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Swartzia simplex


Native to:



Central and southern Central America and north-eastern and western South America.

Fields, forest margins, along roads, in disturbed soils. 10 meters tall, up to 1250 meters above sea level.

Swartzia simplex

Ecological value:

Fixes atmospheric nitrogen with the help of soil bacteria, Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. Attracts pollinators such as birds and insects. Understory tree.

Material uses:

Dark brown wood with a fine texture. The wood is used in heavy, compact and durable, used in heavy construction, fencing posts and to make handles for tools. Used for roof construction in Panama.

Edible uses:

The fruit is red when mature containing rounded, black seeds that are surrounded by a thin layer of a white, edible pulp.

Medicinal use:

Unspecified medicinal uses.

Other details:

Sawdust from pulp knows to be an irritant to mill-workers. Can be cultivated as an ornamental. More than 200 species have been described in this genus, and is one of the most abundant in Amazonia.


Maryangela Rocca/Christine Facella


“Swartzia Simplex (Sw.) Spreng. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 18, 2023.
‌“Swartzia Simplex - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 18, 2023.
Image source: Dick Culbert.

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