Caesalpinia brevifolia (Clos) Benth.
Common Name: Algarobilla
Balsamocarpon brevifolium is a spiny shrub that can grow up to 2 metres tall.
The seedpods are harvested commercially as a rich source of tannins. An attractive plant, it can be grown as an ornamental in drier areas[
S. America - central to northern Chile
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Balsamocarpon brevifolium is native to arid regions in subtropical to tropical regions of Chile, where it can be found at elevations up to 2,00 metrs, usually near the coast. The mean annual precipitation is 100 - 300mm, though in some years there can be no rain at all. The dry season is usually 8 - 12 months long, with most of the rain falling in the cool season. The plant cannot tolerate frost[
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil[
The seedpods are a rich source of tannins. They can be used as a urinary astringent - the tannin gallic acid being mainly responsible for this activity[
The seedpods yield up to 65% tannins[
]. They can be used in the preparation of medicines, inks and dyes[
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