A revision of the 45 species of the pantropical genus Xylopiain Tropical Africa includes descriptions of six new species and a new section of the genus. The fruits and seeds of Xylopiashow specializations that promote vertebrate dispersal, primarily by hornbills and monkeys. Over half of the African species have an Area of Occupancy (AOO) less than 80 km 2, suggesting that they are in need of protection. African species are classified into five sections. Section Neoxylopia , with four species, is centered in the Guineo-Congolian Region and includes X.globosa sp. nov.Section Ancistropetala, with three species, occurs in the same region. Both of these sections are endemic to Africa. Section Xylopia, which extends to Madagascar and the American tropics, has only a single species in Africa, X.aethiopica. The three species of section Verdcourtia sect. nov.are restricted to the East African coast and Madagascar. The largest number of African species, (34) belong to section Stenoxylopia, in which the seeds lack the arils found in the other sections and instead have a fleshy sarcotesta. Section Stenoxylopia is divided into two informal groups, one centered in eastern and southern Africa ( X.odoratissimagroup) and the other centered in the wetter forests of western and central Africa ( X.acutifloragroup). Five new species are described in section Stenoxylopia: Xylopianilotica sp. nov.from Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda, Xylopiacalva sp. nov.from Nigeria and Cameroon, which is allied to X.phloiodora, and Xylopiamonticola sp. nov.from Nigeria and Cameroon, X.piratae sp. nov.from Ivory Coast and Ghana, and X.unguiculata sp. nov.from Gabon. The latter three species are segregates of the former Xylopiaacutifloras. l. One new combination is made at the species level, X.shirensis comb. nov.Keys, descriptions, illustrations, distribution maps, and an index to numbered collections document diversity and assist with species identification. The name UnonaoliverianaBaill. was found to pre-date the name UnonalepidotaOliv., requiring the combination Meiocarpidiumoliverianum comb. nov.