One of my favorite trees in Africa is the Nï¿½rï¿½ (Parkia biglobosa). This species is so useful that it has been preserved and cultivated around the villages and throughout the landscapes of west African countries. Below is a superb specimen outside the Environmental Education Center in Kinkon, Guinea in the Fouta Jalon Highlands, where I was visiting in December, 2006.
Another name is the African locust bean tree. The nï¿½rï¿½ is a legume, and can therefore fix nitrogen. A more important use is to ferment the seeds to make a cooking condiment called soumbala, that is prized in local cooking around the region.
This pictures shows the flower pods, which are bright red when mature.
Originally uploaded by v3ronique.