It has been proposed ( (Edeline Gagnon et al; A new generic system for the pantropical Caesalpinia group (Leguminosae) PhytoKeys 71: 1-160; 2016) that this species should be transferred to the genus Coulteria. It is very likely that this change will take place, but it is awaiting a proper publication of the new name[
Caesalpinia brasiliensis Sw.
Peltophorum brasiliense (L.) Urb.
Peltophorum linnaei Benth.
Robinia violacea Mill.
Baryxylum brasiliense (L.) Pierre
Brasilettia brasiliensis (L.) Kuntze
Brasilettia violacea (Mill.) Britton & Rose
Caesalpinia cubensis Greenm.
Coulteria violacea Sp nov
Common Name: Brasiletto
Caesalpinia violacea is an unarmed, much-branched tree usually growing 5 - 15 metres tall but with some specimens up to 25 metres[
]. The bole can be more than a metre in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its wood, which is used as a timber and also to make a red dye[
]. The tree is cultivated as a timber crop and is sometimes grown as an ornamental[
Central America - Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, to Cuba and Jamaica.
In seasonally dry and deciduous forests at elevations up to 300 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Caesalpinia violacea is found in the tropical regions of central America, usually at elevations below 300 metres. It grows in areas where the mean annual rainfall is within the range 750 - 1,800mm and the mean annual temperature can range from 20 - 30°c[
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil. Grows best in a light to medium-textured soil and is tolerant of infertile soils[
Caesalpinia violacea is a fast-growing tree with the capability to grow and establish in poor clay, stony and sandy soils. Plants have escaped from cultivation and, in Cuba, the species is listed as invasive and as one of the more noxious invasive plants. It is invading natural habitats where it is out-competing native species[
A good shade tree[
An excellent pioneer species, invading open areas where it grows fairly quickly and enriches the soil. It can be used in the early stages of restoring native woodland, or as a pioneer when establishing a woodland garden. Due to the possibility of it becoming invasive, however, it should only be used within its native range[
The wood gives a red dye[
]. It is said that this pigment is the one used by the ancient Mayas for imprinting the celebrated 'red hand' found on the interior walls of some of the ancient ruined buildings[
The orange-coloured wood is strong and durable. Of excellent quality, it is used in cabinet work, furniture making, for the spokes of wheels, heavy construction etc[
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