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Cyrilla racemiflora – Ironwood


Native to:



Southern Central America, northern South America and southern United States.

Swamps, along streams, bogs, wet prairies etc. Up to 900 meters above sea level. 8-15 meter tall tree.

Cyrilla racemiflora – Ironwood

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. Flowers and fruits all year round.

Material uses:

Wood, moderately heavy, hard but not strong. Susceptible to wood boring insects. Considered an attractive wood but not widely used commercially as it tens to warp. Used in furniture, buried piling and underwater applications. Fuelwood.

Edible uses:

No record on this species.

Medicinal use:

Spongy part of trunk is sometimes used as a septic or an astringent Has a cicatrizing effect on wounds.

Other details:

Older tree trunks are often hollow and used as beehives. The genus is most recognizable from the white flowers which bloom during the summer.


Marian Farrell/Christine Facella


“Cyrilla Racemiflora L. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 27, 2023.
‌“Cyrilla Racemiflora - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 7, 2023.
Little E.L. Wadsworth F.H., ‘Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands’, USDA, Forest Service; Washington, 1964
Image source: David Stang.

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