Allanblackia trees are evergreen trees which grow in the tropical rainbelt of Africa. Mature trees produce big brown fruits which contain the seeds used to produce Allanblackia oil. Allanblackia is a seasonal crop that produces fruits during a period of 3-4 months every year.

The genus Allanblackia, which belongs to the Clusiaceae family, consists of nine tree species, all restricted to Africa. All members of the genus are apparently long-lived, long-fruiting, and dioecious (they have separate male and female trees).

Allanblackia trees are single stemmed, up to 40 meters tall, with whorled branches, and bear the largest fruits of all plants in the African rainforest, particularly Allanblackia stuhlmannii. Its fruits can weigh up to 7 kilograms, depending on the species.

The fruits drop when they are ripe, so plucking is not needed or recommended for producing Allanblackia oil. Each fruit can hold up to 50 seeds depending on the species of tree. A mature tree can produce 30-60 kg of seeds which can be crushed to extract the oil.

In July, one of our local partners sat down with Agnes Boi, an Allanblackia farmer in Tanzania to hear her thoughts on Allanblackia and what it means to her. Below...