This tree has a remarkable distribution from the eastern side of tropical America to Africa. One can only wonder at the journey that seeds must have made to give us this present day distribution. From studies of genera that have this pattern of distribution, it appears that plants have crossed the Atlantic in both directions. The genus Christiana has a total of five species. One of them, C. vescoana, occurs in Polynesia, and the remaining four exist in South America. Since C. africana also occurs in Africa it is probable that the dispersal was from west to east. The leaves of this species are most distinct: the leaf blade is up to 30 cm long and softly hairy below. The secondary veins run right to the margin. The stipules are rather straight or slightly curved. The tree reaches about 15 m in height.
Wet places and very disturbed forest, such as roadsides.
Distribution: Eastern tropical America and Senegal to Sudan and Angola.