Having wax from my own bees, I love this.
Shea tree (mandingo or karité – Vitellaria nilotica, Butyrospermum parkii, Vitellaria paradoxa) grows naturally in tropical Africa. It is 12-20 meters high and its habitant is a dry area near the Sahara desert. It has never been cultivated – the main reason is that it takes about 15 years for it to bear the first fruit, and the tree is fully mature in about 25-50 years.
Vitellaria paradoxa (shea tree, karité), eastern Burkina Faso
By Marco Schmidt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The nutty fruits of the shea tree are delicious, and the crops are always so rich that the tree provides food for everybody, even for animals and birds. The fruits are gathered when ripe, between July and August, in the middle of the rain season. There is an old African tradition that allows only women to touch the tree, gather fruits and…
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