Eta grows as a shrub in the savannah, but when growing in the forest becomes a huge climbing plant, producing stems that climb over other plants in the forest and can reach a length of 100 metres or more with a basal diameter of 30cm The fruit is commonly harvested from the wild and is highly esteemed. Before the days of the monopoly of natural rubber sources by Hevea plantations, this species was a very important source of vine-rubber. It has been exploited as a forest-produce throughout its range, and plantations of it have at times been established elsewhere in Africa. It fell into almost total commercial disuse, though during the 1939 - 45 war it regained an ephemeral interest as a substitute for hevea rubber
In the Nigerian and Cameroons high-forest, yields of 22 - 180 kg per sq mile of forest (period not stated, but presumably per year) were recorded, and a skilled tapper could obtain 7½ kg per month, at the expense of much dangerous tree-climbing
The fruits, resembling small oranges, are edible and are esteemed in all areas[332 ].
Order : Gentianales
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