Hardwood

Construction and furniture

Mameicillo, Alseis blackiana

 

Family: Rubiaceae

Native to: South America - Colombia: Central America - Panama.

Habitat: Dense forest, understory tree.

Material uses: Timber, yellow heartwood, fine grained, heavy and tough. Easy to work with.

Research: Jin Young Lee/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1.1. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Alseis+blackiana 

Image credit/Source: Steve Paton. https://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20p?see=I_BC170&res=640

Madrono de montana, Amaioua corymbosa

Family: Rubiaceae

Native to: South America, Central America, Caribbean - Trinidad and Cuba.

Habitat: Deciduous, semi-dry forests, edges of savannas. Near sea level and general low elevations. 

Ecological value: Grows at low and medium elevations, in humid or very humid forests.        

Associated plant community: Angiosperms, Eudicots, and Asterids

Material uses: Light brown heartwood, at times reddish with white sapwood. Fine-textured; close-grain; hard, tough, and takes polish well. 

Other: Used as firewood, tool handles and house/roof construction in Panama.

Cashew, Anacardium occidentale

 

Family: Anacardiaceae

Native to: Northeastern Brazil, South America

Habitat: Arid thickets, sandy soils, sand dunes within proximity of coast, up to 600 meters above sea level

Ecological value: Pollinated by bees, ants. Wind and drought resistant and can withstand sea spray, (but not maratime exposure) has many medicinal uses, can be used as a support for vanilla plants, good for erosion control .  Fast growing.

Material uses: Dye, construction, adhesive, fuel, insect repellant. Varnish, ink, termite proofing wood, tannin used in tanning industry. Reddish brown wood is lightweight but hard, good for construction and carpentry. Good fuelwood.

Edible: Both fruits and seeds are edible (seeds MUST be roasted as they contain blistering agent killed by heat).

Medicinal value: Used to treat malaria, reduce blood sugar levels, remove warts and ringworm, sap is a contraceptive, used to detoxify snake bites . 

Associated plant community: Anacardium genus

Other: Cannot withstand frost. Oil used in the manufacturing of plastics.

Cabbage bark, Andira inermis

Family: Fabaceae

Native to: Southern Mexico through Central America to northern South America.

Habitat: Alluvial forests, evergreen tropical to dry savannah. Roadsides and riverbanks up to 900 m above sealevel.

Ecological value: Andira inermis is a nitrogen-fixing tree attracts many pollinating insects.Important source of nectar for bees. Bats eat the fruits. Tolerates periods of inundation. Drought tolerant when established. 

Material uses: The tree's wood is used for lumber. The wood is very hard, heavy (0.77g/cm³), and very resistant to attack by fungi and termites. Lumber used for bridges, railroad tracks, waterfront docks and  furniture.

Edible: Edible fruits, but seeds are toxic. 

Medicinal value: Treats snakebites, used as narcotic, as laxative and a vermifuge.

Other: It is used as a shade tree in coffee plantations, in soil conservation projects to protect watersheds and cultivated as ornamental. Flowers more frequently in dryer climates. Insecticide and piscicide properties. Prunings used as firewood.  Prunes well.

Research: Mengmeng Chen/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. Behrendt, G., J.D. Brazier., and G.L. Franklin. 1968. Maderas nicaraguenses. Características y usos potenciales. FAO y Min. de Ag. y Ganaderia. Honduras. pp 21-22.

2. Berendsohn, W.G. 1989. Listado básico de la flora salvadorensis. Dicotoyledonae. Familia 118:Leguminosae. Cuscatlania (El Salvador) I(2):118-8.

3. Faria. S.M., J. Sutherland, and J. Sprent. 1986. A new type of infected cell in root nodules of Andira spp. (Leguminosae). Plant Science 45:143-147.

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andira_inermis

Image Credit/Source:  S.Pereira-Nunes, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flowering_Indira_Inermis.JPG

Apoplanesia paniculata

 

Family: Fabaceae

Native to: Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica. 

Habitat: Tropical dry forest. 

Ecological value: Attracts pollinators including bees, and various species of Lepidoptera (family of butterflies/moths).  Fixes atmospheric nitrogen. 

Material uses: Deciduous hardwood with tensile strength.  

Medicinal value:  Bark is used to treat hemorrhoids. Resin is used to treat dysentery.  Boil bark with six liters of water or take nine drops of resin from the trunk and mix it into a cup of water for medicinal purposes. 

Research: Senna Lau/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. Grandtner, Miroslav. 2005. Elsevier's Dictionary Of Trees. N/A. pg.70

2.  Valdez-Hernández, Mirna. 2010. Phenology of five tree species of a tropical dry forest in Yucatan, Mexico: effects of environmental and physiological factors  [2010]. http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=US201301813895 (accessed on 5 October 2017).

3. Villa-Galaviz, Edith. 2012. Resilience in Plant-Herbivore Networks during Secondary Succession. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0053009 (accessed on 5 October 2017).

4. Kunow, Marianna Appel. 2003. Maya Medicine. University of New Mexico Press. pg.143

Image Credit/Source:  Pablo Carrillo-Reyes, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/34160097

Glassywood, Astronium graveolens, Goncalo alves

 

Family: Anacardiaceae

Native to: Mexico, Central America, and South America as far south as Bolivia

Habitat: A canopy tree found in both dry and humid tropical forests at elevations up to 1,000 meters. A common element of upland forests. 

Ecological value: Attracts pollinators such as insects. Moderately fast growing.

Material uses: The wood is moderately hard, heavy, fairly loose in structure, durable and takes an excellent polish.. Among the most outstanding heavy, durable construction timbers, it is also highly favored as a fine furniture and cabinet wood. It is cut for decorative veneers and is also used for specialty items such as knife handles, brush backs, archery bows, billiard cue butts, turnery, and carving.

