Our future fruiters
Dacryodes macrophylla (Oliv.) Lam.
Ann. Jard. Bot. Buitenz. 42: 202 (1932).
Synonyms: Canarium macrophyllum Oliv. Pachylobus macrophyllus (Oliv.) Engl. Pachylobus macrophyllus var. brevipetiolulatus Engl.
Common Name (common): Atom
Local names: Ewondo: atom. Fang: atom
Origin, geographical distribution and ecology
Species from Equatorial Africa, it is known in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. In Cameroon, it is found dispersed in evergreen forest and here and there in semi-deciduous forest. It is absent from the southeast forest and the Atlantic forest. She is not gregarious.
Tree up to 20 m tall and 90 cm in diameter; thick base; bent, bumpy, short; cracked bark in irregularly shaped, internally yellow-green thick plates, slender, brittle, granular, yellow to pale pink, with turpentine-like odor.
Leaves alternate, imparipinnately compound; petiole and rachis up to 25 cm long, without pseudosticks on the petiole; 2-4 (5) pairs of leaflets; oblong to elliptic laminae, up to 22 x 10 cm, leathery, rounded bases, rounded to very shortly acuminate tops.
Dioecious plants. Axillary inflorescences in panicles of biparous cymes.
Cupuliform, small, unisexual, trimeric flowers; 3 sepals welded at the base; 3 free petals; androcea with 6 stamens in the male flowers; 6 staminodes in female flowers; pistil to bilocular ovary in female flowers; rudimentary ovary pistilloid in male flowers.
Fruits: red to dark purple globose drupes up to 3.5 x 3 cm, persistent calyx at base; fleshy pulp, juicy, bright red; hard, smooth nucleus, with apex garnished with a point.
Single seed per nucleus; 2 cotyledons palmatiséqués, 5 segments fleshy by cotylédon.
Flowering in March - April. Fruiting in June - September.
Natural regeneration is often disturbed by the uncontrolled felling of the tree. The male and hermaphrodite flowers are grouped into finely tomentose inflorescences. The fruit contains only one seed.
Seeds germinate easily in the wild. The germination rate is high. Seedlings normally grow under cover. Young plants in nurseries and then in plantations should therefore be shaded. The growth of nursery and field seedlings is relatively slow.
The only part of Dacryodes macrophylla whose use is known is the pulp contained in the fruit. This pulp, very juicy, can be consumed directly or used in the making of juices.