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Licania arborea


Native to:



Central and southern Central America, northern and central South America.

Moist forest, along riverbanks and sheltered ravines. 25 meters tall. 20-230 meters above sea level.

Licania arborea

Ecological value:

Dense foliage houses wildlife. Flowers are pollinated by bees and other insects. Fruit from Liciana species are an important food source for wildlife. Liciana is a genus of over 200 species which naturally occur in forests throughout Central and South America.

Material uses:

The tree is cultivated for its seed, which contains oil used for making paints. Wood is durable, used for rural construction and fences etc. Oil is also used to make soap and candles. Oil known to have a particular odor. The oil is greenish in color

Edible uses:

No record on this species.

Medicinal use:

The bark and leaves are used in folk medicine to cure hemorrhoids and kidney problems. Flavonoid contents are common for this genus and family.

Other details:

Seeds contain up to 30% oil, and burn easily. Disagreeable flavor, color, and odor.
Due to deforestation, many species have declined and even extinct, such as L. Caldasiana from Colombia.


Zac Pepere/Christine Facella


“Licania Arborea - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 12, 2023.
Lopez-Gallego, C.; Morales M, P, "Licania caldasiana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species', 2020.
Image source: Dick Culbert

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