriodendron anfractuosum. Cotton Tree, similar to Orientale, 
Araba Eggun (Yoruba) ; Okha (Benin) ; Shakka (Brass). 

Was determined from Western Province material, but it 
is doubtful whether it is a different species from that found 
in other parts of Nigeria. 
Bomhax reflexum. Red-flowering Cotton Tree. Ponpola, Lauro 
(Ibadan, Yoruba) ; Obokha (Benin) ; Onihokha, Benin (when 
in flower) ; Titiro (Egbado). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ondo, Benin, Owerri and Ogoja 
provinces of Nigeria, where it is often seen in the mixed forests 
and in clearings in the evergreen forest zone. 

Chief Characteristics. — It has a larger leaf and thorns than 
the other Buonopozense (?) (Onikokha of Benin). The most 
typical feature is the very thick, tulip-like red flower of this 
tree. This falls to the ground, and is seen on roadways and 
pathways, indicating the presence of this tree. In February 
or March, when the flowers appear, the tree is bare, so that 
the bright-red flowers make it all the more striking. The tree 
is smaller than the Eriodendron Orientale, attaining a girth 
of about 12 feet and a bole length of 50 feet. The root spurns 
are much slighter, in most cases scarcely amounting to small 
buttresses. The cortex is more soft and spongy than E. 
Orientale. 

The timber is white, very soft, not quite so tough nor fibrous 
as E. Orientale, but rather more porous. It planes more easily, 
dries rather better, splits with less difficulty than E. Orientale, 
and saws with less trouble. 

It is a very fast-growing, light-loving tree, which does not 
protect or enrich the soil very much with its leaf fall. Natural 
regeneration appears to be fair, though, considering the enor- 
mous number of flowers almost each year, it is surprising 
that the tree does not spread more rapidly in new clearings 
in the forest. 

The timber has not been tried for export nor for local use. 

The bark, roots and leaves are used amongst the Yorubas 
for medicinal purposes. The bush deer eat the flowers, when 
they fall : the Benin native says if he does not call the tree 
Onihokha, the deer will not come and eat it. 
Bombax sp. ?, Bombax buonopozense 'L Ponponla (Ibadan, Yoruba) ; 
Obokha, Onihokha (Benin). 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 347 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ogoja and Benin 
provinces of Nigeria, in the mixed forests, where it is not very 
common. 

Chief Characteristics. — Compared to Bombax reflexum it 
has a smaller leaf, smaller thorns, but not so many on the stem. 
It has a similar red flower, opening, however, much more 
widely. It reaches about the same size as the Bombax. 

The timber appears to be very similar in most ways to 
B. reflexum. It has not been felled for export, nor has it been 
used for planks for local use. Occasionally the leaves are 
used for medicinal purposes. 

There appears to be some doubt as to whether this is really 
a separate species from that of B. reflexum. It is, however, 
sufficiently different to be considered quite a distinct variety, 
though perhaps not actually a different species. 
Adansonia digitata. Monkey Bread, Baobab. Ose (Yoruba) ; 
Usi (Benin). 

It is a moderately common tree in the Onitsha and Abeo- 
kuta provinces of Nigeria. Isolated specimens are also found 
elsewhere. The most typical feature of this tree is the huge 
thick trunk, tapering up into the branches, out of all proportion 
to the length of these and the twigs. These are much thicker 
than the branches and twigs of other trees. The green, 
elongated spherical-shaped fruits hang by a stalk, giving the 
tree the appearance of one decorated for a Christmas festival. 
The leaves are truly digitate and not unlike those of the cotton- 
tree, though they are thicker and darker in colour. The bark 
is very thick, spongy and fibrous, and of a light-grey colour. 
The bark, seeds and roots are used medicinally. The fruit 
is eaten in time of scarcity. 

The fibre is used in England for paper-making. 

Sterculiaceae. 

Sterculia Rhinopetala. False Chestnut. Ekko Okpon, Orodu or 
Orodo (Yoruba) ; Enwiwan (Benin) ; Otutu (Jebu) ; AwTaw 
(Egbado). 

It has a smooth, light-green bark, which remains soft, but 
is whitish with age. The wood is white and soft, and appar- 
ently there is no difference in the heartwood. It has a small 
seed with a wing on each side of it. For external work it is 
not durable, but when seasoned for internal fittings, such as 
doors or ceilings, it is more useful. 

It is common in the Oyo, Benin, Calabar and Abeokuta 
provinces. It is found in the mixed deciduous forests, espe- 
cially in the Mamu and Ilaro Forest Reserves. Also, wherever 



348 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

it is found there is a comparatively large number, though it 
is not gregarious in habit. 

It was stated to be of no commercial value in the Liverpool 
market in 1906, but in a subsequent report it was said to be 
worth Is. to Is. 6d. a cubic foot, as walnut, though there must 
have been some mistake in the name. 

Native Use. — The mushrooms which grow on its stem after 
it is cut down are used for soup. These are known as Epweperu. 
Sterculia tomentosa. Okagbo (Yoruba) ; Ukpiwenwan (Benin). 

This tree is found in the Abeokuta and Benin provinces. 
It reaches a height of from 40 to 50 feet. The fruit is ripe in 
December and January ; it is kidney-shaped and covered with 
a dense collection of very fine reddish hairs. It grows in 
clusters. 
Sterculia sp. Iwu (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria and is a 
medium-sized tree which yields a white wood which is none 
too hard nor soft. 
Sterculia tragacantha. African Tragacanth. Owun, Omunu, Omar, 
Ogidu (?) (Yoruba) ; Oporipor, Iporipor, Okoko (Benin). 

Chief Characteristics. — It shows a brown slash when cut. 
The bark is very fibrous and the white sapwood is full of large 
open pits, which gives the wood the appearance of being entirely 
fibrous. It yields a pink-coloured gum, which hardens after 
a few days. It bears large oval-shaped leaves, which tend 
to be bunched at the end of the twigs. The pods are less than 
half the size of Sterculia cordifolia and are covered with light- 
brown velvety hairs on the outside. These pods open, making 
each appear coracle-shaped, with eight to ten small brown 
seeds attached to the bottom rib of the pod. The foliage looks 
almost grey-white from underneath. The bole of the younger 
trees is greyish-white and usually for 30 to 40 feet free of branches. 
It reaches a girth of about 8 feet. The wood is white and 
softish, planes easily and works up to a neat finish. Silvi- 
culturally, the tree stands between the light-lovers on one hand 
and the shade-bearers on the other, although it is usually seen 
growing comparatively free from other than natural shade. 
It does, in fact, stand a considerable amount of shade in the 
younger stages of growth as well as later, when it may be over- 
grown by larger growing trees. It is usually found in groups 
at the edge of the forest. 

It sprouts again from the stump, but almost each year 
large crops of seeds are borne on the tree, and this would seem 
to be the chief method of reproduction. 

The tree has not been cut for local use, nor has it been 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 349 

exported. The Yorubas and Benis use the smaller trees as poles 
for house-building, but it is not considered a good wood. 
Sterculia cordifolia. Heart-shaped-leaved Sterculia. Okporoporo, 
(Akure) ; Ogugu, Ogungun or Ogrugru, Oburuburu (Yoruba) ; 
Idogoho, Okoko, Okokwo (Benin) ; Dikir (Efik) ; Ibitoto 
(Bembi). 

Distribution. — It is found in the Jebu Ode, Abeokuta, 
Ibadan, Benin, Onitsha, Owerri, and Calabar provinces of 
Nigeria. It is one of the most common trees in the mixed 
deciduous forests. 

Chief Characteristics. — The large heart-shaped leaves and 
the curious twist to the lower part of the stem, which makes 
the root protuberances quite angular. It is never quite 
straight and forms a heavy oval crown. 

The very large, oval, soft, almost fleshy, dehiscent pod, 
with its large winged seeds, is most typical of this tree. The 
crown is supported by three or four large limbs with com- 
paratively few side branches. The foliage is very dense, though 
even in a tall tree the individual heart-shaped leaves show 
up quite distinctly. It is almost gregarious in habit, usually 
groups of four or five being found in one place. It is nearly 
always found on the banks of small streams which may dry 
up in the dry season. It is a shade-bearer, though moderately 
quick in growth. The wood is cross-grained, and emits rather an 
unpleasant smell when cut. The sap wood and the heartwood 
are both white, with a reddish tinge through it. It is soft, but 
becomes much harder when dry. It sprouts from the stump 
when cut down. Reproduction by seed is moderate. It has 
not been used locally, nor has it been exported. The 
natives in the Benin and Yoruba countries use the butt of 
medium-sized trees, especially those with a fork, for house- 
building. It is not attacked by white ants. 
Sterculia nr. ohlonga. Opepe (?) (Yoruba) ; Orodo (Benin). 

It is a common tree of the Benin province of Nigeria, found 
in the evergreen forest. 

It is a question whether this species is the one with a very 
hard, leathery, half-dehiscent pod, showing about ten orange- 
coloured oblong seeds inside it. These seeds have sometimes 
been termed Okoko by the Benis, but they are, no doubt, 
not obtained from the fruit of Sterculia cordifolia. These 
seeds also are not winged, and are comparatively fleshy and 
soft compared to the dry, rather hard, large winged seeds of 
Sterculia cordifolia. 
Sterculia cinerea. Tartar Tree. Lakole (Yoruba) ; Ururata 
(Benin). 



350 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

It is rather an uncommon tree of the Benin province of 
Nigeria. It is found at the edge of the mixed deciduous forest 
with the dry-zone area of vegetation. 
Firmania Barteri. Rope Tree, Eso or Esho (Yoruba) ; Akoko, 
Nihau(?) (Benin). 

It is a large tree with duck-egg-green bark and an uneven 
buttressed base, with a bole length of 30 or 40 feet and a girth 
up to 12 feet. 

Distribution. — It is one of the most prevalent trees in the 
Olokemeji Reserve in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria, and 
found all through the mixed forests of the Western Circle 
and also in the Obubra division of the Calabar province, but 
it has so far not been found in the Benin province. 

Use. — A fibre, worth £14 to £20 a ton, is made from the 
bark of young trees attaining 3 inches in diameter. 

A most conspicuous tree in October and November, as it 
is covered with small red flowers and is leafless at the time. 
It has a papery fruit with a small round seed attached to the 
base. These fruits are also most conspicuous in February 
and March, making the tree look as it were covered with red 
flowers for a second time. The large, poplar-shaped leaves 
with comparatively long stalks often tremble in the slightest 
breeze in a similar way to the aspen. The wood is soft, white 
and fibrous, with no distinguishing colour between sapwood 
and heartwood. It splits comparatively easily, though, once 
it is dry, with difficulty. It is easy to plane, though difficult 
to obtain a smooth surface owing to the grain often being 
twisted. The light seeds almost float in the air, the result 
being that they are spread everywhere, and thus come up 
chiefly in the open spaces and at the edges of rides and roads, 
almost to the detriment of any other species. It is one of the 
fastest growing of all the African trees, and being a light-lover 
as well, rapidly covers all the available ground. In fact, in 
the mixed deciduous forests it tends to gain in its area of 
distribution year by year. In an enumeration in the Olokemeji 
Reserve, instead of finding a few thousand trees, as in the case 
of most species, hundreds of thousands of this one were found. 

The branches of the young tree grow more or less in whorls 
at right angles to the trunk, and, combined with the compara- 
tively large leaves, thoroughly cover the ground near bj'. 
Stump sprouts grow after a tree has been felled, though natural 
reproduction by seed is by far the most prevalent method. 
It has not been felled for local use nor has it been exported. 
The Hausas living in Nigeria cut down the small trees (saplings 
1 to 2 inches in diameter), peel off the bark, dry it, and spin 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 351 

it into rof)e, which is used for tying loads of Cola or other 
produce. When freshly made it is soft and pliable, but 
when it is dry the fibre becomes very harsh and rather difficult 
to tie. 

The wood is used for floats for fishing on the Niger. 
Heritiera sp ?. Oviegikwe (Benin). 

It is found in the Benin and Ondo (?) provinces of Nigeria. 

The tree is large, reaching a girth of about 12 feet. The 
seed is papery and full of air, so that when trodden upon it 
collapses. The leaf is of medium size, more or less pinnate. 
The timber is white and soft ; termites attack it. It has not 
been exported or used for local buildings. 

Native Use. — The leaf is used medicinally, and the timber 
is used for making drums (the frame) by hollowing out the 
trunk of a tree. It is also used as walls for a temporary house 
(when dried or not) ; for this purpose it is split in pieces. 
Heritiera sp. ?. Igoso (Benin). 

It is an uncommon tree of the Benin province of Nigeria. 
It is found in the evergreen and mixed deciduous forests. 
The fruit is considerably smaller than Oviegikwe. 

The natives apparently have no use for this tree. How- 
ever, timber obtained from trees of this genus has proved so 
useful and durable that a trial of the wood of this species seems 
advisable. 
Triplochiton Johnsonii (Ch. Wright). African Maple, Bush Maple. 
Arere (Yoruba) ; Obechi (Benin). 

This is one of the common trees of the Abeokuta, Ondo 
and Benin provinces of Nigeria ; it is found in the mixed 
deciduous forest zone, more especially in the moister regions 
of these forests. Like T. Nigericum, it is one of the largest 
of all the forest trees, reaching a height of over 120 feet and 
a girth of 25 feet. The leaf has five lobes, and is thus dis- 
tinguishable from T. Nigericum, which has seven. The bole 
is long and clean and most cylindrical in shape ; the buttresses, 
as a rule, do not reach such a great height as in the case 
of T. Nigericum. On the whole the bark is smoother and, 
especially in the younger specimens, almost shiny. The flowers 
and fruit are very similar to T. Nigericum. 

The timber is white, both heartwood and sapwood, and 
shows a considerable amount of elasticity ; rather liable to warp 
when seasoned. It works up well and takes a satiny sheen. 
The grain is comparatively fine — in fact, a little finer than that 
of T. Nigericum ; the pores are long and very narrow ; it 
works up well with a plane, takes nails easily, does not split 
well ; it saws with great ease ; it is not termite-proof. If freshly 



352 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

cut and placed under cover, it suffers most severely from the 
attacks of a very small weevil which reduces the wood to a 
fine powder ; it is noticeable that when the timber is entirely 
dry the surface hardens very considerably and it is less liable 
and almost immune from attack. When thoroughly dry the 
wood weighs 35 pounds per cubic foot. 

It is a very rapid-growing, at first slightly shade-bearing and 
of recent years an eminently light-loving tree. It has soil- 
protecting and soil-improving qualities. Natural regeneration 
appears to be very good. Self-sown seedlings show a height- 
growth of over 6 feet per year. It likes a moist soil, which 
need not be very rich, but it must have considerable depth. 
It is rather liable to be blown by the wind or sometimes broken, 
if in an exposed locality. 

Locally it has been used for boxes and other articles, which 
have proved quite durable ; it has been used as inside planking 
and other interior work, and so long as it is carefully seasoned 
it does not warp very badly ; it is probable that it is one of 
those timbers that would yield better results by kiln drying. 
In the Central Circle it has been sawn up as planks for a con- 
siderable time, but they have been attacked to a great extent 
by a small weevil. The local people use the bark for making 
roofs and the wood for doors for their houses. 

In 1906 sample logs of this timber were sold in the Liverpool 
market as Satinwood, but were not considered equal to Anyeran 
(Afrormosia elata). Since that date no more trial shipments 
have been made, so it remains to be seen whether under the 
altered conditions and the pressing demands for timber in 
Europe a market cannot now be found for the vast 
quantities of this timber from Nigeria and other West African 
countries. 
Triplochiton Nigericum. Soft Satinwood. Arere (Yoruba) ; Kpa 
(Efik). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ondo, Owerri and Calabar 
provinces of Nigeria ; it is a common tree of the mixed de- 
ciduous forests. One of the distinguishing features of this tree 
are the maple-like leaves. This species has seven lobes to the 
leaf ; the leaf itself is softer and almost velvety compared 
to the true maple leaf. The lobes themselves are not quite 
so sharply pointed and the leaf stalk is considerably thicker. 
The fruit also is very much like that of the maple, but is a 
quadruple samara instead of being only a double one. The tree 
is one of the largest of the whole forest, reaching a height under 
favourable conditions of nearly 150 feet ; the bole alone may 
reach a height of 90 feet with a girth of over 20 feet. The 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 353 

trunk is very cylindrical in shape, showing a well formed 
figure, but not so good as either that of Agba or Gum Copal. 
It is only broken up by the root buttresses, which often reach 
10 to 12 feet from the ground before they merge into the stem ; 
the bark is grey, sometimes almost white and almost smooth ; 
in old age, shallow fissures sometimes form. The slash is 
greenish-white, and a little watery sap moistens the cut after 
a short interval. The crown is ovally spherical and occupies 
over one-third of the height of the tree. The flowers are 
mottled pink and white. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood is the same colour, 
with no great distinction between them except the greater 
dryness of the heartwood. The timber is soft and not 
durable, and is not termite-proof ; it does not split very 
well, saws easily, and planes fairly well and takes nails 
comparatively well ; does not plane up to a very smooth 
surface. 

It is a very rapid-growing, at first shade-bearing, 
and during the last few years a light-loving tree ; it has 
soil-protecting and soil-improving qualities. It is deciduous 
for a short time each year ; flowers in February or March, 
and the seeds are borne towards the end of the rainy 
season. Natural regeneration is very good ; it sprouts very 
strongly from the stump. It is really somewhat exacting as 
to soil, liking a moist soil of good depth and with plenty 
of drainage ; it will not stand in waterlogged ground, 
though an occasional flood does not hurt it. Plantations 
have been made with this tree, and the growth thus far has 
been very rapid ; self-sown seedlings, however, show greater 
development in the same period of time. 

Locally, the root flanges are used for making doors and 
occasionally the tree has been cut for planks ; it is said that 
the timber is not supposed to be quite so durable as that of 
T Johnsonii, but in reality there is very little difference between 
them. 
I'riplochiton n. sp. Bush Maple. Obechi (Benin). 

This tree was found in 1906 in the forest near the Anwai, 
not far from Onitsha Olona, in the Asaba district of the Benin 
province, and is very similar in habit and growth to the other 
two species. 
Buettneria. Obechi (Benin). 

Benin. 
Pterygota. Poroporo (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria. It is 
not very prevalent in the mixed forests of the Olokemeji 
23 



354 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Reserve, and is a large tree, 8 to 10 feet in girth. The wood 
is said by the natives to be durable. 
Cola cauliflora (F.). Cola Mahogany. Isienwe (Benin). 

It is common in the Benin province of Nigeria, in the 
mixed deciduous forest zone, where it is not very prevalent. 
It is a medium-sized tree, reaching a girth of 6 feet. 

The seed is a small nut. The leaves are very dark and 
are comparatively large. The bole reaches a length of about 
20 feet. 

The sapwood is whitish and the heartwood of a red-brown, 
similar to mahogany. The texture is, however, not quite so 
fine and a little more fibrous. It planes fairly well and takes 
nails fairly easily, but it does not split well. It is durable 
and is said to be termite-proof. It is a somewhat slow-growing, 
shade-bearing, soil-protecting and soil-improving tree. Natural 
regeneration is only moderate, and it sprouts slightly from 
the stump. It is somewhat exacting as to soil, and is usually 
found in a loamy sand, with plenty of moisture and depth. 

It was valued at 2d. to 2^. a superficial foot as mahogany 
of fair character in the Liverpool market in 1906. But since 
then no more has been felled or exported. 

The natives use it as firewood in the Benin country. It 
has not been felled for local use. 
Cola laurifolia. Laurel-leaved Cola. Foma (Yoruba). 

It is an uncommon tree, found in the Olokemeji Reserve 
of the Abeokuta province of Nigeria. A small tree with small 
flowers. 
Cola acuminata (Beauv.). Common Cola. Obi Abata (Yoruba) ; 
Eve (Benin). 

It is a common tree of the Calabar, Ogoge, Owerri, Warri, 
Benin, Ondo, Ibadan and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

It is the ordinary Cola of the Benin villages, but it is also 
found in the forest. In other parts of the country it has 
been planted along the sides of the roads leading into Egbado, 
Jebu, Ode, Ondo, Ikale and Ilesha villages. 

Always standing in the shade and with a heavy evergreen 
foliage, the cream-coloured flowers with a pink streak on each 
petal show up very clearly when the tree comes into bloom 
in February or March. According to the native ideas, the tree 
must never be pruned, nor, in fact, should it be cut either 
partially or wholly under any circumstances. However, in 
passing to and from their farms, boys and young men often chip 
the trunk of the tree with a matchet. This, they say, has the 
effect of making it produce more fruit ; otherwise the tree 
always looks very dirty, and often the trunk and the branches 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 355 

are covered with epiphytic ferns or orchids. Occasionally, 
once a year or once in two or three years, the branches of the 
trees standing nearest to a Cola are cut away and the ground 
immediately surrounding a Cola tree is cleared of undergrowth. 
The crop of fruit borne varies very much from year to year. 
One j^ear a native may make a pound or so from his Cola tree, 
whereas in another he perhaps makes very little. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood a dull whitish- 
yellow. It is moderately hard, very close grained and of fine 
texture, with a dull lustre ; is moderately durable, but is liable 
to be attacked by a very small furniture borer. It is termite- 
proof. It planes well, does not split easily, takes nails and 
saws well. It is apparently an excellent wood for carving. 
It does not shrink nor warp very much. It is more durable 
for interior work than for outside, where it is liable to get soft 
and to crumble away. It is sometimes brittle ; it does not 
burn well. 

Native Use. — The fruit is eaten and is used as an article 
of export both to the Northern Provinces and also to the Con- 
tinent. The wood is used for making " Ju-jus " (Esu — the 
Devil) (Images of the King) ; otherwise it is not cut in the 
Benin country. 
Cola Afzelii. Monkey Cola Tree. Obidu, Obiedun, Ebidun (Yoru- 
ba) ; Awohebitan (Benin). 

The brilliant red fruits, about twelve joined together in 
a spherical bunch, are usually quite a feature of the small tree. 
The leaves are digitate, but joined at the base, so in reality 
only a single leaf. It is a much-branched tree with yellowish- 
grey bark. The crown is much divided, and sometimes the 
branches almost appear as if in large whorls. 

It is found in the Oyo, Abeokuta, Ondo, Benin, Owerri, 
Calabar and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 

The wood is white and softish and not durable. It is most 
common at the edge of the evergreen forest. It attains a 
girth of about 6 feet and a bole length of about 15 feet. It 
is a light-lover, though it stands a considerable amount of shade 
in its youth. 

Native Use. — The wood is used for the stock of a cross-bow 
in the Benin country, and the seeds are eaten at any time. 
Cola sp. Obiedum (Yoruba) ; Ewoha (Benin). 

This is a comparatively common tree of the Benin, Abeo- 
kuta and Ondo provinces of Nigeria. It is the original Cola 
of the forest ; a medium-sized tree with the typical Cola 
foliage, found growing singly. It does not appear to bear 
very heavily, and apparently in some places the local people 



356 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

utilize the fruit, while in others they saj^ it is of no value. It 
appears to be a whiter and softer Cola than that of the other 
species, and it does not seem to have such a strong flavour. 

The timber is hard and white ; it is a shade-bearing and 
soil-protecting tree. Natural regeneration appears to be poor. 

The wood is occasionally used by the local fetish-maker 
for certain types of fetish in the Benin country. It is con- 
sidered the most suitable and, in fact, the only wood for this 
purpose. Although the ordinary Cola which is planted may 
not be cut, this species is not immune, but it is certainly con- 
sidered most proper if only the image-maker cuts it. 
Dombeya Buettneri. Ewe ofo (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria, especially 
in the Olokemeji Forest Reserve. It is a small, shrub-like 
tree, varying from 7 to 15 feet in height. The bark is fibrous. 
In 1908 samples of the fibre were submitted to the Imperial 
Institute for valuation. Owing to its being rather harsh, woody 
and weak, it was stated to be worth from £7 to £8 a ton. 

Ochnacese. 

Ochna multiflora. Canoe Tree. Uruk (Efik) ; Tei tei (Ijor) ; 
Tei tei (Brass) ; Elili (Ibo Owerri). 

It is found in the Owerri, Warri and Ondo (?) provinces 
of Nigeria. It is one of the prevalent trees in the evergreen 
and brackish swamp forest zone. The tree reaches a girth 
of 15 feet and a bole length of about 60 feet. It has a large 
digitate leaf, making the foliage of the tree very heavy and 
dense. The bark is thick and fissured longitudinally. The 
crown is long and egg-shaped. The fruit is large, roughly 
spherical in shape, but ribbed in five places on the surface. " 
It is a shade-bearer, and reproduction is chiefly by seed. The 
wood is reddish-brown and moderately hard. This is one of 
the most favourite trees for canoe-making amongst the Brass 
people. Having a straight grain, the log opens out well into 
a canoe once it has been hollowed out in the centre. 

Ochna sp. Sama (?), Duma name. 

It is found near Obudu, in the Ogoja province of Nigeria. 
It is a small tree of the open deciduous forest, growing at an 
altitude of about 1,500 feet. The flowers are umbellate and 
of a pretty red colour. It is a light-lover and grows at the 
edge of the forest. 

The natives apparently have no use for either the wood 
or other parts of the tree. 

Lophira procera. Red Ironwood, African Oak, Red Oak. Ela, 
Ekki (Yoruba) ; Eba, Ebba (Benin) ; Eleba (Jekri) ; Kuru 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 357 

(Brass) ; Okikopom (Ibibio) ; Enwan, Umpenek (Efik) ; Okut 
Okot (Oban, Ekoi) ; Kuru (Ibo Owerri) ; Okut (Kwa). 

Chief Characteristics. — It is a very large tree, up to 6 feet 
in diameter, with orange-coloured bark, when in the shade of 
the evergreen forest where it is found, but this soon becomes 
quite grey when exposed to the sun. The flowers are \vhite, 
with five petals, and are very fragrant, smelling like musk, 
covering the ground and scenting the forest in November 
and December. In October and November the tree is very 
conspicuous with its brilliant new red foliage, which almost 
appears like flowers in the distance. On the banks of the 
Calabar River, above the town of the same name, this is seen 
to advantage. The fruit is winged, but with one wing twice 
as long as the other and also broader ; the seed is sharply pointed 
and almost conical in section, and not so meaty as that of 
L. alata. The crown is spherical, but open ; the branches are 
very twisted and reminiscent of oak. The trunk reaches a 
length of 90 feet and is almost perfectly cylindrical in shape, 
with only the slightest indication of spurns at the base. 

Distribution. — It is found in the Abeokuta, Jebu, Ode, Benin, 
Owerri, Ogoja (?) and Calabar provinces of Nigeria. It is one 
of the commonest trees in the very moist parts of the ever- 
green forest zone. 

Timber. — The sapwood is whitish red, but the heartwood 
is of a dull red colour with large, long, open pores, partially 
filled with siliceous salts. This often gives the Avood an almost 
speckled appearance. In a tree of 12 feet girth, the sapwood 
is usually only 3 or 4 inches thick, making it a very full- 
wooded tree and thus reducing the amount of wood wasted 
in squaring the logs. It planes well, with a smooth, shiny 
surface. Strong shoots often come up from the stump, though 
owing to the natural seed distribution being good, this latter 
is the chief means of reproduction. It is a light-lover, with 
a natural tendency to grow straight up. It is a sloAV-growing 
tree, and the leaves, nearly a foot long and almost tongue- 
shaped, are very large for such a hard- wooded tree. Even 
when planted 16 feet apart it grows up straight, with only three 
or four perpendicular branches or even only a fork in the 
stem. It resists white ants, and the teredo worm does 
not bore into logs when lying in the water. It is almost gre- 
garious in habit, usually groups being found in one locality, 
or, as in the moister regions, it is next to mahogany the com- 
monest tree found in the forest. It will withstand floods — 
in fact, there is an island several square miles in extent in the 
Oshun River covered with only this species of tree. It is also 



358 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

found again on the upper edge of the mangrove forest where 
the first solid land begins. 

The seeds have not been tested as to the proportion of 
oil contained in them, but no doubt they contain a similar 
quantity, in proportion to the size, as those of L. alata. 

In 1906 samples of this timber in the round were sent to 
the Liverpool market, where it was valued as red oak at 2s. 
to 3s. per cubic foot. It was also stated to be worth shipping 
in good lengths. Owing to its weight and the hardness of the 
wood, and thus the extra cost of squaring logs, little or none 
has been shipped to Liverpool since this report was made. 
Locally it has been used for piles for wharves and bridges, 
decking for bridges, wall-plates for bungalows, and occa- 
sionally as verandah-posts. It can be floated with Musanga 
logs or those of Hannoa undulata. Canoes made of this wood 
are of the most durable kind, so that perhaps it might be tried 
for boat-building. 

The people of Benin use the wood for making pestles for 
their Fufu mortars, and occasionally it is used as wall-plates. 
Amongst the Brass people it is sometimes used for making 
canoes, and amongst many tribes for making food-mortars. 
Near Lagos it is used for house-building. 
Lophira alata. Niarn Fat, Small Red Ironwood, Meni Oil, African 
Oak. Ipawhaw, Ponhon, Ipahan (Yoruba) ; Awigbi, Ugbeberi, 
Ishan (Benin). 

Small or dry-zone Red Ironwood. 

It is found in the Ogoja, Owerri, Onitsha, Benin, Ibadan 
and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a very common tree in the open deciduous forest 
of the drj'-zone form of vegetation. Often found in groups, 
but it anyhow is the most prevalent tree wherever found. It 
does not usually grow straight, but the stem is gnarled and 
crooked, reaching a girth of about 5 feet. The tree itself only 
grows to a height of about 30 feet. In appearance it looks like 
a small oak, but the Shea Butter Tree, Butyrospermum Parkii, 
is still more like it. However, with its reddish-green tongue- 
like leaves with wavy edges, it is in reality quite different. 
The branches spring out of the stem in a more upward direction 
than B. Parkii, and are more irregular in growth. The bark 
is orange-coloured and almost scaly on the younger trees, 
though it goes a grey or black colour when exposed to the 
light or the annual grass-fires. The flowers are white, sweet- 
smelling and much more conspicuous than on L. procera. The 
seed is placed between two wings, one nearly three times 
the width of the other. The smaller wing is more pointed 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 359 

than the larger ; the seed, while being pointed, is stoutly cone- 
shaped and rather more than a quarter of an inch in diameter 
at the base, and of a light brown colour. 

Timber. — The sapwood is narrow and white in colour 
and the heartwood is a dull red. It is very hard and tough, 
but not so heavy as L. procera. It planes only with a rough 
surface. 

