Alicastrum brownie Kuntze
Brosimum bernadetteae Woodson
Brosimum columbianum S.F.Blake
Brosimum gentlei Lundell
Brosimum latifolium Standl.
Brosimum terrabanum Pittier
Brosimum uleanum Mildbr.
Ficus faginea Kunth & C.D.Bouché
Helicostylis bolivarensis Pittier
Helicostylis latifolia Pittier
Helicostylis ojoche K. Schum. ex Pittier
Piratinera alicastrum (Sw.) Baill.
Urostigma fagineum (Kunth & C.D.Bouché) Miq.
Common Name: Breadnut
Photograph by: Congobongo1041
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Breadnut is an evergreen tree with a globose crown; it can grow up to 45 metres tall, though is usually smaller. The straight, cylindrical bole can be free of branches for up to 22 metres, 30 - 10,0cm in diameter with moderately large buttresses[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of wood.
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana; C. America - Panama to Mexico.
A canopy tree in seasonally flooded or dry limestone woodland[
]. Moist or wet forest, ascending to about 1,000 metres but mostly at 300 metres or less in Guatemala[
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The plant grows naturally lowland areas of hot, humid, tropical climates with a seasonal dry period[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 - 25°c, but can tolerate 12 - 35°c[
]. When established, it can tolerate occasional, short-lived, light frosts[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 600 - 4,000mm, but tolerates 500 - 5,000mm[
Of easy culture, it grows best in a humus-rich, fertile, moisture-retentive soil in full sun or light shade[
]. Very tolerant of shallow, calcareous soils[
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant and also tolerate seasonal flooding[
Plants can escape from cultivation and become weedy in some tropical areas[
Trees can commence producing fruit in 5 - 6 years from seed[
Plants flower intermittently throughout the year[
] and can produce two or three harvests[
Seed - raw or cooked[
]. The raw seed has some bitterness[
], whilst the roasted seed develops a nutty, cacao-like flavour[
]. An agreeable and nourishing food with a flavour similar to hazel nuts[
]. The seed can also be boiled and mashed like potatoes, or made into juice and marmalade[
]. The ground up seeds can be made into a mash to mix with corn when making tortillas[
When steeped in water, the seeds make a coffee-like beverage[
The seed is the size of a small chestnut[
]. The seed is produced inside a yellow fruit about 25mm in diameter - each fruit contains one seed[
The yellow or orange fruit has a sweet, thin edible flesh surrounding the large seed[
]. A sweet, agreeable flavour[
]. The globose fruit is 15 - 20mm in diameter[
The milky latex, which flows freely when the trunk is cut, resembles cream and when diluted with water is said to afford a substitute for cow's milk[
]. The latex is also mixed with chicle[
There is a belief in Yucatan that if the seeds are eaten by nursing women the flow of milk is increased[
The latex is mixed with water, warmed and drunk as a treatment for dry coughs and for itchy sore throat[
The latex is applied directly on sores in the mouth and other parts of the body for healing[
The tree provides good shade and reduces the impact of strong winds[
A latex is obtained from the stems. It is sometimes mixed with chicle to make chewing gum[
The heartwood is a yellowish to dark brown, tinged with red around knots and other defects; the thick band of sapwood is yellowish to nearly white. The texture is fine to medium; grain is straight to irregular and shallowly
interlocked; luster is low; without distinctive odour or taste. The wood is hard, heavy, very strong, tough, not very durable, being particularly vulnerable to insect attack. Because of its high density and silica content, the wood requires appropriate tools, when it becomes easy to moderately difficult to work, taking a good polish. It is used for general construction,carpentry, flooring, furniture, cabinet making etc[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[
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