Other:  The tree yields a valuable timber and is commonly exploited from the wild. The wood is exported to many countries. Pioneer species, tolerant of shade, also used for ornamental purposes. 

Research: Jiahuan Cheng/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bactris_gasipaes#Uses

2. Clement, C. R. (1988). Domestication of the pejibaye palm (Bactris gasipaes): past and present. Advances in economic botany, 6, 155-174.

3, 4. Crane, J. H. Pejibaye (Peach Palm) Growing in the Florida Home Landscape. HS1072. Florida Cooperative Extension Service. University of Florida IFAS. 2006.

Image Credit/Source:  David J. Stang, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Astronium_graveolens_11zz.jpg

Peach palm, Bactris gasipaes

 

Family: Arecaceae

Native to:  The tropical forests of South and Central America

Habitat: Along riverbeds and primary forest gaps, up to 800 meters above sealevel.

Ecological value: Pollinated by insects, fast growing, 15 to 20 meters in just 10 years.

Material uses: Good economic oil palm (62% oil from seed). Used in cosmetics and soap. Fiber for thatched roofs, paper and baskets. Spines of plant used for tattooing. Leaves yield green dye for fabric. Strong wood used in construction, flooring, bows and arrows.

Edible: The raw fruit spoils quickly but it can be stored as a dry meal or preserves. It can yield flour and edible oil. 

Medicinal value: Oil eases rheumatic pains (used as a rub).

Other: Peach palm fruit is widely used as animal feed. Plants begin flowering around 3-5 years of age and will produce crops twice a year over 50-70 years. Shallow rooted.

Research: Xiliang Chen/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bactris_gasipaes#Uses

2. Clement, C. R. (1988). Domestication of the pejibaye palm (Bactris gasipaes): past and present. Advances in economic botany, 6, 155-174.

3. Crane, J. H. Pejibaye (Peach Palm) Growing in the Florida Home Landscape. HS1072. Florida Cooperative Extension Service. University of Florida IFAS. 2006.

Image Credit/Source: Chris 73, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pupunha_(Bactris_gasipaes)_2.jpg

Red ceiba, Bombacopsis quinata

Family: Malvaceae

Native to: Central America, and Northern South America

Habitat: Lowland wet forests, dry to very dry, or wet tropical forests, from sea level to 900 m.

Ecological value: Sometimes used as shade coverage on coffee plantations. Fast growing, pollinated by bats.

Material uses: Exploited in the wild as a timber source. Durable wood used for construction, furniture, doors, suitable for plywood and veneer. Coppices well, used as a live fence, occasionally used as fuelwood, but not preferred. 

Medicinal value: Roots are used as treatment for diarrhea.

Other:  This species is possibly incorrectly name and could potentially be transferred to the genus Pachira. Grows well in humus rich loamy soil. Listed as vulnerable due to over exploitation and habitat loss. 

Research: Peaches Harrison/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1.  http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Bombacopsis+quinata

Image Credit/Source: Wendy Cutler, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pachira_quinata_fruit.jpg

Divi-divi, Caesalpinia coriaria

 

Family: Fabaceae ⁄ Leguminosae

Native to: South/Central America, West Indies

Habitat: Semiarid open country. Seasonal or coastal forests, dry plains and hillsides (900m max elevation). Can withstand a wide range of climates. 

Ecological value: The bacteria that grows in the roots fix atmospheric nitrogen as well as provides nitrogen for plants near by.  The flowers attract bees.   Slow growing. 

Material uses: The pods contain 45% tannin, produces a black or blue dye.  Trees yield around 45-135kg of pods per year.  The wood creates a red dye. The leaves are used as mulch. The wood itself is utilized as fuel.  Hardwood substitute for ebony - making small items. 

Medicinal value: The powdered pods are used as an antiperiodic. The roots are 

febrifuge.   

Other: Grows in moderately fertile and well drained soil. Might be renamed Libidiba coriaria. Wind sculpted. Can be inter-cropped with other species, and requires little care.   

Research: Senna Lau/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. Fern, Ken. 2014. Guazuma ulmifolia. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Guazuma+ulmifolia (accessed on 21 September 2017). 

2. Missouri Botanical Garden. Na. Guazuma ulmifolia. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=287260&isprofile=0& (accessed on 21 September 2017). 

Image Credit/Source: L. Shyamal, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caesalpinia_coriaria.jpg

Calycophyllum candidissimum

 

Family: Rubiaceae

Native to:  South/Central America.

Habitat: Dry semi-deciduous forest, shaded hillsides or along waterways.

Ecological value: Pollen is a rich nectar source for bees. 

Material uses: The wood is hard to work with. It is used for developing agricultural tools, archery bows, fishing rods, vehicles, tool handles, charcoal, frames and turnery.

Other: Drought resistant. National tree of Nicaragua. 

Research: Senna Lau/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1.  Fern, Ken. 2014. Calycophyllum candidissimum. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Calycophyllum+candidissimum

Image Credit/Source: Jorge Alejandro, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Calycophyllum_candidissimum_(Vahl.)_DC..JPG

Cedar wood, Cedrela odorata

 

Family: Meliaceae

Native to: Pacific coast of Mexico, throughout Central America and the Caribbean

Habitat: American tropics:  Wet primary and secondary forests. Lower montane forests, up to 1900 meters above sea level. 

Ecological value: Attracts pollinators such as bees, source of nectar for honey production. Fast growth rate. Pioneer species naturally termite- and rot-resistant, lightweight attractive wood.

Material uses: Used in beekeeping structures, instruments, household articles and furniture to store clothing. Bark used for twine. Good fire wood. Excellent timber.

Medicinal value: Treats feavers and headaches, earaches. Decoction for abortion. 

