Afrocarpus gracilior is a medium-sized tree, growing 20–40 m tall, rarely to 50 m, with a trunk diameter of 50–80 cm. The leaves are spirally arranged, lanceolate, 2–6 cm long and 3–5 mm broad on mature trees, larger, to 10 cm (4 in) long and 6 mm broad on vigorous young trees.
The seed cones are highly modified, with a single 2 cm (1 in) diameter seed with a thin fleshy coating borne on a short peduncle. The mature seed is purple, and is dispersed by birds and monkeys which eat the fleshy coating. The pollen cones are solitary or in clusters of two or three on a short stem.
It is an important timber tree in its native range, where it is harvested for local use and export. It is used for construction of buildings and furniture. It is grown in plantations elsewhere in the world.
- Dallimore, W., & Jackson, A. B. (1966). A Handbook of Coniferae and Ginkgoaceae, 4th ed., revised. Edward Arnold.
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