Acacia paraguariensis D.Parodi
Caesalpinia coriaria (Jacq.) Willd
Caesalpinia melanocarpa Griseb.
Libidibia paraguariensis (D.Parodi) G.P.Lewis
Leaves and ripening seedpods on a cultivated tree at the University of Arizona Campus, Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, USA
Photograph by: Katja Schulz
Caesalpinia paraguariensis is a deciduous tree with an ample, frondose crown; it can grow 12 - 18 metres tall. The short, much-branched bole can be 50 - 80cm in diameter[
The tree yields a good quality timber and so is commonly harvested from the wild both for local use and for export. The tree is also a source of medicines, dye and tannins for local use. An ornamental tree, it can be used in landscaping[
Throughout the plant's range it is exploited as a popular source of timber, but the most serious threat to its survival is habitat loss caused by human activity. The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, southern Brazil, Bolivia.
Open forests on gentle slopes with rocky, well-drained soils that can be salty or rich in limestone[
|Other Uses Rating||
A tree mainly of the subtropics, but entering into the tropics in Bolivia, where it is found at elevations from 100 metres to almost 2,000 metres.
Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Found in the wild on well-drained, rocky soils that can be salty or rich in limestone[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
The tree has a moderate rate of growth[
Although many species within the family Fabaceae have a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria, this species is said to be devoid of such a relationship and therefore does not fix atmospheric nitrogen.
The bark is used medicinally[
The bark is a source of tannins[
A dye is obtained from the bark[
The wood has a fine and homogeneous texture, is cross-grained, very heavy, very hard to cut, with excellent mechanical properties and highly durable, even when exposed to the elements. It is difficult to work with, but is considered to be rather similar to ebony. It is used mainly for external applications such as railway sleepers, poles, hydraulic constructions, bridges, gates and fence posts; and is also much used for making musical instruments[
The wood makes a very good fuel and charcoal[
Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing. Sow the treated seed in a sunny position in a nursery seedbed. A germination rate of more than 50% can normally be expected, with the seed sprouting within 5 - 10 days[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.