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Afzelia africana

Why are the seeds of this species difficult? The seeds may be physically dormant. The thick seed coat can be chipped so that the seeds will imbibe water.

Afzelia africana (Image: W. Stuppy, RBG Kew)

Seed Storage

This species has Orthodox seeds - dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible.

Germination Requirements

Try germinating under an alternating temperature regime of 30/15ºC (with an 8/16hr photoperiod), initially without any scarification treatment.

The seeds of this species may be Physically Dormant. If germination is low, chip with a scalpel before placing on agar or sand at the above conditions.

Seed Morphology

The seed (10-27 mm x 9-13 mm x 11-15 mm) is ovoid, has a smooth seed coat and is black in colour. There is a raphe, a small hilum and a bright orange aril at one end (a fleshy appendage). The embryo is axial-investing and yellow in colour.

The fruits are dry, opening at maturity to release the seeds.

See another image of this species at VIRBOGA (The Virtual Botanic Garden). 

Afzelia africana in fruit pod
(Image: W. Stuppy, RBG Kew)



Accepted name: Afzelia africana Sm.

Synonyms: Pahudia africana (Sm. ex Pers.) Prain, Intsia africana (Sm. ex Pers.) Kuntze

Common name: 

References and Links

  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (1994). Genebank Standards. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy.


  • AFPD (African Flowering Plants Database) - Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Switzerland, and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, RSA: Afzelia africana.
  • Forest & Landscape Denmark - University of Copenhagen, Denmark: seed leaflet on: Afzelia africana.
  • PROTAbase  (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) - Wageningen, Netherlands: Afzelia africana.
  • SID (Seed Information Database) - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK: Afzelia africana.
  • Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA: Afzelia africana.