Flowera and fruits.
Allanblackia is a genus of flowering evergreen tree in the family
Clusiaceae which grows in the tropical rainbelt of Africa. Mature trees bear large brown fruits which contain seeds that yield Allanblackia oil.
Allanblackia floribunda, known in English as 'tallow tree', is a species of flowering plant in the family Clusiaceae that has been long used in traditional African medicine to treat hypertension. It is a common understory tree in rain-forests in western central Africa - from Sierra Leone to W Cameroons, and on into the DR Congo and Uganda. The medium-sized tree (up to 30 meters tall) is evergreen and dioecious (male and female flowers on different plants). The wood is said to be resistant to termites but is not particularly durable. It is fairly easy to work and finishes well but it is of little commercial importance though it has appeared on the market in Liberia as ‘lacewood’.
The wood is used in Nigeria in hut-building for making walls, doors and window-frames, and in Liberia for planks. In Ghana small trees are cut for poles and find use as mine pit-props and bridge-piles. The twigs are used in Ghana as candlesticks, and the smaller ones as chew-sticks and tooth-picks in Ghana and Gabon. The inner bark contains a sticky yellow resin. The bark has anodynal properties. In the Region it is pounded and rubbed on the body to relieve painful conditions. In Gabon a decoction is taken for dysentery and as a mouthwash for toothache and in Congo (Brazzaville) for stomach-pains. In Congo a decoction of the bark or the leaves is taken for cough, asthma, bronchitis and other bronchial affections while the lees from this preparation are rubbed over areas of pain after scarification.
The tree's fruit are not really edible but its seeds are the source of Allanblackia Oil  long used by local populations. Nigeria is developing infrastructure for international-scale commercial use. It is estimated Nigeria produced about 50 tons of allanblackia oil in 2006. Domesticating Allanblackia floribunda is being attempted. Presently the seed is collected only from wild stands or from trees retained on farm land (When clearing land for cultivation trees are left and managed, especially for shading cocoa).
Mkani or Msambo (Allanblackia stuhlmannii) is a medium-sized to fairly large evergreen, flowering tree that can only be found in Tanzania. It grows up to 45m tall, and it has a straight bole that can be up to 65 cm in diameter and can be clear of branches for up to 9 m. First flowering usually occurs when the tree is about 12 years old. Fruits are long or cone shaped berry and takes more than a year to develop and mature. The tree is known for its seed oil and timber.
An edible non-drying fat, called Mkani fat, is obtained from the seed. It is locally important, where it is used in cooking and has been used as a substitute for butter and cocoa butter. Air-dried seeds contain about 50% fat. The fatty acid composition of the fat is remarkable as it consists mainly of stearic acid (45 - 58%) and oleic acid (40 - 51%). Only traces of other fatty acids are present. Its composition and resulting high melting point (35c) makes the fat a valuable raw material that can be used without transformation to improve the consistency of margarines, cocoa butter substitutes and similar products. Seeds are extracted from the fruits by crushing them between the hands and rubbing them clean. Traditionally, the seeds are dried and crushed; the resulting mass is mixed with water and boiled until the fat separates and floats to the surface from where it is scooped off. The fruit's slimy jelly-like pulp can be used in jam making.
In traditional medicine, the leaves are chewed to treat cough, while the leaves,
bark and roots are used to treat impotence[ 299 , 398 ]. A seed extract is
rubbed in to treat rheumatism[ 299 ]. The fat is applied as a liniment on aching
joints, wounds and rashes and small quantities are taken orally to treat
rheumatism. The fat, mixed with the pounded seeds of Psorospermum febrifugum, is
rubbed on deep cracks in the soles of the feet. Guttiferone F, a prenylated
benzophenone, has been isolated from the wood of the roots. The compound is
related to a group of compounds that has been investigated for its anti-HIV
The bark is a source of a red dye. The bark yields a yellow dye. The fat from the seed is used to make candles. The heartwood is dark brown to purplish, usually present only as a small core - for example there would be around 10cm of heartwood in a bole of 65cm; the sapwood is pale grey-brown. Texture is medium; the grain straight. The wood air dries slowly, with a moderate tendency to cup, but with little or no splitting. It is difficult to saw when green, but once dry it saws easily and machines well. It holds nails well. The sapwood is not durable, but is permeable to preservatives; the heartwood is very resistant. The wood is used for construction, cheap joinery, boxes, crates, beehives and water containers. The wood is used for fuel.
Allanblackia gabonensis is native to Cameroon and Gabon in West Africa and belongs to the family of the Clusiaceae. Allanblackia gabonensis is affected by tropical deforestation and thus habitat loss. Since 2011 it is rated as vulnerable species on the red list and become very rare. Allanblackia gabonensis is a tree that reaches a height of about 30 m. The bark is reddish brown. From the bark xanthones were isolated. It was shown that those xanthones have a antimicrobial effect and may help against leishmaniosis more specifically against the parasites that are responsible for that illness. In Gabon the natives cook the bark and use the brew as mouthwash to treat toothache. The wood is used by the natives to built huts.
But nevertheless the wood of Allanblackia gabonensis has not a great importance. The branches of Allanblackia gabonensis hang down. The plant bears white latex that gets yellowish when drying. The leaves are 25 cm long and 7 cm wide. They are glossy and have a special venation. The leaf veins go in a right angle parallel from the midrib to the leaf edge.
The flowers of Alanblackia gabonensis are reddish to pink. They are actinomorphic and are 6 cm in diameter. Allanblackia gabonensis is dioecious meaning that female and male flowers are sitting on different individuals. The male flowers are identifiable based on the various stamens in the middle that occur in clusters. The female flower has a thick ovary. The flowers have a pleasant odor. Allanblackia gabonensis flowers for half a year.
The fruit is impressive. It gets 25 cm long and has 15 cm in diameter The stone fruit is popular with monkeys. They eat the fruit and distribute the seeds in that way. From the seeds an oil can be gained. It is used by the natives for cooking. They call the oil "beurre de bouandjo". It is also known as "allanblackia fat". The international foodstuffs industry took notice of Allanblackia fat and uses it as a component of margarine. The fruit is also edible for humans.