Taxon: Vitellaria paradoxa C. F. Gaertn.

Genus: Vitellaria
Family: Sapotaceae
  Subfamily: Sapotoideae
Nomen number: 102598
Place of publication: Suppl. carp. 131, t. 205. 1807
Name Verified on: 20-Nov-1995 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 02-Feb-2010
Species priority site is:
Accessions: 0 in National Plant Germplasm System

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Food additives: flavoring (source of shea oils fide Blicher-Mathiesen, Econ Bot. 48:236.)
  • Human food: fruit (fide PROTA4U)
  • Human food: oil/fat (fide Food Feed Crops US)
  • Materials: latex/rubber (for glue, chewing gum, candles, cosmetics, lotions, medicine-base, waterproofing fide PROTA4U)
  • Materials: lipids (for glue, chewing gum, candles, cosmetics, lotions, medicine-base, waterproofing fide PROTA4U)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide PROTA4U)
  • Non-vertebrate poisons: plant pest control (fide PROTA4U)

Distributional Range:


  • Africa

    • East Tropical Africa: Uganda
    • Northeast Tropical Africa: Ethiopia; Sudan
    • West Tropical Africa: Benin; Ghana; Guinea-Bissau; Nigeria; Senegal
    • West-Central Tropical Africa: Cameroon; Central African Republic; Zaire


  • Webster's third new international dictionary. 1961 (Websters Dict)
  • PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource). (PROTA4U)
  • Adu-Ampomah, Y. et al. 1995. Collecting germplasm of sheanut (Vitellaria paradoxa) in Ghana Pl. Genet. Resources Newslett. 102:37-38.
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource on 2012 (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  • Blicher-Mathiesen, U. 1994. Borneo Illipe, a fat product from different Shorea spp. (Dipterocarpaceae) Econ. Bot. 48:236.
  • Duke, J. A. Handbook of Nuts. CRC Press. 1989 (Handb Nuts)
  • Encke, F. et al. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage. 1984 (Zander ed13)
  • Erhardt, W. et al. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen. 2008 (Zander Ency)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Govaerts, R. & D. G. Frodin World checklist and bibliography of Sapotaceae. 2001 (L Sapotaceae)
  • Greuter, W. et al., eds. International code of botanical nomenclature (Saint Louis Code). 2000 (ICBN St Louis) Art. 9.7, Ex. 2.
  • Hall, J. B. & J. R. Hindle 1995. Epitypification of Vitellaria paradoxa C. F. Gaertn. (Sapotaceae) (Taxon) 44:409-410.
  • Keay, R. W. J. Trees of Nigeria. 1989 (Trees Nigeria)
  • Keay, R. W. J. & F. N. Hepper Flora of west tropical Africa, ed. 2. 1953-1972 (F WT Afr)
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2. 1998 (Food Feed Crops US)
  • Pennington, T. D. The genera of the Sapotaceae. 1991 (Gen Sapot)
  • Personal Care Products Council International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI)
  • Prescott-Allen, R. & C. Prescott-Allen 1990. How many plants feed the world? Conservation Biol. 4:365-374.
  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. Flora of tropical East Africa. 1952- (F TE Afr)
  • Wiersema, J. H. & B. León World economic plants: a standard reference (on-line edition) [medicinal plants only]. (World Econ Pl Med)


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.