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Homalium longistylum Mast.

General Information

There are at least six species of Homalium in the area. All of them have an unusual flower in which the sepals are larger than the petals. The sepals also persist when the fruit develops. When the fruit is ripe and it detaches from the tree it falls to the ground slowly like a helicopter landing. Any wind present at the time will move the fruit away from the mother tree and act as a dispersal agent. This species can become a tree to 40 m high. The stipules are only present on young leaves and they soon fall off. The venation is rather obvious and the fresh leaves have undulating margins in addition to teeth. The bark, like most species of Homalium, is rough with a whitish slash containing yellowish fibres.


Terra firma and seasonally flooded forest.


Distribution: Guinea to Gabon, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia.