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Allanblackia gabonensis seeds

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Allanblackia gabonensis seeds
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Allanblackia seeds

 

Allanblackia gabonensis is native to Cameroon and Gabon in West Africa and belongs to the family of the Clusiaceae. Allanblackia gabonensis is affected by tropical deforestation and thus habitat loss. Since 2011 it is rated as vulnerable species on the red list and become very rare. Allanblackia gabonensis is a tree that reaches a height of about 30 m. The bark is reddish brown. From the bark xanthones were isolated. It was shown that those xanthones have a antimicrobial effect and may help against leishmaniosis more specifically against the parasites that are responsible for that illness. In Gabon the natives cook the bark and use the brew as mouthwash to treat toothache. The wood is used by the natives to built huts.

But nevertheless the wood of Allanblackia gabonensis has not a great importance. The branches of Allanblackia gabonensis hang down. The plant bears white latex that gets yellowish when drying. The leaves are 25 cm long and 7 cm wide. They are glossy and have a special venation. The leaf veins go in a right angle parallel from the midrib to the leaf edge. The flowers of Alanblackia gabonensis are reddish to pink. They are actinomorphic and are 6 cm in diameter. Allanblackia gabonensis is dioecious meaning that female and male flowers are sitting on different individuals. The male flowers are identifiable based on the various stamens in the middle that occur in clusters. The female flower has a thick ovary. The flowers have a pleasant odor. Allanblackia gabonensis flowers for half a year. The fruit is impressive. It gets 25 cm long and has 15 cm in diameter The stone fruit is popular with monkeys. They eat the fruit and distribute the seeds in that way. From the seeds an oil can be gained. It is used by the natives for cooking. They call the oil "beurre de bouandjo". It is also known as "allanblackia fat". The international foodstuffs industry took notice of Allanblackia fat and uses it as a component of margarine. The fruit is also edible for humans.

For growing Allanblackia from seeds some patience is necessary. After removing the seed coat from the seeds they should soak for 1 or 2 days in water. After that they can be planted into the substrate. Under constant moisture and tropical 28°C, germination may occur after 1 month, but it can also last half a year until the first seedlings emerge.

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