African Walnut | Gabon Nut – Coula edulis

By fruit bearing trees
November 19, 2009
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African Walnut, Coula edulis, also known as Gabon Nut, Congowood and Tigerwood, is a medium to large, evergreen nut bearing tree, native to tropical Western Africa. It favors tropical regions and is tolerant of light shade. The African Walnut grows to a height of 25-38 meters and has a thick crown that can shed a deep shade.


Coula edulis is a member of the Olacaceae family the genus Coula. It is not related to the Walnut, genus Juglanbut it has being so called because of the apparent resemblance to the nuts it bears to Walnuts.

Leaves are staged alternately, simple, 10-30 cm long and 4 cm broad, with an entire margin and an pointed apex, oblong or elliptic in shape. The flowers are small, born from April to June with greenish yellow, either four or five, petals.

African Walnut Fruit and Nuts

Coula edulis nuts are ellipsoid drupes, 3-4 cm long, with flesh rounding the kernel, 5-6 mm thick, smooth in texture and can be red or green in color. The shell of the nut is super hard and makes germination problematic. African Walnut nuts are generally found under the trees.

The nuts are 50% fat of which 87% is oleic acid. The flavor is mild and is said to be between the flavor of hazelnut and chestnut. The nuts of the African Walnut are used in a lot of ways. They can be boiled, roasted and fermented prior to being eaten. They can be used in various recipes and combined with meats. Nuts are also a source of cooking oil and ground flour.

African Walnut Propagation Methods

Tree propagation is by seeds (nuts). However, because of the hard nut shell, sprouting is rather poor and could take up to a year for the young plants to appear. The tree has no special soil requirements.

African Walnut, Coula edulis

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