Silvicultvral Characteristics. — This is one of the few trees 
which successfully resist the annual grass-fires. Its otherwise 
prolific seed-bearing capacity is, however, often very much 
diminished, if not completely spoilt, by the flowers being burnt 
in January and February, the usual time of the grass-fires. 
It is a light-lover, but for the reasons already given is a very 
slow-growing tree. On the whole, although the seeds germinate 
well, stool and root shoots are probably the chief means of 
reproduction. The soil under these trees is only partially 
protected during the growing, and quite exposed to sun and 
wind during the dry season. 

Commercial Value. — Samples of these seeds were sent in 
1909 to the Imperial Institute for valuation, when they were 
found to be worth about £10 a ton ; 43 per cent, of oil can 
be obtained from the kernels, and this is said to be suitable 
for soap-making and to be worth £25 per ton. Commercial 
quantities, however, have not yet been exported. 

Meni oil was formerly obtained from the seed. 

Native Use. — Amongst the Yorubas the tree is used for 
house-posts, especially when the stem is forked about 10 feet 
above the ground. The leaves, bark and roots are all sold in 
the native markets for medicinal purposes. An infusion of 
the bark of the roots is supposed to be a cure for jaundice 
(yellow fever, according to the natives). Strangely enough, 
the seeds are not used as a source of oil. 
Ma insculpta. 

Found at Olokemeji. 
Gomphia glabriana. 

It is a shrub found at Olokemeji. 
Gomphia nr. offinium.. 

Found at Ilugbro. 

Guttiferse. 

Garcinia conrauana. False Cola, Bitter Cola. Orugbo (Yoruba) ; 
Edun (Benin) ; Odji (?) (Brass) ; Efiori Efrie (Efik) ; Efrie 
(Kwa). 

It is found in the Calabar, Benin, Ogoja and Abeokuta 
provinces of Nigeria. 



360 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

It is a medium -sized tree with close, spherical-shaped crown. 
The branches and leaves are comparatively small. The bole 
is short and the branches very persistent. The most typical 
feature of the tree is the large apricot-like fruit, of an orange- 
yellow colour. The bark is smooth and brown in colour. It 
is found in the evergreen forest The nut is oblong, of a very 
dark brown colour with small white streaks all over it. It 
grows in moist soil. 

The timber is very hard and close-grained, with yellow 
sa.pwood and light-brown heartwood. It is said to be durable 
and planes with a smooth surface. It is often found at a con- 
siderable elevation — up to 3,000 feet towards the northern part 
of Calabar province. 

It is a shade-bearer, though it is often found growing alone, 
having been left isolated when the original forest was cleared 
to make a farm. The tree grows very slowly but bears com- 
paratively early, and trees are often seen quite laden with the 
yellow fruit. 

The timber has not been exported, but has been cut for 
local use. It was used by the Public Works Department, 
Calabar, and proved useful for wall-plates. The nuts have 
occasionally^ been exported, but they are comparatively valueless 
compared to the real Cola. 

Native Use. — The nuts are sold in the Yoruba and Calabar 
markets and 100 to 200 for 3d. in the Benin market. The 
fruit is also eaten. The roots are used for chewing-sticks (the 
best in Benin), and taste like quinine. The nuts are ground 
and used medicinally for headache. 
Garcinia Kola. 

A little known species, found in the Eastern Provinces, 
Uwet. It was subsequently determined as Garcinia conravana. 
Garcinia Mannii. 

This tree is found in the Western Provinces. 

Uses. — Chew-stick is made from the root. 
Garcinia, var. nov. brevipedicellata. 

This tree grows in the Eastern Circle. 
Pentadesma sp. ?. Hardwood, Duika's Chop Fruit. Ogbia (Yoruba) ; 
Ekuso or Ikujo, Efiari (Benin). 

This tree is found in the mixed forests of the Benin province 
of Nigeria. One of its chief characteristics is that it has little 
or no bark, but the cortex is comparatively thin, and remains 
of a duck-egg-green colour even in trees of comparatively large 
size. It reaches a girth of about 6 feet and a bole length of 
about 20 feet. However, it is usually very much forked com- 
paratively low down, and often the stem is by no means straight. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 361 

The root spurns are not very large, but spoil the shape of the 
bole at the base. 

It is a slow-growing, shade-bearing, soil-protecting and 
soil-improving tree. Natural regeneration is poor, chiefly 
perhaps because 1he Duika eat the fruit; in fact, the Benin 
name means the chop or food of Uso or Duika. 

In 1906 samples of this timber were sold in the Liverpool 
market as a hardwood, which was considered hard and heavy. 
Since then none has been shipped, nor has it been felled for 
local use. Perhaps with the changed conditions in the demand 
for timber, both hard and soft, a further trial would now show 
whether it was of an}' value as an export timber. 
Pentadesma grandifoUa. 

Distribution. — It is found in the Oban Reserve of the Calabar 
province of Nigeria. 

Characteristics. — It is a medium-sized tree, with large oblong 
leaves having numerous glands and lateral nerves which are 
about a tenth of an inch apart. The leaves are larger and 
the exterior sepal shorter than in P. butyracece. 

Silvicnltural Qualities. — It grows in the evergreen forest, 
is a shade-bearer, and comparatively slow-growing tree. 

Utility. — Although the fruit has not j^et been collected, it 
it probable that the nuts would contain a similar oil to those 
of P. butyracece. 
Pentadesma butyracece. Butter or Tallow Tree. Okarora, Ossa 
(Ondo) ; Ekuso (Yoruba) (Ikale) ; Ijeni Udegbu, Agba (west 
side), Udegbi (Benin) ; Orugbo erin (Ondo) ; Amu Ne (New 
Calabar) ; Ikakama Udia Ebian (Efik) ; Ikakama Udia Ebian, 
Igbofia (Ibibio) ; Ntini Nyok (Kwa). 

Distribution. — It is found in the evergreen forests of the 
Jebu, Ode, Benin, Warri, Owerri and Calabar provinces of 
Nigeria. It is quite prevalent in its typical locality and very 
damp, almost swampy, regions of the forest near small water- 
ways, even comparatively near the sea. 

Chief Characteristics. — It is a thin, tall tree, with dark bark 
and flatly compressed crown consisting of four or five tiers of 
branches, very close together in almost true whorls. The foliage 
is very thick and the leaves thick and leathery. It exudes 
a mass of gamboge-like latex as soon as slashed, and the slash 
is orange-red. The latex solidifies on exposure to the air. 
The large pear-shaped fruit has a soft rind, which usually is 
pierced by the fall to the ground, and the Cola-shaped seeds 
are embedded in a soft, yellowish-white pulp. The large sepals 
at the base of the flower are quite typical, in their persistency 
often being found at the base of unripe fruit. 



362 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Timber. — It has yellowish-white sapwood and light-red 
heartwood of firm texture, with a certain amount of waviness 
in it, especially if the tree has been barked in its earlier years. 
It is not hard, and is easy to work ; it does not appear to warp 
or shrink. 

Silvicultural Qualities. — It is a shade-bearer with very per- 
sistent evergreen leaves. It will stand in waterlogged land 
and grow almost to perfection. The branches are also very 
persistent, and it is only when growing in close proximity to 
other heavy foliaged trees that the bole clears itself of branches 
for two-thirds of its length. The stump shoots sprout up 
when the tree is cut down. The more prevalent form of re- 
production is by seed. The mature tree bears quite prolifically 
almost every year. The timber has not been felled for 
export, but the seeds are worth £8 a ton on account of the 
oil that they contain, which is considered suitable for soap- 
making. 
Pentadesma Nigritana. Odgebu (west side) (Benin). 

Distribution. — It is found in the Oban Reserve of the Calabar 
province of Nigeria. 

Characteristics. — It is a medium-sized tree with black bark 
on the branches. The leaves are glabrous coriaceous, 3| to 
4| inches long and 1 to 1| inches broad. 

Silvicultural Qualities. — It grows in the evergreen forests, 
is a shade-bearer and comparatively slow-growing tree. 

Utility. — The fruit has not yet been collected, but, judging 
by the locality in which this tree is found, the seeds would 
contain similar quantities of oil to those of P. buiyracece. 
Haronga Madagascariensis (Kew). Benin Roof -pole. Itue (Benin). 

It is a non-indigenous tree (exotic) which is now found in 
the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ondo, Benin, Warri, Owerri, Ogoja 
and Calabar provinces of Nigeria. 

It is commonly seen growing up in old farms in the heavier 
soils of the evergreen and mixed deciduous forest zones. 
The slash, which is brick-red and exudes a yellowish-red latex, 
is most typical of this tree. The tree is almost gregarious, form- 
ing groups nearly half an acre in extent ; the bark peels very 
easily, leaving a clean white stem which hardens very much 
on exposure to the air. It is a small tree, attaining a girth 
of about 2 feet and a height of about 40 feet. The wood is quite 
white, with a small pink pith about a quarter of an inch in 
diameter ; it is a verj^ light wood and most durable when under 
cover. 

The leaves are of a medium size and rough to the touch. 
When 2 to 4 inches in diameter the natives cut the trees, clean 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 363 

and strip off the bark, and use them for rafters in house-building, 
especially in the Benin and Yoruba countries. 
Symphonia globulifera (Kew). Hog Gum. 

It was reported from the Calabar province. 
Allanblackia fioribunda. Orogbo erin (Yoruba) ; Izeni or lyockan 
(Benin) ; Atta (Efik) ; Egba (Ibo, Owerri). 

Distribution. — It is found in the evergreen forests of the 
Jebu Ode, Benin, Owerri (?) and Calabar (?) provinces of 
Nigeria. This tree usually grows on less moist soil and further 
away from water than P. butyracece, though it likes a moist 
and deep soil. 

Chief Characteristics. — The long, hard, brown, enlarged 
sausage-shaped fruit hanging on a stalk shows, when cut, large 
seeds scattered in white pulp, and is thus different in this respect 
to Pentadesma, which has dark-brown seeds embedded in a 
soft, yellowish pulp. The slash is yellow, but only exudes a 
little yellow latex at first. The branches are not so verticillate 
in form as Pentadesma, but are more pendulous, especially 
when the tree is in fruit. They also are further apart 
and give the crown a more open appearance. The fruit is 
three times the length and the diameter rather more than 
that of P. butyracece. 

Timber. — The sapwood is whitish-yellow and the heartwood 
yellowish-red and moderately hard. It is not attacked by 
white ants ; it does not split easily, but planes with a smooth 
surface. It is a medium-sized tree, reaching a height of about 
80 feet, with a bole length of 20 feet and a girth of 8 feet. 

Silvicultural Qualities. — It is a shade-bearer and grows 
comparatively slowly. Natural reproduction is chiefly by seed, 
though fine and succulent stump shoots appear when a tree 
is cut down. 

The timber has not been exported nor has it been used 
locally ; the natives occasionally cut the bark for medicinal 
purposes, but otherwise apparently have no use for the tree. 
Ochrocarpus Africamis ? sp. of Allanblackia. African Mammee 
Apple, Mahogany (Calabar). Igoda (Benin) ; Ereruku, Edeng 
Edem (Calabar) ; Baulan Bolo (Degema, New Calabar) ; Okut 
and Otun (Oban, Ekoi). 

Distribution. — It is found in the Calabar, Owerri and Ogoja 
provinces of Nigeria, occurring sparsely in the evergreen 
forests in several localities, where it takes the place of Khaya, 
which is not prevalent in such places. 

Chief Characteristics. — It is a large tree, with orange- 
coloured bark, especially in young specimens, and a little scaly. 
In habit otherwise rather like Mahogany, after which the 



164 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

timber has been named. It is much harder and has little resin 
canals typical of the order. It is not attacked by white ants. 
It reaches a height of 100 feet, with a bole length of about 
40 feet and a girth of 12 feet. The root spurns are only slight. 
The large, elongated, spherical-shaped fruit, with rough, pale 
orange-coloured rind, speckled brown in several places, is most 
typical of this tree. Generally speaking, it could easily be 
mistaken for Mahogany Entandrophragma by anyone not very 
familiar with both species. 

Timber. — The sapwood is white, with a pinkish tint, and the 
heartwood a dark red, with small medullary rays as well as 
verj' prominent resin-like canals which, when dry, are filled 
with a yellow substance. 

Silvicultural Qualities. — It is a shade-bearer, but likes a 
certain amount of overhead light in middle age. On the whole 
it is sloAv-growing, except for a short period when the chief 
height-growth is put on. A few stump shoots sprout when the 
tree is cut down, but the more common form of reproduction is 
by seed. 

Utility. — It has not been felled for export, but the Public 
Works Department felled and converted a good deal at the 
Etehetem sawmill, and it was favourably reported on as a hard 
mahogany. It has occasionally been used by the natives for 
making canoes. 
No botanical name. Oshusi (Ibo, Owerri). 

Distribution. — It is found in the Owerri province of Nigeria. 
It is a comparatively common tree in the evergreen swamp 
forest. 

Characteristics. — The timber is not over hard, but it reaches 
a height of 100 feet and a girth of 8 feet. The bark is smooth. 

Silvicultural Qualities. — It is a shade-bearer and a com- 
paratively slow-growing tree. The most prevalent form of re- 
production is by seed. 

Utility. — It has not been felled for export, but was used in 
the construction of the Imo railway bridge as piles. 
Buronona (New Calabar). 

This is a medium-sized tree of the Owerri province, and is 
found near the Imo, not far from the railway bridge. Several 
piles of the temporary bridge were made from the timber of 
this tree. 
Ochrocarpus sp. ?. Ebattan, Ehranezi (Benin) ; Buronona (New 
Calabar). 

Distribution. — It is found in the Owerri, Benin (?) and 
Ondo CO provinces of Nigeria. 

Chief Characteristics. — It is a very straight, thin-stemmed 




■g.s 

-2 o 



m "' 




THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 365 

tree, with several whorls of branches near the top of the tree, 
very much compressed together. The flowers are red sprays, 
which look very pretty at the beginning of the dry season. 
It occurs near the freshwater swamps, comparatively close 
to the sea. In many places it is almost gregarious in habit, 
more especially near Degema. It reaches a height of 100 feet, 
and a girth of 6 feet, often with a bole length of 50 feet. 

Timber. — The sap wood is white and the heart wood is light 
brown ; both appear to be equally durable. It is termite- 
resisting. It planes with a smooth surface ; the grain is very 
fine. A red latex exudes when it is cut. 

Utility. — It is chiefly used for door and window frames, and 
does not warp nor crack, even when put in green. It attains 
a large enough size to be used as piles, some of which were 
used in the construction of the temporary railway bridge at 
Imo. The natives do not use the wood, and it has not been 
felled for export. 

Silvicultural Qualities. — It is a shade-bearer and a com- 
paratively slow-growing tree, though on less wet soils it seems 
to grow faster. The more prevalent form of reproduction is 
by seed. Weak stool shoots also come up after the tree is 
cut down. The foliage is dense and persists for several years. 

Bixaceae. 

Bixa orellana. 

This tree grows well in the Olokemeji Arboretum. It is 
found up to a height of 10 feet, and is cultivated for the sake 
of its seeds, which j'ield the orange dye called " annatto." 
The tree bears pods very freely. Samples were sent to the 
Imperial Institute in 1900 and were valued at about 5d. a 
pound. 

Flacourtiaceae. 

Smeatkrnannia pvbescens. Moyida (Yoruba). 

It is a medium-sized shrub found in the Western Provinces. 
Soyauxia sp. Ogohomeh, Oyohomeh (Benin). 

This tree was found on the mountain slope above Ogabi 
in the Obudu district. The fruit is edible. 
Soyauxia sp. Aye (Yoruba) ; Owowe, Owawe (Benin). 

It is found in the Ondo, Benin and Ogoja provinces of 
Nigeria, growing at the edge of the evergreen forest. It is 
a medium-sized tree, with a bole length of about 30 feet and 
a girth of 6 feet ; on the whole, it is of more slender build and 
habit than the Terminalia, to which it is apparently closely 
allied. The flower is very small, white and spherical, being 



366 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

only a quarter of an inch in size ; it is most frequently seen 
lying scattered about in patches on the path or roadway, 
giving out a very sweet scent. The seeds are double winged, 
like Bougainvillea. The leaf is smaller than that of the Ter- 
minalia and the foliage generally less dense ; the sapwood is 
white and somewhat wide, the heartwood of a light-brown 
colour, and on the border-line of being a hardwood. The 
wood is not very durable unless under cover ; it is not very 
common, though where it is found there are a fair number 
of trees which would form a good suj)ply of timber for local 
purposes. The natives do not use this wood, as they say it is 
liable to attacks by white ants. 
Oncoba dentata (Oliv.). Parisha (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria. It is 
a small, shrub-like tree, armed with moderately long thorns. 
It belongs to the evergreen forest zone. The flowers are 
large, white and conspicuous. 
Oncoba glauca (Foster). Kakandika (Yoruba). 

Found in the Olokemeji and Abeokuta provinces. 
Oncoba spinosa (Rich). Kakandika (Yoruba). 

This is a small, shrub-like tree found in the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. It is moderately common, and several 
hedges have been made with it in the Olokemeji Arboretum. 
The most distinguishing feature of this plant is the large, 
spherical-shaped white flowers. The petals are large and con- 
spicuous, with a mass of yellow stamens in the centre. In habit 
it is not unlike the thorn ; the ends of the twigs are armed with 
a short spike. 

It stands trimming pretty well. Each year it flowers 
fairly regularly, so that it makes quite an ornamental plant. 
It bears green fruits with a conspicuous bunch of the old sepals 
at the top. This fruit is rather smaller than a tangerine orange, 
but quite spherical in shape, with a hard, woody rind. 
Flacourtia Ramontchii. Abeokuta Plum. Oshere (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 
Flacourtia flabescens (Kew). Niger Plum. 

Found in the Western Provinces. 

Uses. — Edible plums, medicine and hedge plants. 
Homaliiim, cf. H. Africanum (Benth.). Atu or Abo Ako (Yoruba). 

This is a hard-wooded tree of the Yoruba country, which 
is used to some extent locally. It is also found in Benin. 

Being a shade-bearing and soil-protecting tree, it is of 
value in the forest, apart from the production of timber. It 
is a slow-growing tree apparently. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 367 

Lccythidaceas. 

Napoleona Whilfieldii. Ito (? Yoruba) ; Uruhe (Benin). 

It is doubtful if these are the correct native names for 
this species. 
Napoleona imjierialis. Speckle-fruited Napoleona. Boi Boi 
(Yoruba). 

It is found near Ode district, Oban and Igbeshe, in the 
Ibadan and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a deciduous shrub with pretty white flowers, very 
shiny leaves, which are alternate, and bears a spherical, orange- 
coloured fruit (with a russet-like surface having white lenticels 
scattered nearly all over it), which ripens in March at the 
Olokemeji Reserve. 

This shrub protects and enriches the soil with its fall of 
leaves. Considering the attractiveness of the flower and the 
fruit, it is surprising that it has not more frequently been 
planted in gardens, where it should be placed in a shady 
corner. It is slow-growing, and does not need much light. 
It likes a moist, fairly deep, good soil, especially near a 
river bank. 

Native Use. — The stem is occasionally used for making hoe 
or axe handles, for which it is suitable, as the wood is com- 
paratively tough, close-grained and hard. The knottiness of 
it is an advantage either for the handle or for fixing the hoe 
or axe head. 
Napoleona Vogelii (Hook). Orokwa, Ogemme (Benin). 

It is a common tree in the Calabar, Benin, Ibadan and 
Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

Chief Characteristics. — It is a medium-sized shrub-like tree, 
with orange-shaped fruit, though not quite spherical, having 
small white lenticels on the surface and roughness like a russet 
apple. It does not attain a girth of more than 3 or 4 feet. 
It is usually found in the mixed deciduous forests, though 
more often in clearings in the forests ; however, it stands a good 
deal of shade. The wood is comparatively hard, but it does 
not reach much size. The tree protects and enriches the soil 
with its fall of leaves, and serves a very useful purpose as a 
shrub amongst the undergrowth of the forest. It might be 
planted in gardens, where both the flower, which is large and 
white, and the fruit would be admired. It usually bears a large 
number of both. It is rather a slow-growing tree. The natives 
use the wood for making matchet handles. 
Napoleona Owariensis. Adere, Isiurem (Lagos). 
Found in the Olokemeji Reserve. 



368 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Rhizophoraceae. 

Weihea sp. (Spreng). Odu (Yoruba). 

This tree is found in tropical West Africa. 
The flowers have an involucre of two bracteoles. The 
fruit is fleshy ; seeds with an aril. 

Weihea sp., cf. Africana. Odu (Yoruba) ; Itobo (Ibibio) ; Munon 
(Efik). 

This tree grows near Lagos. 

Rhizophora racemosa. Red Mangrove or Salt Mangrove. Egba 
Ibadudu (Jeb. Yoruba) ; Ehrodo, Ibadudu (Benin) ; Odo 
(Jekri). 

Poga oleosa. Inoi Nut, African Brazil Nut. Iku (Yoruba) ; Inoi 
(Benin) ; Inoye (Efik) ; Ikoi (Oban) ; Inoi (Ekoi) ; Ekom 
(Ibo Owerri) ; Imonon (New Calabar). 

It is found in the Benin (?), Owerri, Calabar and Ogoja (?) 
provinces of Nigeria, in the evergreen zone, both of the level 
and hill country. On the whole, it is more prevalent as the 
eastward side of the country is approached. In the forest its 
presence is usually indicated by the heaps of broken shells 
left lying near the roots of neighbouring trees, on the path or 
roadside. The reddish-brown interior and cross-section of 
the inner covering of the shell is a most typical feature. The 
nut itself is roughly spherical in shape, with a surface almost 
evenly covered with little nodules, giving the nut very con- 
siderable resiliency against cracking. It is nearly half an inch 
thick, and inside there are two or three kernels. Each of 
these is a chocolate-brown colour with thick (almost three 
thirty-seconds to one-eighth of an inch) red-brown shell. Each 
is about \ inch long and rather more than \ inch thick. This 
thick shell quite spoils the flavour of the nut, which is sweeter 
and contains more oil than the Brazil nut. It can, however, 
be removed with a pen-knife. The trunk of the tree is light- 
grey, with comparatively thin cortex. It reaches a girth of 
about 12 feet and a bole length of about 60 feet. It usually 
forks at about 50 or 60 feet from the ground, and this is one of 
the typical features of the tree. The crown is rather open, 
with several main limbs and comparatively few branches. 
Another place where it is commonly seen, both in the Degema 
and Calabar districts, is in the old farms, standing as isolated 
specimens, or standards overshadowing all the secondary 
growth. It is one of the few trees that are preserved when a 
fresh clearing is made for a farm. The fruit is the shape of 
a large greengage, the fleshy part of which soon breaks away, 
leaving the hard nut inside. The fleshy pericarp is about 
a quarter of an inch in thickness. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 369 

The sapwood is white, tinged with pinkish stripes, and 
the heartwood pinkish-red, with very wide and numerous 
medullary rays, which are most numerous, and in fact more 
so than in any other tree, and are very typical of this 
timber. The wood is soft, splits well, is of somewhat open 
texture and rather fibrous grain. It planes up well with a 
smooth surface, takes nails well, and saws well. It is liable 
to be attacked by white ants. The sapwood is fairly narrow. 

It is a moderately fast-growing, shade-bearing, soil-protecting 
and soil -improving tree. Natural regeneration only appears to be 
slight, chiefly owing to the fact, perhaps, that most of the nuts 
are gathered and eaten by the natives. It is somewhat exacting 
with regard to soil. It appears to like one that is somewhat 
rich, deep, moist and with good drainage. In waterlogged 
areas it becomes stag-headed. No plantations have been 
made of this tree. 

The timber has not been exported, not has it been cut for 
local use. It appears, however, to be worthy of a trial as 
a substitute for light cedar or mahogany, especially from wind 
falls, which are not infrequent owing to the way it is left stand- 
ing in the forests. 

Native Use. — The nuts are used by the natives, and are 
considered very valuable, in the most out-of-the-way parts 
of the forest, as a source of food. They used to be sold in 
the Calabar market 250 for 3d. Further notes as to the oil- 
bearing properties of this nut will be found in the section dealing 
with the oil seeds and nuts. 

Combretaceae. 

Terminalia sp. Yellow Terminalia, Black-bark Terminalia. Idigbo, 
Opepe, Epepe (Yoruba) ; Egoyn nebbi, Egoyn nikwi, Egoyn 
lukan (Benin). 

According to the Yorubas this is the Idi of the forest. 

Distribution. — It is found in the Ondo and Benin provinces 
of Nigeria. 

Chief Characteristics. — It has a slightly fissured bark, in- 
creasing in age, light-brown in colour in youth, but darkening 
with age, almost appearing black in the distance, rather forming 
a criss-cross pattern. It flowers in May with small spikes or 
thin, stiff racemes, each with little yellow balls of staminate 
flowers. It has a compressed crown of two or three whorls 
of branches, but not so typical as that of T. scutifera. It is, 
however, much more widespreading, chiefly due to the fact 
that the tree on the whole is shorter and stouter than T. 
scutifera. The trunk is much more cylindrical, and the root 
24 



370 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

spurns are very slight, and not buttress-shaped as in T. scutifera. 
The contrast between the light-green foliage and the dark- 
coloured bole is so great that the tree is quite unmistakable 
in this respect. The only one at all similar in this is False 
Shea Butter, Mirmisops Djave, but even the trunk of this one 
appears lighter than the former. The slash is dark-brown, 
almost black, on the outer edge and yellow on the inside. The 
fruit is not unlike a large hazelnut, but the shuck is of looser 
build, and the interior seed can be more easily seen than in 
the case of the nut. 

The sapwood is a faint yellow colour and the heartwood 
a good yellow. It is of the hardness of an ordinary softwood, 
with a straight, even grain and somewhat open pores. It 
planes well, takes nails, splits very easily and saws well. For 
outside work it is not durable unless very thoroughly dried. 
For interior fittings it is very durable. It is liable to attacks 
by termites outside. It seasons well, with only a small amount 
of shrinkage and slight liability to warping. 

It is a fast-growing, slightly shade-bearing tree, with strong 
soil-protecting and soil-improving qualities. Natural regenera- 
tion appears to be fair. It sprouts from the stump, but is not 
very strong. It likes a good soil, with fair drainage but a 
good deal of moisture. It will stand a certain amount of 
flooding. It is occasionally almost gregarious. No plantations 
have been made with this tree. It reaches a girth of over 
14 feet and a bole length of about 70 feet. 

The timber has not been cut for export, but occasionally 
it has been sawn up for planks for local use. It deserves, 
however, a further trial for export as a floor-board and for local 
use for a similar purpose. There are comparatively large 
supplies, and the dimensions of the tree are such that large 
planks and boards could be cut out of it. 

Native Use. — The tree is occasionally felled for making 
canoes, but it is not taken unless there is a shortage of other 
harder kinds. 
Terminalia sp. Orange-barked Terminalia. Ayo, Aiyo (Yoruba) ; 
Ayo, Ulazo (Benin). 

Distribution. — Ibadan and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 
It is one of the typical trees of the mixed deciduous forest 
zone, though it appears to be confined to certain localities, 
such as the Olokemeji Forest Reserve and other places. 

Chief Characteristics. — Moderately thick bark, rather remind- 
ing one of Triplochiton, but with a certain amount of roughness 
and slight fissures. The crown is very pointedly oval and 
long, the leaves appearing only slightly terminal and not 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 371 

typically so. The branches tend to flatten out in old age, 
though they are slightly pendulous at the tips. The bole 
reaches a girth of about 10 feet and a height of 50 feet. The 
light patchy, orange-coloured bark is a most typical feature 
of this tree. Satinwood is the only one at all similar in 
this respect, but it is much smoother. 

Timber. — White, with a faint yellow tint ; the pores are much 
shorter than those of the other Terminalias, such as T. scutifera 
and Togoensis. The grain on the whole is finer and of closer 
texture. The timber is somewhat harder than either T. scutifera 
or T. sp., but not so hard as that of T. Togoensis. It planes 
well, takes nails, saws easily, but does not split so well. It is 
attacked by termites, but is durable for interior work. It is 
somewhat more brittle than T. sp. 

It is a moderately rapid growing, light-demanding tree, with 
soil-protecting and soil-improving qualities. Natural regenera- 
tion does not appear to be good. It sprouts, but poorly 
from the stump, and if at all shaded dies away. It likes 
a moderately good soil, with a fair amount of moisture and 
depth. 

The timber has not been cut for export, and only occasionally 
has it been felled for cutting into planks for local use. It 
deserves, however, a trial as a local flooring board. The avail- 
able quantities so far discovered are not large enough to justify 
its trial as an export wood. 

Utility. — The wood is used for planks and for canoes. It 
is likely to furnish timber for the home markets. 

Local Use. — It has been used for making canoes, and also 
for sawing up into planks for house-building. 
Terminalia scutifera. Shingle Wood. Afara (Yoruba) ; Oaha 
Egoyn, Egoyn nufwa (Benin). 

It is a common tree in the Calabar, Ogoja, Owerri, Warri, 
Benin, Ondo and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

The chief characteristics of this tree are the thin and far 
up-reaching root flanges and its thin, grey-coloured bark. 
It attains a height of about 200 feet and a girth of about 
16 feet. The bole length often exceeds 100 feet. The crown is 
compressed and flat, with few main branches. It is usually 
found near water. 

The timber is light-brown to almost yellowish-white, with 
darker streaks. The sap wood is almost white, but when dry 
is barely distinguishable from the heartwood, though when 
freshly cut the heartwood appears drier, and thus shows up 
against the damper sapwood. The wood is soft and planes 
easily, though not always giving a smooth surface. It is also 



372 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

easy to saw or cut with a chisel and splits well. It is attacked 
by termites. 

On the whole the tree is a light-lover, and even the young 
self-sown seedlings only grow in comparatively open places 
near rivers, where there is no shade directly over them, though 
there may be trees to one side or the other. It is one of the 
typical trees of the evergreen and mixed deciduous zone, 
growing always on damp and deep soil. Natural reproduction 
by seed is good. Stool shoots grow, but do not persist 
for a great length of time. It often forms small pure groups 
in the secondary forest, and in suitable localities tends to be 
more prevalent in the secondary than in the primeval forest. 
In- Nigeria it has been used as planks, but is not considered 
very good. On the Gold Coast it has been used for shingles. 
The natives occasionally use the tree for making canoes, 
also for bowls, plates, and native doors in the Benin country, 
but owing to its softness it is not considered of much account. 

In figure No. 108 there is a picture of a very large specimen 
found in the Ikrigon Forest Reserve. 
Terminalia Togoensis. Dry-zone Terminalia. Idi, Idi Odan (Yo- 
ruba). 

