Our future fruiters
Trichoscypha acuminata Engl.
Bot. Jahrb. 1: 425 (1881)
Synonyms: Trichoscypha ferruginea Engl.
Common names: Grape from Gabon; (usual) amvout
Local names: Bassa: ndoi. Bobili: ebouti. Boulou: amvout. Ejagham: okoyon. Ewondo: amvout. Pygmy Bagielli: levboda. Pygmy Baka: ngoyo
Origin, geographical distribution and ecology
Species from Equatorial and Subequatorial Africa, from Nigeria to Cameroon and to the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Cameroon, it is a forest tree of low and medium altitude south of the Adamawa plateau; absent in peri-forest savannahs and montane forests.
Tree up to 20 m tall and 40 cm in diameter; crown composed of long, radiant leaves at the top of the trunk; single or little branched in young feet; bole irregular, bumpy; cylindrical or slightly conical base; Reddish-brown bark, longitudinally fissured and exfoliating into elongated rectangular scales in old subjects, yellow to reddish slice about 5 mm thick exuding abundant white latex.
Leaves alternate, imparipinnately compound, large, up to 1.5 m long; petiole swollen at the base; 10-35 leaflets alternate or subopposite; oblong elliptic lamina up to 30 x 8 cm, apex acuminate, glabrous.
Dioecious and cauliflower plants. Inflorescences in pendent pyramidal panicles on the bumps of the trunk, reaching 35 x 30 cm in the male inflorescences and 20 x 8 cm in the female inflorescences.
Tetrameric flowers; 4 sepals and 4 tomentose petals, reddish-brown externally; 4 stamens and rudimentary ovary in male flowers; ovary globular with 4 cells and 4 staminodes in female flowers.
Fruits: bunches of twenty to a hundred oblong drupes measuring up to 7 x 4 cm, red, velvety, densely pubescent with single, white hairs; fleshy pulp, juicy, red; oblong nucleus with tough endocarp; average weight of a fruit: 40 g.
Single seed per nucleus.
Variability and conservation of the resource
Young plants are often grown in nurseries of organisms working for sustainable environmental management or forestry research. The harvest of the fruits is done by the picking, this one is artisanal and unregulated. No inventory study of the resource is reported.
The species evolves on deep clay or sandy clay soils and the climate must be of the equatorial or sub-equatorial type. The trees are dioecious. Seed germination is fast and abundant, growth is slow.
The part of the plant whose use is known is the fruit.
The fruit pulp is edible. It is eaten raw. It is rich in vitamins (Vivien and Faure, 1995). Other uses have not been identified.