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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Millettieae
Genus: Ostryocarpus
Hook. f.

Ostryocarpus is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, Fabaceae. It belongs to the subfamily Faboideae.[1] The name comes from ostryo- (Gk.: shell) and carpos (Gk.: fruit), referring to the shell-like pods. [2]

The first specimens were collected by Theodore Vogel in 1851 on the Niger Expedition to West Africa. It was described by Sir Joseph Hooker. It is related to the genus Lonchocarpus and is distinguished from it by its diadelphous stamens and shell-like pod.


Ostryocarpus has glabrous exstipellate stamens, short stalked flowers on special short branchlets, hooked wings and keel petals and a short 2-3 ovuled gynoecium surrounded at the base by a fimbriate disk which is usually adnate to the base of the calyx. [3]

Distribution and Habitat[edit]

Ostryocarpus is found in the tropical rainforests and seasonally dry forests of the Guineo-Congolan region of tropical West Africa. They grow as lianas or scandent shrubs.[2] and are often in riparian and mangrove habitats.


They are used as fish poisons and for fish nets (fibre) and rope.[2]

Species List[edit]

Ostryocarpus riparius Hook. f.

Ostryocarpus zenkerianus (Harms) Dunn [4]


  1. ^ http://www.theplantlist.org/1.1/browse/A/Leguminosae/Ostryocarpus/ The Plant List Retrieved 19 Jan 2015
  2. ^ a b c http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/research-data/resources/legumes-of-the-world/genus/ostryocarpus retrieved 26 Jan 2015
  3. ^ Ostryocarpus and a New Allied Genus Ostryoderris S. T. Dunn Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) Vol. 1911, No. 9 (1911), pp. 362-364 Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4113272 Retrieved on 19 Jan 2015
  4. ^ http://www.theplantlist.org/browse/A/Leguminosae/Ostryocarpus/ retrieved 26 Jan 2015