Other: Cedrela odorata is the most commercially important and widely distributed species in the genus Cedrela. Listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of  Threatened Species, from over exploitation. Economically important timber species. Used as windbreak or shade tree in coffee or cocoa production. Susceptible to Hypsipyla attack (root borer) and should  be intercropped with Leucaena leucocephala, Cordia spp.  Anthocephalus Chinensis or under the light shade of Eucalyplus delgupta.  Good choose for reforestation schemes. Planted as ornamental.

Research: Xiliang Chen/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1.Gillies, A. C., Cornelius, J. P., Newton, A. C., Navarro, C. , Hernández, M. and Wilson, J. (1997), Genetic variation in Costa Rican populations of the tropical timber species Cedrela odorata L., assessed using RAPDs. Molecular Ecology, 6: 1133-1145. doi:10.1046/j.1365-294X.1997.00287.x

2.Root endophyte interaction between ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Tricholoma matsutake and arbuscular mycorrhizal tree Cedrela odorata, allowing in vitro synthesis of rhizospheric “shiro”

Mycorrhiza, 2013, Volume 23, Number 3, Page 235

Hitoshi Murata, Akiyoshi Yamada, Tsuyoshi Maruyama, Show All (7)

Image Credit/Source: Forest & Kim Starr, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_030807-0045_Cedrela_odorata.jpg

Kapok, Ceiba pentandra

 

Family: Malvaceae

Native to: Mexico, Central America, Caribbean and northern South America

Habitat: Secondary forests.

Ecological value: Flowers important to bees, bats and moths. Fast growing.

Material uses: Prior to the heightened usage of synthetic fibers in clothes, the Kapok fibers were used in products such as pillows, clothes, stuffed toys and upholstery. Kapok fibers are labor intensive to produce and extremely flammable but are also water resistant and buoyant. The raw version of the fiber is used in darts for nearby tribes. Ash is rich in potash and can be used for making soap. Construction timber. Used to make canoes. 

Edible: A vegetable oil can be pressed from kapok seeds. Wood ash as salt substitute.

Medicinal value: Ceiba pentandra bark decoction has been used as a diuretic, aphrodisiac, and to treat headache, as well as type II diabetes. It is used as an additive in some versions of the hallucinogenic drink Ayahuasca.

Other: Pioneer species. Economical life: 60 years. A single tree can bear 300-400 pods per year, yielding up to 20 kg of fiber from about 5 to 50 years of age. Responds well to coppacing. rooting system can cause damage to buildings and roads. Used in reforestation programs, inter-cropped as shade tree for coffee and cacao.

Research: Amy Feng/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?

2. id=Ceiba+pentandrahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceiba_pentandra

Image Credit/Source: Phil Stone, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kapok-Ceiba_pentandra_03.JPG

Dyer's mulberry, Chlorophora tinctoria

 

Family: Moraceae

Native to: Neotropics, from Mexico to Argentina

Habitat: Moist or dry thickets of forest 

Ecological value: Leaves are a food source of silk worms. Medium growth rate, pioneer. 

Material uses: Dyes can quickly turn brown when exposed to air. Wood for decking, planking, and framing for boats, exterior and interior flooring, turnery, furniture parts, tool handles, railroad ties, and wood tanks. Durable wood, fairly easy to work with. Produces a yellow dye called fustic primarily known for coloring khaki fabric for U.S. military apparel during World War 1.

Edible: Fruit eaten raw.

Other: Bark is astringent, tonic and vermifuge, in large doses it is purgative.

Research: Amy Feng/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Maclura+tinctoria

Image Credit/Source: MBG, https://www.gbif.org/occurrence/1257759380

Bastard redwood, Chrysophyllum argenteum

Family: Sapotaceae

Native to: South America, Central America, Caribbean - Trinidad to Cuba

Habitat: Moist, lower mountain forest. 

Ecological value: Fruits year round, food sources for mammals and birds.

Material uses: The wood is hard, heavy, strong, tough, and durable, therefore used for fence posts and tool handles. Also used for charcoal. 

Edible: Sweet fruit.

Research: Maria Camila Misle/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. Stri. “Chrysophyllum Argenteum Panamense.” Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute-Scientific Databases, biogeodb.stri.si.edu/biodiversity/species/23783/.

2. Graveson, Roger. “Plants of Saint Lucia.” Chrysophyllum Argenteum, www.saintlucianplants.com/floweringplants/sapotaceae/chryarge/chryarge.html.

3. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Chrysophyllum+argenteum

4. discoverlife.org

Image Credit/Source: Environmental Sciences Program, © Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Spanish elm, Cordia alliodora​

Family: Boraginaceae

Native to: South and Central America, Caribbean

Habitat: Both wet and dry forests, up to 1000m and as high as 2000m. 

Ecological value: Pioneer species, attracts pollinators (lepidoptera, bees), tolerant of high winds. Fast growing. Coppices well. 

Material uses: A renowned timber-producing species. The wood is usually straight grained, easy to work to a smooth finish, with little dulling of cutting edges. The wood is used for building construction, flooring, furniture and veneer manufacture, boat timbers, oars, rail sleepers, turnery, scientific equipment, and a wide variety of carvings and artists’ equipment. The wood is resistant to decay; it has some resistance to marine borers and is outstandingly resistant to termite attack. Perfume from oil from flowers. Fire wood.

Edible: Fruits are edible, not tasty.

Medicinal value: A decoction of the leaves is used as a tonic and a stimulant, especially in cases of catarrh and lung infection. Pulverized seeds are used in the treatment of cutaneous diseases.

Other: Good tree for combining with crops as a shade tree. It has been incorporated with pasture, often in mixture with woody species of Erythrina. It has also been grown with sugarcane. When grown as a shade tree, it has shown to reduce yield in crops, but income generated from timber compensates for this yield reduction.

Clam cherry, Cordia nitida/Cordia laevigata

 

Family: Boraginaceae

Native to: South America, Central America, Caribbean

Habitat: Thickets and forests in coastal and limestone regions.

