Background and aims The existing subdivisions of the large genus Cola of the Sterculiaceae s.str. are briefly presented and their usefulness as regards the identification of newly acquired material is discussed. Material and methods Normal practices of herbarium taxonomy have been applied to study all herbarium available mainly at BR, K, LBV, P, and WAG. Key results Two new species of Cola from Gabon are described. They belong to a group of species that have only shortly-petioled leaves. A key to and a synopsis of the five species of this group in Gabon is presented. The two new species and C. letestui, which also has only shortly-petioled leaves, are illustrated.