The Shea tree is the tree from which the nuts used to grind into Shea butter is found. The scientific name given to the Shea tree is Vitellaria paradoxa and Butyrospermum parkii. The Shea tree is such a unique tree. What is so unique about it?
First: The Shea tree can grow as high as 15 meters or 49.2 feet. From there, it can take as long as 40 to 50 years before it matures and is able to produce the nuts needed to make Shea butter.
Secondly: This tree grows uncultivated in 19 countries across the African continent, namely Benin, Ghana, Chad, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Cote D’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo Uganda, Zaire and Guinea. In Ghana (FAO, 1988a), it occurs extensively in the Guinea savannah and less abundantly in the Sudan Savannah. The shea tree occurs over almost the entire area of Northern Ghana, over about 77,670 square kilometers in Western Dagomba, Southern Mamprusi, Western Gonja, Lawra, Tumu, Wa and Nanumba with Eastern Gonja having the densest stands. The area that the tree grows in is known as the Shea belt region. This region stretches almost 3000 miles from Senegal in West Africa all the way across into Ethiopia in East Africa.
What is the application for you as the reader? The Shea tree is very unique in terms of its individual size followed by the area that it stretches. What’s even more impressive and beneficial for you is the byproduct formed when the nuts are released from this special tree. What is that? Shea Butter.
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