Ecological value: Attracts butterflies and bees. Used in apiculture. 

Material uses: Highly valued timber in Jamaica. It is used for furniture, flooring, doors, beds, interior finish, carriage building, posts. The wood is used chiefly for posts. 

Other:  The tree makes an attractive ornamental.

Research: Adrian Chiu/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Cordia+laevigata

Image Credit/Source:  P. Acevedo, https://www.gbif.org/occurrence/1317845516

Cynometra hemitomophylla

Family: Fabaceae

Native to: Central America

Habitat: Moist lowland tropics, growing on well drained hillsides and valleys as well as along the sandy coastline up to 500m elevation. 

Ecological value: Pollinated by honeybees.

Material uses: Very dense and hard wood, resistant to elements. 

Edible:  Fruits are edible but not widely sought after because of pungent scent.

Other: Would make good ornamental shade tree. On UICN endangered plant list. Species in this family are often able to fix atmospheric nitrogen.  

Research: Peaches Harrison/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. Ken Fern. (2014) Useful Tropical Plants Database “Cynometra Hemitomophylla”

2. The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (2017)

Image Credit/Source: Reinaldo Aguilar, http://tropical.theferns.info/image.php?id=Cynometra+hemitomophylla

Ironwood, Cyrilla

Family: Cyrillaceae

Native to: Southeastern United States, Caribbean, Mexico (Oaxaca only), Central America, Northern Brazil and Colombia. 

Habitat: Often found in swamps, along streams, bogs, bay heads, backwaters, wet prairies, low pine lands, depressions, preferring acid, sandy, or peaty soils.

Ecological value: Grows in swampy areas, has fairly good fire resistance, repopulates easily.

Also grows in riverbeds. Slow growth, attracts bees, trunks of older trees are often hollow  and used as beehives.

Pollinated by bees.

Material uses: Used as a dense, tight grained hardwood. Warps, although not excessively. Not used commercially. Used as a firewood. 

Medicinal: Spongy part of trunk is sometimes used as a septic or an astringent.

Research: Marian Farrell/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Cyrilla+racemiflora

Image Credit/Source: Reinaldo Aguilar, http://tropical.theferns.info/image.php?id=Cynometra+hemitomophylla

Cocobolo, Dalbergia hypoleuca/retusa

Family: Fabaceae

Native to: Central America

Habitat: Dry land deciduous forests, tropical moist forest. Occasionally along roads in canal areas.

Ecological value: Slow growing. Fixes atmospheric nitrogen.

Material uses: The wood is used for carpentry and construction. A type of rosewood, but comparatively soft for a rosewood. Faint streaks of black (similar to rosewood). Wood is hard and strong, difficult to work, but used in smaller items such as musical and scientific instruments, tool handles, jewelry boxes, steering wheels.

Medicinal value: Secretion of compound that act as potent bactericides, fungicides and algaecide.

Other: Exploitation as a timber is intense and has in some areas been completely exhausted (Costa Rica). Classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Within this species, compounds have been found that may be used as potent bactericides, fungicides and algaecides. 

Research: Michael Sanchez / Hyejung Moon/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Dalbergia+retusa

Image Credit/Source: David J. Stang, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dalbergia_retusa_13zz.jpg

Almendro, Dipteryx panamensis

Family: Fabaceae

Native to: Southern Nicaragua area, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia, select range of distribution.

Habitat: In humid and very humid tropical forests, lowland species from 20-1000 meters above sea level, does best at forest edges and clearings

Ecological value: Visited and pollinated by 20 different species of bees, drupes consumed by wildlife such as Great Green Macaw and rodent species. Slow growth rate up to 60 m tall.

Material uses: An extremely hard wood used in heavy construction projects or sporting goods, one of heaviest woods globally.

Edible: Seeds. 

Other: Tree reaches a tall height that allows the great green macaw bird to nest safely. The tree also blooms purple flowers between May and September. A promising reforestation species. Endangered. Keystone species: fruits in times of scarcity. Ornamental.

Research: Ellen Rust/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. http://eol.org/pages/11245372/overview

2. http://www.fincaleola.com/almendro1.htm

Image Credit/Source: Environmental Sciences Program, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, © Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Devil's ear, Enterolobium cyclocarpum

 

Family: Fabaceae

Native to:  tropical regions of the Americas, from central Mexico south to

Northern Brazil and Venezuela.

Habitat:  trees grow as single specimens in a sunny pasture. Dry forest zones, usually below 300m but up to 1200m.

Ecological value: A popular tree for roadsides and urban planting, although sidewalks, roads, or foundations may be cracked or raised by the roots of the tree. One of the largest fast –growing trees in Central America. Established plants are very drought tolerant. Re-sprouts vigorously after coppacing or lopping - suitable as a live fence.

Material uses: The bark and fruit are used locally as a soap.

Local craftspeople often polish the seedpods and sell them to tourists. Wood, walnut brown, light in weight, durable in water, resistant to termites, warps little. Washboards, canoes as good as cedar for construction. Paper making. Good fuel wood. Fruit contain tannins. Gum - substitute for gum arabic.

Edible: The young seedpods and seeds are cooked and eaten as a vegetable

Medicinal value: A syrup obtained from the bark is used in the treatment of colds

A gum obtained from the trunk is used as a remedy for affections of the chest

Associated plant community: Ideal shade tree for coffee plant.

Other:  Fixes atmospheric nitrogen. National tree of Costa Rica.

Research: Hyunjung Kim/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Enterolobium+cyclocarpum

2 .https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterolobium_cyclocarpum

Image Credit/Source: Rolando Pérez, Smithsonian, https://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/biodiversity/bci/species/24667/

Guabino, Enterolobium schomburgkii

 

Family: Fabaceae

Native to: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Guyana, Surinam; C. America - Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, southern Mexico

Habitat: In dense sub-canopy's of trees in the rainforest, in dry lowland forests, hillsides, 300 m and below sealevel.

