The rubber industry began in West Africa by native exploitation of the wild rubber sources found in the tropical rain forests. The best quality of rubber was obtained from the tree, Funtumia elastica Stapf. and the vines Landolphia ovariensis Beauv. and Clitandra cymulosa Benth. The tapping methods were usually destructive and eventually new areas were difficult to find. As plantations of Manihot glaziovii Muell. Arg., the para rubber tree, and Hevea brasiliensis (H. B. K.) Muell. Arg., the para rubber tree, were established the wild rubber became less important. The yields from Manihot proved to be much lower than Hevea and the latter became the only important plantation rubber tree in West Africa. The discovery of rubber and the interesting story of how the rubber tree finally reached Africa is worth reviewing.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1944 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Warner, Robert M.
"Rubber Indusrty of West Africa,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 51(1), 281-292.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol51/iss1/26