African violet tree
Securidaca longepedunculata

With its eye-catching flowers and scent, the African violet tree is found across the savanna woodland from Senegal to Nigeria and widespread across tropical Africa. The tree is often only a couple of metres high, and its seed pods have a ‘wing’ making them a ‘dorsal samara’ type of seed, much like the seeds of sycamore. This useful tree is classed as ‘threatened’ in Mali.

In Mali, this tree is just one of many plants that are important for human welfare, providing building materials, traditional medicines, animal fodder and human food. The Securidaca longepedunculata is one of many threatened plant species, as it suffers from uncontrolled harvesting, as well as periodic droughts and bushfires.

Eight plant species are known to be found exclusively in Mali (meaning it is endemic in that country) and all are considered vulnerable due to increasing threats to their habitats. For example Acridocarpus monodii is an endangered shrub found only in the rocky cliffs of the Dogon plateau of Badiangara and Douentza, in Central Mali, whilst Gilletiodendron glandulosum, a vulnerable tree species threatened due to habitat loss, is confined to the Kita massif in the south-west region of the country.

The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP) has helped to establish the first National seed bank in Mali – Unite Semences Forestieres et Herbiers. Through our work we are increasing the number of wild plant species growing in plantations across the country and enabling the use of Millennium Seed Bank seed collections by local communities, in particular useful plant species. Help the Millennium Seed Bank safeguard this seed collection by adopting a seed as a unique gift for a birthday or other special occasion.

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