Castilla tunu is a deciduous tree; it usually grows 15 - 20 metres tall, with some specimens up to 35 metres. The bole is sometimes more than 100cm in diameter, usually with buttresses[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild as a source of materials, especially the fibre obtained from the bark.
S. America - Ecuador, Colombia; C. America - Panama to Belize.
Lowland, wet, evergreen forest formations at elevations from near sea level to 200 metres[
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Individual plants can either produce only male flowers (dioecious) or they can produce both male and female flowers (monoecious)[
Members of this genus have a root system that consists of a rather short tap root and of several lateral roots spreading horizontally and so near the surface of the soil that they can often be followed for 20 to 30 metres[
]. This root system makes it difficult to grow other crops under the tree[
A latex is obtained from the plant. Unlike most other members of this genus, the latex obtained from this plant is not suitable for making rubber; it coagulates into a hard, sticky, unelastic mass that is erroneously called 'gutta-percha' locally and is considered to be of little value[
The fibre-rich bark of this tree yields a soft vegetable cloth, which is used to make into clouts, skirts or sleeping mats[
The heartwood is yellowish; the thin band of sapwood is a very light yellow or nearly white. The wood is straight and fairly fine-grained; moderately light in weight; soft; not strong; not very durable in contact with the soil. It is easily worked and takes a good polish. It is not much used on account of the abundant flow of cortical latex, which makes it difficult to handle[
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