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Voacanga africana Stapf

General Information

This species grows to be a small tree about 3 m high. The yellow flowers are an attractive shape and waxy in texture. The leaves are rather variable in shape but they always have an acute tip which separates them from another species in the genus. The leaves when dry are extremely soft and silky to touch on the lower surface between the prominent parallel veins. The tertiary venation is almost invisible on fresh material and the leaves are somewhat fleshy. The twigs are hollow. All parts of this plant have white latex which should be treated with care as there are many poisons in this family.


This species occurs in secondary forest, such as old fields. Once established it can continue to flower and fruit in the shade of taller species.


Distribution: Sierra Leone to Sudan, Malawi and Angola.