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Plukenetia conophora - Müll. Arg.

Common Name Conophor. Nigerian walnut. Awusa nut,
Family Euphorbiaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats A tropical plant. Rain-forest hedge in half-shady places; low bush; secondary forest; plantations at elevations from 250 - 1,400 metres[328].
Range Origin: Africa. Western and central tropical Africa - Togo to the Congo.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Plukenetia conophora Conophor. Nigerian walnut. Awusa nut,


Alan Denney on Flickr
Plukenetia conophora Conophor. Nigerian walnut. Awusa nut,
Scamperdale on Flickr

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Plukenetia conophora is an evergreen Perennial Climber growing to 18 m (59ft) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Angostylidium conophorum (Müll. Arg.) Pax & K. Hoffm. Cleidion mannii Baker. Cleidion preussii (Pax) Baker. Mallotus preussii Pax. Tetracarpidium conophorum (Müll.Arg.) Hutch. & Dalziel. Tetracarpidium staudtii Pax.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Oil  Seed  Shoots
Edible Uses: Oil

Edible Portion: Nuts, Leaves, Fruit, Nuts - oil, Seeds, Vegetable. Seed - raw or cooked. The tasty seed has a pleasant odour, it is usually eaten boiled or roasted, and is often served with corn on the cob[63 , 301 ]. The seed can be ground into a powder and used with flour in making cakes[332 ]. Eaten raw they have a bitter flavour not unlike the kola nut and are considered to be tonic[332 ]. The seed is thin-shelled and about 25mm long[63 ]. The seed yields 48 - 60% of a light golden coloured oil with a flavour resembling linseed oil[332 ]. The oil comprises linolenic acid 64%; palmitic and stearic acids 15%; oleic acid 11 %; and linoleic acid 10%[332 ]. Fruit - eaten with rice[301 ]. Leaves and young shoots - eaten with rice[301 ]. Carbon Farming Solutions - Staple Crop: protein-oil (The term staple crop typically refers to a food that is eaten routinely and accounts for a dominant part of people's diets in a particular region of the world) [1-1].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Aphrodisiac  Tonic

The leaves are considered a headache cure[332 ]. The raw seed is aphrodisiac and tonic[332 ]. The oil obtained from the seeds has medicinal use in massages[332 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Oil  Paint  Varnish

The seed yields 48 - 60% of a drying oil[46 , 332 ]. The oil dries more quickly than linseed oil[46 ]. Known as awusa oil in the paint and varnish trade, it is usable in the paint industry provided there is a certain supply and the kernels are free from excessive free fatty acids[332 ]. It is unsuitable for soap-manufacture[332 ]. The fresh oil has an iodine value of 190, which is excellent for a drying oil, but the seeds do not store well and deterioration caused by enzymatic action needs to be prevented at the time of collection by heat-treatment[332 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Protein-oil

Climate: tropical. Humidity: humid. Cultivated in the hot and humid zones of tropical Africa around gardens and backyards, mainly for subsistence consumption. Grows on moist, deep, fertile, well-drained loam soils and in silt clay loam soils. Nut production is seasonal. The kernels can yield 50-60% oil. Carbon Farming Solutions - Cultivation: regional crop only. Management: standard (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation) [1-1].

Carbon Farming

  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.
  • Staple Crop: Protein-oil  (16+ percent protein, 16+ percent oil). Annuals include soybeans, peanuts, sunflower seeds. Perennials include seeds, beans, nuts, and fruits such as almond, Brazil nut, pistachio, walnut, hazel, and safou.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Propagation

Plants are grown from seed. It can be grown from stem cuttings.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Conophor tree or conophor nut. Nigerian walnut, Botito, Conophor, Ekporo, Kaso, Kasu, Lokaso, Ngezi, Okhue, Owusa nut, Tiito, Tito, Ukpa, Wanut. Tetracarpidium conophorum (Müll.Arg.) Hutch. & Dalziel is a synonym of Plukenetia conophora Müll.Arg.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Benin, Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo DR, Congo R, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, West Africa

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Plukenetia volubilisInca peanutClimber2.0 10-12 FLMHSNM303

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Müll. Arg.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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