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Pouteria altissima - (A.Chev.) Baehni

Common Name Abam, Apotro, Gomu
Family Sapotaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats A canopy tree in the driest types of semi-deciduous forest in west Africa; it can be common, locally even dominant, in rainforest in east Africa; found at elevations from 1,000 - 1,700 metres[299 ].
Range Tropical Africa - Guinea, through Cameroon to Sudan and Ethiopia, south to DR Congo, Zambia and Tanzania.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Pouteria altissima Abam, Apotro, Gomu
Pouteria altissima Abam, Apotro, Gomu
© Reinhard Fichtl


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Pouteria altissima is a tropical tree that can be found in evergreen rainforests in various parts in Africa. It grows up to 40 m in height and 1 m in trunk diameter. The trunk is straight and cylindrical. The fruits are red when ripe. There are no known medicinal and edible uses of this species. However, it can used as a shade tree in coffee, cocoa, and banana plantations. The bark yields latex but there are no known uses of the latex to date. The wood is used for light carpentry, boxes and crates, interior joinery, musical instruments, paper production, fuel, charcoal, etc.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Pouteria altissima is a TREE growing to 35 m (114ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Aningeria altissima (A.Chev.) Aubr?v. & Pellegr. Hormogyne altissima A.Chev. Hormogyne gabonensis A.


Edible Uses

None known

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.

None known

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Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: In Ethiopia and Uganda the tree is used as a shade tree in coffee, banana and cocoa plantations[299 ]. The tree is considered useful as a bee plant[299 ]. Other Uses A latex exudes from the bark[299 ]. No uses are recorded. The heartwood is creamy white to reddish brown; it is indistinctly demarcated from the 3 - 6cm wide band of sapwood. The grain is straight, sometimes interlocked; texture fine to moderately coarse. The wood is moderately light, it is not durable and is liable to attacks by fungi, termites, dry-wood borers and marine borers. Drying usually does not cause problems, but there is a slight risk of distortion and checking and a tendency to blue stain, especially in early stages of air drying. The shrinkage rates are moderate. Once dry, the wood is moderately stable in service. The wood contains about 0.3% silica and consequently the blunting effect on saws and cutting tools is high - stellite-tipped sawteeth and tungsten-carbide tools are recommended. It sometimes finishes poorly after planing or sawing; nailing, screwing and slicing properties are good; and the wood stains, paints and glues well. The wood is especially recommended for high-quality sliced and peeled veneer. It is also used for light carpentry, interior joinery, high-class furniture, moulding, light construction, vehicle bodies, musical instruments, boxes and crates, railway sleepers, toys and novelties, turnery, and pulpwood for paper production[299 ]. The wood is used for fuel and for the production of charcoal[299 ].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

In natural forest in Gabon the trees showed a mean annual bole diameter increment of 3.3mm. In the Central African Republic the annual bole diameter increment was 3.2mm in a non-perturbed forest, 4mm after exploitation of the forest and 6mm after exploitation and chemical thinning[299 ]. Most trees with boles over 50 cm in diameter are capable of producing fruits[299 ]. Seedlings are classified as non-pioneer light demanders. Although they may be abundant around parent trees, further development depends on the presence of gaps in the forest canopy. However, research in Uganda showed that large-scale logging operations in the forest negatively influence regeneration[299 ]. Tests on regeneration in Kenya showed that artificial regeneration of this species in buffer plantations around the natural timber production forest may be needed to maintain it in sufficient numbers after logging[299 ]. In cultivation, the tree can be managed by coppicing or pollarding[299 ].

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Seed - it loses viability very quickly and should be sown directly after collection[299 ]. Seeds can be sown in light shade, but seedlings will soon need higher light intensities if they are to thrive[299 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Abam, Apotro, Gomu,

Found In

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

Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Ethiopia; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Kenya; Nigeria; Rwanda; Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda, Africa, Angola, Central Africa, East Africa, Ethiopia, West Africa, Zambia,

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.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Lower Risk/conservation dependent

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Pouteria caimitoAbiu, Yellow Star AppleTree15.0 10-12 MLMHSNMWe402
Pouteria campechianaCanistel, EggfruitTree15.0 10-12 FLMHNDMWe422
Pouteria guianensisAsepoko.Tree25.0 10-12 MLMHNM202
Pouteria pierreiAningeriaTree30.0 10-12 MLMHNM204
Pouteria sapotaSapote, Mamey SapoteTree25.0 10-12 MMHNM422

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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(A.Chev.) Baehni

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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