Amyris maritima Jacq.
Amyris plumieri DC.
Common Name: Torchwood
Torchwood is an aromatic, large, evergreen shrub or small tree with a dense, rounded crown. It is usually less than 5 metres tall, but some specimens can be up to 11 metres[
]. The bole can be 8 - 15cm in diameter[
Trees are harvested from the wild for their fragrant resin[
Central America - Belize; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras, to Florida and the Caribbean.
Brushy rocky hillsides or ravines, sometimes on limestone, at elevations of 350 - 1,000 metres, sometimes less[
]. Open thickets on arid limestone soils[
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The tree is the source of Elemi of Mexico - a fragrant resin used in lacquers etc[
]. Elemi is a fragrant resin obtained from various tropical trees and used in making varnishes, inks, ointments, and perfumes[
The heartwood is light yellow, the sapwood whitish. The wood is fine-grained, very hard, heavy and strong. It is very resinous, with a strong odour, very durable and definitely repellent to dry-wood termites[
]. It takes a good polish, but is generally too small for commercial exploitation. It is used locally for furniture, posts etc[
The resinous wood burns very well. It is used for fuel and also to make torches[
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