Leaf and fruit characteristics of Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) in Northern Ghana

  • G. Nyarko Faculty of Agriculture, University for Development Studies (UDS), P. O. Box TL 1882, Tamale, Ghana
  • G.K. Mahunu Faculty of Agriculture, University for Development Studies (UDS), P. O. Box TL 1882, Tamale, Ghana
  • F.A. Chimsah Faculty of Agriculture, University for Development Studies (UDS), P. O. Box TL 1882, Tamale, Ghana
  • J.A. Yidana Faculty of Agriculture, University for Development Studies (UDS), P. O. Box TL 1882, Tamale, Ghana
  • A.H. Abubakari Faculty of Agriculture, University for Development Studies (UDS), P. O. Box TL 1882, Tamale, Ghana
  • F.K. Abagale Faculty of Agriculture, University for Development Studies (UDS), P. O. Box TL 1882, Tamale, Ghana
  • A. Quainoo Faculty of Agriculture, University for Development Studies (UDS), P. O. Box TL 1882, Tamale, Ghana
  • M. Poudyal Science Department of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Skogsmarksgrand 901 83 Umea, Sweden

Abstract

Leaf and fruit parameters of Vitellaria paradoxa populations in north-south gradientof the shea belt in the transitional and Guinea Savanna zones of Ghana were comparedduring the fruiting season between April to July, 2011. Leafmorphological traits studied include laminar width, petiole and laminar lengths. Fruitparameters measured include fruit and kernel widths, lengths, weights and pulp weight.Results showed variability for most of the characters determined. The leaves in Paga hadshorter petioles as compared to those of Nyankpala and Kawampe. The Nyankpala V. paradoxa has the smallest laminar width whilst Kawampe has longest leaf laminar ascompared to the rest. Values for fruit and kernel parameters were highest for samples fromPaga, followed by Kawampe and were significantly higher than those from Nyankpala.There were significant positive relationships between fresh fruit weight and both freshkernel weight (P < 0.001; R2 = 0.6925) and dry kernel weight (P < 0.001; R2 = 0.6532) for datapooled from all the three locations, however, the slopes and intercepts varied betweenlocations (P < 0.001). The result from the study provides opportunities and prospects forselection and breeding for V. paradoxa tree improvement in Ghana.

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