Citharexylum bahamense Millsp. ex Britton
Citharexylum broadwayi O.E.Schulz
Citharexylum caudatum Sw.
Citharexylum cinereum L.
Citharexylum cinereum Moc. & Sessé ex D.Don
Citharexylum coriaceum Desf.
Citharexylum fruticosum L.
Citharexylum hybridum Moldenke
Citharexylum laevigatum Hostm. ex Griseb.
Citharexylum molle Jacq. ex Spreng.
Citharexylum molle Salisb.
Citharexylum pentandrum Vent.
Citharexylum polystachyum Turcz.
Citharexylum pulverulentum Pers.
Citharexylum quadrangulare Jacq.
Citharexylum subserratum Sw.
Citharexylum surrectum Griseb.
Citharexylum teres Jacq.
Citharexylum tomentosum Poir.
Citharexylum villosum Jacq.
Common Name: Fiddle Wood
Plant growing in Parque Botanico de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
Photograph by: Kenraiz
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
Fiddle wood is a graceful deciduous or evergreen tree with fragrant blooms[
]. It can grow up to 16 metres tall, with a bole more than 30cm in diameter, though it often assumes a more shrub-like habit and is much smaller[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of a good quality wood. The wood is especially valued for making musical instruments, and the plant is often also grown as an ornamental[
S. America - Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama; Caribbean - Trinidad to Cuba and the Bahamas.
Ridge forests, especially on the coastal plain of the Guyanas[
]. Drier habitats, generally at elevations below 500 metres[
]. Coastal areas, limestone hills, dry mountains and moist foothills, at elevations up to 900 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the tropics to the subtropics of the Bahamas. It can endure wide fluctuations in temperature in the northern reaches of its range with a summer mean around 27.5°c, a winter mean of 16°c and occasional light frosts[
]. It is found in areas where the mean annual rainfall is within the range 1,000 - 2,000mm, which can be evenly distributed, or there can be a short dry season of 2 - 3 months[
Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Also succeeds in dappled shade[
]. Prefers a well-drained but moisture-retentive, humus-rich, fertile soil[
]. The plant is tolerant of a wide range of soils from clay to gravelly and sandy, dry soils, and also adapts to a wide range of soil pH from 5 - 8[
]. It is sometimes found on somewhat poorly drained sites[
]. The plant is moderately tolerant of salt-laden winds[
]. The relatively weak wood is susceptible to breakage in strong winds[
Often grown as an ornamental plant, it has escaped from cultivation in some areas and established itself. The main way of the plant spreading is by means of bird-sown seeds[
]. It is classified as 'Invasive' in Hawaii[
Trees usually begin producing fruit before the age of 10 years when open-grown[
Plants can flower and produce fruit all year round[
Young trees coppice vigorously, but older trees lose this vigour[
]. Adventitious buds develop profusely, filling the lower part of the tree with sucker growth[
The tree is often reported to have hermaphrodite flowers, but at least in parts of its range the male and female flowers, although they look very similar) are borne on different trees[
Fruit - raw[
]. A sweet flavour, though rarely eaten by humans[
A decoction of the young twigs is used in the treatment of children's thrush[
A decoction of the bark is used as a treatment for colds[
The nectar-rich flowers are very attractive to bees[
The heartwood is a light brownish or red; it is indistinctly demarcated from the yellow, grey or white sapwood, which can be present as a thin or wide layer. The wood is close-grained, very hard and strong. It sands to a fine finish. It is used for making furniture, musical instruments such as guitars, and is also used for general construction, windows, doors, beams etc[
]. The wood is useful for fenceposts and other rough construction where resistance to termites and to rot are required[
The wood is used to make charcoal[
Seed - sown in a nursery seedbed, it usually starts sprouting within 13 days from sowing[
]. Pot up the seedlings about 1 month later when around 5cm tall into individual containers and move to a position in 25% shade. They should be ready to plant out about 3 months later when around 40cm tall[
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