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Useful Tropical Plants

Bombacopsis quinata

(Jacq.) Dugand

Malvaceae


There is still doubt about the correct name for this species, and there is a strong possibility that it will be transferred to the genus Pachira as Pachira quinata (Jacq.) W.S.Alverson[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
,
349
Title
Global Tree Campaign - 40 Species in Trade
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/trees/trade/40_species_in_trade.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on the habitats, uses and some cultivation notes for 40 species of timber trees.
].

+ Synonyms

Bombacopsis fendleri (Seem.) Pittier.

Bombacopsis sepium Pittier

Bombax fendleri (Seem.) Benth. ex B.D.Jacks.

Bombax quinatum Jacq.

Pachira fendleri Seem.

Common Name: Red Ceiba

Bombacopsis quinata
Seed capsule on left, opening to reveal the seeds and seed floss. Spiny trunk on right.
Photograph by: Dick Culbert
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Bombacopsis quinata Bombacopsis quinata Bombacopsis quinata

General Information

Red ceiba is a tree with a rather wide, spreading crown of heavy branches; it can grow from 6 - 40 metres tall. The somewhat irregular bole is armed with hard, sharp prickles; it can be 15 - 180cm in diameter, and is often buttressed[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
316
Title
Tropical Timbers of the World. Ag. Handbook No. 607.
Publication
 
Author
Chudnoff. Martin.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service. Wisconsin.
Year
1984
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on the properties of the wood of almost 400 species of trees from the Tropics.
,
502
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 18
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1917
ISBN
 
Description
Includes a treatment of the Annona. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The tree is exploited commercially in the wild as a source of timber. The interest in and planting of red ceiba is restricted to its natural distribution. It was trialled in the Solomon Islands but did not show any promise as a plantation species[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The tree is listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List (2009) due to over exploitation and habitat loss[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
502
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 18
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1917
ISBN
 
Description
Includes a treatment of the Annona. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

S. America - Colombia, Venezuela; C. America - Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua.

Habitat

Lowland wet forest[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Dry to very dry, or wet tropical forests[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Common in more open forests, mostly on well-drained, often gravelly soils on the upper slopes of low hills and ridges[
316
Title
Tropical Timbers of the World. Ag. Handbook No. 607.
Publication
 
Author
Chudnoff. Martin.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service. Wisconsin.
Year
1984
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on the properties of the wood of almost 400 species of trees from the Tropics.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusVulnerable
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitDeciduous Tree
Height20.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsBats, Moths
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Red ceiba is found in the dry to wet tropical forests of northern S. America, where it succeeds at elevations from sea level to around 900 metres[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It grows best where the mean annual temperature is in the range 21 - 27°c, and the mean annual rainfall is 800 - 3,000mm[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It can thrive in areas with a 5 - 6 months dry season[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].
Prefers a humus-rich loamy soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. It grows in a wide variety of situations, ranging from well-drained upland soils to imperfectly drained Vertisols, on low, flattened sites. Soil reactions at most locations are within pH 6 - 8[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
A fast-growing tree[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].
Trees coppice readily[
349
Title
Global Tree Campaign - 40 Species in Trade
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/trees/trade/40_species_in_trade.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on the habitats, uses and some cultivation notes for 40 species of timber trees.
].
Trees are sometimes allowed to remain when clearing forest, in order to provide shelter for coffee plantations[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The roots are used in the treatment of diarrhoea[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

In Costa Rica and Nicaragua the establishment of living fence rows from vegetative propagated stakes is common practice, with spacings ranging from 2 - 5 metres[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The tree is sometimes used to provide shade in coffee plantations[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].

Other Uses

The heartwood is a uniform pale pinkish or pinkish-brown when freshly cut, becoming light to dark reddish-brown upon exposure; it is sharply demarcated from the pale grey to yellowish sapwood. The texture is medium; the grain straight to slightly interlocked; lustre is medium to high; odour is not distinct, but the taste is slightly astringent. The wood is very durable[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
], it contains a hygroscopic gum and the degree of insect attack is apparently related to gum content. It works easily with hand and machine tools; planes to a good surface and polishes satisfactorily; turns and carves well. Timber is corrosive to iron compounds[
341
Title
South American Timbers: the Properties, Uses and Characteristics of 190 Species.
Publication
 
Author
Bolza. E. & Christensen. F.J.
Publisher
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
Year
1979
ISBN
0 643 02582 0
Description
A very useful guide.
]. The wood is used for construction, furniture, doors, manufacturing, tanning vats, rum storage vats[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is suitable for plywood and veneer[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
341
Title
South American Timbers: the Properties, Uses and Characteristics of 190 Species.
Publication
 
Author
Bolza. E. & Christensen. F.J.
Publisher
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
Year
1979
ISBN
0 643 02582 0
Description
A very useful guide.
].
The wood is occasionally used for fuel, but is not preferred[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].

Propagation

Seeds do not require pregermination treatment and initiate root radicles within 8 days of sowing[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Seed storage behaviour is orthodox; seeds tolerate desiccation to 7.2% mc with 90% germination; 77% germination is achieved after 1 year subsequent storage at 5c.[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
] Seeds lose viability rapidly if the capsules are collected too early, but seed collected from capsules harvested at full maturity keep well for at least 2 - 3 years[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

B. quinata is relatively easy to propagate vegetatively. Large diameter cuttings from semi-mature trees root well. They have been used successfully to establish clonal seed orchards in Colombia, Costa Rica and Venezuela. Best rooting is obtained from cuttings from shoots, which develop following felling of young trees, or from cuttings from stem material of young nursery stock. Sprouting is enhanced when trees are felled at the end of the dry season before leaf flush[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

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