Vitellaria paradoxa, Butyrospermum parkii
Vitellaria paradoxa (formerly Butyrospermum parkii), commonly known as shea tree, shi tree (/( )/), or vitellaria, is a tree of the family Sapotaceae. It is the only species in the genus Vitellaria, and is indigenous to Africa.
The shea fruit consists of a thin, tart, nutritious pulp that surrounds a relatively large, oil-rich seed from which shea butter is extracted. It is a deciduous tree usually 7–15 m (23–49 ft.) tall, but has reached 25 m (82 ft.) and a trunk diameter of 2 m (6.5 ft).
The shea tree is a traditional African food plant. It has been claimed to have potential to improve nutrition, boost food supply in the "annual hungry season", foster rural development, and support sustainable land care.