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Parkia bicolor

A tree from the forests of West and Central Africa, Parkia bicolor has large, reddish, pendent flower heads that are pollinated by fruit bats at night.
base of a trunk of parkia bicolor

Parkia bicolor

Species information

Scientific name: 

Parkia bicolor A.Chev.

Common name: 

faux néré (French); trade names for the wood include eseng and lo; the name ‘African locust bean’ is sometimes applied to this species but more commonly refers to Parkia biglobosa.

Conservation status: 

Least Concern (LC) according to IUCN Red List criteria.


Rain forest, gallery forest and swamp forest.

Key Uses: 

Timber, medicinal, shade tree.

Known hazards: 



Leguminosae/Fabaceae - Mimosoideae
Genus: Parkia

About this species

The genus Parkia was named by the renowned British botanist Robert Brown in honour of the explorer Mungo Park, who mentioned these trees in the account of his travels in West Africa in the late 18th century. Parkia bicolor is one of three African species in this genus, the others being P. biglobosa, a characteristic tree of West African savanna woodland (and the species actually seen by Park), and P. filicoidea, another forest species, mostly from central and eastern Africa.

All of the African species of Parkia have pendent, reddish flower heads that resemble pom-poms and are pollinated by fruit bats, also known as pteropodid bats.


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