Ecological value: Has a symbiotic relationship with bacteria in the soil. The roots and the bacteria form atmospheric nitrogen which can be used by nearby plants, fast growing and attracts bees.

Material uses: Light weight and good resistance to rot, termites and fungi It's heartwood can be harvested for furniture, cabinets, floors, doors, frames, bark, gum and fruit can be used in soaps, or paper or fuel wood.

Edible: young seeds can be cooked and roasted.

Medicinal value: syrup from bark can treat colds.

Associated plant community: Ferns.

Other: Ideal shade tree in agroforestry systems, live fence species, tolerates coppicing, seeds ignored by fauna, believed to have been food source of Pleistocene megafauna now extinct, such as ground sloths and giant bison. 

Heusito jazmin, Faramea occidentalis

Family: Rubiaceae

Native to: Brazil, Bolivia and Peru,  Central America,  Caribbean

Habitat: Canopy species, mostly found in the Guatemala lowlands and thick mixed forests up to 1500 m above sea level.  

Ecological value: Most likely pollinated by moths.

Material uses: The wood is close-grained; hard; moderately heavy; very tough. Takes to polish. The straight stems can be used in house building and carpentry, and the making of tool handles and other small objects.

Other: The wood is used for fuel.

Research: Paige Katona/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. Tropical Plants Database, “ Faramea occidentalis,” http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Faramea+occidentalis

2. Indiana Coronado,  Immature Fruits, Tropical Plants Database, “ Faramea occidentalis,” http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Faramea+occidentalis

Image Credit/Source: Reinaldo Aguilar.

Roughbark, Guaiacum officinale

 

Family: Zygophyllaceae

Native to:  The Caribbean and the northern coast of South America

Habitat:  Lowland dry forests, woodlands and thickets, coastland areas.

Ecological value: This small tree is very slow growing, reaching about 10 m in height with a trunk diameter of 60 cm. The tree is essentially evergreen throughout most of its native range. Drought tolerant (up to 6 months of dry periods). Attracts bees. Tolerant of salty winds, and moderate levels of salt in soil.

Material uses: Guaiac, a natural resin extracted from the wood, is a colorless compound that turns blue when placed in contact with substances that have peroxidase activity and then are exposed to hydrogen peroxide. Very hard wood, used in ship propellers.

Medicinal value: Guaiac cards are impregnated with the resin and are used in determining whether stool contains blood. The heme portion of hemoglobin contains peroxidase and will catalyze the oxidation of guaiaconic acid when hydrogen peroxide is placed on the Guaiac card if blood is present in the stool.

Other: It is the official national flower of  Jamaica. Ornamental. Endangered from over-exploitation. Expensive and valuable timber. 

Research: Marian Farrell/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. Americas Regional Workshop (Conservation & Sustainable Management of Trees, Costa Rica, November 1996). 1998. 

2. Guaiacum officinale. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1998: e.T33701A9802341.

Image Credit/Source: Dinesh Valke, https://www.flickr.com/photos/dinesh_valke/2477708305/in/photostream/

Guaiacum sanctum

 

Family: Zygophyllaceae

Native to:  Southern Florida, the Bahamas, and Greater Antilles

Habitat:  Dry coastal areas.

Ecological value: Salt, wind, and drought resistant. Slow growing tree. 

Material uses: It is the hardest, densest commercially used wood, which makes it an incredible material to use in anything that requires strength and durability. Historically used for propellers. Leaves can be used as a substitute for soap. 

Medicinal value: Resins in the wood have been medicinally used in the past to treat a variety of ailments  such as arthritis, gout, rheumatism.

Other: It is an endangered species. Lignum vitae wood - only two species this type of heartwood. Can collect high prices for wood. Plant as a means of conservation.

Research: Zac Pepere/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Guaiacum+sanctum

Image Credit/Source: David J. Stang, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Guaiacum_sanctum_23zz.jpg

Mexican logwood, Haematoxylium brasiletto 

 

Family: Fabaceae.

Native to: Caribbean and Mexico south to Colombia and Venezuela

Habitat: Dry rocky brushy hillsides at elevations of 200 - 1,200 meters.

Ecological value: This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Material uses: The wood is the source of a beautiful red dye, which is used locally and exported to countries such as America and Britain. Very hard wood, but small for timber use. Used to make bows for instruments. 

Medicinal value: A decoction or infusion of the plant is employed in Guatemala for 

treating erysipelas and inflammation of the stomach. Tea against tuberculosis and dysentery.

Other: occasionally it may grow into a tree up to 10 meters.

Research: Alex Anez Folla/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1.http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Haematoxylum+brasiletto

Image Credit/Source: Dick Culbert, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Haematoxylum_brasiletto#/media/File:Haematoxylum_brasiletto,_the_Mexican_Logwood_(9336859424).jpg

Manchineel , Hippomane mancinella

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Native to: Florida Everglades, Central America, Caribbean, Northern South America.

Habitat:  Often found along seacoasts and swamps.

Ecological value: Edible to the garrobo and iguana in Central and South America. Roots stabilize sand/soil to prevent erosion. Pollinated by bees.

Material uses: The poisonous sap neutralizes in the sun and the wood can be handled. Native people used the sap to coat their arrows for hunting.  Wood is hard, strong, durable, but susceptible to attack by termites. Easy to work, takes varnish well.

Edible: Poisonous to humans.

Medicinal value: Its gum from the bark has treated venereal disease and dropsy in Jamaica. The dried fruit has been used as a diuretic.  Extract from fruit used to treat elaphantitis.

Other: The sap has caused blisters when in contact with skin. Contact with the burning bark has caused inflammation of the eyes. Interaction may be lethal. Excellent windbreaker. Listed as endangered in Florida. 

