When this species is in flower it can be a significant sensory experience. The tree, covered in amazing multicoloured flowers which look superficially like orchids, and young green leaves, is visually striking, but the sweet perfumed smell can be even more impressive. When it is not flowering it is not so spectacular. It is a small to medium sized tree with dark rough bark and it often branches quite low down. There are at least two other species of Monodora in the area. This species can be distinguished by its inner petals which are not crispate like the outer petals with their wavy margins; the lack of hairy processes on the inner petals; and the bracteoles which are about 1 cm long. The leaves of this species are similar to those of M. tenuifolia but smaller than those of M. myristica. Occasionally the tree is mistaken for that of Isolona hexaloba as they sometimes share the same local name.
Mixed species terra firma forest, slightly more common in slightly disturbed sites.
Distribution: Gabon and Cameroon to Sudan, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.