Found in the Oyo, Benin and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 
It is a very common tree, with slight foliage and small stem, 
which is usually forked about 10 feet from the ground. The 
slash is yellow and almost dry, which is most typical of 
the tree. 

The wood is soft, though harder than most of the other 
Terminalias. It works easily, but does not split well. The 
sapwood is white and the heartwood of a pale yellow colour. 
The bark is rough and widely fissured. Natural regeneration 
by seed does not appear to be good, though stump shoots appear 
when the tree is cut down. It stands a considerable amount 
of fire, but it is a light-loving tree. 

The local people find the stem useful for house-building 
posts, as it is comparatively durable and forked in shape. 
Terminalia avicennioides. 

It was stated it was found in the Calabar province. 
Terminalia Brownii. Inya joko (Yoruba). 

Found in the Abeokuta province. 
Combretum racemosum. Ogan pupa (Yoruba) ; Akoso, Orsorsor 
(Benin). 

Found in Olokemeji and Benin. Climbing shrub with red 
flowers and white bracts. 
Combretum Lawsonianum. Ome (Benin). 

It has red flowers and is found at Agege. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 373 

Combretum mucronatum. Okan pupa (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Mamu Forest. 
Combretum Zenkeri. Ogan (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Yoruba country. 
Combretum micranthum. Okan (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Yoruba country. 
Combretum glutinosum. 
Combretum paucinervium. 
Combretum Hartmannium. 

These are climbing Combretums found in the Yoruba 
country. 
Anogeissus leiocarpus (G. and P.). Yoruba Chew-stick. Ayin 
(Yoruba). 

Distribution. — It is found in the Oyo and Abeokuta provinces 
of Nigeria. 

Chief Characteristics. — This tree reaches a height of about 
70 feet in favourable localities and a girth of 9 feet. With 
its birch-like foliage and the drooping and sweeping of the 
pendulous branches in old age, it is certainly the " Lady " 
of the African " open woods." The little spherical fruits cover 
the ground in the early part of the dry season. The com- 
paratively smooth bole, giving way to small scales of light- 
brown bark as the tree gets older, is a typical feature. It is 
often forked, especially low down. The bole is thin and slender 
in build, with upward tending branches, also very slender in 
build, but dark in colour. A blackish gum exudes when it 
is cut. The slash is yellow before the gum runs out. 

Timber. — The sapwood is yellowish-white and the heart- 
wood dark-brown to almost black in some specimens. It is 
hard, durable and termite-proof. It does not plane nor split 
well, takes nails with difficulty, but saws fairly easily. 

Silvicultural Qualities. — It is a light-loving species, though 
in its youth it will stand a little shade. It is one of the first 
trees to appear on disused land, so long as the soil is good. 
Its foliage is a little acid, as it kills all grass, even Ekon, and 
for this purpose is invaluable as a tree for admixture with 
more valuable species. It is somewhat exacting as to soil. 

Once it gets started after being planted, or as a self-sown 
seedling on good soil, it is a rapid-growing tree, which is only 
hindered in its growth by the annually recurring grass-fires. 
Wherever it is protected it develops into a straight-boled, large 
tree. The branches are very persistent, so that close planting 
is most necessary. Several plantations have been made with 
this tree. 

Utility. — The tree is burnt for its ashes for fixing native 



374 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

dyes ; the roots are used for chewing-sticks, and the bark is 
used medicinally by the natives. 

It yields a good firewood which gives great heat. The 
smaller poles make very useful hut-building timber, as it is 
so often forked. 

It should find a place as an avenue tree, owing to the delicate 
green, the drooping nature of its foliage, and the moderate 
amount of shade cast on the road. 

The timber has not been tried for export, but with its dark 
black and sometimes streaky coloration it is worthy of a 
trial. Locally it has occasionally been cut for planks and for 
house-building. It is not liked because it is so hard. The 
sap wood is rather wide. The timber is sometimes rather 
knotty, especially containing dry knots. It is sometimes 
attacked by a large borer, making large holes in it. 
Laguncularia racemosa. White Mangrove or White Button. 

This species is found growing in the swamp regions, also 
on the coast. It yields timber, tanning, dyeing materials and 
medicaments. 

Myrtaceae. 

Eugenia Owariensis (Beauv.). West African Allspice. Adere 
(Yoruba). 

It is a common tree of the Olokemeji Reserve and the 
Abeokuta and Oyo provinces. 

With its comparatively short bole (about 8 feet) and wide, 
almost spherically-shaped crown, it is one of the largest and 
most conspicuous of the dry-zone trees. The tree attracts 
the pigeons, but not so much as the wild fig. The flowers 
are very minute and insignificant. The fruit is very small 
and poor. 

Reaching only a girth of about 4 feet, it does not yield 
very large timber. Although moderately hard and durable, 
it has not yet found a place in the local market. It is doubtful 
if it is termite-proof. It might be used for making boxes or 
for small articles of furniture in localities where wood is 
scarce. 

It is a comparative!}' slow-growing tree, almost soil- 
improving, and of a light-loving nature. 

Owing to its comparatively dense foliage partially shading 
the ground and thus killing the grass, it is a distinctly helpful 
species in the protection from fire of a dry-zone forest. 

Natural reproduction by seed is only moderate, but stump 
shoots are strong, and it appears that root suckers also come 
up in certain places. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 375 

Eugenia Owariensis. Isinren (Yoruba). 

This tree is found in the dry-zone forests — a spreading 
tree which flowers in February. 

It yields timber, edible fruits and medicaments. 

Melastomaceae. 

Memecylon sp., nr. Barterii. 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve in the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 

Araliaceae. 

Cussonia Nigerica (Hutch.). Elephant Sugar-cane. Sigo (Yoruba). 
This is an evenly and rather deeply fissured small tree of 
the dry-zone forest, which has in the main only a great tuft 
of large digitate leaves at the top of the stem. It is occasionally 
branched, when it gives an appearance of bearing all the leaves 
at the end of the stem. It is fairly common in the Olokemeji 
Forest Reserve of the Abeokuta province. This tree is one 
of the few digitate-leaved trees of the dry zone, and is certainly 
one with the largest ; it is a fire-resisting tree. The natives 
occasionally use the stem for house and verandah posts. 

Umbelliferae. 

Heptapleura Mannii. Found in the Oban Reserve. 

Sapotaceae. 

Mimusops multinervis. Emido or Sleeper Wood. Ako Emido 
(Yoruba) ; Aganokwi (Benin). 

This species is found in the Abeokuta and Oyo provinces 
of Nigeria ; it is most common, and, in fact, forms almost 
half the crop in the belt of forest just on the south side of the 
railway four to six miles east and west of Olokemeji Station. 
The most distinguishing feature of this tree is the grey, thick, 
deeply-fissured bark. With its comparatively short bole and 
stout, crooked branches, it is not unlike an oak. It reaches 
a height of about 80 feet and a girth of about 15 feet. The 
root spurns are practically non-existent. The trunk tapers 
off quite abruptly after each series of branches. The crown 
is rather long and sometimes almost pear-shaped. The foliage 
is dense, and, for the size of the tree, the leaves are small. 
The flowers are small and white and conspicuous. The fruit 
is a small round nut, about half an inch in diameter. The 
leaves are a very dark green colour, but on the upper surface 
are often shiny. 



376 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

The sapwood is white and, for the size of the tree, com- 
paratively narrow. The heartwood is a deep red colour, which 
it retains even after the wood is dry. In sections from older 
trees it exhibits isolated white streaks, scattered here and there 
through the heartwood. This is made of a small mineral 
deposit which is closely allied to apatite. It is one of the 
hardest of the African woods and also the most durable ; it 
splits most satisfactorily ; it saws very cleanly, planes well, 
but owing to its extreme hardness takes nails with difficulty. 
It is termite-proof. It is just as durable in, as out of the ground. 
It burns with a fierce heat and, in fact, makes the hottest fire 
of any of the West African woods. The grain is very close, 
though sometimes it shows some figure. The knots in the 
wood produce some pretty " curl " effects. 

The tree is a shade-bearing, soil-improving species of the 
mixed deciduous forest. It is very slow-growing, often not 
showing a greater height-growth than 6 inches per year. In 
its youth the branches grow more or less in whorls of three or 
four branches ; these branches are very persistent. Natural 
generation good ; it demands a good soil, but will stand a great 
deal of moisture, not to say flooding of the area for several 
months of the year. It flowers in February ; the roots are 
comparatively deep-growing and there is a distinct tap-root. 
Some plantations have been made with this tree. It has been 
tried as a species to mix with ebony, and for this it seems suit- 
able. In similar localities this species and ebony are often 
found. 

Locally it is used as a house-building wood and occasionally 
for firewood. The timber has been cut up into sleepers and 
found to be most durable. When it was used in an unseasoned 
state, and in very dry territory, it was found to split — but 
this was scarcely a fair test of the wood. It has also been used 
as joists and for the framework of buildings, for which purposes 
it has proved very useful. Local carpenters have complained 
about its hardness, but usually the tools used have not been 
of such high quality necessary to give the best results when 
working on this wood. 

The timber has not been used for export, but it deserves 
a trial, especially for railway sleepers. 
Mimusops Djave. African Pearwood, False Shea Butter Nut, 
Cross River Nut. Aganokwi No. I. (Benin), Nyam (Efik). 

It is found in the Benin, Owerri, Calabar and Ogoja 
provinces of Nigeria. It is also known as Cherry Mahogany. 
It is a moderately common tree in the evergreen forest zone, 
up to the end of the mixed deciduous forest zone. It is 




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THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 377 

one of the giant forest trees, attaining a girth of over 30 feet 
and a height of over 200 feet ; its bole is one of the 
straightest of African trees, the trunk often reaching over 
100 feet without a branch. The crown is flattish and almost 
symmetrical in its roundness ; it is formed with three or four 
main limbs spreading out at almost right angles to the trunk. 
The foliage is heavy and the sword-shaped leaves almost appear 
as though they were digitate, looking at them from the base 
of the tree. From a short distance the trunk looks almost 
black, but on closer inspection the bark is seen to be deeply 
fissured in a comparatively even lattice-work fashion. The slash 
is white and a thick white latex exudes. The root spurns are 
only slight, except in old age ; otherwise the bole is one of the 
most cylindrical of African trees. (In illustration No. 100 a tree of 
about 8 feet in girth shows the very straight and even thickness 
of the bole.) The fruit falls to the ground about the beginning 
of November, and crushes on contact with the ground, showing 
the yellow floury pulp inside. The pulp has an extremely 
dry, sweet, almost nauseating taste and is inclined to stick 
in the throat. This huge fruit, the size of a man's fist, is almost 
like a huge plum, with rough opaque surface and almost spherical 
in shape ; inside, embedded in the pulp, are two, three or four 
lobed nuts, smooth and shiny on the more rounded face 
and rough on the other ; in some respects they are roughly 
kidney-shaped when looked at sideways. The flowers are 
white and small ; the tree loses its leaves for three or four days, 
when fresh ones come out again. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood of a rich red 
colour, often showing figured rosy grain ; it is very hard, heavy 
and very durable, and is sometimes cross-grained, though 
usually the texture is fine and planes up with a smooth surface ; 
it saws well, but is too hard to take nails, except in very thin 
wood. The sapwood is usually only two or three inches wide ; 
the heartwood forms comparatively early in the life of the 
tree. On the whole, this tree has a more open grain than the 
other Mimusops. 

Although the tree can stand a little shade in its youth, it 
is really a light-loving species : after the first year the height- 
growth rapidly increases when trees standing in a plantation 
have plenty of light. In illustration No. 93 some trees only twelve 
years old show how rapidly they develop under suitable con- 
ditions. None of these trees have yet come into the nut-bearing 
stage, but it appears that in favourable localities the trees will 
bear fruit between the fifteenth and twentieth year. 

It is a soil protecting and improving tree — in fact, the thick 



378 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

leaves form some of the finest soil found in the forest. Natural 
regeneration is not usually very good, because the seedlings 
have little or no light, growing as they do from seeds which 
have fallen under the parent tree. Duika and various other 
animals spread the seeds in old farms where the trees have 
a chance of growing up. The timber has occasionally been 
shipped to Europe and has been sold at Hamburg as pearwood at 
6d. per superficial foot, but the more rosy and figured wood has 
also found a sale in Liverpool, as it sometimes looks almost like 
a pinkish mahogany ; it is, however, by no means well known, 
and further trials with the wood should certainly be made. 
Small consignments of the nuts have been exported from the 
Cross River and sold in Liverpool as a substitute for Shea nuts ; 
they are found to be of a similar nature and of similar value 
for making an edible oil. The original cost was rather 
high, so that the nuts did not yield a profit on the transaction ; 
however, with greater quantities being brought the cost should 
not be so high, and also, since this first experiment was made, 
the price of all oil nuts has risen enormously, so that at the 
present time there is an ample margin between the cost of 
production and the selling price. In the Cameroons the Balong 
natives dry the nuts, which they split open in two pieces, pick 
off the thin shell and boil out the thick buttery-like substance, 
which is used for cooking. 

On our tour through their country we also tried it in place 
of lard, and found it quite suitable and quite pleasant to the 
taste and only about half the cost. In Nigeria, only the Oban 
people apparently know anything about making this butter 
from the nuts ; in other parts it is quite unknown. The 
tree is not felled, but, on account of its size and all-inspiring 
form, is considered "Ju-ju"; pieces of the bark are 
chipped off and used as medicine to increase a person's 
strength. 

By the way, the constant cutting away of the bark at the 
base of the tree and the continual struggle of the tree to overgrow 
these wounds causes the grain to grow quite unevenly and 
wavering, thus forming figured wood. 
Mimusops lacera. Benin Pearwood. Aganokwi (Benin). 

In 1906 samples of this timber were sold in the Liverpool 
market as mahogany of a good, rich colour. It is found in 
the swamps near the Osse and Cross Rivers, 
Dumoria Heckeli (A. Chev.). Oban Mahogany. 

It is found in Tropical West Africa. It yields a fair timber. 
An immense tree of the Oban Reserve, similar to Mimusops 
Djave. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 379 

Omphalocarpum procerum. Ikassa (Benin), Apassa, Ukpassa (Efik). 

It is found in the Calabar, Benin and Ondo provinces of 
Nigeria. 

It is a common tree of the evergreen forest. It reaches 
a height of 60 feet with a girth of 28 feet. The bole is short 
and the crown long, but narrow. The huge, flatly spherically- 
shaped fruits, quite 9 inches in diameter and 6 inches thick, 
are most characteristic of the tree. These protrude just from 
the trunk or heavy branches with little or no stalk. The de- 
pression in them, top and bottom, is quite an inch deep. There 
are about sixty seeds inside, more like nuts. The leaf is large. 

The sapwood is white and heartwood is brown-red. It is 
very hard. 

It grows slowly and stands the shade. The seeds germinate 
well. It does not sprout from the stump nor do root shoots 
appear. Elephants and other animals, porcupines especially, 
eat the fruit. 

The seeds are used in playing Ikbo, a Benin game. The 
seeds also are used, tied in front of Apata sticks, for making a 
musical instrument, or tied to the ankles of small boys to make 
a noise like a rattle when they start to walk. 
Butyrospermum Parkii. Shea Butter Tree, Dry-zone Oak. Emi- 
emi or Emi-gidi (Yoruba). 

This is one of the most prevalent trees of the Oyo province 
of the Southern Provinces of Nigeria and of the Borgu, Niger 
and Nassarawa provinces of the Northern Provinces of Nigeria. 
In places it is almost gregarious, but it is most commonly found 
in mixture with the Dwarf Red Iron wood, Lophira alata. In 
appearance it is most like a gnarled old oak, except that the base 
is often burnt and partially hollow. It is a large tree, reaching 
a height of about 40 feet and a girth of over 10 feet. The root 
spurns are comparatively short and rounded ; the bole is short, 
attaining a length of up to 25 feet ; the crown is almost spherical, 
but rather inclined to be broken up by three or four main 
branches ; these are very thick in comparison to the size of 
the tree, but not so much in proportion as in the case of the 
Baobab. The bark is grey and very deeply fissured, more or 
less in criss-cross fashion, and even with deeper and wider 
fissures than that of the oak. The slash is white, and a small 
amount of thick white latex exudes very slowly from the cut. 
In the case of the Dwarf Ironwood scarcely any ordinary sap 
exudes and no latex. The leaves are about 10 inches long, 
a very dark green and shiny, and not unlike the hart's-tongue 
fern, but somewhat broader at the end ; the greenness of 
the leaves, their shininess, and the greater thickness dis- 



380 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

tinguish them from those of the Dwarf Red Ironwood. The 
under surface of the leaf is whitish, sometimes almost grey ; the 
flowers are white and come out in December ; the fruit is like 
a small green plum and ripens in May. The leaves persist 
over one season. The green pericarp covering the nut 
can be eaten and is not unpleasant to the taste. The nut 
itself is not unlike a chestnut in its being brown and shiny ; the 
shape, however, is more oval, with one comparatively sharp 
ridge. 

The sapwood is white and comparatively wide ; the heart- 
wood is a rich dark-red colour ; it is very hard and durable ; 
it is termite-proof ; it splits very badly, does not take nails 
well ; it is hard to plane and is sawn none too easily. It does 
not warp or crack to any e;ctent while it is seasoning under 
proper conditions ; it burns with great heat, but rather less 
than in the case of Emido. 

It is a rather slow-growing tree, with soil-protecting and soil- 
improving qualities ; as a light-loving species takes up a good 
deal of space. Natural regeneration appears to be poor, and may 
be due to the fact that the flowers appear, or before the young 
fruit has only just set, as the annual grass-fires run through 
the open deciduous forests where this tree is found. On the 
other hand, root suckers grow in great profusion. It also sprouts 
well from the stump. It is one of the most fire-resisting trees, 
and the thick bark no doubt protects it from its worst ravages. 
It may be considered one of the most typical trees of the drier 
parts of the open deciduous forests. A few sample plots have 
been tried with this tree, but it does not stand transplanting 
at all well. Rodents such as the cut-grass (ground pig) are 
very fond of the nuts, and no doubt destroy a great number 
whilst they are germinating. Fire-protecting root suckers and 
other young trees have thus far proved the most effective method 
of increasing the number of mature trees. It does not appear 
to be very exacting as to soil, but no doubt the growth is best 
on moist alluvial flats so long as they are well drained. 

Locally the most valuable part of the tree is the nut, from 
which the Shea butter is boiled out after three days ; it is a 
general article of diet instead of palm oil, in those districts 
where the latter is hard to obtain. Locally, also, the largest 
trees are cut down and made into mortars for beating food ; 
these fetch a price of 2s. 6d. to 3s. 6d. apiece ; they are con- 
sidered not only the most suitable, but also the most durable, 
except those made of the wood of the Oil Bean (Pentaclethra 
macrophylla). In other places it is used as a house-building 
timber. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 381 

As far as Europeans are concerned, the chief value of the 
tree lies in its nuts, which are either exported quite unprepared 
or in the form of the butter as the natives make it, in large 
elliptical-shaped sausages about 2 feet long and 9 inches in 
diameter. For these purposes it has become a regular article 
of commerce, and only lack of suitable means of transport 
prevents much greater quantities being collected and exported to 
the European markets. In Europe its most suitable use is 
said to be as a medium or inside substance of chocolate creams. 
The butter itself has a most peculiar and rather nauseating 
flavour, which is removed on its being refined and purified. 
The timber has not been tried for export. 
Chrysophyllum sp. ?. Round Star Apple. A species of Star 
Apple. Agoma (Benin). 

The fruit is quite spherical and supposed to be larger than 
C. Africanum. It is somewhat similar to C. Kainato. The 
natives squeeze the fruit in order to eat it. 
Chrysophyllum Africanum. African Star Apple or Edible Star Apple. 
Osangbalumo (Yoruba) ; Otien (Benin). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ondo, Benin, Warri, Owerri, 
and Calabar provinces of Nigeria. It is a medium-sized tree, 
often found growing at the roadside at the edge of the villages 
or as an avenue leading up to them. 

The most characteristic feature of this tree is the silvery 
underside of the leaf, which is formed by minute white hairs. 
In the fruiting season, another characteristic is the golden- 
coloured, pointedly pear-shaped fruit, which bursts on falling 
to the ground. A white latex exudes from the fruit ; this latex 
is sucked out and is tartly sweet to the taste. Inside the fruit 
are five thin, elliptic-shaped seeds ; these are brown and very 
shiny. Their position inside the fruit probably gave rise to the 
English name. 

The wood is white and soft ; it cuts easily and planes well, 
but does not split well. The grain of the timber is fine and 
the texture smooth. It is a moderately fast growing tree 
and the wood is not durable. The slash is white, and the 
tree exudes a white latex when cut ; the foliage is very dense, 
and the dark upper surface of the leaves is a great contrast 
to the underside. It is a soil-protecting and soil-improving 
tree. The timber has not been exported to Europe. It is 
occasionally used by the natives for making " Ju-jus" such as 
the devil. 
Chrysophyllum sp. Monkey Star Apple or Monkey Otien. Osang 
Palambi, Osang Edan (Yoruba) ; Ekuso (?), Ekpuro, Otiemmie 
(Benin). 



382 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

This is a moderately prevalent tree in the Calabar, Ogoja, 
Benin, Ondo and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a medium-sized tree with a small leaf. It attains a 
girth of about 8 feet. The golden-brown of the underside of 
the leaves is most typical of this tree and makes it easily dis- 
tinguished from Chrysophyllum Africanum ; in fact, in passing 
through the forest this is one of the few trees having brown 
tomatose hairs on the underside of the leaf. The crown is 
broad and flat and heavy. The bole is not too long and is 
covered with a smooth light-brown-coloured bark. 

The Benin native name means that it is the Monkey Otien, 
that is to say, not the one that men may eat. It is usually 
found in the evergreen forest. 

The timber is white, light and soft, and is attacked by 
termites. It has not so far been cut for export or local use. 

Native Use. — The fruit is sometimes eaten by the Benins. 
Chrysophyllum albidum (Don.). White Star Apple. Osum Agba- 
lumo (Yoruba). 

This is one of the Star Apples of the Yoruba Forest, where 
it is found chiefly in the Abeokuta province. It is not very 
prevalent. The fruit is not so esteemed by the natives as 
that of Osangbalumo. The bole is somewhat straighter and less 
branched than that of C. Africanum. The wood is white and 
soft ; the stem is not absolutely round, being somewhat fluted 
at the base, with narrow and thin spurs which extend 4 to 
6 feet up the stem. The natives occasionally use the wood 
for household utensils. It has not been cut for export. 
Chrysophyllum Welwitchii. 

This so-called Forcados Star Apple was found in the forest 
just behind the station of Forcados. It is not a very common 
tree. 
Malacantha sp. nov. Akala (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve and neighbouring 
parts of the Abeokuta and Ibadan provinces. In many places 
it is very prevalent, though it does not grow actually gregariously. 
It reaches up to a medium size. The bole does not exceed a 
length of much over 15 feet and a girth of 5 feet. With its 
four narrow, somewhat long (up to 4 feet) buttress root spurns, 
the base of the stem forms a rather irregular shape. The 
bark is roughish and scales off to a slight extent as the tree 
becomes older. 

The leaves are inclined to be placed at the terminals of 
the shoots and twigs, and the main veins are very prominent, 
giving the impression that the leaf has only comparatively 
recently opened. The leaf is a little rough to the touch, and 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 383 

rather dry and thickish. It is a distinctly yellowish-green 
colour. The foliage is very sparse. 

With its none too straight stem and comparatively slight 
amount of foliage it presents a poor appearance. 

The wood is of a pleasant light-yellow colour and com- 
paratively hard. It planes up with a smooth surface and 
saws easily. It does not take nails well, nor does it split easily. 
It is termite-proof. 

Natural regeneration appears to be slight, but stool and 
root shoot reproduction seem to be strong. The seeds are very 
small and appear like little round, spherical nuts. Although 
it will bear a slight amount of shade in its youth, it is a 
light-loving species later on. 

Occurring as it does in the mixed deciduous forests, near 
the lower edge of the dry-zone vegetation it should prove a 
useful tree, especially as it is comparatively fire-resisting. 

Although comparatively slow-growing it attains sufficient 
size to be cut up into verandah-posts and banister rails and 
uprights. 

On the whole, quite a respectable quantity of timber could 
be obtained in the aggregate from the large number of trees 
found growing in the forests. 
Pachy stela cinereum (Pierre). Osan odo, Orban igba (Yoruba). 

Found in the Abeokuta province. 

Ebenaces. 

Diospyros Momhuttensis, syn. Sinensis. Walking-stick Ebony 
or Yoruba Ebony. Ogan pupa, Aggan Egbo (Egba) (Yoruba) ; 
Ungungmekkan (Benin). 

It is a small tree with reddish-coloured stem and very thin, 
scaly bark, often branching near the base and usually forming 
several stems up to 18 inches in girth instead of one main stem. 
It has a large, alternate leaf, with large leaf scars, amounting 
to projections from the twigs. The fruit is like an acorn, 
but of reddish colour, with a very small, low-rimmed cup. The 
twigs are reddish colour too, which is most typical of the tree. 

It is common in the Benin, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Oyo and 
Ondo provinces of Nigeria. 

Timber. — Very hard, whitish-brown wood. 

E. Use. — Walking-sticks, as it often grows forming a natural 
handle. 

Native Use. — Walking-sticks. 
Diospyros sp. Benin Ebony. Owegbo (Benin). 

A medium-sized tree, yielding a black ebony, which is 
prevalent in the Benin forests. The bark scales ofif like D. atro- 



S81 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

purpurea. It is a larger tree, though, than the last named. 
It likes the dense forest with a deep, damp soil. 

In proportion the sapwood is white and very wide. 

The tree is slow-growing, shade-bearing, with soil-protecting 
and soil-improving qualities. Natural regeneration is weak. 

The timber has not been exported, nor has it been sawn 
up for local use. 

Native Use. — Firewood. 
Diosypros mespiliformis. Monkey Guava or Yoruba Ebony, Kanran, 
Etini (Yoruba) ; Igedudu (Benin). 

From the similarity of its fruit to a medlar it obtains its 
botanical name. 

It is found in the Abeokuta and Ibadan provinces of Nigeria, 
in the mixed deciduous forest zone. In places such as the 
Olokemeji Forest Reserve and neighbourhood it is very pre- 
valent and almost gregarious in habit. As regards height, and 
almost always as regards girth, it is the largest of almost all the 
ebony-trees, with the exception of one species found near the 
Niger, reaching a girth of over 14 feet and a bole length of 70 feet. 
At the pole stage, and as it gets older, the bark is evenly fissured, 
vertically and horizontally, breaking up into small black-edged 
sections of about 2 inches long and J inch wide. Until it is much 
over 2 feet in girth the cortex is smooth, dark-green or black. 
After this it becomes rather rough, with small fissures. Although 
often very cylindrical in shape, the bole sometimes has very con- 
siderable taper — in fact, more so than many other trees. The 
branches come out almost at right angles to the stem and are very 
persistent, still remaining as short snags for many years after they 
have been broken off by storms or other agencies. The leaves are 
smallish and lanceolate in shape, and almost appear to be silvery 
on the under surface and very dark green on the upper surface. 
The thinner branches appear silvery-grey, though they are 
very similar, but thinner in comparison to M. multinervis, 
which are found in the same locality growing side by side. 
The leaf has a few fine veins. The fruit is flatly spherical, and 
is like a little medlar with its russet-brown rough surface and 
the dried-up sepals of the flower on it. It is, however, larger 
than than of Multinervis. 

The sapwood is white and narrow and the heartwood dark- 
brown to black, sometimes even green-black. It is very hard — in 
fact, almost the hardest of all African woods, with perhaps 
the exception of Yoruba Ironwood, Red Ironwood, and African 
Greenheart. It splits fairly well. It is inclined to be brittle, 
especially in timber from larger specimens, planes well and 
saws well, but is difficult to nail. It is termite-proof. Occa- 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 385 

sionally a large boring beetle burrows into the wood when it 
is lying on the ground. However, the grubs which do this 
damage are considered a delicacy by the natives, so that wherever 
found they are soon collected and eaten. The younger tree 
grows with branches more or less in whorls, but not so 
regular as those of M. multinervis. When fresh it is liable 
to warp. It keeps its colour better than most of the ebonies. 
It occasionally shows a little figure. In proportion it has the 
largest heartwood of any of them, and for this reason is a 
most valuable tree. 
Diospyros Kamerunensis. Cameroon Ebony. 

This tree has been found in the Boji Hills Forest as well 
as in the Cameroons. Although not of great size, it yields a 
comparatively large and black-hearted ebony. The fruit is 
much larger than that of most other species. It is comparatively 
prevalent at an elevation of about 1,000 feet in the Boji Hills, 
Up to the present it is doubtful if it has been worked at all. 
The natives have no use for the tree. 
Diospyros Barteri. Ebony Nut or Yam Stick. Ivioha (Benin). 

Small ebony-shrub of the Benin province of Nigeria, found 
near Okomo in rather moist ground. The natives have no 
use for the wood. 
Diospyros bipendensis. South Cameroon Ebony. 

It is supposed to be found in the Oban Reserve. 
Diospyros crassiflora. Benin Ebony. Aborkpor (Benin). 

It yields the black ebony of the Benin country and is 
somewhat prevalent. Found in the Benin, Abeokuta and 
Onitsha provinces of Nigeria. A tree with a small leaf. 

It forms almost pure groups or even small stands, of half 
a mile and less in extent, near the banks of the Niger. It can 
stand swampy ground. It used to be cut in the Onitsha 
district. 
Diospyros sp. Benin Ebony. Isanhianme or Ehrenyegbo (Benin). 
A common tree of the Benin province of Nigeria. It is 
supposed to yield a good ebony. It does not reach a very large 
size. It is a soil protecting and improving tree. Locally it 
is used for house-building. 

In 1906 samples of this timber were sold in the Liver- 
pool market as mahogany at Is. 6d. per cubic foot. Since that 
time it has not been exported. 
Diospyros atropurpurea (Gurke). Brown Ebony. Igedudu (Yoru- 
ba) ; Igedudu (Benin). 

It is a small tree, attaining a girth of about 4 feet. The 
heartwood is usually brown with black streaks, giving it a 
curious and diverse streakiness, not unlike black marble or 
25 



386 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Indian Blackwood. The flower is reddish-purple coloured 
and quite conspicuous, growing out of the upper surface of the 
twig without a stalk of any kind. The bark is almost black 
and peels oft' in very thin, oblong-shaped flakes ; the cortex 
underneath is green. In old age it is hollow at the first 
branch joint. 

It is found in the Benin and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 
About one-third of the diameter of a mature tree is heartwood. 
Apparently a slow-growing tree, though none have been planted. 
It is a shade-bearer in the evergreen and mixed forest ; natural 
regeneration is not good. A large cerambix or other borer 
makes finger-thick holes in the sap and heartwood of old trees. 

It should be an export timber of value, but it was only 
valued at £5 to £10 a ton in 1906. It has been used for mirror 
frames. 

Native Use. — For firewood in the Benin country, where it 
is considered very good. 
Diosjiyros suaveolens. Benin Ebony. Oohoo (Benin). 

It is a small-sized tree, with very small heartwood and a 
small, oblong, almost lanceolate leaf. The bark, which is quite 
black, has slight fissures and is much harder than that of 
D. atropurpurea. 

It is prevalent in the Benin country, Nigeria. 

It likes to grow near water, but not in a swampy place. 
It is a slow-grower and shade-bearer, being found as an under- 
growth in the high forest. It is not attacked by white ants. 
The wood is hard and durable. 

Native Use. — It is used for house-building as rafters, as 
well as for axe-handles of any kind. Small trees are used for 
making bows (long) for shooting birds. 
Diospyros verrucosa. 

This tree, although named from the Cameroons, is found in 
the Abeokuta and Benin provinces of Nigeria. The twigs are 
very rough compared to the other species. 
Diospyros dendo ?. Cross River Ebony. Ebubri etu, Obiliteto 
(Efik) ; Itiuyang (Oban, Ekoi). 

It is a medium-sized tree with dark-green, smooth bark, 
with large lanceolate leaves and strong upward-spreading 
branches, which makes the bole shorter than it would other- 
wise be. The fruit is almost pear-shaped, containing four 
long, thin, wedge-shaped seeds, brown outside and white 
inside. 

It is found in the Calabar and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria, 
in the evergreen forest zone of the hill forests. 

The crown is rather irregular in shape, being supported 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 387 

with two or three main limbs from the bole. It reaches a 
girth of about 6 feet and a bole length of 12 feet. 

The sapwood is wide and white and the heartwood black. 
The tree is occasionally attacked by a large borer, which makes 
large holes nearly | inch in diameter. The timber is very hard, 
but if the tree is killed by fire it becomes a little more brittle 
than is usually the case. In old trees which may be left lying 
in the forest, the middle of the heartwood often decays away 
with ground-rot. It planes well and saws well. Nails often 
split it. It splits moderately well, especially when free of 
knots. 

It is a very slow-growing, shade-bearing, soil-protecting 
and soil-improving tree. On the whole, it is more exacting as to 
soil than most other trees, being usually found on a good loam 
rich in humus, which is moist and with fair drainage. Natural 
regeneration is none too good. Stump shoots are very weak, 
and often do not occur. It has not yet been planted. It is very 
susceptible to fire — in fact, more so than perhaps any other tree. 
The timber has been exported for many years from Calabar, 
but of late in decreasing quantities, owing to the exhaustion 
of the nearer sources of supply, and to the fact that only small 
billets under 3 feet in length, not square, and only 3 or 
4 inches in cross-section were cut. The usual native method 
of procedure is very curious. On making a clearing for a farm, 
any ebony standing there gets killed with the fire, and having 
comparatively few roots and being very heavy, the tree falls 
down. Before abandoning the farm the native may put a mark 
on this tree, or at any rate make a mental note of its existence. 
After a year or two, if he is in need of money to buy clothes, or 
wishes to purchase anything, he goes back to this old farm, finds 
this tree, perhaps externallj' somewhat charred, and perhaps the 
centre of the heartwood rotted away ; he proceeds to cut it 
into lengths of about 10 or 12 feet. These he then splits length- 
ways into segments with a rounded side of about 5 inches, 
the two split sides about 4 inches, and the inner surface about 
3 inches. In order to get these long pieces of suitable dimension 
to carry to the nearest factory or trading station, he cuts them 
into three or four billets ; two or three of these, according to 
weight, are tied together and carried to the factory. It is sold by 
weight, and sometimes 200 billets go to the ton, though a smaller 
quantity of a larger size would be better and secure a better 
price. This method should be compared with the superior 
one adopted by the natives of the Cameroons. Compared 
to the usual price of £6 or £7 per ton for Calabar ebony, 
Cameroon wood usually fetches £10 to £12. 



388 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Diospyros xanthoxijplamys. Okahimi (Benin). 

This is one of the Benin ebonies and is not very prevalent. 
It is said to yield a good ebony. 
Maba Mannii. Benin Maba. 

It is a common tree in the Benin and Ondo provinces of 
Nigeria. It only reaches a girth of 4 feet and a short bole 
of about 10 feet. It is much branched, even low down, the 
branches being persistent and crooked. The leaves are small, 
rather less than ebony itself. The leaf is really a long, 
pinnate one, with thirty pairs of pinnse. The fruit is white, 
soft and oblong, with small seeds. 

The tree has a white sapwood with a black heartwood, 
rather small in proportion to the size of the stem. It does 
not split well. Termites do not attack it, but occasionally the 
gigas borers make holes in it. It grows slowly and stands a 
good deal of shade. It sprouts well from the stool and the 
seed also grows fairly well. It grows in the damp, deep soil 
and does not stand fire at all. It belongs to the evergreen 
forest zone. 

This tree has not been cut for local use or exported to Europe. 
It is used as firewood, and is considered better than most other 
woods, even Ohia, Celtis sp. 

Oleaceae. 

Schrebera Golungensis. Hard Yellow Wood. Opele (Yoruba) ; 
Udegwoga (?) (Benin). 

It is found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria, Olokemeji 
and Ilaro Reserves. 

It is a large tree, reaching a girth of about 10 feet. The 
smooth, light-green bark with yellow patches differs from the 
Celtis species, which is rougher, and the Afrormosia species, which 
is orange-red and peels off. The leaves are small for the size 
of the tree. The crown is narrow and long and the branches 
forming it slender. The curious small pear-shaped dehiscent 
fruit, showing four oblong niches for seeds, is most typical of the 
tree. In other respects the habit and build of the tree is similar 
to the Celtis species, especially with the root spurns slightly 
corrugating the base of the bole. It is not a common tree, 
but usually a fair number of specimens are seen in any locality 
where it has been found. The bole is very straight and free 
from branches for quite a height of the tree. 

The timber is a dull-yellow colour, fine grain, of smooth 
texture and moderately hard. It planes to a smooth, 
almost shining surface. It scarcely shrinks or warps when 
drying. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 389 

It sprouts slightly from the stump, though the shoots do not 
seem to have much strength. 

The timber has not yet been exported, though its valuable 
quality should assure it of a market. Sample planks used 
at Olokemeji proved most durable. 

Native Use. — The fruit is used by the Yorubas for divining 
the future. 



Loganiaceae. 

Strychnos densiflora (Baill.). African Strychnos Tree. Attako 
(Yoruba) ; Egbeda (Benin). 

It is found in the dry-zone forest of the Ibadan and 
Benin provinces of Nigeria, where it seems to be very 
prevalent. 

Chief Characteristics. — It is a small tree or shrub, up to 
12 feet high, with small leaves and very hard wood. 

It is of slow growth, but on the whole is a shade-bearer 
and soil-protecting and soil-improving tree. Natural regenera- 
tion aj)pears to be poor. 

It has not been planted. 

Apparently the seeds have not yet been examined as to 
their value. The timber is too small for export or local use, 
except for hut-building. 

Use. — The Benin natives use the stem for making snares 
for Duika and the branches for making brooms, as they are 
very tough. 
Anthocleista nohilis. Ogugu, Sapho, Apa Oro (Yoruba) ; Orri- 
mogungun, Oriweni (Benin). 

It is found in the Ibadan, Abeokuta, Benin and Ogoja 
provinces of Nigeria. 

It has huge soft leaves, and is one of the first plants to appear 
on a clearing in the dry-zone or mixed forests. In old age 
the leaf is much smaller, and the mass of white flowers along 
the uppermost branches is most typical of the tree. It is often 
almost gregarious, and in most places more than one tree is found 
in the immediate neighbourhood. Reaching a girth of about 
3 feet, its stem does not exceed 20 feet in height. There 
are usually two or three main branches into which it divides. 
The wood is soft and white. 

It is a light-loving, rapid-growing tree, which is soil-pro- 
tecting and soil-improving in youth, but is too open in crown 
after a few years. It should, however, prove a useful nurse 
for superior species in the dry zone. 

Native Use. — Firewood in places where wood is scarce. 



390 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Apocynacese. 

Alstonia Congensis (Eng.). Pattern Wood, Stool Wood. Ahun, 
Awun, Ogudugbu (Yoruba) ; Ukhu (Benin) ; Ekuri Ebii (Ibo 
Owerri) ; Abo, Idu (Efik) ; Ofemm (Bembi) ; Etiap, Oguk 
(Oban, Ekoi). 

It is a large tree, growing up to a height of 100 feet and 
10 feet girth. The white lenticels on the bark are very typical 
of the tree, and give it the appearance of having a rust disease. 
The crown is formed of two or three whorls of branches and is 
very flat in old age. The tree grows always in whorls, though 
it may have more than one stem. In the distance the leaves 
apjjear to be digitate, but in reality three to seven are found to 
be growing out of the end of one stalk, all being much the same 
size. The crown is flatly umbrella-shaped. It has compara- 
tively few branches. The root flanges are slight, soon merging 
into the trunk. At the base of the bole, however, they are 
not absolutely round in shape, but have two or three large 
ridges, sometimes almost subdividing it. The slash is white, 
with yellow spots. A chalky white latex exudes when it is 
cut, rapidly running down the stem like a streak of whitewash. 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ondo, Benin, Owerri, 
Calabar and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria in the evergreen and 
mixed deciduous forest zone. It is a very common tree through- 
out this region and is usually found growing singly. 

The timber is white, there being little or no difference 
between sap wood and heart wood. When dry, it is very 
light and soft. It splits and planes easily, saws well, and 
takes nails easily. The grain is close and fine and very even 
in texture. Although dull, it works up to a smooth finish. 
It is attacked by termites. It is not durable in the open, but 
under cover it lasts quite well. In drying it is liable to shrink and 
warp a little, but with care this can be avoided. It seasons 
comparatively quickly. It cuts easily with a knife or chisel 
and might take the place of lime as a carving-wood. From 
its texture it should take stains very well. 

It is a very fast-growing, at first slightly shade-bearing 
and latterly a light-loving tree, which thoroughly protects 
the soil and enriches it with its leaf fall. Natural regeneration 
appears to be good, as it sprouts well from the stump. It 
seems to like a good soil with plenty of moisture, and will 
even withstand floods. It is not fire-resisting. The crown 
and branches are liable to be broken with a high wind. 

In 1906 samples of this timber were sold in the Liverpool 
market as a whitewood, but it was considered to be of no value. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 391 

It deserves a further trial as a pattern-wood, comparatively 
large quantities being available. Locally it has not been 
sawn up for planks. 

In Calabar the timber is used for stools, which are carved 
out of large solid blocks of this wood in one piece, without 
a joint. 

Native Use. — In the Benin country the timber is used for 
doors and the roots for medicine. 

The box of the musical instrument Asologun, a kind of 
zither, is made of this wood in the Yoruba country. The latex 
is used for mixing with real rubber latex of the Anyo or Fun- 
tumia elastica tree. 
Voacanga Africana (Stapf.). Cloth Shrub. Dodo, Giwini (Yoru- 
ba) ; Igbo (Benin). 

It is a common shrub-like tree in the Ogoja, Onitsha, Benin, 
Warri, Ondo, Ibadan and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. The 
tree is usually noticeable from its white wax-like, trumpet- 
shaped flowers, which have a very fragrant scent, and which 
very rapidly wither when cut. The bark is thin and extremely 
fibrous and hard to break, so much so that the natives of the 
Asaba district make grass-like fibre out of it and mix it with 
a silk fibre to make a very durable kind of cloth, which the 
natives wear. It grows in waste places and requires light. 
It sprouts well from the stump. 
Conopharyngia durissima. 

This tree is found in the Western Provinces. It is of a 
similar size to C. pachysiphon, and the timber is just as 
durable. 
Conopharyngia 2)a'CJiy siphon. False Boxwood. Dodo ? (Yoruba) ; 
Ibbu (Benin). 

It is a common tree in the Calabar, Warri, Benin and Ondo 
provinces of Nigeria. A small tree, attaining a girth of only 
4 feet, with a large leaf, bearing large spherical-shaped fruits 
in pairs. The large creamy-white, strongly scented flowers 
are conspicuous to both sight and scent. The bark, even in 
its younger stages, is covered with small yellow lenticels. The 
wood is hard and yellow in colour, and there is no difference 
between sapwood and heartwood. The latex has sometimes 
been used as an adulterant for rubber. It is a shade-bearer, 
and is found at the border of the evergreen and mixed deciduous 
forests. 

The natives of the Benin country use the roots for medicinal 
purposes. 
Farquharia elliptica. Onanisankianmon (Benin). 

This is a member of the new genus of Farquharia found by 



392 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Mr. Farquhar in the Benin province of Nigeria, near Ugumu. 
It is not stated whether the natives use this as a source of 
rubber or not. 
Landolphia florida (Benth.). Rubber Vine. Ibugidi, Ibo-akitipa 
(Yoruba). 

A vine found throughout Southern Nigeria, though most 
abundant in the dry-zone fringing forests and in the inter- 
mediate forests, and at Ottoa, Benin province. It bears white 
flowers having yellow centres. 

Uses. — Milky juice is obtained from this vine, but it is 
not good rubber, and has no market value. 
Landolphia scandens. Ibo (Yoruba) ; Ubamiogon (Benin) ; Otopoi, 
Otanta (Ibo Asaba). 
Ilaro. 
Landolphia Owariensis, var. rnbiginosa. 

Found Anwai River, Asaba district. 
Landolphia Owariensis. White Vine Rubber. Ibo tabong (Yoruba) ; 
Ubamiogon, Ubgo (Benin) ; Otta farfridi (Ibo Asaba). 
Found Benin City and Mamu. 
Landolphia Senegalense. Ibo akitipa (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Oyo province of Nigeria, and it is supposed 
to be one of the sources of vine rubber. 
Landolphia Thompsonii (Ches.). Corrugated-fruited Rubber. Ibo- 
gidi (Yoruba) ; Ugbamiogun (Benin). 

Abeokuta, Benin and Calabar provinces of Nigeria. 
A vine growing abundantly throughout the rain and 
fringing forests. It has white flowers with yellow centres 
and a bright-yellow edible fruit. No rubber is obtained from 
it, but only a pasty mass from the latex. 
Landolphia Petersiana. Large-fruited Landolphia. 

Found in the Oban Reserve and Benin province. 
Landolphia bracteata. Autopoi (Ibo Asaba). 

Found at Idanre, Anwai, Asaba district. 
Carpodinus hirsuta (Stapf.), var. djenge. Flake or Paste Rubber, 
Root Rubber, Brown Cluster, or Brown Medium. Ibo Ilecki 
(Yoruba) ; Uboto, Obo, Ubanakwi, Ake. Abache (Benin). 

It is found in the Onitsha, Benin and Warri provinces of 
Nigeria, It has a mauve-coloured flower with a musk-like 
scent. 

The rubber was bought near the Niger until the vines from 
which it was taken were destroyed. 
Carpodinus Barteri, syn. Clitandra Barteri. Mauve-flowered Vine 
Rubber. Ibo (Yoruba) ; Akhe (Benin) ; Akwarri, Offonkwari 
(Ibo Asaba). 
Anwai River. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 393 

Carpodinus fulva. Pear-shape -fruited Rubber. Ikwian (Benin). 

Found in the Asaba district, Benin province. 
CUtandra elastka. Brown Medium Rubber. Ubabikpan (Benin) ; 
Beckindanko (Hausa). 
Benin province. 

A vine of the dry zone, found in the Okwoga district and 
at Adani in Awka district. It also yields root rubber. 

It yields a good rubber, sold on the Niger for Is. 3d. to Is, 6d. 
per pound (1911). Extracted by tapping and coagulated by 
boiling, also with salt. 
CUtandra visciflua (Hall. Fil.). Ubake (Benin). 

Found in the Benin province. 
CUtandra Togolana (Hall). Ibo, Agba (Benin). 

It is a large tree, up to 60 feet high (?). Olokemeji. 
CUtandra cirrhosa. Oban Rubber. 

This is one of the commoner vines of the Oban Forest Reserve. 
In recent years, owing to the low price of rubber, it has not 
been tapped to any extent. The cost of collection to the natives 
is rather high, with the extended preparations and amount of 
food they must take with them in this forest. Added to this 
there is the cost of the licence and the cost of taking it over 
the long distance to the market, so that they do not think it 
pa3^s to collect this rubber. 
Rauwolfia vomitoria (Afzel). Swizzle-stick. Iraigbo, Asofeyeje 
(Yoruba) ; Akata (Benin). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ondo, Benin, Warri, 
Owerri and Calabar provinces of Nigeria, in the evergreen 
and mixed deciduous zone, where it is very prevalent. 

It is a small tree of 12 feet in height and 18 inches in girth, 
with almost always four branchlets to each branch, forming 
regular whorls in this manner. It has a soft, thin leaf and a 
round, small green fruit. The stem is usually forked near 
the ground, and each side branch is forked again and the 
uppermost branches divided into four separate twigs, making 
thus a most convenient shape for a swizzle-stick. The stem is 
more or less dotted with a few white lenticels. The bark peels 
off very readily and cleanly with a knife, leaving the bare white 
stem, especially in the smaller branches. 

The wood of the smaller branches is soft, showing a small 
pith in the centre, but that of the stem in the larger specimens 
is comparatively hard, and more like an inferior type of box- 
wood. The sapwood is usually a little softer than the 
heartwood. 

It is a moderately fast-growing, shade-bearing, soil-protecting 
and soil-improving tree. Natural regeneration is good. It 



394 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

sprouts well from the stump, and a certain number of root 
suckers appear. It stands pruning well. 

The tree does not really reach a large enough size to yield 
export timber, or to be of much value for local use. It is, 
however, commonly used as a swizzle-stick. 

In places where building timber is scarce, it is occasionally 
used in house-building. It could be, and sometimes is, used 
as a live fence. 
Polyodoa umbellata (Stapf.). Oak or Boxwood. Aini (Egba) ; 
Erfti (Yoruba) ; Osu (Benin). 

It is a medium-sized tree which grows to a girth of 4 feet. 
The young stem is easily recognized by the longitudinal strips 
of lenticels, joined together with the dark-green cortex, showing 
between each strip. When older, lenticels appear on the stem 
and it may be quite grey or white. 

The wood is a dirty yellow colour and very hard, resembling 
box in the fineness and the hardness of its grain. It is used 
by the natives for making combs for the hair ; these combs 
have six prongs about 6 inches long and are sold at 6d. to Is. 
apiece. It is used for house-building, and is considered the 
most durable timber for this purpose ; it is forked about 15 to 
20 feet from the ground. The bark is used medicinally by the 
natives (Yorubas). 

The leaves are a yellowish-green, gradually turning a rich 
dark -green. The small greengage-sized fruits appear in pairs 
at the ends of the shoots, and occasionally in threes, but this 
is rare. 

It likes moist ground, though it will stand a long dry season, 
so long as it has the shade of other trees. It is a distinct shade- 
bearer, though it grows a fair height when it has a chance. The 
flowers are white and have a very pleasant smell. 

Only a very small quantity of latex exudes when the tree 
is cut, and so does not give the impression of belonging to 
the rubber family of Apocynacese. 

The sap wood is a similar colour to the heartwood. It is 
not always straight, but this is owing to its slow growth causing 
it to be amongst the dominated trees. In older trees the 
stem is usually quite white, except where the bark has been 
removed. 

A sample was sent to England in 1914 and was said to 
be valueless as a substitute for boxwood. In 1906 samples 
were shipped to Liverpool, where it was sold as a species of 
oak at Is. 9d. per cubic foot, but it was not considered as good 
as that obtained from Awaw, Eba, Lophia procera or Ostryo- 
derris impressa. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 395 

Native Use. — The chief tree for all tool -handles and house- 
posts. The most durable kinds are in Egba, and they are 
not attacked by white ants. 
Alafia Landolphioides. Ubamiagon (Benin) ; Ata frifridi (Ibo Asaba). 

Found at Illushi, Asaba district, Oke Igbo, Ilesha district. 
Carissa edulis. 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. The fruit is edible. 
Motandra Guineensis (A. D.C.). Bodekadun (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 

It has not been used for making rubber. 
Strophanthus Preussii. Elephant Poison. Isha gere, Isha kekere 
(Yoruba). 

Found in the Shagamu, Lagos and Calabar districts. 

A climbing shrub, attaining the height of 12 feet. The 
flowers are creamy in colour, deepening to orange, with purple 
spots and streaks. 
Strophanthus bispidiis (A. D.C.). Isha fere (Yoruba). 

Found in the Ilesha district, Oyo province. 
Holarrhena Wulfshergii (Stapf.). The Male Rubber Tree or False 
Rubber Tree, according to the Yorubas, or sometimes known as 
the False Ireh Tree. Ireh-ibeji, Ireh-ako, Ako-ireh (Yoruba). 

This tree being found in the Abeokuta and Oyo provinces of 
Nigeria, it is not very prevalent, nor does it grow in large 
numbers in any one place. With its smooth, dark-green bark, 
speckled irregularly all over with white spots and lenticels, it 
is easily distinguishable from the almost silver-white or grey 
beech-like stem of the true West African Rubber Tree. 

At a height varying from 10 to 15 feet the bole sometimes 
divides and forms two very straight stems, one much smallar 
than the other. In the African Rubber Tree {Funtiimia elastica) 
usually only one stem is formed. 

Again, in its sparse and rather drooping foliage it is very 
different from the real rubber-tree. The leaves are much 
longer, more sharply pointed, and in fact more lanceolate than 
those of F. elastica. The foliage often gives the appearance 
of being withered or that the tree is drying up. 

Large raceme-like masses of small flowers appear in February 
or March, which are much more prominent than those of i^. elastica, 
these being more hidden among the leaves, although individu- 
ally having larger blossoms. Later on, a thin round pod, nearly 
2 feet in length, forms in pairs, which hang down and make 
the tree look most grotesque. On the other hand, F. elastica 
pods are stout and short and almost hidden by the foliage. 



396 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

The tree reaches a girth of 36 inches and a total height of 
about 50 feet. 

The slash is greenish -white, and a very little white, rather 
watery latex exudes from the cut. The wood is white, soft, 
planes easily, and splits comparatively easily. It saws fairly 
well and takes nails with comparative ease. It is not termite- 
proof. 

It is a moderately fast-growing tree of a light-loving nature. 
Natural reproduction by seed appears to be fair. It sprouts 
slightly from the stump. 

Being found in odd and poor places in the mixed deciduous 
forests at the edge of dry-zone vegetation, it should prove 
useful for temporary house-building purposes and for cutting 
up as cratewood for bananas, etc. 
Pleiocerus Barteri (Baill.). Irena, kekere (Yoruba). 

The fruit is very much like a Cola and fairly common in the 
forest. It is very sticky to the taste. 

It is a medium-sized tree, in habit similar to the Cola-tree, 
and most people would classify it from its external appearance 
as a species of Cola. 

It is found in the Benin and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 
Picralima Klaineana ?. Agege (Yoruba). 

Found at Agege, Yoruba country. 
Oncinotis gracilis. Ornamental Rubber Vine. Allerle (Benin). 

Found in Ogodo Dry-zone Forest. 
Name unknown. Ikwian (Benin). 

An uncommon tree of the Benin province of Nigeria. It 
attains a medium-size and bears large fruits. The wood is 
used as firewood. 

Borraginaceae. 

Ehretia cymosa (S. and H.). Ija oke (Yoruba). 

Found in the Olokemeji. 
Cordia sp., ? Platythyrsa. Drum-wood Cordia. Ako Ledo (Yoruba). 
It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. 
Cordia Irvingii. Acorn-like-fruited Cordia. 

It is a medium-sized tree, similar to Cordia Millenii. It is 
found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria. 
Cordia Millenii. Omon or Omo (Yoruba) ; Omah (Benin). 

This tree is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ondo, Benin, 
Owerri, Calabar and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. 

It is an irregularly shaped tree, often with more than one 
stem. The light-coloured bark, especially when it is scaly, 
often gives the impression that the tree is luminous at night. 




Fig. 87. — Koko Town, with laft of mahogany logs moored near the bank. 




Mahogany logs floating in the river above Koko Town. 



To face p. 39&. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 397 

The leaf is large. It is a common tree in the Benin district, 
of medium-size. 

It yields a softwood, which has a certain amount of 
resonance. The sap wood is white and the heart wood a mid- 
brown colour. It is not very durable, except under cover. 

It stands a good deal of shade. It sprouts well from the 
stump. It bears fruit irregularly, and seedlings are scarce in 
the forest. The wood has not been exported, and none of its 
qualities so far assure it of finding a good market in Europe. 

Native Use. — The natives use the wood for making drums. 

Verbenaceae. 

Avicennia Africana. White Mangrove. Ogbun (Lagos) ; Ede, 
Eyhrodo (Benin) ; Odonumon (Efik). 

It is found in the Colony, Ondo, Warri, Owerri and Calabar 
provinces of Nigeria. It is seen partly in pure groups, and 
also mixed more or less in groups with the other areas of 
Red Mangrove and Laguncularia sp. 

It is a small tree, growing up to 2 feet girth and about 
40 feet high. 

The bole appears silvery grey and the branches very slender. 
The leaves are of a lighter green than those of the Red Mangrove. 
The aerial roots are smaller and not so extended as in the case 
of Racemosa. On the whole, it occurs in the quieter and less 
exposed localities, away from the sea, and it seems to appear 
only secondary to R. racemosa, which is the first tree to appear 
in the mangrove formation. The slash is white ; the cortex 
is thin. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood a light brown 
when freshly cut. Is moderately hard, and durable when dry 
and used away from water. It is termite-proof. In structure 
it is similar to teak, being a member of the same family, but 
the grain is more open and the pores are considerably larger and 
longer, giving the wood a more open texture. It planes up 
with a smooth surface, splits well, takes nails moderately well 
and saws easily. 

It is a somewhat slow-growing, at first shade-bearing, and 
later on a light-demanding tree. Natural regeneration is good, 
but it does not appear to be extending as fast as R. racemosa. 
It sprouts from the stump ; root suckers and aerial root shoots 
grow in considerable numbers. On the whole, it tends to die 
out sooner when the ground becomes dryer than R. racemosa, 
and its area of distribution from the coast inland is much 
less wide. 

The timber has not been exported, nor has it been sawn 



398 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

up for local use. For the natives this tree forms what is con- 
sidered the best " salt bush " in the Jekri country. It is still 
used for the manufacture of salt, which is considered much 
stronger than and superior to imported salt. It is also used for 
poles, house-building, boat and canoe houses and wharves. 
Vitex grandifolia. Ori (Yoruba) ; Owenkundignon, Oriri Ogikiomi(?) 
(Benin). 

It is found in the Benin, Onitsha, Owerri and Ogoja pro- 
vinces, in the open deciduous forest zone. 

The digitate leaf is much larger than that of F. CienkowsJci, 
and on the whole the tree is larger too, reaching a girth of 
10 feet and a bole length of 30 feet. The fruit is rather larger, 
but similar in shape and taste to the former. The branches 
are very persistent, and coming out more or less in whorls 
from the bole, give the tree a most distinct appearance. 

The sapwood is white and the heartwood at first light- 
brown, and then darker brown. It is rather more open-grained 
than the teak. It does not split very well, but can take nails ; 
neither does it plane easily, but can be worked up to a smooth 
finish. It is very durable and termite-proof. 

At first fast growing and later rather slower, it is on the 
whole a little faster growing than V. Cienkowski. It withstands 
the fires in an extraordinary manner, and only occasionally 
does the bole get so deeply burnt that the tree becomes hollow. 
It bears a large crop of fruit almost every year. 

The timber has not been exported, nor has it been sawn up 
for local use. It deserves further attention than it has received 
up to the present, more especially as it is of the same family 
as the teak. 

Native Use. — The fruit is eaten, and occasionally the smaller 
trees are used for house-building. 
Vitex Cienkoivskii. Ori, nla (Yoruba), 

It is a medium-sized tree, attaining a girth of about 8 feet 
and a bole length of about 25 feet. The bark is rough, divided 
up with long, narrow vertical fissures, which are more or less 
regular in their distribution. The crown is spherical, somewhat 
widespreading, and usually occupies about half the height of 
the tree. The large, shiny, dark-green digitate leaf is most 
characteristic of the tree. The fruit, not unlike a large acorn 
without the cup, is edible and has a slight honey taste. It 
attracts the bees from far and near. 

This tree is found in the Oyo and Abeokuta provinces of 
Nigeria. 

Timber. — Hard, brown wood, very similar to teak. It is 
often rather knotty and sometimes cross-grained. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 399 

At first fairly fast-growing, later on it is rather slow. It 
is very fire-resisting, but does not thoroughly protect the soil. 
It has not been felled for export, nor has it been sawn up for 
local use. It serves a useful purpose amongst the dry-zone 
vegetation, and is one of the larger trees of that zone. 
Vitex Fosteri. Ori-eta (Yoruba) ; Obuban, Ibang (Benin) ; Ogi 
(Calabar). 

Chief Characteristics. — It is a medium-sized tree with thin, 
white bark and voluted stem, which is not overstraight beyond 
15 or 20 feet, soft and fibrous ; one of the common trees 
in the mixed forest, though also found in the evergreen forest. 
It has a thin, digitate leaf. It usually stands as one of the 
dominated trees in either forest. The leaves often look 
silvery, but this is an optical illusion, owing to their being so 
thin and white on the underside. 

Distribution. — It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Jebu, 
Ode, Benin and Calabar provinces of Nigeria. 

Timber. — It is a hard, white wood of even texture and smooth 
grain, which is apparently durable for interior work. It is 
somewhat like hornbeam, though not quite so hard. It works 
up with a smooth surface. 

Silvicultural Qualities. — It is a shade-bearer, though, if planted 
pure, it is doubtful whether its foliage would thoroughly protect 
the ground, owing to its being so thin. Natural regeneration 
by seed is apparently good. 

Use. — It would probably make good verandah-posts, door- 
frames and window-frames, but so far has not been tried. As 
there is plenty of it, proper supplies could be obtained in the 
provinces named. 

Value. — At present doubtful, as it is an untried wood ; 
however, belonging to the same family as teak, it should find 
a place amongst the valuable small timbers for local use. 
Vitex diver sifolia. 

It has been noted from the Oban Reserve. 
Clerodendron Thonningii. Egwa, Oriakuku (Benin). 

It is an ornamental shrub of the Benin province of Nigeria, 
found near the Osse River. 
Clerodendron Thompsonii. Egwa oviakuku (Benin). 

A medium-sized shrub with woody stem found in the Benin 
province. 
Clerodendron scandens (Beauv.). 

It is a large shrub with hard wood of the Benin province 
of Nigeria. 
Clerodendron volubulu. Ebenote (Benin). 

Found in the Benin province. 



400 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Clerodendron splendens (Kew). Adabi (Yoruba). 

A medium-sized shrub found in the Abeokuta province. The 
stem yields small wood for farm implements. 

Labiatae. 

Ocimum viride (Willd.). Efinrin (Yoruba) ; Aramoho (Benin). 
Found in the Yoruba and Benin country. 

Scrophulariacese. 

Cycinium camporum (Engl.). Arojoku (Yoruba). 

Flowers white. Found at Obba on the Hill, Ondo province. 

Bignoniaceae. 

Spathoidea campanulata. Red Tulip Tree. Oruru (Yoruba) ; Okokwi 
Okwekwe (Benin) ; Essenim (Efik) ; Osukaregigi (Bembi). 

This tree grows in the fringing and intermediate forests. 
It is of medium size and has large trumpet-shaped flowers, 
not unlike those of the tulip. 

Uses. — This tree is often used for ornamental purposes. 
Timber, edible seeds and medicaments are obtained from it. 

Stereospermum accuminatissimum. Osualong (seed), Okwekwe, 
Aguana (Benin). 

This is a somewhat common tree of the Benin province of 
Nigeria, and certainly with its red flowers it is one of the most 
handsome. It is not unlike the so-called African Tulip Tree, 
Spathoidea campanulata. On the whole, it is a smaller tree, 
with a round, almost spherical crown ; the wood is soft and 
white and not durable. It bears a large number of seeds, but 
few appear to germinate. It sprouts feebly from the stump, 
is a light-loving tree, and also a soil-protecting and soil-im- 
proving species. It deserves greater attention for planting in 
gardens and at the edges of recreation grounds of all sorts. 

Stereospermum Kunthianum (Cham.). Ayagdo (Yoruba). 

This tree is found in the Abeokuta province and Erin, 
Ilesha. It is very similar to the tulip-tree, but has a more 
orange-coloured flower. 

Kigelia AJricana. Sausage Tree. Orora, Pandoro (Yoruba) ; Ogia- 
himi, Esiskwi (Benin). 

It is a common tree of the Ogoja, Owerri, Onitsha, Benin, 
Ondu, Ibadan and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. The 
most typical feature of this tree is the long sausage-shaped 
fruit, which hangs by a stalk about 10 inches long ; the flowers 
are red, the leaves large and open. It is a small tree, often 
very much branched. It is usually found in old clearings 
at the edge of the mixed deciduous forest. The wood is not 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 401 

durable. The natives use it for fences, and the roots are mashed 
and used by Benis for cuts in the fingers. The bark and fruit 
are also used medicinally by the Yorubas. 
Marhhamia tomentosa. Iru, Ay a, I we (Yoruba). 

It is found in the Abeokuta province of Nigeria, in the 
mixed deciduous forest zone. 

It is a tree 4 to 6 feet in girth, with a large leaf having five 
pairs of pinnse, the lowest being very small, like stipules. A 
deciduous tree bearing small fruit. A very common tree. 

The timber is a soft, white wood, which is not used. It 
is attacked by white ants, and is not durable except under 
cover. 

The tree is a light-lover, quick-growing, and non-soil-im- 
proving. Natural regeneration is moderate, so that it does 
not spread too much. The tree has not been felled for export 
timber, nor has it been cut for local use. 
Newbouldia Icevis. Benin Ju-ju Tree. Akkoko (Yoruba) ; Ikhimi 
(Benin). 

It is found in the Calabar, Ogoja, Owerri, Warri, Onitsha, 
Ondo, Benin, Ibadan and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a small tree, scarcely exceeding 4 feet in girth. It 
has a large, oblong, dark leaf. It is most commonly seen in 
the middle of a compound with a pot at the base of it. The 
flowers are trumpet-shaped, white-coloured at the base and 
rose-red at the mouth. The fruit is a long, thin black pod, 
which opens releasing many flat, winged seeds. The seed is 
yellow and in the middle of the wing. 

The timber is white and soft. 

It has not been exported or cut for local use. 

Native Use. — The tree is used to mark boundaries. It is 
a " Ju-ju " tree, both in and outside the compound. It is some- 
times used for fences. It is used by the Yorubas for rafters. 

Acanthaceae. 

Thunbergia Vogeliana (Benth.). Blue Benin Thunbergia. Ohwohiro 
(Benin). 

This is a shrub with handsome blue flowers ; it is moderately 
common in the Central Circle. 

Rubiaceae. 

Sarcocephalus eu-esculentus. Sierra Leone Peach. Egbesi (Yoruba) ; 
Aragbaihi (Benin) ; Amellaky or Egbessye of Sierra Leone. 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Benin, Onitsha, Owerri 
and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria, where it is common in the open 
deciduous forest. 

26 



402 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

In habit it usually takes more of the shape and form of 
a shrub rather than a tree, though where it is protected a longish 
main leader grows up, but even this droops. It rarely 
attains a height of more than 15 feet and a girth at the base 
of about 18 inches. The leaf is large and oval, opposite, and 
rather leathery to the touch. The fruit is not unlike a peach, 
except that its surface is not smooth, but is pitted in small 
depressions, giving it a more special peach colour. The flesh is 
very woody and tough, interspersed with small seeds not unlike 
those of the strawberry. When ripe the birds eat them. The 
roots are of a yellowish-brown, especially when the cortex is 
rubbed. The slash is yellow. The leaf is very shiny. 

It does not really reach timber size, but the sapwood is a 
light yellow and the heartwood a darker yellow. 

It is a moderately quick growing, light-demanding, soil- 
protecting and soil-improving tree. Natural regeneration is 
poor, but reproduction by root suckers and stool shoots is very 
strong. It is very fire-resisting, and recovers easily from any 
effects of fire. 

Native Use. — In cases of scarcity of building-timber, occa- 
sionally short sections are obtained from it for hut-building. It 
is, however, usually too short. The roots are used medicinally 
in the following way : roots about a \ inch in diameter 
and upM^ards to f inch are thoroughly washed in water 
and cut up into sections of about 4 inches long and boiled in 
water. The solution thus made is strained off, and is drunk 
either hot or cold in fairly large doses for the relief of venereal 
disease (G.) in its earlier stages. Most of the natives affirm 
that it gives great relief, though they acknowledge that it 
does not prove a cure for it. 
Sarcocephalus esculentus. Weatherboard Wood. Opepe (Yoruba) ; 
Obiache (Benin) ; Awessu (Jekri). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ondo, Benin and Calabar 
provinces of Nigeria, where in certain localities it is very 
prevalent. 

It is a large tree of the evergreen forest zone, which attains 
a girth of 12 feet and a corresponding bole length. The bark 
is slightly rough and scaly, but in an even manner. It bears 
a large edible fruit 2 inches in diameter. The fruit is not un- 
like a peach in shape and colour, but with a rougher and softer 
skin. It is very closely and finely pitted with tiny holes in 
its surface. Inside, the flesh is pinkish- white. It is commonly 
seen at the edge of freshwater swamps in the Benin, If on and 
Ondo districts. It likes soil with good drainage, but it may 
be very moist. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 403 

The bole is very straight, and not unlike that of real African 
Oak in appearance. The leaves are rounded and moderately 
large, and inclined to be leathery in texture, with two stipules 
at the base. In the young seedlings the stem is more quad- 
rangular in shape than round, and there are a few almost 
straighter furrows running verticallj^ up it. 

It tends to spread with the opening up of the evergreen 
forest. The root spurns are very slight and round, merging 
into the stem a foot or so above the ground. The slash is 
yellowish-white, and a rather dirty colour. Mucilage-like latex 
gradually exudes from the cut. 

Timber. — The wood is very durable indeed, both for exposed 
places and for interior work. It is moderately hard, a little 
open and fibrous in grain, of a yellow to orange colour, 
with slight variations in its distribution through the wood. It 
planes well and saws easily ; splits fairly well, takes nails, and 
does not warp or shrink very much. There is only a slight 
difference in colour between the sapwood and heartwood, but 
the sapwood is not quite so durable. It is termite-proof. It 
is usually very straight -grained, free of knots and other internal 
defects — in fact, it is one of the cleanest of all the African 
timbers. 

It is a very fast-growing, at first slightly shade-bearing and 
later light-loving tree, which thoroughly protects and enriches 
the soil with its leaf fall. In fact, after the first two years it 
is very impatient of shade, and grows very slowly, if it is at all 
under large trees. In suitable places natural regeneration is 
very good. Fair crops of seeds are borne almost every year. In 
some places, notably north of the Ikoha in the Benin province, 
it is almost gregarious in habit. It sprouts well from the stump. 
Here again, unless there is sufficient light, it does not grow 
rapidly, and even tends to die down. In the nursery, seeds 
generate readily, but often fall a prey to the Duika, which eat 
the young seedlings. The tree does not stand transplanting 
very well, as it throws back its development very considerably. 
Small plantations have been made in one or two places. Close 
planting appears to be the correct method, as the branches 
are rather persistent and liable to form knots or places of 
decay in the stem, if they do not drop off when they are quite 
small. 

In 1906 samples of this timber were sold as a hardwood in 
Liverpool market, where it was considered to show little or 
no merit. However, since that date there have been increased 
demands for all good timbers, so that it seems worthy of a 
further trial. Locally it has been used for making canoes, or 



404 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

has been cut up for planks. It has also been used for bridge- 
building and other constructional work, and being one of the most 
durable, ever wider use is being found for it, quite apart from 
any likely demands for export. 

Native Use. — It is felled for sawing up into planks and making 
canoes, and is considered one of the best of all local timbers, 
except Iroko. 
Sarcocephalus sambucinus (?). Yellow Wood. Opepe (Yoruba) ; 
Ebengiku, Obiache (Benin) ; Eben (Jekri). 

It is found in the Ondo, Benin and Warri provinces of 
Nigeria. 

It is a medium-sized tree of the swamps, both near rivers 
and near the sea coast — in fact, it will grow in waterlogged 
places — whereas the Sarcocephalus esculentus, to attain large 
dimensions, likes drained soil. 

The fruit is only an inch in diameter, but of the same colour 
as the former. The pitting of the surface is more widely dis- 
tributed and the pits are shallower. The bark is less scaly, with 
a very slight roughness or fissured surface. The wood is not 
so durable as the former, especially in exposed places. On the 
whole, the leaves are larger than S. esculentus and a little thinner. 

The sapwood is whitish-yellow and the heartwood of a 
deep yellow colour. It is more fibrous and rather more open- 
grained than that of S. esculentus. The pores, too, are longer. 
On the whole, it is easier to work, a little softer, planes well, 
takes nails, splits well and saws easily. It is doubtful if it 
is termite-proof. 

Although really a light-loving tree, it can stand more lateral 
shade than S. esculentus. It is a thoroughly soil -protecting 
and soil -improving tree, the foliage making a very rich 
humus. It is much more slow-growing than S. esculentus, 
though on the whole it will stand closer together, and 
yet grow well. It sprouts well from the stump. Natural 
regeneration appears to be good. It is sometimes almost 
gregarious in habit, and in some places one of the few 
valuable trees in the swamp region. It is also often one 
of the few of merchantable size. No plantations have been 
made with this tree. 

In 1906 samples of this timber were sold in the Liverpool 
market as cedar, but it was only considered of poor quality. 
It deserves, however, further trial now. Locally it is occa- 
sionally sawn up for planks. 

Native Use. — It is sometimes used for making canoes, but 
it is not liked by the natives, because they say it is not so 
durable as S. esculentus. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 405 

Sarcocephalus sp. Swamp Opepe. Oppepera (Yoruba) ; Eben 
Obiache (Benin). Perhaps the same as the foregoing species. 
Morinda sp. Brimstone Wood. 

Ekiti district, Ondo province. 
Morinda lucida. Brimstone Wood. Oruwo (Yoruba) ; Obiache 
(Benin). 

Found in the Yoruba and Benin country. 
Morinda longiflora. Ekiti Morinda. 

Found in the Ekiti district, Mamu Reserve. 
Pausinystalia sp. 

It is found in the Eastern Calabar province of Nigeria. 
It is a medium-sized tree found growing in old farms. It has 
globular-shaped flowers with yellowish-red anthers, making it 
very pretty and conspicuous. It has a hard, yellowish-white wood. 
Saccoglottis Gabunensis. Mahogany, Tala. Ugu (Benin) ; Attalla 
(Jekri) ; Edat (Efik) ; Tala (Brass) ; Tala (New Calabar) ; 
Edat (Oban, Ekoi). 

It is a large tree, attaining a girth of 15 feet and a height 
of 150 feet. Nearly always found on swampy ground, or anyhow 
where the rainfall is high, as, for instance, in the Oban district. 
One of the first trees to be seen in the forest immediately 
behind the mangrove swamps. The bark is roughly fissured 
like elm, but more regularly, and the slash is red. The fruit 
is an indehiscent nut with small nodules on it, about the size 
of a walnut, which exudes a liquid not unlike honey. Bees 
often frequent the tree for that reason. A reddish sap exudes 
when the tree is cut. 

It is found in the Benin, Warri, Owerri and Calabar 
provinces of Nigeria. 

The wood is hard and dark-red, with a fairly close grain, 
though easy to work. The sapwood is usually very narrow 
and yellowish-red. 

It is evidently a shade-bearer, and stands a good deal of 
shade in its youth. Natural regeneration is fairly good where 
the rainfall is high. It seems a moderately fast grower, though 
no actual measurements have yet been taken. It is almost 
gregarious, especially in Oban. In 1906 it was valued in the 
Liverpool market at 3d. to 6d. a superficial foot as a mahogany 
of mild texture and fairly good colour. It has, however, not 
been used by the Public Works Department. 

Native Use. — In the Benin, Warri and Calabar provinces 
the bark is stripped off in rolls about 3 feet long and sold for 
making gin bitter, by placing it in the liquid. A bundle of 
bark is sold for 5s. at Calabar. In the Degema and Brass 
districts it is one of the common canoe trees. 



406 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Mitragyne macrophyllum. False Opepe. Biirokossa, Bulokossa, 
Ugbodokossa (Benin) ; Ebar (Brass) ; Ebar (New Calabar) ; 
Ubuen (Efik). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ondo, Benin, Warri, Owerri 
and Calabar provinces of Nigeria. 

It is a large tree, attaining a girth of over 12 feet and a height 
of over 100 feet. It has a very large leaf. The tree is often 
more or less gregarious, more especially in the moister or almost 
swampy parts of the evergreen forest zone. The bark is of 
a dull-green colour, comparatively thin, and only slightly fissured 
in a large tree. 

The sapwood is yellowish-white and the heartwood of a pale 
yellow colour. It is almost a hardwood, does not split well, 
planes up smoothly and saws comparatively easily. It hardens 
considerably on seasoning and is very durable under cover, but 
not so much on exposure to the air. The dense foliage makes 
a thick layer of humus under the trees, as a few of the leaves 
fall off each year. It is thus a soil-improving and soil-protecting 
tree. It would probably be found to make a good mixture, 
in groups of about half an acre in extent, with mahogany in 
the evergreen forest zone. In the Brass district it is one of 
the commonest trees which is used for making canoes ; it has 
also occasionally been sawn up for planks. It has not yet 
been exported to England, but at any rate locally it should 
command a wider use in house-building of all kinds. 
Mitragyne Africanum. Akpakossa (Benin). 

It is found in the Benin, Ondo, Warri and Calabar pro- 
vinces of Nigeria. 

It is a somewhat common tree on the borderland of the 
mixed deciduous forest and the dry-zone vegetation. The 
tree is of small size, attaining a girth of about 6 feet and a 
bole length of 25 feet ; the leaf is very large, but does not reach 
the size of M. macrophyllum. It is most frequently found in the 
swampy places at the edge of the deciduous forest ; like the 
sister tree, it is more or less gregarious, though the groups are 
usually not very large. 

The timber is of a dull yellowish-white colour, and 
planes well ; it does not split very easily and is very 
durable. 

This species is a shade-bearing tree of soil -protecting and 
soil-improving qualities, owing to the dense bed of leaves, which 
in turn makes a bed of humus at the base of the tree, and thus 
grass-fires are very much hindered in spreading. The timber 
has not been exported to Europe and the natives scarcely ever 
use this wood. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 407 

Randia malliefera. Buje nla (Yoruba). 

Found in the Olokemeji Reserve. 
Randia octomera (Hook.). Buje (Yoruba) ; Assun (Benin). 

It is found in the Benin province. It is a shrub with 
spherical-shaped fruit like an apple, with the sepals projecting 
from the top. The fruits yield a black dye which is used by 
the natives. 
Randia cladanthra (K. Sch.). 

It is found in the Benin province of Nigeria, It is a 
woody shrub having a hard wood, and rather pretty red 
flowers in the autumn, which brighten the evergreen forest 
very much. 
Randia maculata (Kew). Buje, Buji dudu (Yoruba). 

A shrub having large, trumpet-shaped flowers. It is very 
ornamental, 
Randia cordata. Blue Dye. Buje (Yoruba). 

It is a small tree, 15 to 20 feet high. Found in the Olokemeji 
Reserve. 
Randia macrantha. Kan Kan (Yoruba), 

Found in the Ondo province. 
Nr. Randia. Ukape (Benin). 

Found in the Benin province. 
Musscenda erythrophylla (Sch. and Thonn.). Kamatete (Ibo, 
Owerri). 

Found in Obudu, Ogoja province. 
Musscenda termiflora (Benth.). Mamu (Yoruba). 

Found in the Mamu Reserve. 
Musscenda Isertiana. Igi Ira (Lagos) (Benin). 

Lagos. 
Pavetta Baconia (Hiern). Idofun, Igbo (Yoruba) ; Akapano 
lyokheze (Benin). 

It is a common tree in the Calabar, Warri, Benin, Ondo 
and Abeokuta provinces of Nigeria, A small, shrub-like tree, 
reaching about 3 inches in diameter, most common as an under- 
growth plant in the evergreen forest zone. Many specimens 
are found in the Obagie Forest Reserve. It stands the shade 
well, is moderately hard, and sprouts well from the stump. 
The natives of the Benin country cut young specimens very 
largely for use as yam-sticks. 
Hymenodictyon hracteatum. Obadon (Benin), 

Found in the Benin province of Nigeria. 
Corynanthe paniculata (Welw.). Olikiba Anikiba (Benin). 

So far it has been found in the Benin province of Nigeria, 
but either this species or Johimbe should be found in the Calabar 
and Ogoja provinces. 



408 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

It is a medium-sized tree of the mixed forest zone, which 
is moderately prevalent in certain localities. 

The timber is brown, hard and durable It planes well 
and splits moderately well. It takes nails and saws moderately 
easily for hard wood. It is considered termite-proof by 
the natives. 

It is a somewhat slow-growing tree, a shade-bearer, a soil- 
protecting and soil-improving tree. Natural regeneration only 
appears to be slight. It does not sprout very prolifically from 
the stump. No experimental plantations have yet been made. 

This is a sister species to C. Johimbe, which yields the bark 
containing the very useful alkaloid Johimbin, but as yet the 
bark of this tree has not been tested for a similar substance. 

In the timber report of 1906 it is valued at 2|d. to 3id. 
a foot as a species of gummy mahogany, and in another case 
as fancy wood at Id. per superficial foot or Is, 6d. to Is. 9d. 
a cubic foot. 

Amongst the Benin natives it is used for wall-plates, for 
which purpose it is highly esteemed. 
Crossopteryx Koischyana. Ayeye (Yoruba). 

A small tree found in the dry-zone forests, of no special 
value. The fruit is leathery ; the flowers grow in panicles. 

Native Use. — Parts of the tree are used in medicine by the 
natives. 
Sabicea calycina (Benth.). Agan Aparo (Yoruba). 

Found in Iro. 
Canthium glabriflorum (Hiern). Attan (Benin). 

It is a common tree in the Calabar, Ogoja, Warri, Benin 
and Ondo provinces of Nigeria, also in the Cameroons. 

It is a medium-sized tree, reaching a girth of 9 feet, 
but with a bole length of about 60 feet, rather longer in pro- 
portion to the girth. The flat, wide crown is typical of this 
tree, as are also the large tripinnate leaves and the brown, 
stringy bark with slight fissures. The branches spread out 
almost in two or three whorls near the top of the tree. The 
light can be seen through the crown. The flower is white, in 
large, umbel-like masses of small flowers, borne on the upper 
side of the branches. It flowers in November. 

The sapwood is white and fairly broad and the heartwood 
is brown, like cedar. Termites attack in the open. 

It is a light-lover and grows quickly, in old farms especially. 
It sprouts well from the stump, but there are no root shoots. 
Seed production is good, and seedlings appear in near open 
spaces. 

It has not been cut for local use or exported to Europe. 




Fig. 89. — Funtumia Rubber Plantation on 
both sides of the load, Igwoshudi, Benin. 




Fig. 90. ■ Mahogany Plantation (Khaya 
Punchii), twelve years old, near Noami, 
on the banks o£ the Osse River, Benin 
Province. 





. '.M.~-EntandrophraKma log with three 
sides already squared and fourth partially 
cut ready for squaring. 



Fig. 92. — Stump of Khaya Punchii with log: 
at base, left in the Benin Forest. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 409 

The branch is used. It has to be placed on a boy's head 
and is said to make him grow. The boys do it themselves in 
the Benin country. The wood is also a firewood in Benin. 

Compositss. 

Vernonia conferta. Big-leaf African Cabbage Tree. Onimagugun, 
Shapo (Yoruba) ; Orimagugu, Oriweni, Onamagungun (Benin). 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan, Benin, Onitsha and 
Ogoja provinces of Nigeria, in clearings at the edge of the 
mixed deciduous and dry-zone forests. It is a very common 
small tree or large shrub, springing up in all old farms. The 
very large bright-green leaves, set opposite to each other on a 
small, comparatively, stout, green, succulent stem, are most 
typical of this plant. The fresh leaf, especially on the smaller 
plants, is not unlike a very open cabbage leaf, but of a lighter 
green hue. As the plant gets older the leaves do not attain 
such a size. The flowers are small, but grow on large, open 
and much-branched spikes. The stem is comparatively soft 
and pithy, scarcely forming a real woody tissue. When dried 
they can be used for firewood and kindle easily. Occasionally 
it is used for making live fences. 
Vernonia Nigritana (0. and H.). Bitter Leaf. Ewuru or Oko 
(Yoruba) ; Ihagobo (Benin). 

This is found in the upper part of the Benin province of 
Nigeria, near Sabongida, in the deciduous zone. A small 
shrub-like tree, the leaves of which are used for soup. The 
dried stem is used for kindling wood. The roots are sometimes 
used as chew-sticks. 
Vernonia amygdalina. (Del.). The Bitter Leaf. Ewuru (Yoruba), 
Oriwu (Benin). 

Yoruba Chew-stick, also known as the Chew-stick of Ewuro, 
thereby clearly showing the Yoruba origin of some of the in- 
habitants of Sierra Leone, as Ewuro is also the name of it in 
the Sierra Leone country. 

It is found in the Abeokuta, Ibadan and Benin provinces, 
where it grows in openings in the mixed forests. 

It is a small shrub, reaching a height of about 5 feet, 
having soft leaves, with rather a greyish tint, which are covered 
with very fine silvery hairs. It is commonly found in old farms 
and by the side of the roads, usually in small bushes or clumps. 

It sprouts up when cut down, and thoroughly shades the 
ground. However, it is sometimes so thick that it rather 
hinders plantation operations, though once the other plants 
are established it acts as a useful little " nurse." The leaves 
are picked off by the natives and cooked in water for making 



410 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

soup. They have a distinctly bitter flavour, but make a very 
healthj^ vegetable soup. The leaves are often sold in the local 
markets. This shrub is occasionally left more or less in line 
as a small living fence. 
Vernonia cinerea (Les.). Ash-coloured Fleabane. Elegbe Oju 
(Yoruba). 

It is found in the Olokemeji Reserve of the Abeokuta 
province of Nigeria. A large, woody shrub, one of the chew- 
stick family, the leaves of which are sometimes used for 
making soup. 

Lycopodaceae. 

Lycopodium phyllamaria (Linn.). 

This is a small Lycopodium found in the Benin province 
of Nigeria. It was obtained from the uppermost branches of 
a very tall tree, growing at the edge of a deep valley about 
8 miles north of Benin City. 

NON-INDIGENOUS TREES OF NIGERIA 

Myrtaceae. 

Eucalyptus amygdalina. 

A specimen of this tree stands on the old beach at Akassa, 
Warri province. 
Eucalyptus tereticornis. 

Lagos Island. 
Eucalyptus rudis. 

Lagos Island. 
Eucalyptus tessitaris. 

Lagos Island. 
Eucalyptus citriodora. 

A specimen of this tree stands in the Botanical Gardens 
at Calabar. 



NOTES ON NIGERIAN TREES OF WHICH THE BOTANICAL 
NAMES ARE NOT KNOWN 

Itufiak or Etufiak {EGk) . Essunwoi (Yoruba) ; Ilako (Benin). 

It is a medium-sized tree of the freshwater swamps, with 
heavy dark-green foliage ; it grows quite gregariously in stands 
of one to ten acres in extent. The trunk reaches a girth of about 
7 feet and a bole length of about 30 feet. The roots spurns are 
comparatively slight, and do not extend much over a foot up the 
bole. The foliage is very heavy and it casts a most dense shade, 
making patches of this forest the darkest of almost any in Africa. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 411 

It is common on the banks of the Itunkpe Creek, a tributary 
of the Kwa River, near Calabar, in the same named province, and 
also in the Owerri province of Nigeria. It belongs to the evergreen 
forest zone. 

The timber is a reddish-brown hardwood of close grain, which 
would saw into sizeable planks. It is a somewhat slow-growing, 
shade-bearing, soil-protecting and soil-improving tree. The leaves 
yield a thick bed of humus. It appears to be one of the most 
valuable trees in this respect. It is moderately hard, with even, 
close-textured grain. It planes well, saws fairly easily, takes nails, 
but does not split well. Natural regeneration appears to be good. 
It also sprouts from the stump. 

The timber has not been exported, nor has it been cut for 
planks for local use. It appears to deserve a trial as a local 
timber for floor-boards or for the making of boxes. Considering 
that so often many trees are found in the same place, it should 
not be difficult to obtain adequate supplies. 

Native Use. — Building, but it is attacked by the insect called 
Efiak. 

Musk Tree. Owi (Benin). 

It is found in the Benin province of Nigeria, in the evergreen 
forests. It is a medium-sized tree, reaching a girth of about 
8 feet with a short bole of about 10 feet. The crown is large but 
rather elongated, and reaches down two-thirds of the height of the 
tree. The fruit is large and more like an avocado pear in shape 
and colour. The leaf is very large and wide, more like a teak leaf, 
but of stronger texture, the midrib especially being very thick. 

The timber is hard, with white sapwood and green heart- 
wood. It splits well and takes nails fairly well. It is a little 
fibrous in texture, but can be planed ; it saws fairly easily. 

It is a somewhat slow-growing, shade-bearing, soil-protecting 
and soil-improving tree. The leaves make a rich humus. 
Natural regeneration is none too good. Stump sprouts do not 
appear to be very strong. 

It has not been exported or cut for local use, but would 
be worth trying for house-building. 

Native Use. — The fruit is kept for four days and then the 
inside large kernel is eaten. The young leaves are used for 
curing boils, as an external plaster to draw the poison. 

Ekkiowa (Benin). 

It is a small shrub which is found in the Benin district of 
the same named province. It is not very common. 

Native Use. — The seed is used medicinally for the hands in 
case of sores which are red or raw. 



412 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Satinwood. Okwaba (Benin). 

This tree is found in the mixed forests of the Benin province 
of Nigeria. 

In 1906 sample logs of this timber were sold in the Liverpool 
market as satinwood, but were not considered worth shipping. 
Since then, however, none has been cut for export or for local 
use. Perhaps owing to the increased demands for all kinds of 
timber a further trial should be made with this one for satinwood. 
Natural regeneration is poor. It is a somewhat slow-growing, 
shade-bearing, soil-protecting and soil-improving tree. It reaches 
a large size. 

Ubellu, genus ? Annamamilla (Benin). 

It is found in the Benin province, Nigeria. 

It is a small tree, the name often confused with the mahogany- 
walnut, Lovoa Klaineana, which is also sometimes known as 
Annamamilla in the Benin country. The leaves are impari- 
pinnate. It is a softwood with light-brown heartwood and 
little black, spherically-shaped fruit, unarmed. 

Native Use. — Firewood of good quality. Not used otherwise. 

Big Hardwood. Arugbo (Yoruba) ; Eto (Benin). 

It is a very large tree with a wide crown. The timber is of a 
brown colour, but the sapwood is white. It is extremely hard 
and durable ; even when felled in the farms it will be six years 
before it has rotted away. The bark is a dark-green with white 
lenticels scattered over it. 

It is rather a rare tree in the Benin province of Nigeria. 
Standing a good deal of shade, it is a soil improver and pro- 
tector. Natural regeneration does not appear to be very 
plentiful. 

It does not sprout up when coppiced. 

Native Use. — None. 

Ifon (Yoruba). Owehe (Benin). 

Is a small tree which has scented wood. It reaches a girth of 
20 inches only. Before going to market, according to the natives, 
the feet, hands and body should be washed with a solution 
prepared from the bark of this tree mixed with soap. The object 
of this operation is to effect quick sales at the market. 

Ewayron (Yoruba). 

A leaf for wrapping up food, found in the Yoruba country, 
also used in Benin for roofing houses. 



THE NIGERIAN TIMBER TREES 413 

Mahogany. Alode (Benin). 

This tree is found in the mixed deciduous forests of the Benin 
province of Nigeria. 

In 1906 samples of this timber were sold in the Liverpool 
market as a species of mahogany of a soft nature. Since that 
date none has been felled. Perhaps with the changed conditions 
with regard to the demand for all timbers similar to mahogany 
a further trial with the timber of this tree should be made. 
Natural regeneration is not very good. It is a rather slow- 
growing, soil-protecting and soil-improving tree. 

Spiny Tree. Oaha (Benin). 

It is a small tree found in the Benin, Ondo and Abeokuta 
provinces of Nigeria. The small, rather thin and longish spines 
on the stem are the most typical feature of this tree. It usually 
grows with aerial roots. It reaches about 3 feet in girth, and 
on the whole is more common in the secondary forest than in 
the primeval. The wood is moderately durable, especially when 
used for inside work, such as verandah-posts. 

