Tropical Africa's rainforests hold to a wide array of plants and biodiversity. Many of Africa's nations have rainforests, including Cote d'Ivoire, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Liberia, Cameroon and Burundi. According to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Africa's rainforest is estimated to have about 8,000 different plant species.
The khaya senegalensis, which is also known as the African mahogany, the Senegal mahogany, cailcedrat, dry zone mahogany and Benin mahogany,is a member of the Meliaceae family. The Khaya senegalensis produces a commercial popular wood that has a slightly less refined texture than American mahogany. The wood is valued for building boats, staircases, furniture and house flooring and paneling.
The wood has a coarse grain and is termite-resistant. The plant also has medicinal uses, with rainforest tribes taking its bark for treatment of the common cold. The plant's seed is also used to kill insects. The khaya senegalensis appears in gallery forests inlcuding those of Chad, the Central African Republic and Burkina Faso.
Elaeis guineensis is the scientific name for the oil palm, a tall palm tree characterized by its heavy and erect trunk. The plant originates in west and central tropical Africa and produces fruit that grows in clusters. The ripe fruit is reddish orange in color and has a soft outer skin. The fruit's fleshy outer skin produces palm oil, which is rich in vitamins D and A. The tree gives a wide array of goods, from soap, candles and lubricating grease to chocolate and iron plates.
Aucoumea klaineana, often known as okoume, is a tree that solely exists in central Africa's rainforests. A member of the Burseraceae family, it is a hardwood tree that usually grows to heights between 90 and 120 feet and rarely taller. The tree produces a lightweight and high grade wood that serves many different foreign markets, especially Japan, France, Italy and Israel. The wood is used to make sawn timber, plywood and veneer.
Theobroma cacao is a tropical African rainforest plant that produces cocoa, cocoa butter and chocolate. Growers cultivate the ground and dried up seeds of the theobroma cacao for commercial purposes all through west Africa's tropics. The plant is also believed to have folk medicinal purposes, for the treatment of afflictions such as rheumatism, malaria, fever, coughing, burns, alopecia, wounds and snakebite. The small tree usually reaches between 12 and 24 feet in height and has spreading branches and upright, lateral shoots.