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Tetrapleura tetraptera (Schumach. & Thonn.) Taub.

General Information

The fruit of this species are very distinctive. They are about 15 cm long and have four wings running along their length. If one cuts open the fruit one can see that there are two different kinds of wings: one a thinner pair which contains the seed, and the other a slightly thicker pair. Animals such as gorillas will eat these thicker wings and discard the rest of the fruit which then look like flatter fruit with neat teeth marks in lines down both sides. The flowers are white in bud and pink when open. The leaves, like many members of the subfamily Mimosoideae, are bipinnate, that is, the leaf is divided twice, with the leaflets grouped in pinnae and groups of pinnae attached to a rachis or central axis forming a whole leaf.


Terra firma forest, especially in disturbed areas.


Distribution: Senegal to Tanzania and Angola.