Native Use. — It is sometimes used for small poles for hut- 
building. 

House Post. Ewai (Benin). 

A common tree in the Benin and Abeokuta provinces of 
Nigeria. It is a slow-growing tree which has a very hard 
brown wood ; it is a shade-bearer. The seed is a small nut. 
The wood is used by the natives of Benin for building-posts, 
rafters and small planks. 

It is found in the moist evergreen forest zone and is some- 
what common in the Obagie Reserve of the Benin district. 

Ussehin Chew-stick. Okuta (Yoruba) ; Okuta, Opahan (Benin). 

It is rather a rare tree of the Benin, Ondo and Abeokuta 
provinces of Nigeria. The name means "a stone," and has appar- 
ently been given because of the hardness of the wood. It 
is a medium-sized tree, reaching a girth of about 5 feet. The 
wood is almost white, and there is little difference between 
sapwood and heartwood. In the Ussehin country of Benin 
it is used as a chew-stick. The Yoruba states that it is the 
hardest of all native woods. 

Akpo (Benin). Hardwood. 

It is rather an uncommon tree of the Benin province of 
Nigeria, also a very hard wood, a medium-sized tree. The brown 



414 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

heartwood is used by the natives for planks. It is thought 
rather highly of by the Benin natives, especially for wall-plates 
and joists. In the past it has been only hewn by them, but 
not sawn. 

Ukpaigwi, Okpaigwi (Benin). 

Rather an uncommon tree of the Benin province of Nigeria. 
It grows to 10 feet in girth and yields a soft wood which is 
attacked by white ants. It is a shade-bearer and soil-protecting 
tree. The roots are used by the natives for medicinal purposes. 

Oruru (Benin). 

It is a tree found in the Benin province of Nigeria. 

It is a small tree, reaching a girth of 2 feet. After three 
years it comes up in an old farm. The slash is red and a little red 
sap exudes slowly. It is usual to find thirty small ones in one 
place, from root suckers, but also from stool shoots if a tree has 
been cut down before. It is similar to Eranpata in this respect. 
The fruit is round and small and like peas, only a little larger. 
The flower, which is white and quite small, grows in small clusters. 

The wood is not hard and white all through. It is attacked 
by termites, except when placed in the house, where it is more or 
less protected. 

Reproduction by stool shoot is the best method. 

It is a shade-bearer and grows slowly. It grows in good 
soil of some depth and also in the evergreen forests. When it 
appears in old farms, it stands the fires well. 

It is a soil-improving and soil-protecting tree, and tends 
to spread with the extension of cultivation, especially in the 
evergreen and mixed deciduous forest zone. 

As it does not reach timber size, it is not worth trying as 
a building timber. 

The fruit is edible ; after eating it the tongue becomes almost 
of a blue colour. The root is used medicinally. The branches are 
used as pegs in the top of the walls of the houses in Benin, 
partly for fixing the roof. 





Fig. 93. — Mimusops Djave, about twelve 
years old, standing near Prison, Degema 
Station, Eastern Circle. 



Fig. 94. — Mature Light African Greenheart 
(Piptadenia Africana) standing in the 
middle oi Degema Station. 





Fig. 05. — Young Oil Bean Tree in bearing 
(Pentaclethra macrophylla), Degema Station. 



Fig. 96. — Red Oak ^Berlinia acuminata), 
20 feet in Girth, standing near the Som- 
breiro River, Degema Station. 



CHAPTER X 

THE FORESTS AND TIMBER PRODUCTION OF 
THE BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 

Running parallel with the Nigerian boundary, a strip averaging 
75 to 90 miles in width, and running back from the coast about 
300 miles, we have the British sphere of the Cameroons, in all, an area 
of about 31,000 square miles. From the forest-zone point of view 
this land area can be divided into really three different zones. First 
of all, nearest the coast, there is Victoria, the Cameroon Mountains, 
followed by the bank of the Mungo. Past the crest of Kuppe 
and the Manengube Mountains and onwards along the Mbo, 
Foto and Bambuto Ranges round to the headquarters of the Cross 
River and to the Nigerian boundary, we have about 7,000 square 
miles of an almost unbroken evergreen forest zone. 

The second area comprises a beautiful open grassland with 
only scattered trees, covering largely the Chang, Bamenda, Kontsha 
and more northern districts of the British sphere, in all about 
17,000 square miles. 

The third section comprises the heavy evergreen and deciduous 
forests on the banks of the more northern rivers, such as the Mo, 
the Cam, and covers approximately an area of 7,000 square miles. 

From the forestry point of view, the most accessible, and there- 
fore the most valuable, of these areas are situated in the first-named 
zone, therefore we will consider this area more in detail. 

To begin with, it can be subdivided into three almost distinct 
forest divisions ; following the watersheds or basins of (1) the 
Mungo River, (2) the Cross River, (3) the Akwayefe, Ndian, Moko, 
Me me Rivers and the Rio del Rey district. Taking the third area first, 
we have comparatively large areas of forest covering both level and 
hilly country up to an elevation of about 3,000 feet, but with the sides 
of the valleys less timbered than in the Mungo River forest zone. 
Amongst the species of trees which have been felled and exported 
from this area are the following : Mahogany Sarcocephalus, Bitter 
Bark, Saccoglottis Gabunensis, Light Mahogany, Khaya Euryphylla, 
Ebony, Diospyros Kamerunensis, Red Iron wood or Bongossi, Lophira 
procera, Long-capsuled Mahogany, Entandrophragma Rederi. 

Amongst the more prevalent trees of the lower lying land, including 



416 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

the Tiko plain, are the following : Mahogany, Khaya Klainei, Long- 
capsuled Unscented Mahogany, Entandrophragma Condollei, Scented 
Mahogany, Entandrophragma utilis, Cedar, Guarea sp., Red Ironwood, 
Lophira procera, Canarium Schweinfurthii, Brown Ebony, Diospyros 
sp., Terminalia, Scutifera, Afzelia pachyloba, Berlinia sp., two kinds 
of Camwood, Walnut, Lovoa Klaineana, Pterocarpus tinctorius, as 
well as the valuable orange-coloured wood of Sarcocephalus sambucinus 
and Mahogany-like species of Guttiferse and Uapaca Staudtii. 

Some of the " stands " of this timber, and especially on the hill 
slopes of the Cameroon Mountains, are very thick and dense, more 
especially near Debundscha, with its annual rainfall of 423 inches. 

One of the most interesting and unique stands on the mountain- 
side is that of tree-fern, about 30 feet high, as an undergrowth, and 
heavy mahogany, Entandrophragma Eederi, and Ongekea Kamerunensis, 
chiefly at an altitude of 3,500 to 4,000 feet, also quite untouched except 
in the neighbourhood of Buea. 

Only the smallest part of all this area, and in fact only that on 
the bank of the Meme, had been at all operated upon before the war, 
and the forests on the banks of the Akwayefe were quite untouched. 
All the higher slopes and the northern sides of the Cameroon Moun- 
tains, and beyond as far as Mount Gonistan, were also quite unused. 
All through this part the villages are comparatively few and far 
between, and even in those parts where they are closer together, the 
population in each is very small, and the forest growth is so thick 
that they make little impression upon it. Added to that, the chief 
crop grown by the natives is the cacao-yam, for which only compara- 
tively small areas are necessary, and in many cases this is grown in 
small spaces in the shade of giant forest trees. Also, all through this 
area only comparatively small patches, compared to the whole, have 
been cleared and planted with cacao. Again, the area occupied by 
the European-owned cacao and rubber plantations is very small, 
and chiefly found near Victoria and a little both westward and east- 
ward at the base of the Cameroon Mountain (Mount Fako). 

Turning now to the Mungo River region, we have in some ways 
an even more valuable forest area. Here, indeed, one German firm 
had actually made a felling over an area of nearly one square mile 
and had sold nearly all the timber in Germany. 

Amongst the more prevalent species found are the following : 
Bush Oak, Chlorophora excelsa, Black Ebony, Diospyros Gilgiana, Pear- 
wood, Mimusops Djave (which is found in immense specimens on the 
edge of the Kumba road), Inoi Nut, Poga oleosa, with its light-reddish 
wood with wide medullary rays ; African Greenheart, Cylicodiscus 
Gabunensis, a magnificent tree ; Shinglewood, Scented Mahogany, 
Guarea glomerulata, Brown Teak, Brachystegia cynometroides. Long- 
capsuled Mahogany, Entandrophragma Condollei, the Oil Bean, Penta- 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 417 

clethra macrojyhylla, Red Ironwood, not quite so prevalent ; LopMra 
procera, Paddle Wood, Uvaria Busgenii, Gum Copal, Pterogopodium 
sp., Wild Mango, Irvingia Barteri, Light African Greenheart, Pipta- 
denia Africana, Camwood or Barwood, Pterocarpus santalinoides, 
Wood Oil Nut, Ricinodendron Africanum, Hard Yellow Wood, Conla 
edulis, and Ironwood, Bridelia stenocarpa. Although the Bakundu 
and Balong natives are more active in their farming operations near 
the banks of the Mungo, there are still very large areas of compara- 
tively untouched forests, and more especially in the upper regions 
of the river. In four separate places beyond the crossing of the 
Bakossi Road there are four different rapids or waterfalls on the river, 
which would provide water-power for saw-mills, or other wood-using 
industries. On the left bank of the river, bej'ond the Bakossi crossing, 
there is an area almost without population in which there are large 
numbers of Oil Palms, as well as other forest trees. On this road, 
too, is seen the very picturesque waterfall and narrow gorge of a 
tributary of the Mungo, which is also suitable for generating pov/er 
for one kind of mill or another. 

Turning now to the Bakossi forests, which culminate in the more 
or less isolated peak of Mount Kuppe (altitude 6,300 feet), the land is 
all covered with forest with the exception of some rocky points on the 
eastern side. A small amount of land has been cleared at an altitude of 
about 3,000 feet, for the making of tobacco plantations, but the rest, 
with the exception of the taking of a few trees for local felling, remains 
intact. The Bakossis have made large farms in the valleys, and are 
very industrious, but still the forests situated higher up are largely 
untouched. It is interesting to notice that the walls of the round 
and conically roofed houses are made with about five circular rows 
of tree-fern stems, cut to the length of the height of the wall and 
placed one behind the other. These are most durable and are a 
most unique example of the utilization of the produce of these forests, 
although many of the tree-fern " stands " have been cut down and 
have quite disappeared ; a few remain in isolated places. 

Some of the more common species found in this forest are the 
following : Bush Maple, Triplochiton schleroxylon. Ebony, Diospyros, 
Mahogany, Khaya Euryphylla, Bush Teak, Chlorophora excelsa. Gum 
Copal {Copaifera Demeusii), Bilinga {Afzelia Zenkeri), Hardwood {Mil- 
lettia sp.), Scented Mahoganj^ {Entandrophragma Candollei), Light 
Mahogany {Canarium Schiveinfurthii) , Hardwood {Dialium Standtii and 
Newtonia Zenkeri), Yellow HardAvood {Ongokea Kamerunensis) , African 
Whitewood {Enantia chlorantha) , Camwood {Pterocarpus Soyauxii). 

There is less forest near the Manenguba Mountains, most of it being 
situated on the banks of the Mo and Mbu Rivers (tributaries of the 
Cross River). Continuing along the boundary line between the grass 
country and the tree-fern forest, we have the Mbo and Foto Ranges, 

27 



418 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

v.'ith their dense evergreen forests up to an altitude of 5,000 feet. 
Amongst the more valuable trees are the Cola {Cola laterita), Cam- 
wood {Pterocarpus Soyauxii), Albizzia species, Ibadan, Ficus Vogelii. 
Below this point, at about 4,000 feet, Iroko, Cldorophora excelsa, Cork- 
wood, Musanga Smithii, and tree-ferns reappear, as well as Acacia 
Farnesiana. The Wild Date, Phcenix sp., occurs again about this 
altitude. The Oil Palm occurs again in the valleys. On the lower 
slopes there are Ricinodendron, Bombax, Sarcocephalus, and Trema. 
Continuing farther northwards we have the Bambuto Ranges, with 
their fringing forests on the banks of the streams, and the bamboo 
groves at an elevation of about 8,000 feet. Willows and small Abys- 
sinian plants are found, and with the flowering of Delphiniums in the 
grass we might almost be in Europe. Toward the Cross River side, the 
mountains are very steep, and isolated peaks, such as that of Monkwa 
Rock, stand out in solitary grandeur amongst the lower forested 
mountains of the Cross River. In the Cross River basin we have 
mainly six large rivers, all joining the Cross River. On the right or 
northern bank these are the Manyu, Mo, Manya, and Oyi, above 
Mamfe, and on the left or southern bank the Mbu and Manja, as 
well as the Awa, joining below Mamfe. All except one of these rise 
amongst the forests, and it is on the banks of these that the finest 
forests are situated, although in some parts, such as near Tinto, the 
natives have been more active in farming and have cleared large 
areas of them. This is more the case nearer the villages, and 
nearer the roads, even where the forest has been cut down, there are 
almost continuous groves of Oil Palms, less than a quarter of its 
produce having as yet been collected or sold. Amongst the most 
valuable timber trees of these forests are the Ebony (Diospyros), Bush 
Teak {Chlorophora excelsa), African Whitewood {Enantia chlorantha) , 
Camwood {Pterocarpus Soyauxia), Bilinga {Afzelia Africana), Hard- 
wood {Millettia sp.), Sapeli Mahogany {Entandrophragma Candollei), 
Light Mahogany {Canarium Mansfeldii), Hardwood {Newtonia Zenkeri), 
Wild Mango {Irvingia Barteri), Mukonja {Terminalia superba com- 
bretacece). White Cedar {Pycnanthus Kombo), Red Oak {Berlinia acu- 
minata), Berlinia species with very large pod, three species of Walnut, 
Albizzias, Red Ironwood {Lophira procera), African Wood Oil Nut 
Tree {Ricinodendron Africana), Parinarium sp. {Dialium). 

The range of hills Nda Ali is also forest-covered and is situated 
in the Cross River basin. 

More or less adjacent to these areas, and partly between these and 
the Meme River forest, are those of Gonistan and the Rumpi Moun- 
tains. These again are quite untouched, although, lying some distance 
away from navigable rivers, they may subsequently prove of greater 
value when eventually opened up with the forest tramway or other 
means of transport. The species of trees found here are very 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 419 

similar to those found in other parts. On the whole, Red Ironwood 
{Lophira procera) is most prevalent in Ogu and Mbu, as also both 
Mahoganies, Camwood {Pterocarpus sp.), African Greenheart (P^2>- 
tadenia Africana), Corkwood {Musanga Smithii), False Iroko {CJiloro- 
pJiora excelsa), Hog Plum {Spondias lutea), Wild Mango {Irvingia 
Gabonensis), Hard Mahogany {Detarium Guineense). Numerous small 
Oil Palms occur in places. On the banks of the Fi, Cedar (Carapa 
procera), Hard Mahogany, Trichilia, an anacardiaceous tree ; the 
hard whitewood Akboro (Benin), the brown hardwood, Microdesmis, 
African Greenheart {Piptadenia Africana), Heritiera sp., Scented 
Mahogany, Guarea Thompsonii, Chrysophyllum Africanum, and a very 
hard wood known as Alikongeba by the Yorubas are found. Near the 
Rumpi Mountains the following are more prevalent ; the Sarcocej)lialus 
sp., Berlinia, Piptadenia Africana, Cylicodiscus Gabonensis, Oroko, 
Lophira procera, Satinwood, Zanthoxylum macrophyllum, Pattern- 
wood, Alstonia Congensis, Shingle-wood, Terminalia scutifera. Pear- 
wood, Mimusops Djave, Corkwood, Musanga Smithii, Scented 
Mahogany, Guarea sp., White Cedar, Pycnanthus Kombo, Camwood, 
Pterocarpus sp., brown hardwood, Microdesmis, Wild Mango 
(Irvingia Gabunensis), Gaboon Mahogany, Canarium Schiveinfurthii, 
Bilinga [Afzelia pachyloba), and Walnut. 

Out of the total of 14,000 square miles of forest, 6,000 must be 
deducted as being inaccessible for many years to come. Again, out 
of this 8,000 square miles, 4,500 square miles will be made accessible 
as soon as those areas lying nearest the rivers have been opened up 
for timber extraction. Therefore only these last areas will be taken 
into consideration at the present time. 

The chief timber forests comprised in this area are those situated 
between the Mfu and Fi, the Fi and Mbu, and the Manja and Mak 
Rivers. 

On the whole, in the Cross River basin there is an area of fully 
2,000 square miles of exploitable forests, within reach of streams or 
rivers deep enough to float logs in the rainy season. In the Akwayefe, 
Ndian, Moko, and Meme River valleys there is another 700 square 
miles. Again, on the banks of the Mungo and its tributaries there 
is an area of about 800 square miles suitable for the extraction of 
timber. In all, then, there is an area of 3,500 square miles of forest 
which could be utilized at the present time. Assuming that only one 
tree on every four acres is of value for export, and that each tree is 
worth a nominal amount of £1, therefore the whole forest is worth 
£575,000. In addition to these there are many other trees which 
would become valuable either for export or for local use as soon as 
the forests were opened up and utilized, and this would at least double 
the value of the forest. This, also, is one of the last remaining large 
tracts of forest where the population is smaller and the requirements 



420 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

for forest products less than those to be had in the forest. There is thus 
a surplus for export. Up to the outbreak of war, out of all this area 
only 47,000 acres, or 73| square miles, had been, or was being, leased as 
timber areas. Outside these areas some 285,000 acres, or 445 square 
miles, had been alienated, chiefly on the lower slopes of the Cameroon 
Mountains and in the neighbourhood of Mount Kupe. Under the 
old German law, ten marks per ton was charged on Ebony, Mahogany, 
Bush Oak, and one or two other species, and five marks on all soft 
woods, except certain trees which had proved unprofitable to export. 
Compared with those in force in Nigeria, these fees were very low, and 
despite the fact that on the average the Cameroon forest would be 
more difficult to exploit than the average one in Nigeria, there should 
still be more profit in the former ; also, with the considerable number 
of water-power sites available, timber conversion could be undertaken, 
and thus the cost of transport cheapened in comparison with the 
value of the product to be transported. Well-squared logs, large 
flitches or planks of timber could be cut and transported. Under 
the German Colonial land law, with the exception of 15 acres per 
head allowed to each native, all the land could be declared Crown 
land, so that no difficulty would be involved in leasing land to timber 
companies ; that is to say, it was first declared to be Crown land and 
then subsequently leased to timber companies. The natives, how- 
ever, then received no ro5^alties on the trees which were felled. Thus 
those in the immediate neighbourhood had no incentive to work 
in the forests as they do in Nigeria. Sufficient emphasis was not 
laid on the fact that a timber company should possess ample capital. 

In afforestation a great deal had been planned, but only a small 
amount had been executed. In the north, at Fontwans, in the Dschang 
district, a 40-acre teak plantation had been made. At each of the 
stations themselves, Dschang, Mbo, Djutisha, various experimental 
plots of trees had been planted. Nearer the coast, at Kumba, valuable 
test plantations, aggregating some 400 acres, had been planted with 
Ebony, Diospyros suaveolens, Umbrella Tree, Musanga Smithii, 
Casuarina, Casuarina equisitifolia, Cigar-box Cedar, Cedrela, Iroko 
{Chlorophora excelsa), Djave Nut (Mimusops Djave), Teak {Tectona 
grandis), Para Rubber [Hevea Braziliensis), Cacao [Theobroma cacao), 
and Oil Palms (Elcesis Giiineensis), Red Ironwood {Lo2)hira procera), 
Mahogany {Khaya euryphylla), and Heavy Mahogany {Entandro- 
phragma sp.). 

At Mussake at an elevation of 6,000 feet on the side of the 
Cameroon Mountains, there was a quinine plantation. At an elevation 
of 3,000 feet at Buea there were small experimental plantations of 
tea, Ceylon and ordinary, quinine and Casuarina. Several of the 
roads had been planted with avenues of cypress and Biota trees. 
On the coast at Victoria, small Casuarina plantations had been made. 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 421 

For the furtherance of all agricultural and forestal interests, the very 
extensive Botanical Gardens had been made. Not only is it the 
largest, but it contains the most extensive collections of plants of 
economic value and for ornament of any place on the West Coast 
of Africa. The very numerous test plots of most of the tropical 
commercially known plants, such as Nutmeg, Rubber, Cocoa, Cola, 
Cocoanut Palms, Oil Palms, Vegetable Ivory Palms, demonstrated 
how these grew in the Cameroons. 

Then the agricultural areas of Cacao-yams, Casada, Sugar-cane, 
Rice, one and all were destined to demonstrate the value and pos- 
sibilities of growing these products in the Cameroons. Then again 
the forest tree plots of Teak, Casuarina, Mahogany {Sivietenia macro- 
phylla), Trinkomalee Wood {Berrya ammomilla), Gum Copal (Copaifera 
Demeusii), Candle Nut (Aleurites Moluccana), Balsam of Peru {Toluifera 
Pereirce), Terminalia sp., Dillenia Indica, show how these trees will 
thrive in this locality. In growth, an avenue of Indian Almond, 
Terminalia Catappa, could not be compared with those at Lome. 

Again, all showed what forest products and forest trees were most 
suitable to that climate. 

In the garden Museum, there were collections of timbers, 
fibres, rubber, gums, resins, as well as mineral products ; also 
very full collections of the seeds, nuts and fruits of the trees and 
plants. Finally, there was the large and well-equipped building of 
the Experimental and Agronomical Institute, where chemical analyses 
of the soil and other j)rocesses could be undertaken and tested. Here 
also all the very full meteorological results were tabulated, as well 
as other observations on the spot. This served also as a centre to 
which planters or Government officers could send specimens or material 
to be named or to be examined as to their value. Allied with this, but 
having a separate building, was the Agricultural School, where pupils 
were trained in the elements of agriculture and forestry, so that they 
might subsequently act as instructors at the different Government 
stations and also serve as assistants on the plantations. 

Although economically much more backward than Nigeria, and 
with a smaller population in a proportionate area than that in the 
Southern Provinces, the possibilities in the development of the forest 
products are even greater, especially in regard to that of palm kernels 
and all the various kinds of timber for which West Africa is gradually 
becoming well known. The main difference in working would appear 
to be that owing to the lack of population, much greater use of animal 
and mechanical means of transport, and especially mechanical 
appliances, as well as machinery, are necessary to make the labour most 
productive, as well as to economize without upsetting the present 
agricultural system and the very necessary production of food-stuffs 
for the local population, as well as for sending to the larger towns. 



422 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 



THE CONGO FRANgAISE, OR THE FRENCH GABOON 

To English-speaking mahogany producers and users the latter name 
conveys more, and reminds them of one of the chief products, Gaboon 
Mahogany, Oukoumea Klaineana, which had but a poor name in the 
London market. This rich French colony, however, should mean 
a great deal more to us with its huge extent, upwards of 300,000 
square miles, and its comparatively large open waterways all flowing 
into the giant Congo. Its comparatively thin population per unit of 
area, and its almost impenetrable forests make it one of the largest 
of the last remaining primeval forests of Africa. Already before 
the war it was the largest timber exporting country of the West Coast 
of Africa. However, its somewhat ill-regulated timber trade had one 
or two drawbacks and laboured under several disadvantages. Most 
of the timber was shipped in the round — i.e. round logs. This means, 
of course, that in stowing these logs in the ship space is lost between 
them, and that space is charged for by the shipping company, despite 
the fact that it is often filled with " dunnage " in the shape of Ebony 
billets or even Camwood. In the round log, too, there is all the 
sapwood, and for this the merchant does not expect to pay much, if 
anything, and there is no doubt that it tends to depress the value 
of the timber, whatever it may be. The mere fact that the log is 
in the round is sufficient. Quite apart from that factor, too, a round 
log, even when it is a beautiful bit of redwood, never looks so well 
nor so workmanlike as a hewn squared log with clean-cut sawn ends. 
The sapAvood, being softer than the heart wood, is more easily damaged 
than the heartwood in the squared log, so this is an additional reason 
why the round log often does not look as well as a squared one. 

Amongst the most important timbers exported from the French 
Gaboon which are known and have been found suitable to the English 
market are the following : 

1. Okoume or Angouma. Gaboon Mahogany. Oukoumea 
Klaineana. 

2. Zaminguila or Ombega. Mahogany. Canarium ?. 

3. Duika. Mahogany. Irvingia Barteri ?. 

4. Kambala. Oak. Chlorophora excelsa. 

5. Mandji or Bilinga. Afzelia Africana, or sometimes said to be 
Sarcocephalus Pobegundii. 

The first named has always sold at a cheaper rate in the London 
market than the timber obtained from the other genii of West African 
Mahogany, such as Khaya, Entandrophragma, Pseudocedrela and 
Lovoa. First of all, as with other timbers, the Gaboon Mahogany 
is shipped in round logs, which are cut none too straight at the ends, 
owing to the rough usage they get in the long transport bj^ water ; 
before and when reaching the port of shipment they are often much 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 423 

damaged externally, which gives them a bad appearance. The wood 
is not only lighter in weight but also lighter in colour than the other 
West African Mahoganies, and both these qualities detract from its 
value. The grain is more open ; it rarely if ever shows any figure, 
in comparison to the highly figured logs from Benin and Bassam. 
Having been tested very thoroughly as to tensile, torsion and com- 
pression strengths since the beginning of the war, it has not proved 
to be nearly as strong as the other West African Mahogany, These 
tests having been conducted with scientific accuracy and impartiality, 
they are to be trusted. Thus, for some purposes, such as aeroplane 
propellor construction, Gaboon Mahogany has proved unsuitable. 
However, it is only the very best, very strongest and most durable 
kinds of mahogany that will stand the most severe strains, such as 
wood is subject to when used in this work. However, that does not 
preclude the wood from being used for similar purposes as the other 
kinds of West African Mahogany, where the strains and stresses are 
not so great and where the lighter colour is no advantage. In fact, 
in many positions a greater lightness in the weight of the wood would 
be a distinct advantage, which should be pressed for all it is worth. 

Zaminguila is becoming better known, though previous to the 
war it could not be said that it had an established place in the market. 

Duika Mahogany is scarcely known, and may be the wood of 
Irvingia Barter i. 

Kambala or Oak, which is also known as African Teak, is much 
better known now, and in fact there is a steady demand for it, chiefly 
under the Nigerian name Iroko, which has been exported from Benin 
and Lagos in Nigeria in the form of " squared " logs. 

Thus far very few forest regulations have been issued in the Congo 
Fran9aise and very little replanting has been done. However, for 
the present, the supplies appear to be very large, but they will no 
doubt get more costly as the timber has to be cut and obtained from 
the much more distant and inaccessible forests. Apparently there 
is little or no Khaya Mahogany in those regions, so that there is little 
fear of real competition between the main species of Mahogany found 
in the different West African countries. The natives work the timber 
chiefly, cutting and bringing it to the ports themselves. 

THE BELGIAN CONGO 

This, the greatest and largest river system in Africa, gives its name 
also to the largest compact forest area of that country. Of the 800,000 
sqiiare miles, probably 700,000 are covered with forests of one type 
or another. From the mangrove swamps on the islands at the mouth 
of the Congo, through the dense evergreen forests of the Upper Congo 
to the dry-zone open deciduous or almost treeless areas of Katanga, 



424 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

an almost illimitable amount of unused sylvan wealth is to be found. 
Despite the obvious advantage of the Congo River, with its 3,000 
miles suitable for timber transport and its hundreds of tributaries 
with many more thousand miles of streams, capable of floating logs, 
only the smallest quantities of mahogany are exported from the 
Belgian Congo. 

No doubt the large size of the river and the great distance of some 
of the forests from the sea have hindered a more rapid and intensive 
exploitation of the forests. In fact. Mahogany {Khaya sp.) as an 
export timber is not really so well known as Redwood {Pterocarpus 
sp.), though the former has been shipped in the round. In the past 
a better known Belgian wood was blockwood or boxwood, known 
as Polyadoa umbellata or Dialium Guineense. Other forest products, 
however, such as Gum Copal {DanielUa sp.), are found in huge quantities, 
in large blocks weighing over a hundredweight, and have been 
exported for many years. 

Large quantities of rubber, too, have been exported, and Oil Palm 
products, such as kernels and oil, are of increasing export importance, 
especially since Les Huileries de Congo have started working up the 
Oil Palm forests with modern means of transport and machinery 
on three different tracts of 10,000 hectares each. 

The railways of the Congo, supplementing as they do the water- 
ways, have also not been used to any extent for the shipment of 
timber, though vast quantities of firewood have been burnt on them 
as well as conveyed to the various stations both near and on the River 
Congo. To some extent the paucity and low density of population 
per unit of area has tended to hinder the working of heavy produce 
such as timber, which is difficult to transport compared to rubber, 
with its higher value per unit of weight. Owing to this fact, too, 
near the mouth of the Congo there is an almost savannah forest 
on the banks of the river, which has given the country the appearance 
of not being an afforested one. In the past the system of huge, 
exclusive trading concessions over specific areas being granted only 
to one firm also hindered any free development of the more lower- 
priced forest produce such as timber. 



SPANISH GUINEA 

From Eloby, a little-known port situated in the middle of the coast 
of the Spanish possession south of the Cameroons, a great deal of 
Gaboon Mahogany {Oukoumea Klaineana), Redwood {Pterocarpus 
Soyauxia), and several other timbers have been exported. Despite 
the fact that the forests are not extensive, but almost untouched, 
and very rich in mahogany, a comparatively small number of firms 
have been Avorking these areas. Apparently there are no forest laws, 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 425 

and there is little or no security for any forest rights one may acquire 
from the natives. It would be perhaps advisable to work areas here 
in conjunction with those in the Southern Cameroons. It is supposed 
to be more unhealthy in this part than in others, though probably 
this is due to the local conditions. Khaya is less common than else- 
where, while Redwood {Pterocarpus Soyauxii), Gaboon Mahogany 
{Oukoumea Klaineana) and Bilinga {Afzelia sp.) are common woods. 
Again, Canarium Schweinfurthii and other species are also very 
prevalent. 

NOTES ON THE CAMEROON TREES 
Palmae. 

Rapliia vinifera (Raph.). Wine Palm. 

It is found in the district of Victoria. The leaves are 
60 feet long. Palm wine (called Mimbo) is obtained from this 
tree, also piassava fibre. 
Elcesis Guineensis (Jag.). The Oil Palm. 

It is found in the Buea and Victoria districts chiefly, but 
is one of the most widely spread trees of the Cameroons. Oil, 
kernels and cake are obtained from it, also palm cabboge from 
the growing shoots at the top. The oil is collected by the 
primitive efforts of the natives. 
Phoenix reclinata. Swamp Palm. 

