Next entry: Cathormion altissimum

Previous entry: Pycnanthus angolensis


Xylopia aethiopica (Dunal) A. Rich.

General Information

The fruit of this species give a delicious flavour to a spicy beef stew and are widely appreciated in the drier parts of the savannas of west and central Africa. Some people in the area collect the fruits of this plant, dry them and sell them for spice. The leaves are greyish green below and dark glossy green above. The shape and size are rather variable. The finger-like parts of the fruit are individual carpels. Each flower produces one fruit, but each fruit in this species can have up to 20 individual carpels. It is usually a medium sized tree with a diameter of up to 45 cm. Mature trees can have buttresses over a metre high. The bark is often slightly fissured. Like most members of the family Annonaceae the bark is fibrous.


Mixed species terra firma and seasonally flooded forest.


Distribution: Senegal to Mozambique and Angola.