Irvingia gabonensis

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Irvingia gabonensis

Family: Irvingiaceae

Common names

  • Wild mango
  • African mango
  • Bush mango
  • Dika
  • Ogbono

Description

Irvingia gabonensis grows straight, up to a height of 40 m (130 ft) and 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in diameter.

The outer bark is smooth to scaly with grey to yellow-grey color. The crown is evergreen, spherical and dense. Flowers are yellow to greenish-white. The fruit is green when ripe and has bright orange pulp.

Distribution

Irvingia gabonensis is indigenous  to Angola, Congo, DR Congo, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and south-western Uganda.

Cultural value

Humans eat the fruits fresh which is why it is called African mango.The fruits are processed into jelly, jam, juice and sometimes even wine. The pulp has also been used to prepare black dye for cloth coloration.

Food supplements from dika under the name “African mango” are marketed for management of body weight.

Growing Irvingia gabonensis

Irvingia gabonensis is pollinated by Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera. It flowers from March to June and has two fruiting seasons: from April to July and from September to October. Seeds are dispersed by specialized vertebrates like elephants and gorillas.