It is largely used in the Dschang and Ossidinge districts 
for making palm wine, by tapping near the root. 

Commelinaceae. 

Palisota hirsuta. 

Found in the Victoria district. 

Iridacea;. 

Antholyza Zenker i. 

Found in the district of Dschang. 

Ulmaceae. 

Trema Africana. 

Found in the district of Buea. 

Moraceae. 

Chlorophora excelsa. Bush Oak. Vai (Bali) ; Abwang (Bare) ; 
Ntong (Fontem and Bangwa) ; Emang (Bakossi) ; Obang 
(Bafo) ; Bobang (Balong) ; Mokongo or Momangi (Bakundu) ; 
Momangi (Bakwiri) ; Bang (Duala). 

One or two found on an area of 2| acres in the dis- 
tricts of Johann Albrechts Hohe and Mbo. Height, 97 1 to 
162 feet. Time of flowering, December to February, 



426 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 



^a Smithii (R. Br.). Umbrella Tree. Ikomba (Bare) ; 
Ekonibo (Bakossi) ; Ekomba (Bago) ; Bokombo (Bakundu) ; 
Lisengi (Bakwiri) ; Bosenge (Duala). 

The wood is soft and like cork in texture. Found in the 
district of Dschang and along the coast. Height, 97J- feet. 
Myrianihus arboreus. Bokukulende (Bakossi) ; Wokeku (Bakwiri) ; 
Bokeku (Duala). 

Found in the Undu districts of Buea and Dschang. 
Treculia mollis (Engl.). 

Height, 48|- to 65 feet. Found in the Bipindi district. 
Treculia Africana. Boembe (Bakundu) ; Bwembi (Bakwiri). 

Found in the districts of Buea and Dschang. 
Myrianthns arboreus. Wokaka (Bakwiri). 

Found in the district of Fako, Buea. 
Ficus populifolia. 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Ficus Capensis. Ekol (Bakossi) ; Ekolo (Bakundu) ; Monja 
(Bakwiri). 

Found in the districts of Buea and Dschang. 
Ficus courania. Wotenge (Bakwiri). 

Found in the district of Buea. 
Ficu^ Schimperia. Njondji (Bakwiri). 

Found in the districts of Dschang and Buea. 
Antiaris tozicaria. 

Found in the district of Buea. 



Olacaceae. 

Ongokea Kamerunensis (Engl.). 

It grows to the height of 97 i feet and has a yellowish 
heartwood. Found in the district of Johann Albrechts 
Hohe. 
Strombosiopsis tetrandra. 

Height, 32| feet to 97J feet. Found in the district of 
Johann Albrechts Hohe and Bipindi. 
Coula edulis. Bokumia (Bakundu) ; Bonwula or Woula (Duala) ; 
Wokomea (Bakwiri). 

Height, 48| to 97 1 feet. Found in the district of Johann 
Albrechts Hohe. Time of flowering, October. This is a good 
building wood. 
Strombosia grandifolia (Hook.). Ifondo or Wofondo (Bakwiri), 

Grows in the Dschang district chiefly, but spreads over 
the Cameroons. 
Strombosia glaucescens (Engl.). 

Height, 32| to 65 feet. Found in the Bipindi district. 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 427 

Anonaceae. 

Enantia chlorantha (Oliv.). The Yellow- wood Tree. Bopalo or 
Bololo (Bakundu) ; Woyoj^o (Bakwiri) ; Nje or Banuke (Duala). 
Height, 48| to 65 feet. The wood is a beautiful yellow 
and is used in furniture-making and carpentering, and the 
bark for building native houses. Found in the district of 
Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
TJvaria Busgenii. Bopanda (Bafo) ; Bopande (Bakundu) ; Wofe 
(Bakwiri) ; Bope (Duala). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
TJvaria microtricha (Diels). 

Height, 65 to 97^ feet. 
Monodora myristica (Dun.). 

Found in the district of Fako, Buea. 
Hexabolus inegalophyllus (Engl, and Diels). 

Height, 65 to 97| feet. Found in the Bipindi district. 
Hexabolus salicifolius (Engl.). 

About 65 feet high. Found in the Bipindi district. 
Hexabolus grandiflorus (Benth.). 

65 to 81 J feet high, widely spread over the Cameroon 
country. 
Xylopia parviflora (Guill. and Perr.), (Engl, and Diels). 

65 to 81 1 feet in height. Found in Bipindi and Johann 
Albrechts Hohe districts. 
Isolona pleurocarpa (Diels). 

Height, 48| to 81 1 feet. Found in Bipindi district. 

Myristicaceae. 

Pycnanthus Kombo (Warb.). Nutmeg. Ngitsa (Fontem or Bangwa) ; 
Pitchong (Ossidinge) ; Ngosame (Bakossi) ; Bosambe (Bakundu) ; 
Esamba (Bakwiri) ; Bokondo (Duala). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. It is a 
tall tree. Used for building purposes. 
Staudtii stipitata (Warb.). 

Height, 97 J to 123| feet. Found in the district of Johann 
Albrechts Hohe. The wood is hard. 
Staudtii Kamerunensis (Warb.). 

Height, 97| to 113f feet. Found in West Africa. This 
tree has a hard reddish wood. 

Lauraceae. 

Tylostemon crassifolius (Engl.). 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. This tree 
has a very hard yellowish-brown wood. 



428 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Rosaceae. 

Parinarium chrysophyllum (Oliv.). 

Height, 48| to 81^ feet. Found in the Bipindi and Johann 
Albrechts Hohe districts. 
Parinarium (small). Ndikombo (Fontem or Bangwa). 

Found in the Ossidinge district. 



Legmminosae. 

Piptadenia Africana (Hook.). Redwood. Erundu or Wunga 
(Bakundii) ; Edundu (Balong) ; Jondo (Bakwiri) ; Bolondo 
(Duala). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. It flowers 
in October and changes leaf December to Januar3^ Height, 
971 to 195 feet. 
Piptadenia Winkleri (Harms.). 

9| to 39 feet in height. Found in the Duala district. 
Millettia sp. Bongongi (Bakundu) ; Bongongi (Duala) ; Bongongi 
(Sanaga River). 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. 
Hylodendron Gabunense (Taub.). Bokata (Bakundu). 

Found in the districts of Johann Albrechts Hohe. Bipindi, 
Minifia and Gabun. Height, 65 to 97| feet. 
Platysepalum,. Djengu (Bakwiri) ; Tada (Duala). 

Found in the district of Buea. 
Lonchocarpus Zenkeri. Sosong (Bakossi) ; Epuepue (Bakwiri). 
Macrolobium Preussii (Harms.). 

65 feet in height. 
Macrolobium Mannii. Mokowa (Bakwiri). 

Found in the district of Buea. 
Macrolobium Zenkerii (Harms.). 

65 feet in height. It grows in the Bipindi district. 
Oxystigma Mannii (Baill.), (Harms.). Softwood. Bosipi (Duala). 
Height, 130 feet. Found in the district of Victoria. The 
wood is used in building. 
Pterocarpus Soyauxii (Taub.). Bo (Balong) ; Boa (Bakundu) ; 
Muenge (Duala) ; Hiol or Mbia (Bakoko). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. Height, 
81 J feet to 97| feet. The wood is mediumly heavy, blood-red 
in the heartwood, diflScult to plane ; used in making heavy 
furniture. 
Copaifera Demeusii. Bobanja (Duala). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. Height, 
97 J feet. 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 429 

Tetrapleura Thonningii (Benth.). Kombolo (Duala). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. Height, 
48f feet. 
Pentaclethra macrophylla (Benth.). Combolo (Duala). 

A huge tree, over 65 feet in height, with tough, fibrous, 
reddish wood. Found in the districts of Johann Albrechts Hohe, 
Bipindi and Jaunde. It yields Owala oil. 
Albizzia Welwitschii (Welw.). Goo (Bali) ; Esang (Bakossi) ; 
Elund (Balong) ; Isaka (Bakundu) ; Esakasaka (Bakwiri) ; 
Bobai (Duala). 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. 
Albizzia Brownii (Walp.), (Oliv.). Isaka (Bakwiri). 

Height, 65 to 97| feet. The wood is hard and much used 
in building. It grows in the districts of Bipindi, Mimifia and 
Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Albizzia fastigata (E. Mey.), (Oliv.). 

Height, 97 1 feet. Found in the district of Johann Albrechts 
Hohe. The wood is moderately hard. 
Berlinia auriculata (Sol.). 

Height, 32| to 65 feet. Found in the Batanga and Bipindi 
districts. 
Berlinia acuminata (Sol.). Mbava (Bakwiri). 

Found in the district of Teko (Buea). Height, 48f to 
811 feet. 
Erythrophlosum micranthuin (Harms.). 

65 to 130 feet in height. Found in the Bipindi district. 
Erythrophloeum sp. 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Erythrophlosum Guineense (Don). 

Height, 97| feet. Widely found through West Africa. 
The wood is much used for house, bridge and ship building. 
Ostryoderris impressa. 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. 
Cynometra Mannii (Oliv.). 

A high tree found in Victoria and Binibi and on the 
coast. 
Cynometra multynge (Harms.). 

Over 65 feet in height. Found in the districts of Johann 
Albrechts Hohe and Bipindi. 
Scorodophloeus Zenkerii (Harms.). 

Found in the districts of Johann Albrechts Hohe, Bipindi 
and Urwald. Height, 48| feet. 
Parhia Zenkerii (Mim. Harms.). 

Found in the districts of Johann Albrechts Hohe and Bipindi. 
Height, 48|- to 65 feet. 



430 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Wacurninata. 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Baphia. 

Found in the district of Rio del Rey. 
Baphia Baromhiensis. 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Pterogopodium sp. 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Afzelia Africana (Smith). 

Height, 32|- to 65 feet. Found in the Batanga, Lokundje, 
and Bipindi districts. 
Afzelia Zenkeri. Lorn (Bakoko) ; Bobolo (Malimba). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. A giant 
tree with edible seeds. 
Brachystegia cynow.etroides (Harms.). 

Height, 113| feet. Found in the districts of Johann 
Albrechts Hohe and Mimifia. 
Eryihrina excelsa. Mokamu (Bakwiri). 

Found in the district of Buea. Height, 65 feet. Time 
of flowering is December and January. 
Dialium Staudtii (Harms.). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Dialium Guineense (Willd.). 

Height, 81 1 to 97| feet. Widely spread through the 
Cameroon country. 
Dialium Zenkeri (Harms.). 

About 32| feet high. Found in the Bipindi district. 
DistemonantMis Benthamiasus (Baill.). 

Height, 97| to 130 feet. Found in the districts of Johann 
Albrechts Hohe and Mimifia. 
Distemonanthus sp. 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Calpocalyx Dinklagei (Harms.). 

Found in the districts of Johann Albrechts Hohe and 
Bipindi. Height, 32 to 48| feet. 
Newtonia Zenkeri (Harms.). 

Found in the districts of Johann Albrechts Hohe and 
Bipindi. Height, 97i to 113| feet. 
Adenocarpus Mannii. 

District, Fako, Buea. 
Detarium macrocarpum (Harms.). 

Height, 81 1 to 97 J feet. Found in the Bipindi district. 
/ ndigofera Africeps . 

Found in the district of Fako, Buea. 
Phutophyllum, mirabile. 

Found in the district of Rio del Rey. 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 431 

Galium aparine. 

District, Victoria. 
Daniella caudata. 

District, Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Afrormosia laxiflora. 

District, Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Cylicodiscus Gahunensis(¥LdiXvaB.). Edum (Bafo) ; Emang (Bakossi). 

District, Johann x41brechts Hohe. A tree with enormous 
trunk and bark resembling the pine ; the wood is reddish. 
Height, 97J- to 130 feet. 
Trachylobium sp. 

District, Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Fillceopsis discophora (Harms.). 

Height, 48| feet. Found in the Bipindi district. Called 
by the Kameroon Holz Syndicate "Milletia." A big tree with 
huge paper-like pods. 
Stemonocoleus micranthus (Harms.). 

Height, 81 1 to 97| feet. Found in the Bipindi district. 
Pithecolobium altissimum (Oliv.). 

Height, 48f to 81 1 feet. Found in Bipindi. 
Stachyoihyrsus Staudtii (Harms.). 

Height, 81 1 feet. Found in the Mimifia and Bipindi districts. 

Linaceae. 

Phyllocosmus sessiliflorus (Oliv.). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. Height, 
48f to 81^ feet. 

Erythroxylaceae. 

Erythroxylon Mannii (Oliv.). 

Height, 48f feet. Found in the districts of Johann 
Albrechts Hohe and Bipindi. 

Rutaceae. 

Fagara Rederi (Oliv.). Wongo (Bakundu) ; Woongo (Bakwiri). 

Found in the district of Buea. 
Fagara altissima (Engl.). 

Found in the Bipindi district. Height, 48| to 81 1 feet. 
Zanthoxylum Senegalense. Nitone (Fontem or Bangwa). 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. 

Simarubaceae. 

Irvingia Barteri (Hook.). The so-called Wild Mango. Bope 
(Bafo) ; Bopek (Balong) ; Weke (Bakundu) ; Bwiwa (Bakwiri) ; 
Bwiba ba mbale (Duala). 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district specially, but 
widely spread through West Africa. 



432 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Irvingia Gabunensis. Etue or Etu (Bakossi) ; Botuba (Bafo) ; 
Bopala (Bakundu). 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. 
Odyendea Gabunensis (Pierre). 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. Height, 
65 to 971 feet. 
Klainedoxa Gabunensis (Pierre). 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. Height, 
65 to 97| feet. 
Klainedoxa grandifolia (Engl.). 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. 
Pierreodendron grandifolium. 

Found in the Rio del Rev district. 

Burseraceae. 

Pachylobus Zenkeri. 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. 
Pachylobus edulis (G. Dom). Bosao (Bakundu) ; Sao or Bosao 
(Duala) ; Bokuka (Etam). 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. A fruit tree 
of about 65 to 97| feet in height, having dark-green, alter- 
nating, bipinnate leaves, smooth bark and reddish to grey- 
yellow wood. The Avood is used to make axe-handles ; the 
tree also yields resin. 
Pachylobus var. (Mbafo according to Engler). Bosao (Bakundu). 
A fair-sized tree with reddish and greyish-yellow wood. 
It has a good heartwood, used for the axles of wheels ; also for 
calabashes. Found throughout West Africa. 
Canarium auriculatum. Bweii (Bali) ; Wotua (Bakwiri). 

Found in the Victoria district. 
Canarium Schweinfurthii (Engl.). 

Height, ] 13 to 130 feet. Found in the Johann Albrechts 
Hohe district principally, but is fairly common throughout 
West Africa. The wood is white and is used for building. 
Canarium Mansfeldianum. 

Found in the Ossidinge district. 

Meliaceae. 

Entandrophragma Rederi. Njokubwele (Bakundu) ; Won (Bakwiri). 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. 
Entandrophragma utilis. 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. 
Entandrophragma Candollei (Harms.). 

Height, 97| to 130 feet. Found in the Johann Albrechts 
Hohe district. The wood is similar to mahogany. 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 433 

Guarea glomerulata. Bobe ba ndiko (Bakundu) ; Lilualamombe 
(Bakwiri) ; Timba or timba nundi (Duala). 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. This wood 
is, like mahogany, used for furniture, also window- wood. 
This tree is frequently attacked by boring insects. 
Trichilia rubesilus (Oliv.). Ifassoa (Bakwiri). 

Found in the Buea district. Height, 17 J to 32| feet. 
Trichilia Prieureana (Juss.). 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. Height, 
32| to 39 feet. 
Khaya Klainii (Pierre). 

The most valuable mahogany is obtained from this tree. 
It is abundantly found in West Africa. 
Khaya euryphylla (Harms.). 

From 97| to 130 feet in height. Found in the districts of 
Johann Albrechts Hohe and Buea. 
Khaya Senegalensis. 

Found in the district of Victoria. 
Turracanthus Zenkeri (Harms.). 

Found in the Jaunde and Buea districts. Height, 65 feet. 
Carapa procera (D.C.). 

Height about 65 feet. Found in the Johann Albrechts 
Hohe district. It yields a wood very like mahogany, useful 
in building and carpentry. 



Euphorbiaceae. 

Ricinodrendron Africanum (Mull. Arg.). Esango (Bakossi) ; 
Wonjasanga (Bakundu) ; Wonjangasanga (Bakwiri) ; Njang- 
sang (Duala) ; Ehan (Bakoko). 

Height, 48| to 81| feet. Found in the Johann Albrechts 
Hohe district. 
Lepidoturus occidentalism Longoso (Bakundu) ; Longoso (Bakwiri) ; 
Joloso (Duala). 
District, Mbo. 
Macaranga sp. 

Found in the district of Buea. 
Macaranga rosea. Boka (Bakundu) ; Njon bwele (Duala). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. Time of 
flowering, November. 
Bridelia stenocarpa (Mull. Arg.). Esenge (Bakundu) ; Mosenge 
(Bakwiri) ; Tata (Duala). 

District, Johann Albrechts Hohe. It flowers in February 
and changes leaf in December and January. The wood is 
light yellow with large, open pores. 
28 



434 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Bridelia macrocarpa. Esenge (Bakundu). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Alchornea floribunda (Mull. Arg.). 

Sometimes found over 81 1 feet in height. It is widely 
spread over the Cameroons. 
Alchornea cordifolia. Dibobonga (Duala). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Antidesma lacimiatum. Liwoma (Bakwiri). 

It grows in the Buea district. 
Claoxylon Preussii (Pax.). 

It is found in the district of Buea. 
Croton pyrifolius. 

Found in the district of Buea. 
Phyllanthus discoideus. 

Found in the district of Buea. 
Uapaca Staudtii (Pax.). Bosambi (Bakundu). 

Found in the district of Buea. 
Hevea. 

A rubber-tree which needs less soil than the Funtumia. 
Its extension has been hampered by lack of seed. It suffers 
much from root diseases. The tree is found in the Buea district. 
Sapium Mannianum (Mull. Arg.), (Bth.). 

Height, 48f to 97| feet Widely spread over the Cameroon 
country. 
Grossera panicvlata (Pax.). Nama tubave (Bakundu). 

It grows in the Bipindi district. Height, 4Sf to 65 feet. 

Anacardiacese. 

Sorindeia trimera (Oliv.). 

Height, 48f feet. Ver}^ plentiful throughout the Cameroons. 
Pseudospondias microcarpa (A. Rich., Engl.). 

Height, 32| to 48| feet. Found in the Buea district and 
throughout the Cameroons. 
TrichoxypTia Bipindensis (Engl.). 

Height, 65 to 97| feet. It is found in the Bipindi district. 

Sapindaceae. 

Phialodiscus Zambesiacus. 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district, 
Deinbollia pycnophylla (Gilg.). 

Height, 65 feet. It is found in the Bipindi district. 

Tiliaceae. 

Desplatzia Deweivrei. 

Found in the (Boanda) Buea district. 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 435 

Grewiopsis globosa. Ebonga evodi (Duala). 

This is a small tree having yellow fruit, the size of a man's 
fist, used as food for elephants. 

District, N.W. Africa. 
Grewiopsis discophora. 

District, N.W. Africa. 

Malvaceae. 

Pavonia Schimperiana. 

Dschang and Buea district. 

Bombacaceae. 

Ceiba pentandra. Silk-cotton Tree. Monga (Balong) ; Mungongo 
(Duala). 

Yields timber, bast, tanning materials, wool for stuffing, 
oil, etc. ; fruit woody. 
Adansonia digitata. Baobab. Sometimes called " Asses Bread." 
It yields timber, fibre, tanning materials, etc. The pulp 
of the fruit and the seeds are edible. Found in the savannah 
forests and also near villages. 
Eriodendron. Silk-cotton. 

District, West Africa, 
Bombax buonopozense. Silk-cotton. 

District, West Africa. The tree yields timber, wool for 
stuffing, fibre, oil, etc. 

Sterculiaceae. 

Sterculia oblonga (Mast.). Engele or Ongele (Balong) ; Bongele 
(Bakundu) ; Ekonge (Bakwiri) ; Bongele or Bopum ba nji 
(Duala). 

It grows in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. A 
large tree having opposite leaves and smooth bark, which 
rapidly turns red when exposed to the air. The wood is much 
used for planks. 
Sterculia tragacantha. Poose (Bakundu) ; Ndototo (Bakwiri) ; 
Pio (Duala). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. It flowers 
in November. 
Sterculia grandifolia. Kamdjok (Ossidinge). 

Found in the districts of Johann Albrechts Hohe and 
Ossidinge. 
Sterculia cordifolia. Lom (Bakoko). 

Found in the districts of Johann Albrechts Hohe and 
Ossidinge. 



436 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Sterculia acuminata, syn. Cold acuminata (?). 

Much cultivated in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district 
and on the mountain slopes. The nut of this tree is very much 
used in chocolate-making and is very refreshing. 
Sterculia rhinopetala (K. Schum.). 

Height, 81^ to 113| feet. This tree yields an excellent 
building wood. 
Cola sp. 

Found in the districts of (Muea) Buea. 
Cola sulcata. 

It is found in the district of (Boanda) Buea. 
Cola altissima (Engl.). 

Height, 65 to 97J feet. Found in the Bipindi district. 
Cola mursupium. 

Found in the district of (Boanda) Buea. 
Pterygota Kamerunensis. 

Found in the district of Mungo River. 
Xeropetalum Domheya. 

Found in the Dschang district. 
Triplochiton sceleroxylon (K. Schum.). Nkom (Bakossi) ; Ejuong 
(Jaunde). 

This tree yields a good timber and furniture wood The 
leaves are very similar to those of the maple. Found very 
plentifully in the Cameroon country. 
Theobroma cacao. Cocoa Tree. 

There are about twenty species of this tree. The Cameroon 
country is the richest in the world for cocoa. It grows chiefly 
in the low-lying country of the Mungo, Wari and Sanaga 
Rivers, in the Duala and Yabassi districts and Edea ; also on 
the slopes of the Cameroon mountains. It is much attacked 
by cockchafer grubs (brown rot) and bark bugs. The world's 
supply from T. cacao has been going on for five hundred years, 
and consequently has developed varieties showing a marked 
difference from the original type. 

Syctopetalaceae. 

Ouhanguia Klainei (Teigh.). 

District, Buea. Height, 48| to 65 feet. 

Ochnaceae. 

Lophira alata (Banks). Iron wood. Boko (Bakundu) ; Ndonge 
(Bakwiri) ; Bongossi (Duala). 

Found in the districts of Johann Albrechts Hohe and Mbo. 
Diameter, 7| to lOJ feet. Height, 1621 feet. The time for 
flowering is December and January and February for ripe 
fruit. A good, very hard wood, used for stair treads. 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 437 

Ouratea monticola. 

Found in the Buea district. 

Guttiferae. 

Endodesmia calophylloides (Bth.). 

Height, 81 1 to 130 feet. It grows abundantly throughout 
the Cameroon country. 
Garcinia punctata (Oliv.). 

Height, 65 to 81 J feet. Plentiful in Cameroon, specially 
in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. 
Pentadesma hutyraceum (Dom.). 

A very high tree. Common throughout Cameroon. 
Haronga paniculata. Konkwa (Bali) ; Worolongo (Bakwiri) ; 
Tolongo (Duala). 

Found in the districts of Dschang and Buea. 
Symphonia globulifera (L. fil.). 

Height, 65 to 97J feet. Found throughout the whole of 
West Africa. 

Flacourtiaceae. 

Flacourtia Ramintilii. Wondo (Bakwiri). 

Found in the Dschang district. 
Barteria aromatica. 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Barteria fistulosa. Ant-trees (Musimba). 

Found in the Buea district. 
Lindackeria dentata. 

Found in the Buea district. 
Scottellia Mimfiensis (Gilg.). 

Height, 48| to 97^ feet. 

Caricaceae. 

Carica papaya. 

Found in the district of Victoria. 

Thymelaceae. 

LasiosipJion glaucus. 

Found in the district of Victoria. 

Rhizophoraceae. 

Poga oleosa. Njove or Njole (Rio del Rey). 

District, Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Poga conophora (named after Muller). Njove or Njole (Rio del 
Rey). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 



438 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Bhizophora mangle (Roxb.)- Mangrove. Tanda (Duala). 

It grows freely on the coast of West Africa. The bark is 
much used in tanning. 

Alangiaceae. 

Alangium hegonifoUum. 
District, Buea. 

Combretacese. 

Combretum cinerea. 

It grows in the Dschang district. 
Terminalia superba (Engl, and Diels). Nkom (Bakossi) ; Bokome 
(Bafo) ; Bokome (Bakundu) ; Djombe (Bakwiri) ; Mukonja 
(Duala). 

Height, 65 to 97i feet. It grows abundantly throughout 
the Cameroon country, but especially at Johann Albtechts 
Hohe. The wood is hard, light yellow and close grained ; much 
used for making windows and shutters. 

Melastomaceae. 

Amphiblemma polyneuron 

District, Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Memecylon macrodendron (Gilg.). 

Height, 48| to 65 feet. Found in the Bipindi district. 

Araliaceae. 

Schefflera Hookeriana (Harms.). 

Found in the Buea district. 

Myrsinaceae. 

McBsa lanceolata. 

Found in the Dschang district. 

Sapotaceae. 

Miinusops sp. 

Mimmops Djave (Laness), (Engl.). Nsab (Bare) ; Bonjabi 
(Bakundu) ; Njabi (Duala). 

Found in the districts of Johann Albrechts Hohe and Mbo. 

Height, 178| feet. Diameter, 6| feet. There is frequently 

a clear bole of 97| feet, containing 6,380| cubic feet of wood 

(181 cubic metres). The nuts are much valued locally as food. 

Chrysophyllum Africanum. 

District, Johann Albrechts H6he. 
Chrysophyllum macrophyllum. Wonjanja (Bakwiri). 
District, Johann Albrechts Hohe and Buea. 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 439 

Omphalocarpum Radlkoferi (Pierre). 

Height, 65 feet. Found throughout West Africa. This tree 
yields timber and a sort of gutta-percha. 
Butifrospermum Parkii (Kotschy.). Shea Butter. 

District, N. West Africa. This tree yields a gutta-percha- 
like resin, edible fruits, and from the seeds a fat (Shea butter). 
Omphalocarpum Pierreanum (Engl.). 

Height, 65 to 81 J feet. Found in the district of Bipindi. 

Ebenaceae. 

Diospyros sauveolens (Gurke). Ebony. 

Height, 32-| to 48| feet. Found in the district of Johann 
Albrechts Hohe. 
Diospyros atropurpurea (Gurke). Ebony. Efindofindo (Bafo) ; 
Findefinde (Balong) ; Epindepinde (Bakundu) ; Findefinde 
(Bakwiri) ; Epindepinde (Duala). 

District, Johann Albrechts Hohe, Bipindi and Buea, and 
Muyuke. The tree flowers in April and May ; the fruit is ripe 
in October. It yields timber, tanning and dyeing materials, 
mucilage, edible fruit (date-plums), fish-poison and medica- 
ments. The wood is very hard and of a yellowish colour, the 
bark black. It is principally iised for furniture. 
Diospyros megaphylla (Gurke). 

Height, 32 1 to 48 1 feet. It grows near Bipindi. 
Diospyros Bipindensis (Gurke). 

Height, 48f feet. It is found in the Bipindi district. 
Diospyros Kamerunensis (Gurke). 

Height, 48| feet. Found in the Bipindi district. 
Diospyros Dendo (Welw.). 

Height, 48| to 65 feet. It is found throughout the 
Cameroon country. 
Diospyros Gilgiano (Gurke). 

Height, 48| to 65 feet. Found in the Bipindi district. 
Diospyros nsambensis (Gurke). 

Height, 48| to 65 feet. Found in the Bipindi district. 
Diospyros mamiacensis (Gurke). 

Height, 48| to 65 feet. 
Diospyros aggregata (Gurke). 

Over 65 feet in height. Found in the Bipindi district. 
Diospyros incarnata (Gurke). 

Height, 32| to 39 feet. Found in the Bipindi district. 
Diospyros mespeliformis (Hochst.). 

The sapwood is yellowish-white and close-grained. It is 
very useful in turnery. The tree is found widely spread over 
West Africa. 



440 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Loganiacess. 

Nuxia Mannii (Oliv.). 

District, (Fako) Buea, 
Anthocleista Zenkerii, also known as Bopolo-polo. 

Found in the Johann Albrechts Hohe district. 
Strychnos gnetifolia (Gilg.)- 

Height, 65 to 97^ feet. Found in the Bipindi district. 

Apocynaceae. 

Kicksia elastica. Dinjongo (Bafo) ; Dinjongo (Bakundu) ; Man- 
jongo (Bakwiri) ; Ebonga inanyongo (Duala). 

Found in the districts of Johann Albrechts Hohe and Buea. 
Ranwolfia macrophylla or gonioclada. Enonge (Bakundu) ; Kanja 
(Bakwiri) ; Bandonge (Duala). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. The time 
of flowering is October and March. 
Rauwolfia vomitosia. 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Alstonia Congensis. Kuge (Bakossi) ; Bokuk (Balong) ; Kanja 
(Bakundu) ; Wokuka (Bakwiri) ; Bokuka ba mhale (Duala). 
Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. The wood 
is used for making stools in the Kamerun country. 
Polyadoa umbellata. 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Funtumia elastica. Ireh Tree. (Lagos rubber.) 

Found widely throughout West Africa. The chief rubber- 
j'ielding tree. The tree suffers from the attacks of stag-beetles. 
Landolphia Dawei. (Savannah rubber.) 

Found in the primeval forests of West Africa. Several 
species yield rubber, dyes and edible fruits (from which drinks 
are made). 

Convolvulaceee. 

Ipomoea involvucrata. 

District, Rio del Rey, 

Borraginaceae. 

Cordia Irvingia. Bola (Bakundu) ; Womba (Bakwiri) ; Bomba 
(Duala). 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Cordia yombomba. Jom (Ossidinge) ; Yombomba (Bakwiri). 
Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 

Verbenaceae. 

Avicennia tomentosa (Jacqu.). White Mangrove. Bunja (Duala). 
Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe and very 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 441 

frequently among coast vegetation. Height, 32J to 48f feet. 
The wood is very beautiful. 
Vitex cuneata. 

Found in the district of Johann Albrechts Hohe. 
Vitex Bipindensis (Gurke). 

Height, 32 J to 48| feet. Found in the Bipindi district. 
Clerodendron. Mumbambe (Bakwiri). 
Found in the district of Buea. 

Scrophulariaceae. 

Selaginella Vogelii. 

Found in the district of Victoria. 

Bignoniaceae. 

