Ogbono Nut tree, Irvingia gabonensis, also known as Wild Mango, Bush Mango and African Mango is a small to large tree, up to 40 meters tall, native to the tropical humid forest of Africa and South-east Asian. This fruit bearing tree is particularly prized for its fat- and protein-rich nuts, known as Ogbono, Odika, Dika and Etima nuts.
Ogbono nut has commonly a straight trunk up to 100 cm in diameter, with smooth, grey to yellow-grey external bark and yellow, fibrous inner bark. The tree creates a spherical and dense crown. The trees yield a hard wood, valuable in construction and for making ships’ decks.
Irvingia gabonensis leaves are alternate, simple and entire, 4-8cm long and 2-4cm wide, somawhat leathery and pinnately veined. Blossoming is on axillary panicle up to 9 cm long. Flowers are bisexual, small, 3-4 mm long, yellowish white in color.
Ogbono Nut Fruit
Fruit is an edible mango like ellipsoidal to cylindrical drupe, at times almost spherical, smooth and green when mature. Pulp is bright orange, soft, juicy, sweet with a few light fibers and a single ligneous nut. Fruit is generally consumed fresh. It can be also employed for the preparation of juice, jelly, jam and wine and to develop a black dye for textile.
The subtly aromatic Ogbono nuts are generally dried in the sun for saving, and are sold whole or in powder form. They can be ground to a paste known diversely as Dika bread or Gabon chocolate. Their high content of gum enables Ogbono nuts to be used as a thickening agent for dishes such as Ogbono soup. The nuts can also be pressed for vegetable oil.
Ogbono Nut Propagation Methods
Tree propagation is by seed. Growth in young plants is very slow at the start but it becomes fairly fast later on. Irvingia gabonensis favors moist lowland tropical forests below 1000 m altitude and with yearly rainfall of 1500-3000 mm and mean yearly temperatures of 25-32°C. Irvingia gabonensis is a member of the family Irvingiaceae the genus Irvingia. No diseases or pest have been registered.
Ogbono Nut, Irvingia gabonensis
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