Ricinodendron Heudelotii

Ricinodendron Heudelotii

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seed per pack. A fast-growing tree is native to tropical West Africa. Bears small fruits with seeds that contain kernels that have a wide variety of uses in West African cuisine. The kernels are typically used boiled or cooked and commonly added as a flavoring. The tree is seeing increased popularity as a crop. Cultivation information is limited.  The seeds of Ricinodendron heudelotii are widely used in cooking in West and Central Africa. An edible oil is extracted from the seeds and a paste made by crushing dried kernels is sometimes used as a thickening agent for soups and stews. A paste from the dried and pounded kernels is also stored for making porridge in times of food shortage. The protein-rich leaves are eaten as a cooked vegetable with dried fish and are used as forage for goats and sheep.

The roots of Ricinodendron heudelotii reach deep and cause little competition for nutrients and water in the upper soil layers with adjacent crops. The tree starts bearing fruits at 8–10 years of age. In Sierra Leone flowering takes place in April–May, and fruits are produced in September–October; trees are leafless for a few weeks when the fruits fall. In central Cameroon fruits are collected in July–September. Bats, hornbills and rodents are believed to contribute to the dispersal of the seed. Fruits also break open and scatter their seed when they fall on the ground.

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