Research: Senna Lau/Priyal Metha/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. Andreu, Michael. 2015. Hippomane mancinella, Manchineel. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr370 (accessed on 08 September 2017). 

Image Credit/Source: Hans Hillewaert, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hippomane_mancinella_(fruit).jpg

Bully Tree, Hyeronima alchorneoides

 

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Native to: Northern South America, Mexico, and Central America

Habitat: Moist or wet forest, seasonal marshes. Up to 900 meters above sea level.

Ecological value: This tree grows well in poor, acidic and waterlogged soils. This makes the tree good for re-vegetation of degraded lands. Additionally, the tree grows very fast (5m in 3 years) making it good for cultivation for construction and medicinal uses. Pollinated by insects. Fruit eaten by monkeys and birds.

Material uses: The bark is a good source of tannins for natural dyes producing a very dark reddish brown color. The tree's wood is predominantly used however, it's almost exclusively used for making boats but suitable for all wood products. Highly durable, also used in veneers, cabinetry, and flooring.

Medicinal value: The bark had properties that is used as a cough supressant and the seeds have oils that are used for intestinal parasites making this tree very useful.

Other: This tree has the capabilities of self pruning because the upper canopy provides shade enough for the lower branches. However it's roots are very fragile. This tree is considered an evergreen and con not pollinate for itself, but relies on insects. It typically flowers and fruits twice a year.

Research: Aria Shehas/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-09-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Hieronyma+alchorneoides>

Image Credit/Source: Tarciso Leão, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hieronyma_alchorneoides_(13344094003).jpg

West Indian locust, Hymenaea courbaril

 

Family: Fabaceae

Native to: Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

Habitat: Dry and wet tropical forests.

Ecological value: Slow growing, attracts pollinators, including bats.

Material uses: The roots and trunk yield a resin-like gum known as ‘South American copal’. Timber used for furniture, cabinetry, construction, heavy duty flooring, ship building, light weight canoes, carving, turnery, tool handles. Tannins for leather.

Edible: Fruit eaten raw or used in deserts. High protein content, good source of calories due to high starch content. Popular tea from bark, consumed by Brazilian lumberjacks as an energy tonic.

Medicinal value: Used for centuries as a tonic for urinary and respiratory system. Leaves used to treat diabetes, fruit as laxative.

Other: Drought tolerant; tolerates 4 months of drought. Produces around 100 fruit per year, coppices well. Might fix nitrogen. Source of fuelwood.

Guabita cansaboca, Inga vera

 

Family: Fabaceae

Native to: Tropical South America, North to the Caribbean and through Central America to Mexico

Habitat: Tropical Moist forest, along riverbanks and sheltered ravines. Prefers damp/wet soil. Up to 1,000 meters above sea level.

Ecological value: This is a fast growing tree that flowers and produces fruits year round making it good for pollinating. They promote and maintain soil fertility due to a symbiotic relationship between the tree and a bacteria in the soil. The nodules from the bacteria release nitrogen helping both the tree and neighboring plants.

Material uses: The heavy wood is a good source of fuel and is used for charcoal. The timber is also good for building as it is hardwood. The bark is used for tannins and natural dyes.

Edible: Seeds of this tree are found within a sugary edible pulp while providing flowers for bees to make honey out of year round. 

Medicinal value: The bark is used for anaemia. The root is used to treat gallstones and the pulp is good for constipation.

Associated plant community: Planted on coffee and cacao plantations to provide shade.

Research: Aria Shehas/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-09-05. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Inga+vera>

2. World of Forestry. “Inga Vera”. Agroforestry Database 4.0 (Orwa et al. 2009) < http://www.worldagroforestry.org/treedb/AFTPDFS/Inga_vera.PDF>

Image Credit/Source: David J. Stang, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Inga_vera#/media/File:Inga_vera_20zz.jpg

Black cedar, Juglans olanchana

Family: Juglandaceae

Native to: Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua

Habitat: Mountains at altitudes from 400 to 1500m above sea level.  Also along the banks of rivers or streams

Ecological value: Suitable for reforestation in plantations that are monospecific or mixed. They rapidly grow and have a good form.

Material uses: Moderately heavy wood. It is a dark brown color with a straight grain. It is easy to work with by hand or machine. It allows for an excellent finish. Used for light weight construction, musical instruments, cabinet making, rifle butts, veneer, and decorative plaques. Shell is a use to extract tannin for dying leather.

Edible: Walnuts are edible

Other: Classified as endangered.

Research: Senna Lau/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1.http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Juglans+olanchana

Image Credit/Source: A. Sanchun, https://www.especiesrestauracion-uicn.org/data_especie_img.php?sp_name=Juglans%20olanchana

Fritsch / Zapote, Licania platypus

Family: Chrysobalanaceae

Native to: Northern South America - Columbia and Central America - Panama to southern Mexico.

Habitat: Found in dense forests, often old, on well drained slopes.  Limited to low 

elevations up to 600m above sea-level.

Material uses: The heartwood is suitable for furniture and cabinetwork, but is seldom used. Not for outdoor use. The seeds yield oiticica oil which is similar to tung oil.

Edible: The fruit is eaten raw but has the reputation of potentially causing fevers.

Wildlife: Fruit is an important food source.

Other: Cultivated as an ornamental shade tree throughout Central America. Related species provide charcoal. Several species in this family have declined due to deforestation. L. caldasiana, native to Columbia, has reportedly gone extinct. 

Research: Tresha Naharwar/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. No Record - Useful Tropical Plants. Accessed September 06, 2018. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Licania platypus.

2.  “Sansapote.” Triticale. Accessed September 06, 2018. https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/sansapote.html.

Image Credit/Source: http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/content/sunsapote.htm

Escribano, Lindackeria laurina

 

Family: Achariaceae

Native to: South America - Colombia, Venezuela and Central America - Panama to Guatemala.

Habitat: Understory tree in open primary forest; forest edges and clearings.  Found in tropical wet forests in Panama.

