Macrocnemum candidissimum Vahl
Mussaenda candida Poir.
Mussaenda candidissima (Vahl) Schult.
Common Name: Degame
Degame is a deciduous tree; it usually grows 12 - 15 metres tall, but specimens up to 27 metres have been recorded. The straight or crooked bole can be 50 - 60cm in diameter; it sometimes branches from near ground level, at other times it can be free of branches for a reasonable distance[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its wood, which is used locally and also traded. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, valued especially for its attractive rusty-red flaking bark, long flowering period and eye-catching sealing wax red new foliage[
S. America - Colombia, Venezuela; C. America - Panama to southern Mexico; Caribbean - Cuba and Trinidad.
Dry semi-deciduous forest[
]. Common on shaded hillsides and along waterways, often in pure stands[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a rich, deep, well-drained soil and a position in full sun[
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[
The flowers are a good source of nectar for bees[
The heartwood ranges from light brown to oatmeal in colour, and is sometimes grayish; it merges gradually with the lighter-coloured sapwood. The texture is fine and uniform; the grain is straight to interlocked; lustre is low to medium; there is no distinctive odour or taste. The wood is strong; hard; heavy; tough, and moderately durable, with a high resistance to marine borers. The wood is difficult to saw and moderately difficult to work in planing and boring; there is no appreciable dulling effect on cutters.; machined surfaces are very smooth; it takes a glossy polish. It is used locally for making agricultural implements, archery bows, fishing rods, vehicles, tool handles, frames and turnery[
The wood is made into charcoal[
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