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Coula edulis, Gabon Nut, African Walnut, Bush Kola

Coula edulis

Gabon Nut, African Walnut, Bush Kola
Family: Olacaceae
Origin: West Africa
Big tree taller than 20 ftSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterEdible plantEthnomedical plant.
Plants marked as ethnomedical and/or described as medicinal, are not offered as medicine but rather as ornamentals or plant collectibles.
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Coula edulis is a tree native to West Africa, which grows to heights of more than 20 feet, and can thrive in both full sun and in semi-shade. This big tree has a very dense crown, making it an ideal choice for providing shade. Its preferred USDA zones are from 9-11, Coula edulis requires moderate watering and is relatively fast growing. As an ethnomedical plant, Coula edulis has plenty of traditional uses, from edible snacks to treatment for various illnesses.

The primary edible product of the tree is the Gabon nut, an ellipsoidal and green or red drupe about 1-2" long. The nut has a pleasant taste and needs to be eaten raw, grilled or boiled. Additionally to being used as a food source, the nut also provides nourishment with its richness in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as other nutrients like fatty acids.

The tree itself is used for its leaves and bark in traditional medicine, as well as to treat respiratory and coronary illnesses, among other ones. Apart from edible uses, its fibrous wood is also useful for construction purposes, thus making it a multi-purpose tree.

Coula edulis is an extremely productive tree, and depending on the climate it can produce 50-100 kg of fruit per year. This tree requires well draining soil, as it's sensitive to root water logging. During winter months, if temperatures drop to below freezing, it can be needed to bring the plants indoors. If this isn't possible, then it's necessary to ensure that the pot is insulated with mulch and other protective methods to protect against the cold.

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