Ecological value: Attracts pollinators.

Material uses: The heartwood is close grained, takes a fairly good polish and is considered excellent timber and is used in roof construction in Panama.  The wood can be used to make charcoal.

Medicinal value: Leaves used to cure snakebites .

Other: Fruits mature in early dry season. The foliage sticks to clothing. 

Research: Tresha Naharwar/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1.Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-09-06. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Lindackeria+laurina>

2. “Tropicos | Image -.” Tropicos | Name - Stenochlaena Tenuifolia (Desv.) T. Moore. Accessed September 06, 2018. http://www.tropicos.org/Image/100529001?projectid=7.

3. Stri. “Lindackeria Laurina.” Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute-Scientific Databases. Accessed September 06, 2018. http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bioinformatics/croat/specie/Lindackeria laurina,e,n.

Image Credit/Source: Steven Paton,  https://herbariovaa.org/taxa/index.php?taxon=43243

Lysiloma divaricatum

Family: Fabaceae

Native to: Central America - Costa Rica to Mexico

Habitat: Wooded, rocky, stream banks or on dry brushy hillsides at elevations of 300 - 1,700 meters in Guatemala.

Ecological value: Biological nitrogen fixation. Drought tolerant. Species in this family are usually fast growing.

Material uses: The bark is a source of tannins. The wood is highly durable; it is considered easy to work; finishes smoothly; and takes a high natural polish. It is used in general construction, for furniture, wheel wright work, parquet, interior trim, bobbins and shuttles, veneer, and knife handles.

Medicinal value: Tannins (Detoxify material).

Other: Succeeds on a range of soil types.

Research: Jiahuan Cheng/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. Fern, Ken. “Useful Tropical Plants Database 2014.” Useful Tropical Plants. Accessed September 28, 2017. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Lysiloma%2Bdivaricatum.

Image Credit/Source: Dick Culbert, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lysiloma_divaricatum_pods_(27037790014).jpg

Sapodilla, Manilkara zapota

Family: Sapotaceae

Native to: Southern Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean

Habitat: Tropical forests. Can also thrive in poor, wind-swept areas but grows better in fertile conditions.

Ecological value: Provides fruit for wildlife. Shade tree.

Material uses: Wood is strong and durable. Used as lintels and supporting beams in Mayan temples. Sap from the tree can be turned to latex used in chewing gum, but also transmission belts and as a substitute for guta-percha in dentistry (used in fillings). The tough, dense wood is resistant to insects. Not easy to work with but suitable for construction, railway ties, furniture, joinery and handles.

Edible:  After 5-8 years the sapododilla tree will begin to bear large pale brown berries. Ripened berries are sweet and can be eaten raw or cooked. Has a high yield of fruit, 2500-3000 per year in its life time of about 30 years.

Medicinal value: Young fruits are boiled and the decoction taken to stop diarrhea. An infusion of the young fruits and the flowers is drunk to relieve pulmonary complaints. A decoction of old, yellowed leaves is drunk as a remedy for coughs, colds and diarrhea.

Other:  Flowers year round. Large hook-like seeds could get stuck in throat.

Spanish lime, Melicoccus bijugatus

Family: Sapindaceae

Native to: South America

Habitat: Often found in moist, lowland jungles and limestone woodlands up to 600 meters in elevation

Ecological value: The Flowers of the plant are rich in nectar, so bees are attracted by it. Fleas are attracted to the leaves. Slow growth rate. 

Material uses: The trunk of the Melicoccus bijugatus is hard and heavy and suitable for cabinet work and construction.

Edible: Pulp in pies, jams, jellies or as a juice. The seeds are roasted and used make bread. 

Medicinal value: Treats diarrhea, parasites and fevers. 

Other: The slow growing tree is rich in sugars, flavonids and phenolic acids. Intolerant of pruning. 

Research: Lucia Palacio/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melicoccus_bijugatus

2. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Melicoccus+bijugatus

Image Credit/Source: Hans B, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Melicoccus_bijugatus.jpg

Black wood, Minquartia guianensis

Family: Olacaceae

Native to: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. 

Habitat: Tropical rainforest, sea level to 1000 meters above sea level.

Ecological value: Fruits enjoyed by birds and small animals. 

Material uses: Bark used in various tribal products. It's waxy leaves can be used for rain protection. Fine textured heavy wood, almost impervious to rot. Valuable as timber, hard to cut. Can last 30-40 years in ground without sign of decay. Used for poles and posts in construction. 

Edible: Some berries but rarely consumed by humans.

Medicinal value: Antimalarial, antiviral, anti-tumoral, and antibacterial. Indian tribes in the Amazon sometimes use bark as a fish poison. The Waorani and Ketchwa tribes in Ecuador pound the bark until it is bruised and then put it into small streams and ponds where it stuns the fish and they can be easily collected on the top of the water. Also treats tuberculosis, hepatitis, and rheumatism by various Indian communities in the Amazon.

Other: Near threatened from over-harvest. Grows well with plantains, or on borders of fields as shade trees. Seeds from this family are often rich in oils. Bark, roots and stems of this family are usually rich in tannins.

Research: Amy Feng/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1.http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Minquartia+guianensis

Image Credit/Source: David Stang, https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minquartia_guianensis#/media/File:Minquartia_guianensis_1zz.jpg

Pochote, Pachira quinata

 

Family: Malvaceae

Native to: Tropical regions of the Americas, from southern Mexico and the Caribbean south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. 

Habitat: Dry tropical forests.

Ecological value: Pollinated by bats.

Material uses: It is one of the most affordable woods in Costa Rica and used in furniture-making, for guitars, and other fine wood crafts. Similar properties to Cedrela odorata. 

Other: Listed as vulnerable.

