Carapa guineensis Sweet ex A.Juss.
Carapa gummiflua C.DC.
Carapa microcarpa A.Chev.
Carapa touloucouna Guill. & Perr.
Carapa velutina C.DC.
Common Name: Carapa
Carapa varies from being a sprawling tree in swamp forest, to a tall tree in lowland rain forest. It is typically an understorey tree, up to 25 metres tall, but usually smaller, with branches that are widespread and arching, and no buttresses[
The tree is harvested from the wild, mainly for local use as a medicine and source of a good quality wood. Although little is known about how the species behaves in agroforestry systems, its potential as a multipurpose (oilwood) crop seems great[
Tropical Africa - Tanzania to Angola, north to Senegal. Northern S. America - Brazil, Surinam, Guyana.
A common, but localised species, growing on lake-shores, riparian and mid-altitude forest, esp where drainage is impeded, typically at 1,100 - 1,800 m altitude. Frequently also found growing on sandy soils, generally at sea level[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
The bark is tonic and febrifuge[
A bitter oil is obtained from the seed. It is used for treating a range of skin conditions including scabies, yaws, burns and mosquito bites[
An infusion of the wood is used to relieve diarrhoea[
The seeds contain about 55% oil[
]. It is used for making soap[
Foresters recognize two types of wood from this tree:-
Andiroba Vermelha, also known as 'Red' or 'Hill Crabwood' is derived from trees growing on higher, well-drained land. It produces a heavier wood of superior quality which does not float on water[
Andiroba Branca, also known as 'White Crabwood', is derived from trees growing in swampy locations. The wood is lighter, of lower quality and does float on water[
The heartwood is reddish-brown; it is not clearly demarcated from the 3 - 5cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is medium; the grain straight or interlocked. The wood is moderately soft to moderately hard; strong; moderately tough; of medium weight, moderately durable with some resistance to fungi and termites, but susceptible to dry wood borers. It is somewhat slow to season, with a high risk of checking but only a slight risk of distortion; once dry it is moderately stable in service. It works quite well with ordinary tools, though there are some difficulties in planing when the grain is interlocked; it has a slight tendency to split on nailing or screwing, so pre-boring is recommended; it glues well and polishes satisfactorily. The wood's main application is for high-quality furniture and cabinetwork, stairs and flooring, and as veneer for furniture, interior work and plywood. It is also used for masts, building material, boxes and crates, and as a substitute for okoumé (Aucoumea klineana) and walnut (Juglans regia). In Colombia, shoemakers prefer it for making shoe pieces[
Seed - does not require any specific pre-treatment and should be germinated within the range of 26 to 31°C, and typically germinates within 4 weeks[
The seed does not tolerate drying nor low temperatures[
]. The lowest safe moisture content is c. 34%. For short term storage the seed should be stored with moist sawdust/vermiculite to maintain them at their harvest moisture content. During moist storage the seeds should be frequently ventilated to prevent anoxia[
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