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Treculia africana - Decne.

Common Name African Breadfruit or Breadnut
Family Moraceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The sap of the male tree is caustic and toxic, though the sap from female trees is used medicinally[307 ].
Habitats Usually found near streams or in swampy areas in forests at an altitude up to 1,500 metres[303 ]. Riverine, mixed evergreen and swamp forests, woodlands, sea level to 1,300 metres[308 ].
Range Tropical Africa - Senegal to southern Sudan, Uganda and Kenya, south to northern Angola, Zambia, Mal
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Treculia africana African Breadfruit or Breadnut

Treculia africana African Breadfruit or Breadnut


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Treculia africana, otherwise known as African Breadfruit, is a tropical, evergreen tree growing up to 30 m in height. It has a dense, spreading crown and a fluted trunk covered with dark gray and smooth bark. When cut, the thick bark produces white latex that turns rusty red. The leaves are huge, dark green, simple, and alternate. The flowers are yellow brown, occurring in the axis of leaves or on older wood down to the trunk. The fruits are huge, round, hard, and compound. Each fruit can weight up to 8.5 kg. Each fruit contains many orange seeds in a spongy pulp. Medicinally, the plant is used in the treatment of coughs, swellings, and leprosy, and as a laxative, anthelmintic, and febrifuge. Seeds can be cooked, either roasted or boiled. Powdered seeds are made into a non-alcoholic beverage. The seeds also yield edible oil. African Breadfruit is used in soil conservation projects for its leaves are great source of green manure. The wood is suitable for pulp and paper making, for fuel and charcoal, and for furniture, carving, turnery, and inlay wood. Plants are grown from seeds or stem cuttings.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Treculia africana is an evergreen Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10 and is frost tender.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay 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


Artocarpus africana Sim. Ficus welwitschii Miq. Ficus whytei Stapf Treculia affona N.E.Br. Treculia

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Milk  Oil

Seed - cooked[301 ]. A flavour similar to peanuts[335 ]. Eaten as dessert nuts after roasting or boiling, they are also ground into a meal, used in soups and to produce a variety of baked foods such as bread and paste[63 , 303 ]. The seeds are extracted after macerating the fruit in water[303 ]. The grains have an excellent polyvalent dietetic value - the biological value of its proteins exceeds even that of soybeans[303 ]. Numerous seeds about 8mm long are embedded in a massive fruit that can weigh up to 14 kilos[63 ]. A non-alcoholic beverage, almond milk, can be prepared from the powdered seeds, which is recommended as a breakfast drink in Nigeria[303 ]. An edible oil can be extracted from the seed[301 , 303 ].

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.
Anthelmintic  Antitussive  Febrifuge  Laxative  Leprosy  Odontalgic

In Ghana, a root decoction is used as an anthelmintic and febrifuge[303 ]. The caustic sap of male African breadfruit is applied on carious teeth[303 ]. A decoction of the bark is used in the treatment of cough and whooping cough[303 ]. The ground bark, mixed with oil and other plant parts, is used in the treatment of swellings[303 ]. It is also used in the treatment of leprosy and as a laxative[303 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Charcoal  Fencing  Fuel  Furniture  Mulch  Oil  Paper  Soil conditioner  Teeth  Wood

Shade tree. Fruiting tree. Humid shade garden. Botanical collection. Agroforestry Uses: The tree has been used in soil conservation programmes[303 ]. The leaf fall is a good source of mulch[303 ]. It has also been recommended as a promising species for use in home gardens, and for intercropping systems in agroforestry[303 ]. Other Uses The heartwood is yellow with very narrow pale sapwood; very dense, fairly elastic and flexible, rather heavy, with fine, even structure. It is suitable for furniture, carving, turnery and inlay wood[303 ]. It is suitable for pulp and papermaking[303 ]. The wood is used for fuel and making charcoal[398 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Management: Standard  New Crop  Staple Crop: Protein

Tolerant of a wide range of climatic conditions, it will thrive in most tropical and subtropical regions at elevations up to 1,500 metres[303 ]. It is found in areas where the mean annual rainfall is within the range 1,250 - 3,000mm, and the mean annual temperature ranges from 22 - 35°c[303 ]. Prefers a rich, deep, moisture-retentive soil and a position in partial shade or full sun[303 ]. It is not a very light demanding plant, and will grow in a wide variety of soils[303 ]. Plants start to fruit when about 4 years old[303 ]. Under favourable climatic conditions and in a good soil, 120 - 200 kilos of dried grains can be harvested in a year from each tree; this would translate to between 5 - 10 tonnes per hectare[303 ]. A fairly fast-growing tree. There is a striking variation in the number of fruit heads produced by trees belonging to T. Africana var. africana (with large fruit heads) and T. Africana var. inversa (with small fruit heads). The former is clearly superior in the weight of seeds produced while the latter produces more fruit and also produces twice as many branches[303 ]. Bloom Color: Cream/Tan. Spacing: 8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m).

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Simply managed rows of shrubs and trees.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • New Crop  Most new crops were important wild plants until recently, although some are the result of hybridization. They have been developed in the last few, decades. What they have in common is that they are currently cultivated by farmers. Examples include baobab, argan, and buffalo gourd.
  • Staple Crop: Protein  (16+ percent protein, 0-15 percent oil). Annuals include beans, chickpeas, lentils, cowpeas, and pigeon peas. Perennials include perennial beans, nuts, leaf protein concentrates, and edible milks.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Propagation is by seedlings, which are sown in pots, and direct spot sowing at site. Pre-treatment of seeds is not necessary. It is also propagated through budding, cuttings and shield grafting. Using adult scions, budded trees have produced fruits with viable seeds within 2-4 years. With juvenile cuttings, one can obtain 69% rooting. Where climatic conditions are favourable, fruit collection is possible throughout the year

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Afon, Bala, Becuae, Bombimbo, Bongo, Buloio, Busaka, Ediang, Etoup, Guibinte, Guilinte, Ize, Limbimbo, Lyaja, Maja, Majaja, Mant-champudje, Mantchambe, Mantchambo, Maya, Mbusa, Mfeseni-pori, Mjaya, Mjaya, Mozinda, Muloli, Mululu, Mutchaia, Muzinda, Mwaya, N'sempe, Njale, Njayi, Oimbo, Oimo, Okwa, Ombimbo, Opiso, Pusa, Pushia, Senhe, Sobsob, Tchaia, Toum, Ukwa, Yaya, Zilo,

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Found In

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

Uganda; Tanzania, United Republic of; Madagascar, Africa, Angola, Australia, Benin, Cameroon, Central Africa, CAR, Central African Republic, Congo DR, Congo R, East Africa, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinée, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, SE Asia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Southern Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, 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.

Conservation Status

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

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

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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Botanical References

Links / References

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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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