Research: Hyunjung Kim/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachira_quinata

Image Credit/Source: Wendy Cutler, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pachira_quinata_fruit.jpg

Avocado, Persea americana

 

Family: Lauraceae

Native to: Mexico, Central America, and Parts of South America

Habitat: Humid lowland forests or limestone formation up to 2,800 meters elevation. Requires a position sheltered from strong winds. Usually salt intolerant.

Ecological value: Pollinated by honeybees.

Material uses: Oil can be extracted from seed. Seed makes a red/ brown dye. Soft, not durable wood susceptible to termites. Used in light construction, furniture, good quality veneer and plywood. 

Edible: Very popular fruit around the world. Oil can be used for cooking. Leaves can be dried and used for infusions, teas, and extracts. 6-8 years to produce fruit.

Other: Wood is seldom used and is mainly grown for fruit. Ground up seed with cheese is used as a rat poison.

Pau branco, Phyllostylon brasiliensis

 

Family: Ulmaceae.

Native to: Mexico, Central America, and Parts of South America

Habitat:

Material uses: Hard and heavy wood, straight grained but at times irregular. Highly resistant to insect attack. Easy to work with and readily turned and carved. It takes stain, polish and glue well. Pre-boring is advisable with thin stock. It has been suggested as a substitute for boxwood. 

Research: Jiahuan Cheng/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. Record, Samuel James., and Clayton Dissinger. Mell. Timbers of tropical America. Zug: IDC, 1984.

2. Fern, Ken. Useful Tropical Plants. Accessed September 28, 2017. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Phyllostylon%2Bbrasiliensis.

Image Credit/Source: Jim Conrad, https://www.backyardnature.net/yucatan/boxwood.htm

Macawood, Platymiscium

 

Family:  Fabaceae 

Native to: Central and South America

Habitat: Remnant dry forest and woodlands on flat ground, including disturbed or secondary forest. Scattered in dry deciduous forest, on dry hillsides. From sea level to 900m.

Ecological value: This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria that  form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. Flowers are very attractive to bees, butterflies. Slow growing tree.

Material uses: Furniture, cabinetry, house construction, veneer, musical instruments, turned objects, and small specialty wood items.

Other: Endangered, thrives in nitrogen-rich soil. Shade in coffee plantations. The species is scarce. Individual often show signs of genetic degradation. 

Canistel, Pouteria campechiana

Family: Sapotaceae

Native to: Native to Southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador. Cultivated in Florida, Central America and throughout the West Indies.

Habitat: Tolerant of a wide variety of soils, and can grow in poor soil. Grow in part-shade or full sun. Elevations up to 1400 m. Tolerant of maritime conditions.

Ecological value: Productive on soils considered too shallow and poor for most other fruit trees. On poor soils the trees bear heavy crops of fairly uniform, small fruits. Pollinated by insects. Fast growing.

Material uses: Used in home gardens in wet and intermediate zones in Sri Lanka. Latex extracted from tee has been used to alleviate chicle in Central America. Timber is fine grained, compact, strong, moderately to very heavy hard, and is valued, especially for planks and rafters in construction. 

Edible: Fruits may be eaten fresh, although it is more commonly used to make milkshakes, custards, or ice cream. Fruit is high in potassium and vitamins, The flesh can be dehydrated, powdered and employed as a rich food additive. Fruiting begins at 5-7 years. Produces fruit year round. 

Medicinal value: A decoction of astringent bark is taken as a febrifuge in Mexico and is applied on skin eruptions in Cuba. Preparations from seeds has been used as remedy for ulcers

Other: Tree is vigorous and healthy. Few pests and diseases. Good wind resistance. Can become invasive. 

Red mamey, Pouteria sapota

 

Family: Sapotaceae

Native to: Native to low elevation areas b/w southern Mexico and northern South America. It is now extensively cultivated in Central America, the Caribbean, and South Florida.

Habitat: Humid lowland woodland. Up to 1400 meter elevation. 

Ecological value: Easy maintenance. Grown in soil that is not very fertile. 

Material uses: Heartwood used in construction and for making carts and furniture. The seeds contain a white semi-solid oil called sapuyulo or zapoyola, which was formerly used to fix paintings on gourds and other handicrafts. Seed kernel yields 45-60% Vaseline - like oil, which is edible.  It can be used for timber construction, or fuel wood, but is rarely cut down as its a valued cropper.

Edible: The smooth, slightly chewy flesh of the fruit is eaten fresh out of the hand, or spooned out of the firm rind, often after adding a few drops of lemon juice. It is preserved in various ways and makes very good ice cream and sherbets. In Mexico the seeds are milled and used in a number of confectioneries and, alone or with cacao, to prepare a bitter chocolate. Prolific cropper- 200-500 fruit per year. 

Medicinal value: The seed kernel oil has been used by several different countries as a hair or skin product to either prevent hair loss, remove warts, fungal skin infections and also help digestion. It is still used as a sedative in ear and eye ailments. The oil is said to have potential in the soap industry and in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. The seed residue is used as a poultice on skin afflictions.

Other: Seed has stupefying properties. Grows to 15-45m tall. Used as shade tree for coffee

Research: Jennifer Yaing/Christine Facella

SOURCES:

1. H.E. Moore & Stearn. “Sapote.” Hort Purdue.

2. “Mamey Sapote - Pouteria sapota.” Trades Winds Fruit.

3. Oyen, L.P.A. “Pouteria sapota (PROSEA).” PlantUse. February 6, 2016.

Image Credit/Source: Afifa Afrin, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pouteria_sapota_(Naseberry)_leaves_in_RDA,_Bogra_02.jpg

Guava, Psidium guajava

 

Family: Myrtaceae

Native to: Native to southern Mexico and Central America. Was long ago spread throughout the American tropics, Asia, Africa and Pacific Islands

Habitat: Flourishes in tropical weather. Good quality guava are cultivated/ produced in river basins. Common in disturbed areas. Fruits up to 1500 meters.