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Alibertia edulis - Madrono


Native to:



Central and southern Central America, northern and central South America, parts of the Caribbean.

characteristic plant of savannahs and open woodland. 0-1200 meters above sea level. 4 meter tall shrub.

Alibertia edulis - Madrono

Ecological value:

Grows well in poor soils, drought tolerant when established, fast growth rate. Can be used as a pioneer species for mixed restoration projects. Most members of the Rubiaceae family are pollinated by insects. Bird pollination is rare, found only in several red-flowering species.

Material uses:

Wood is moderately heavy and hard to cut. Low resistance to rot. Too small as a suitable timber source. Used as fuel wood.

Edible uses:

Raw fruit used in beverages, jellies and sweets.

Medicinal use:

Leaves added to baths to reduce hernias.

Other details:

The tree is known to invade farmland and grows rapidly in open areas. The species is seldom cultivated. Belongs to the family Rubiaceae which consists of about 620 genera and13,500 species. Important genera include coffee. No staple foods are found in this family.


C Facella


“Alibertia Edulis (Rich.) A.Rich. Ex DC. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 29, 2023.
“Alibertia Edulis - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 29, 2023.
Lorenzi. H., ‘Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.’, Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil, 2009
Image source: João Medeiros

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