Monday, January 26, 2009


In a paragraph describing the Ituri jungle I mention “Celtis”.
Jennifer Williams, from Wisconsin, wrote to warn me that Celtis, the Common hackberry, is a tree native to North America and not Africa.

I remembered seeing Celtis everywhere in Congo and checked to ascertain I wasn't imagining things.

Celtis is a genus comprising more than fifty species of trees. In my book I was referring to Celtis africana, the African celtis. Celtis africana is commonly known as white stinkwood, because of the unpleasant smell of the freshly cut wood, and its pale colour.

VERDOORN, I.C. 1956. Celtis africana. The Flowering Plants of Africa 31: t. 1210.

Saved by the bell... this time. I bet there are countless gaffes in my novels, waiting for an eagle-eyes reader to point them out. Thank you, Jennifer.

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