This species is native to tropical West Africa.
It is a large evergreen tree that ranges from 20m to 50m in height, and a dense spreading crown with big leaves. Each leaf is about 30cm in length, ovoid with a heart-shaped base, crinkly, lobed and with a wavy margin, spirally alternate on the branches.
The Giant Cola prefers full sun and performs well in plantations.
Parts of the plant are often used in its places of origin in treating whooping cough, asthma, malaria and fever, as well as various sicknesses. The nut, which is high in caffeine content, is bitter in flavour. The bark is used medicinally to treat swellings, gout, leprosy or as a pain-killer.
Recent studies have evidenced the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of the leaf extracts.
This Tree was dedicated to Mr Nelson Mendela of South Africa, to commemorate his visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens in 1997. It was endorsed as a Heritage Tree in 2014.