Upper Guinean Forest
Trichilia heudelotii var. zenkeri
Med.LHW 68-2: 122
Jongkind 5441 (WAG); Leeuwenberg 4888 (BR, K, WAG)
Small or medium-sized tree of the rainforest and moist semi-deciduous forest, mostly in old secondary forest or where the high forest has been disturbed, like road sides; to 20 m high and 30 cm Ø. It seems to prefer wet situations. Base sometimes with low buttresses, or straight. Bark smooth, grayish green or brown; slash creamy white, soon turning pale brown, with a cedar smell. Presence of latex unknown. Leaves imparipinnate with 8 – 9 pairs of sub-)opposite leafelts. Fruits a 2- (rarely 3-) chambered, clearly stalked, pear-shaped capsule of 1.5 – 2 cm long, pinkish grey or purplish when ripe, opening with 2 valves; 2 seeds in each chamber, for 4/5 covered with an bright orange-red aril; birds are attracted to the seeds and locals put up lime twigs in the crown to catch birds (hence the name ‘ornithothera’, or bird catcher). This tree may resemble T. monadelpha which, however, has 4 – 6 pairs of leaflets and 3-chambered fruits, whereas T. ornithothera had 8 – 9 pairs of leaflets and 2-chambered seeds. Syn.: Trichilia heudelotii var. zenkeri.