This name is not universally accepted, with some authorities using the name Pithecellobium jupunba, which is treated here as a synonym[
Abarema trapezifolia (Vahl) Pittier
Acacia jupunba Willd.
Jupunba jupunba (Willd.) Britton & J.N.Rose
Jupunba trapezifolia (Vahl) Moldenke
Mimosa trapezifolia Vahl
Pithecellobium jupunba (Willd.) Urb.
Pithecellobium trapezifolium (Vahl) Benth.
Abarema jupunba is an evergreen tree with a dense, roundish crown; it can grow 10 - 30 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 30 - 60cm in diameter[
]. The tree sometimes has low buttresses[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of a parasiticidal soap and for its wood. An ornamental tree, it is suitable for landscaping[
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; Caribbean - Trinidad to Guadeloupe.
Rainforests, usually in areas not subject to inundation[
]. Rain, marsh and savannah forests[
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Succeeds in full sun and in dappled shade[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
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[
The whole plant is said to be a parasiticide[
An infusion of the scraped roots is used to treat dandruff and to stimulate hair growth[
The inner bark is used for treating itchy scalp[
]. A soap extracted from the bark has anti-parasitic properties[
The macerated leaves and inner bark are used as a detergent or as a treatment for itchy and scaling scalp[
The seed is swallowed by young women just before engaging in sexual intercourse, as a fertility drug[
The macerated bark is used as a shampoo and a soap[
]. The soap also helps to destroy body parasites[
The wood is medium-textured, straight-grained, heavy, soft, with poor mechanical properties and not very durable[
]. It is only used for low value items such as boxes, crates and tool handles[
The wood is used for fuel[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[
]. Sow in a sunny position in a nursery seedbed. Germination rates are usually low, with the seed sprouting in 3 - 4 weeks[
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