Plukenetia conophora

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Plukenetia conophora
Order : Malpighiales (Malpighiales)
Family : Spurge Family (Euphorbiaceae)
Subfamily : Acalyphoideae
Tribe : Plukenetieae
Genre : Plukenetia
Type : Plukenetia conophora
Scientific name
Plukenetia conophora

Plukenetia conophora is a climbing shrub or liana from the family of the milkweed family, from the subfamily Acalyphoideae, in the tribe of the Plukenetieae, in the subtribe of the Plukenetiinae. It comes from tropical West and Central Africa and is used as an oil plant.

Plukenetia volubilis , known as sacha inchi or Inca nut, is very similar from South America, but it has lenticular, flattened seeds. Coula edulis , which is also found in West Africa, has very similar round seeds . The roundish and similar seeds of Plukenetia conophora and Coula edulis are also known as African walnuts .


Plukenetia conophora grows to about 18 meters or more long or high, the trunk is up to 16 centimeters thick and grayish and twining to choking. The alternate and stalked, underneath lighter leaves are up to 10-12 centimeters long and ovate to elliptical, they are serrated or serrated on the edge and the tip is rounded or pointed to pointed. The leaf base is blunt to more or less heart-shaped. The nerve is threefold. The leaves have small glandular areas at their base. There are small stipules present.

Plukenetia conophora is mostly monoecious or then functionally dioecious , the male and female flowers are in short stalked, paniculate - thyrsigen or traubigen and axillary inflorescences. The inflorescences are either unisexual or functionally unisexual with only a few, often nonfunctional, flowers of the secondary sex on the inflorescence. The small, short-stalked, usually four-fold flowers have a simple flower envelope and are underlaid with small bracts . The male flowers have many stamens and a interstaminalen discus with many very small tips, the female flowers have a thick pen with four to five section rüschiger scar .

Four to five-part, star-shaped and short-winged, ribbed, about 7-8 centimeters in size, slightly warty, leathery and practically smooth, brownish to maturity capsule fruits with a permanent style, which rarely or rarely open at the tip. The brownish and roundish, slightly wrinkled, thin-shelled and hard seeds (nuts) in the separate compartments are up to about 2.5-3 centimeters in size, they are similar to walnuts. The seed coat is divided into a non-durable, thin, light-brownish testa and a thicker, dark-brownish tegmen. The seeds contain a large, whitish endosperm .


It was first described as Plukenetia conophora by Johannes Müller Argoviensis in 1864 in the Flora or general botanical newspaper, 47, no. 34, p. 530. Various synonyms are known, Cleidion mannii Baker , Cleidion preussii (Pax) Baker , Mallotus preussii Pax , Tetracarpidium conophorum (Müll.Arg.) Hutch. & Dalziel , Tetracarpidium staudtii Pax , and Angostylidium conophorum (Müll.Arg.) Pax & K. Hoffm.


The seeds are edible and a quick-drying oil can also be obtained from them. The leaves and fruits are also eaten. The leaves, seeds, and oil are also used medicinally.


  • A. Engler , F. Pax , K. Hoffmann: The plant kingdom. IV. 147, IX-XI, volume 68, Euphorbiaceae-Acalypheae-Plukenetiinae , Engelmann, 1919, p. 17 f, online at Biblioteca digital del Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid.
  • Jules Janick, Robert E. Paull: The Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nuts. CABI, 2008, ISBN 978-0-85199-638-7 , p. 378 f.
  • Plukenetia at Nationaal Herbarium Nederland.
  • Lynn J. Gillespie: A Revision of Paleotropical Plukenetia (Euphorbiaceae) including Two New Species from Madagascar. In: Systematic Botany. Vol. 32, No. 4, 2007, pp. 780-802, JSTOR 25064293 , doi: 10.1043 / 06-106.1 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. online at
  2. Plukenetia conophora at KEW Science.
  3. A. Engler, F. Pax, K. Hoffmann: Das Pflanzenreich. 1919.
  4. E. Abderhalden : Biochemisches Handlexikon. VIII. Volume, Springer, 1914, ISBN 978-3-642-88971-4 (reprint), p. 376.