Spathoidea campanulata. Jon (Bali) ; Etutu (Bakundu) ; Mbako 
(Bakwiri) ; Bwele ba Mbongo (Duala). 
Found in the Dschang district. 
Kigelia acutifolia. Sosong (Bakossi) ; Wulule (Bakwiri). 

Found in the Dschang district. 
Markhamia lutea. Abbe (Bakossi) ; Mawelu (Bakwiri) ; Mabanga 
(Duala). 

Found in the Dschang district. 

Acanthaceae. 

Thomandersia laurifolia. 

District, Rio del Rey. 

Rubiaces. 

Adina macrophylla (Lepr. and Guill.), (K, Schum.). 

Found in the district of Victoria. Height of tree, 48| to 
81 J feet. A yellowish wood, used in building and very good 
for furniture. 
Sarcocephalus samhvx^inus (Wint.). Tabu (Bali). 

A very common tree in West Africa. It is a good building 
wood. 
Plectronia glabriflora. 

District, Dschang and Buea. 
Oxyanthus speciosus. Wyfongo (Bakwiri). 

District, Dschang and Buea. 
Canthium glabriforum. 

District, N.W. Africa. This tree has grey bark and is 
like a palm in appearance. It yields resin, and calabashes 
are made from the fruit. 
Morinda citrifolia (L.). 

Height, 48| to 65 feet. It has a yellowish wood. A very 
common tree in West Africa. 



442 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Randia cladantha {K. cladantha). 

Height, 65 to 81 1^ feet. Very common throughout the 
Cameroon country. 

Composite. 

Vernonia frondosa (Oliv.). Bopolopolo (Duala). 

Found in the district of Rio del Rey. 
Vernonia conferta. Bopolopolo (Duala). 

Found in the district of Rio del Rey. 
Helichrysum fostidum (Cass.). 

Found in the districts of Victoria and Buea. 



SOME CAMEROON TREES ONLY KNOWN BY 
NATIVE NAMES 

Abange ( Jaunde). 

Adorn (Jaunde). 

Akaka (Jaunde) ; Ikaka (Bakundu). The wood is soft and nut- 
brown ; it smells like pencil-wood. 

Akondog (Jaunde). 

Ase (Jaunde) ; Njokubore (Bakundu). The fruit is similar to 
the Entandrophragma (Meliacese), the root buttressed, and 
the leaves with rosettes on the branches. 

Awong (Jaunde). 

Bosambai (Jaunde). 

Dibanga (Jaunde). A mediumly hard, greyish-brown wood with 
brown medullary rays ; it is used for making furniture. 

Ebe (Jaunde) ; Borimba (Bakundu). A giant tree with oval 
leaves, smooth on the top and having brownish hairs underneath. 

Ehemba (Jaunde). 

Ejan (Jaunde). 

Ekoah (Jaunde). 

Enjog (Jaunde). 

Esang (Jaunde). 

Lawonong (Jaunde). 

Lobog (Jaunde). 

Otungue (Jaunde). 

Ebunja (Bakundu). 

Ekambamba (Bakundu). 

Enjenju (Bakundu). 

Esok (Bakundu). 

Idjnake (Bakundu). 

Mbonda pondo (Bakundu). A very close-grained, hard wood. 

Mondoa (Bakundu). 

Bowasa (Duala). 



BRITISH SPHERE OF THE CAMEROONS 443 

Bwiba ba njon (Duala). A hard wood used for stair treads. At 
the Basel Mission the timber worked at was £2 per 35 cubic 
feet — Steyer and Pingel, at the rate of 10 shillings per 
35 cubic feet — the latter firm working all kinds of wood of 
medium size. 

Ebon (Duala). 

Etotum (Duala). 

Palambanja (Duala). 

Tabako (Duala). 

Eselebaka (Bakoko). 

Ewnon (Bakoko). 

Mpang (Bakoko and Basa). 

Sibugang (Basa). 



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riG. 99.— The temporary Wooden Bridge over the Imo, on the Eastern Division, Nigerian 
Railwray. Note, only native, locally grown timber used in its construction. 





Tig. ]0(). Medium-sized African Pear- 
wood (Mimusops Djave) standing in 
the middle of the road outside 
Degema Station, on the road to 
Ilhmema, since felled, and logs sold 
in England. 



Fig. 101. — Inoi Tree (Poga oleosa) 
standing at the edge of the Degema 
Station grounds. 



CHAPTER XI 

THE OIL BEANS, SEEDS AND NUTS OF 
THE FOREST 

In a separate chapter the Oil Palm and its produce are more fully con- 
sidered, so that we give here a detailed account of the other important 
Oil Seeds and Nuts. Oil-bearing nuts and seeds are usually found 
in great profusion in the Tropics, and West Africa is no exception to 
the rule. 

Amongst the botanical families in which the plants yield oil-seeds 
or nuts are the Palmse, Leguminosse, Euphorbiaceae, Ochnacese, 
Sapotacese, Rhizophoracese, Meliacese and Guttiferae. As far as the 
Protectorates of Nigeria and Sierra Leone are concerned, the 
" Oil Bean " {Pentaclethra macrophylla) is one of the most important. 
According to the data in the Niger district, oil beans have been 
bought for some ten years from the natives. They are also known 
as Owala beans. The natives prefer a price of Is. per case, but the 
minimum of 6d. and the maximum of 9d. per case was about the limit 
for the nuts in pre-war days. Even then only a small profit was made 
by the European merchant at the prices then ruling for the nuts in 
England. With the much greater, almost universal demand for all 
kinds of oil-nuts and seeds, it is probable that higher prices will be 
paid for these nuts now that the war is over, provided a reasonable 
charge for freight can be arranged. The natives themselves say that 
the nuts should be cooked for twelve hours to be good for eating. 
There are six or seven beans in each pod. 

Now that many roadsides in the Owerri province and other 
districts have been planted with Oil-bean trees as a shade tree, there 
will be a continual supply of nuts each year. The tree starts bearing 
in the tenth year, and almost every year bears a fair crop. An example 
of one of these avenues is seen on the Ikpoba Road, just outside Benin 
City. The pods are used as a firewood, which makes a hot, rapid fire. 
In Sierra Leone they are known as Fai beans. The beans are large 
and flattened, covered with a hard brown seed-coat. They may be 
from one and a half to two and three-quarter inches in length, 
and from one to one and three-quarter inches in breadth, and 
one-third to nearly half an inch in thickness. The kernels are white 
and soft and contain a quantity of oil. 



448 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

According to the very valuable investigations of the Imperial 
Institute : 

The proportion of hard seed-coat (by weight), 207 per cent. 

The proportion of kernel in bean (by weight), 79" 3 per cent. 

The amount of oil contained in the whole, 31 '2 per cent. 

The amount of oil contained in the kernels, 39 per cent. 

When the oil is left to stand it deposits a quantity of solid fat. 
On trial, the oil was found to yield rather a soft soap, and was stated 
to be worth only about £21 per ton. The cold-pressed oil was of a 
golden yellow colour, and the hot-drawn oil a dull yellow and rather 
thick. From analysis it was found that the meal was very nutritious, 
containing over 39 per cent, of proteids, and if it could be used as a 
feeding-cake it would be worth from £5 to £5 10s. per ton (pre-war 
rates). 

The constants of the oil from the Southern Nigerian seeds are ; 

Iodine value 87-07 

Acid value . . . . . . . . ..14*3 

Titer test 50-15° C. 



The composition of the meal after extraction of the oil is 
follows : 



Moisture . . 

Ash 

Proteins . . 

Fibre 

Sugar (dextrose), 

Carbohydrates (other than sugar) 



Per cent. 

12-9 
3-5 

34-8 
6-8 
6-2 

33-7 



The oil on analysis gave the following results : 

Specific gravity at 155° C. (60° F.) . . . . 0-9194 

Saponification value .. .. .. .. 184*2 

Free fatty acids, per cent. .. .. .. 0-7 



Analysis of pressed cake 

Oil .. 

Moisture 

Crude proteins 

Carbohydrates 

Fibre 

Ash.. 



Per cent. 

120 

9-9 

33-2 

34-8 

5-7 

4-5 



The oil would make a first-class edible oil. The value of the 
beans is stated to be about £6 per ton c.i.f. London, August 1909, 



OIL BEANS, SEEDS AND NUTS 449 

and subject to being shipped in lots of fifty to one hundred tons at a 
time. No regular plantations have been made with this tree, but 
it is probable that with cultivation an earlier and quicker yield of 
nuts could be obtained, also with further grafting and seed selecting 
the thickness of the shell over the kernel could be considerably reduced, 
and also the thickness of the pod, and thus make the product more 
valuable in proportion to its size. A small tree will bear half to one 
bushel of beans, and a large tree will bear two. On the smaller and 
younger trees the pods are narrower and shorter than on the older 
trees, and the beans are much smaller, being only about half the size 
and a third of the bulk of those from fully-grown trees. The pods, 
which also contain a certain amount of oil, are not to be despised as 
a source of fuel, especially as time goes on and the population increases. 

In this place also should be considered the beans of Xylia Evansii. 
This is also a Leguminous tree. The natives apparently have no use 
for the small, flattened round beans, which are about half to three- 
quarters of an inch in diameter and an eighth of an inch thick, and 
sometimes less. The beans have not been collected or sold, neither 
have they been examined chemically as to their oil or other content. 

Another oil-bean-bearing tree of this family is Berlinia acuminata, 
which has large beans rather more than an inch and a half long, 
an inch broad, and a third of an inch thick. Further examination 
would show whether the oil content is such as to justify their com- 
mercial exploitation. The Benin name is Ekpagoi and Yoruba 
Apado. 

Closely allied to this one is Macrolobium palisoti, the Ogaba of the 
Benis, which also yields a flat, almost square-shaped bean, nearly an 
inch in length and an inch in width. The exact oil content of this 
bean is unknown. 

The beans of Cynometra Afzelii and Cynometra Mannii are much 
larger and stouter, but also contain a certain amount of oil of unknown 
value. The Benin name is Upakeka and Yoruba Eggi or Ekku. 

Then we have the small, almost black, button-like beans of Brachy- 
stegia spicceformis, which, despite their large quantity, have remained 
uncollected and unused. A proper chemical examination would reveal 
the oil or other content of the beans. The Benin name is Okwan 
and the Yoruba Ako. 

Still considering this same family of plants, the Leguminoseae, 
there are the brown beans of Erythrophlceum Guineense and E. micran- 
thum. These are of a brown colour, about half an inch long, one- 
third of an inch wide, and an eighth of an inch thick, and of a more 
or less round shape. Here, again, further investigation would reveal 
the oil content of these beans. The Yoruba name is Oginni or Inyi 
and Yoruba Erunor Obo. 

It is also not known whether the nuts of the various Afzelias, 
29 



450 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 



known as Apa by the Yorubas and Aligna by the Bonis, contain a 
valuable oil or other commercial product. 

It has been stated that the beans and pods of Pithecolobium 
altissimum have been used as a kind of " Dividivi " for tanning leather, 
but further experiment with these would prove or disprove the point. 

Finally, there is the Calabar bean or Eseri bean, Phyostigma vene- 
nosum. It is known to the Efiks as Eseri. The deep furrow on the 
upper side of the bean is most typical of it, and differentiates it thus 
from the various Mucuna species. It contains two alkaloids, Cala- 
barine and Eserine. These beans are comparatively well known. 
Besides being used locally as a medicine and for witchcraft, they are 
collected and sold for export. The bean used in games, Mucuna 
urens, has yet to be examined as to its value. 

Amongst the other important families containing nut-bearing 
trees are the Rhizophoracese. The Inoy nut, Poga oleosa, is obtained 
from a common tree in the Owerri and Calabar provinces of Nigeria. 
The local people of the Oban and Calabar districts are very fond of 
the nut, and leave the tree standing when making their farms. The 
nuts sell in the Calabar market at the rate of 250 for 3d. They 
were examined in England and favourably reported on by the Imperial 
Institute in June 1905. The hard shell is against their general use, 
as it is so particularly tough and hard to crack. The shell on the nut 
itself is about one-fifteenth of an inch thick. The kernel is soft, 
white, and verj^ oily. It has a better flavour than even the Brazil nut, 
and is pale-yellow in colour. The kernels were valued in May 1906 at 
from £9 to £10 in England. They contain about 60-8 per cent, 
of oil, which showed the following constants according to the 
investigations of the Imperial Institute 



Specific gravity of 15° C. 




0-896 


Saponification value 




. 184-49 


Iodine value 




. 89-75 


Hehner value 




. 93-00 


Reichert-Meissl value 




1-45 


Acid value . . 




. 39-7 


Titer test . . 




. 22° C. 


raction of the oil the mea 


1 gave 

Es 


the following res 

pressed on Dry Material 
Per cent. 


Proteins 


. 


. 41-51 


Sugars, reducing 


. 


1-32 


,, non -reducing (suci 


^ose) . 


2-50 


Other carbohydrates 




. 36-92 


Crude fibre . . 


. 


9-00 


Ash 




8-75 



OIL BEANS, SEEDS AND NUTS 451 

" Inoy " kernels would yield a nutritious cake for feeding 
cattle. 

Thus far no use has been found for the round small, pear-shaped, 
nut-like fruits of the Red Mangrove, Rhizophora racemosa. Consider- 
ing the large quantity found floating about in the creeks and rivers, 
further investigation seems warranted. 

In the Euphorbiaceae family the Nsa-sana (Efik) or Okkwen nuts of 
the Benis have been found to contain 45*2 per cent, of oil by the 
Imperial Institute.^ This nut is obtained from Ricinodendron Africana 
and R. Rautenii, and is known to the Yorubas as Erimado. In each 
fruit there are two, three, or even four nuts. The flesh of the fruit 
soon dries or rots away, leaving the uncracked nuts among the debris. 
The shell of these is hard and thick, and the inside a bright white 
colour. In some experiments carried out on a comparatively large 
scale at the end of 1907 and at the beginning of 1908, in Benin, it was 
found that more than half the kernels were broken in the cracking 
of the nut. However, in the Cameroons, where the nuts are used 
for alimentary purposes, they are boiled for a short time, and then 
it is possible to crack them quite easily without damaging the kernel 
inside. Further experiments at Benin showed that six boxes (gin 
cases) of green fruit yield one box of nuts containing actually 7,528, 
which weigh 35 lb. 4 oz. One box of fruit contains 418 seeds and 
yields 720 nuts. An average of 7,419 seeds is contained in each box, 
155 nuts weighing 1 lb. Each fruit contains on the average two 
and one-ninth seeds. On the average 9d. per box was paid for fruit, 
and Is. per box for uncracked nuts. Twenty boys cleaned and got 
ready 2| boxes of uncracked nuts per day at the cost of 5s. Paying 
at the rate of Is. a case for the uncracked nuts, the cost would 
be £17 per ton. However, with regular quantities being brought 
in, no doubt this cost could be reduced. In a similar way, 
if the nuts were boiled in quantity and immediately cracked, the 
kernels would be got out at a cheaper rate. The native working for 
himself, as with the palm nuts, would turn out greater quantities in 
a shorter time. 

The yield of the oil pressed from the kernels was 47 per cent., or 
14 per cent, on the whole nut. It is light yellow in colour and has a 
' pleasant taste, very much like that of the ground nut. The chemical 
examination showed a resemblance to Tsung oil (Chinese wood oil). 
It possesses the same property of drying on exposure to air under 
ordinary atmospheric pressure. The oil could be used for similar 
purposes, or for the making of soft soap, and would be worth from 
about £18 to £20 per ton for this purpose, and it appears that 
the oil would have a ready sale in England, and have a value, equal 
to linseed oil, of about £21 per ton. According to the investigations 

1 Colonial Report, 88, Oil, Seeds, Fats and Waxes, Imperial Institute, 1914. 



452 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

at the Imperial Institute, the analysis of Nsa-sana kernels and Tsung 
oil showed : 



Specific gravity 
Saponification value 
Iodine value . . 
Hehner value 
Titer test 



Oil from Nsa-sana 
Kernels. 



0-9320 (at 20°C.) 

191-6 

147-7 
95-2 
35-7° C. 



Commercial Tsung Oil. 



0-933-0-942 (at 15-5° C.) 

190-197 

149-165 

96-3 

37- 1-37-2° C. 



Despite the large quantities of nuts available, especially in the 
Abeokuta, Benin and Calabar provinces, the difficulty of cracking 
the nuts satisfactorily and buying them cheap enough has so far 
precluded an export trade from being built up. Owing to the low 
percentage of oil in the whole nut it is evident that it would 
not pay to ship the uncracked nuts. So far no plantations have been 
made with this tree, but it comes up very readily and plentifully in 
old abandoned farms of the mixed forest zone. In open localities, 
with plenty of light, the tree begins to bear between the seventh and 
tenth j^ear, and almost each year there is a large crop of fruit. From 
larger trees the yield appears to be over one bushel of nuts per tree 
per annum. 

The curious nut-like fruits of Ubellu, Benin, supposed to be a 
species of Microdesmis, have not been examined as to their oil or other 
content. Soon after falling to the ground they break up into a white 
putty-like substance, which has a very peculiar, almost sulphurous, 
smell, and sometimes rather phosphoric. The nuts are spherical and 
rather more than half an inch in diameter. The tree is found chiefly 
in Benin, also in the Abeokuta and Calabar provinces. 

Among the Euphorbiacese is the creeper, Manniphyton sp„ known 
as Ok we to the Benis. The spherically shaped fruit with four raised 
ribs on its surface is cut open and contains one large round nut. It 
is about one inch in diameter. This is boiled for a few hours and is 
then edible, after the thin dark-brown husk has been removed. It can 
be peeled off with the fingers. The nut has a pleasant mealy taste 
and is very satisfying. Further examination would show whether it 
contains a valuable oil, and in what quantity. So far it has not 
been cultivated. 

Of the Cucurbitacese, the seeds of Citrullus vulgaris, known as 
Ikpan by the Efiks or Egusi bara by the Yorubas, have been 
examined at the Imperial Institute ^ and found to contain from 40 to 
41 per cent, of a pale-yellow oil. It is a common plant in the more open 
farms of the forest and does not demand a very high rainfall — 45 
^ Colonial Report, 88, Oil Seeds, Fats and Waxes, Imperial Institute, 1914. 



OIL BEANS, SEEDS AND NUTS 



453 



inches. The natives use the kernels, after they have removed the 
hard skin, for making soup. It makes an excellent dish with rather 
a sweet taste. According to the investigations of the Imperial 
Institute i an analysis of the oil gave the following results : 

Specific gravity at 15° C 0-9184 

Acid value . . . . . . . . 5*5 

Saponification value .. .. 194*0 

Iodine value .. ., .. 106-0 

Hehner value . . . . . . 95 • 5 

Titer test 36-0° C. 

The oil could be used for soap-making, and was valued at £29 
per ton. 

In the family Moringeae there is Moringa pterygosperma, the Ben 
oil-seed tree. It is a common tree of the upper part of the Oyo, Benin 
and Ogoja provinces of Nigeria. It is also found in Borgu and other 
of the Northern Provinces. On examination by the Imperial Insti- 
tute the kernels were found to contain 38 per cent, of oil, pale-yellow 
in colour and of a pleasant taste. The kernel is difficult to extract. 
At the Imperial Institute ^ the analysis showed : 



No. 3 from 
TJndecorti- 
cated Seed. 



Specific gravity at 15/15° 
Acid value 
Saponification value 
Iodine value 
Unsaponifiable matter . . 





No. 1 from 
Extracted Oil. 


No. 2 from 
Decorticated Seed. 




Liquid. 


Solid. 


Cold 
Pressed. 


Hot 

Pressed. 




0-914 




0-902 


0-898 




15-3 


— 


49-7 


100-5 




189-2 


194-4 


179-2 


178-7 


70-7 


68-3 


100-3 


88-0 




— 


— 


1-67 


2-69 



0-913 
2-3 

186-0 
67-7 



Composition of Cake from Ben Seeds. 






No. 2, 
Decorticated. 


No. 3 Unde- 
corticated. 


Moisture . . 
Albuminoids 
Other nitrogenous substances . . 

Fat 

Fibre 

Ash 

Other non -nitrogenous substances 




Per cent. 

5-96 

24-12) 

34-811 
11-27 
4-32 
5-66 
13-86 


Per cent. 

7-5 

30-8 

14-5 

21-9 

4-5 

20-9 



From the Simarubese there is Balanites JEgyptica, Betu oil-tree of 
the Northern Provinces of Nigeria. Although it yields 58-7 per cent. 
1 Colonial Report, 88, Oil Seeds, Fats and Waxes, Imperial Institute, 1914 



454 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 



of oil, the exploitation of it is almost impossible, owing to the diffi- 
culties in removing the husk, the external sugary pulp, and then the 
thick fibrous shell under the pulp. At the Imperial Institute,^ Betu 
oil on analysis showed : 

Specific gravity .. .. .. 0-919 



Acid value . . 


5-0 


Saponification value 


196-7 


Iodine value 


92-5 


Hehner value 


92-5 


Reichert-Meissl value 


— 


Unsaponifiable matter 


0-6 


Titer test 


34-0° C. (approx.) 



The oil is a mixture ; the results of analysis are as follows : 

Per cent. 

Olein 33 

Linolein . . , . . . . . 33 

Stearin and palmitin . . . , 34 

The family of Simarubese also contains the trees Irvingia Barteri 
and I. Smithii. These yield the Dika nut, or, as it is sometimes called, 
Gaboon chocolate. The sun-dried kernels keep in a perfectly good 
condition for some time. According to the investigation of the Imperial 
Institute ^ the kernel contains about 43*5 of " Dika fat." It would 
be useful either for soap or for candle making, and be worth from £25 
to £27 per ton, and the Dika kernels are valued at from £10 to £12 per 
ton. Locally, however, they are often worth as much as this, but no 
doubt increased production would mean a reduction in price. So far 
the tree has only been planted in isolated instances, and otherwise is 
a forest tree which has been protected by the native for the value 
of its fruit. The decortication usually takes place near the tree, or 
in an open place where the nuts are split in half with a sharp matchet, 
which releases the kernel in the centre, and though often cut in half 
by this method, it apparently does not mean a large loss of oil to the 
kernel. According to the analysis of the Imperial Institute ^ the kernel 
showed : 





Sample 
No. 1. 


Sample 
No. 2. 


Sample 
No. 3. 


Yield of fat (on kernels) p 
Specific gravity at 100/15° C 


er cent. 


54-3 

6-6 

244-5 

5-2 

0-7 

34-8° C. 


60-1 

0-863 
12-6 
250-0 

3-3 

z 


66-3 
1-8 


Saponification value . . 
Iodine value 
Unsaponifiable matter 
Titer test 




243-8 

4-2 


Melting-point of fat . . 




39-2°C. 



1 Colonial Report, 88, Oil Seeds, Fats and Waxes, Imperial Institute, 1914. 



OIL BEANS, SEEDS AND NUTS 455 

Apparently an oil seed, probably Philiodiscus, a member of the 
Sapindacese family, has been examined at the Imperial Institute 
and has been found to contain a non-drying oil, which was free from 
taste and smell. It should, therefore, be of value for eating or for 
making a white soap. 

Sapotaceae, Butyrospermum Parhii. — In recent years larger quan- 
tities of Shea nuts, which are the product of this tree, have been 
exported from West Africa, especially Nigeria, as also Shea butter, 
which is manufactured locally from the nuts. In the varieties Tengba 
and Bomo the quantity varied from " 54-5 per cent, to 48 per cent.," 
and these were obtained from the Southern Provinces of Nigeria. In 
the two varieties exported from the Northern Provinces, those known 
as Eko showed a length of nut varying from 1-5 to 2-5 inches, and the 
Giddouchi variety 1-4 inches long. Owing to the wide prevalence of 
this tree much larger quantities could be exported, but many of the 
forests containing it are situated far away from means of trans- 
port, and no very suitable method has yet been found of manufacturing 
the butter on a big scale locally. At present it is made by certain 
women who know the process, which takes nearly three days to 
complete. According to the Imperial Institute the results of the 
analysis of Shea butter are : ^ 





From Lagos. 


Fat from 

Untreated 
Kernels. 


Fat from 

Kiln-dried 

Kernels. 


Specific gravity at 100/15-5° C. 
Acid value 


0-862 
18-0 


33-9 


26-2 


Saponification value . . 


179-0 


181-2 


180-2 


Iodine value . . 


58-7 


59-4 


55-8 


Hehner value . . 


96-5 


— 


— 


Unsaponifiable value 


1-7 


— 


— 


Titer test 


52-0° C. 


— 


— 



The fat obtained from the Northern Provinces and the Gold Coast 
shows very similar contents. 

Mimusops, sp. Djave ?. — The nuts of this species closely resemble 
those of the Shea Butter Tree. The nuts are a light-brown colour, 
about two inches long, and one to one and a half inches in diameter, 
with roundly pointed ends. Rather more than half the surface of the 
nut is smooth and shiny, and the other half is rough and dull, and 
the whole of it is very hard. When dry it is, however, comparatively 
easily separated from the kernel. The fresh kernels are cream- 
coloured. According to the Imperial Institute ^ the yield of fat 
extracted by solvents is 60-2 per cent., or 37-7 per cent, from the 

^ Colonial Report, 88, Oil Seeds, Fats and Waxes, Imperial Institute, 1914. 



456 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

whole nut. The fat is solid at ordinary temperatures. In 1913 some 
of these nuts were shipped from the Cross River and were valued in 
Liverpool as Shea nuts, only at a rather lesser rate. According to 
the Imperial Institute the analysis showed : 



Specific gravity at 100/15-5° C. . 


0-860 


Acid value 


. 25-3 


Saponification value . . 


. 187-6 


Iodine value . . 


. 56-2 


Hehner value 


. 95-4 


Reichert-Meissl value 


Nil 


Unsaponifiable matter 


2 • 6 approx 


Titer test 


. 47-8° C. 



Dumoria HecJceli ? (Baco or Abaku). — Although the Gold Coast 
name is given, these nuts are also found in the Oban forest. The nuts 
are large, considerably longer than those of Mimusops, but rather 
thinner. They are of a pale-brown colour, with a thick, hard, woody 
shell, most of which is smooth and shiny, only one small part of the 
surface being rough and forming almost a nodule. According to the 
Imperial Institute ^ analysis of the Gold Coast samples, the whole 
nuts contain 21 per cent, of fat or 605 per cent, in the kernels alone. 
The fat is solid and of a creamy white colour. The soap-makers 
reported that it was about equal to middling quality palm oil. It 
is also stated that dried kernels in good condition would be worth 
£13 per ton. According to the Imperial Institute ^ analysis the 
fat showed : 



Specific gravity at 100/15-5° C. . 


0-855 


Acid value 


. 34-7 


Saponification value . . 


. 188-4 


Iodine value . . 


. 51-3 


Titer test 


. 51-g°C 


Unsaponifiable matter 


1-3 



The small nuts of Mimusops multinervis and M. lacera have not 
been examined as to their oil or other content. The hard nuts of 
M. lacera appear to contain a fair proportion of oil. 

In this family, too, are the nuts of Chryso'phyllum Africanum 
and other species, for which a use has yet not been found. Finally, 
there are the numerous and fine seeds of Omphalocarpum datum, known 
as Ikassa by the Benis, which are probably also oil-bearing. 

The next important family is the Olacaceae, Heisteria parvifoUa, 
known as Ikereoha by the Benis. It yields an edible nut which 
is white on the exterior and has a black-coloured shell over the actual 

^ Colonial Report, 88, Oil Seeds, Fats and Waxes, Imperial Institute, 191-1. 



OIL BEANS, SEEDS AND NUTS 457 

nut inside. It has not yet been exported or valued. The Benin and 
other natives are very fond of eating it. 

Then there is the nut of Ivialegbi (Benin), which is edible and has 
a pleasant taste. It is rather smaller than the Gaboon nut, and its 
surface is slightly striated from the sharp point of the nut to the 
base. 

In this family is found, too, Coula edulis, or the Gaboon nut. 
This is chiefly found in the Cameroons, but owing to similarity in the 
vegetation it is very probably growing in the Oban forest of the Anom 
range. The shell of the nut is very rough, and the outside is smoother 
than the inside. The shell can be cracked comparatively easily with 
a somewhat j)owerful blow with a hammer or axe-handle. 

From the Anonacese : 

Monodora tenuifolia, African Nutmeg. 

M. myristica, var. grandis, Calabar Nutmeg. 

31. brevipes, Yellow-flowering Nutmeg. 

None of these nutmegs have yet been placed on the European market. 
Although they are all much smaller in size than the nutmeg of 
commerce, a proper examination would reveal any value they might 
possess. 

Although the Myristicaceae, Pycnanthus Kombo, yield fat-bearing 
nuts, they have not been exported to the English market. The nut 
is the size of a small oval plum. The outer husk is hard and thick, 
but is comparatively easily broken. The inner nut is covered 
with a red aril spread out over it, similar to the mace over the 
common nutmeg {Myristica fragrans). The kernel is white inside, 
with dark rays penetrating it from the outside. The tree is very 
prevalent, and yields a large number of nuts. According to the 
investigation of the Imperial Institute ^ " the yield of solid fat was 
54 per cent. It has an orange colour and a bitter taste." The fat 
was stated to be suitable for soap and candle making and the meal 
as a manure. In Sierra Leone the nuts were known as Kpoye, and 
are identical with those known as " Kafu." According to the 
chemical analysis made at the Imperial Institute the following results 
were obtained : 



Specific gravity al 


100/15° C. 


0-886 


Melting-point 


. . 


.. 48-5° C. 


Saponification value . . 


. . 235 to 245 


Acid value 


. . 


.. 210 


Hehner value . . 


. . 


. . 90-8 


Iodine value . . 


. . 


.. 48-9 


Titer test 


.. 


.. 45-8° C. 


Colonial Report, 88, Oil Seeds, 


Fats and Waxes, 


Imperial Institute, 



458 WEST AFRICAN FORESTS AND FORESTRY 

Analysis of Fat from Sierra Leone Kombo Seeds. 





Fat as Sent. 


Fat Extracted 

from Kernels at 

Imperial Institute. 


Specific gravity 
Acid value 
Saponification value 
Iodine value . . 


0-887 
33-0 
231 
67-6 


0-880 
31-4 
236 
59-0 



Of the Meliacese there is Carapa Guineensis (C. procera, D.C.), 
which yields the Carapa oil. The nuts are roughly tetrahedral in shape, 
having a rough reddish-brown shell enclosing one large kernel covered 
with a pale-brown papery skin. Good kernels yield about 57 per cent, 
of oil by extraction with solvents and 46-7 per cent, by pressure 
(27 per cent, on cold and 22 per cent, on heating) ; it is of a pale- 
yellow colour and has a bitter taste. The commercial value of the 
oil was stated in 1907 to be £20 10s. per ton according to the