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Taxon: Vitellaria paradoxa C. F. Gaertn.

Genus: Vitellaria
Family: Sapotaceae
Subfamily: Sapotoideae
Nomen number: 102598
Place of publication: Suppl. carp. 131, t. 205. 1807
Link to protologue:
Name Verified on: 20-Nov-1995 by ARS Systematic Botanists.
Accessions: 4 (0 active, 0 available) in National Plant Germplasm System

Autonyms (not in current use), synonyms and invalid designations:

(≡ homotypic synonym, = heterotypic synonym, - autonym, I invalid designation)

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Food additives: flavoring (source of shea oils)
  • Human food: oil/fat
  • Materials: lipids (for glue, candles, cosmetics, lotions, medicine base, waterproofing)
  • Medicines:
  • Non-vertebrate poisons: plant pest control

Distributional Range:


    • WEST-CENTRAL TROPICAL AFRICA: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo (e.)
    • WEST TROPICAL AFRICA: Benin, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Senegal


  1. Adu-Ampomah, Y. et al. 1995. Collecting germplasm of sheanut (Vitellaria paradoxa) in Ghana. Pl. Genet. Resources Newslett. 102:37-38.
  2. Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson. 2012. Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource) URL: www.skud.info
  3. Blicher-Mathiesen, U. 1994. Borneo Illipe, a fat product from different Shorea spp. (Dipterocarpaceae). Econ. Bot. 48:236. Note: = Butyrospermum paradoxum (C. F. Gaertn.) Hepper
  4. Duke, J. A. 1989. Handbook of Nuts CRC Press. Note: = Butyrospermum paradoxum (C. F. Gaertn.) Hepper
  5. Encke, F. et al. 1984. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage
  6. Erhardt, W. et al. 2008. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen
  7. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). URL: http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/cropListDetails?code=&relation=beginsWith&name=Vitellaria+paradoxa&quantity=1 target='_blank'
  8. Govaerts, R. & D. G. Frodin. 2001. World checklist and bibliography of Sapotaceae
  9. Greuter, W. et al., eds. 2000. International code of botanical nomenclature (Saint Louis Code) Art. 9.7, Ex. 2.
  10. Hall, J. B. & J. R. Hindle. 1995. Epitypification of Vitellaria paradoxa C. F. Gaertn. (Sapotaceae). Taxon 44:409-410. Note: epitypification
  11. Keay, R. W. J. & F. N. Hepper. 1953-1972. Flora of west tropical Africa, ed. 2. Note: = Butyrospermum paradoxum (C. F. Gaertn.) Hepper
  12. Keay, R. W. J. 1989. Trees of Nigeria
  13. Markle, G. M. et al., eds. 1998. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2
  14. Pennington, T. D. 1991. The genera of the Sapotaceae
  15. Personal Care Products Council. INCI
  16. Prescott-Allen, R. & C. Prescott-Allen. 1990. How many plants feed the world?. Conservation Biol. 4:365-374. Note: mentions
  17. Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants
  18. Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. 1952-. Flora of tropical East Africa. Note: = Butyrospermum paradoxum (C. F. Gaertn.) Hepper
  19. 1961. Webster's third new international dictionary. Note: = Butyrospermum parkii
  20. PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource).

Check other web resources for Vitellaria paradoxa C. F. Gaertn. :

  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.
  • PubAg: USDA's National Agricultural Library database of full-text journal articles and citations on the agricultural sciences.

Cite as: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System. 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Taxonomy).
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=102598. Accessed 1 April 2020.