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Useful Tropical Plants

Clusia rosea

Jacq.

Clusiaceae

+ Synonyms

Clusia retusa Poir.

Elwertia retusa Raf.

Firkea rosea (Jacq.) Raf.

Common Name:

Clusia rosea
Opened fruit with the red seeds still inside
Photograph by: Wmpearl
Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication
Clusia rosea Clusia rosea Clusia rosea Clusia rosea Clusia rosea Clusia rosea Clusia rosea

General Information

Clusia rosea is an evergreen tree with a very broad, dense, spreading crown; it can grow up to 18 metres tall. The usually short bole can be 60cm in diameter, usually with prop roots at the base[
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A wed site of native Indian plants, plus cultivated and naturalized species. It has good quality photos and terse details on more than 3,000 species and cultivars.
,
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
]. Similar to many species of figs (Ficus spp.), this plant often begins life as an epiphyte, with the seed germinating in the fork of a tree. Eventually, the plant sends down several aerial roots which, once they reach the soil root into the ground and supply the plant with nutrients. This allows it to grow faster than the host tree, whilst the aerial roots thicken and start to constrict the host tree. Eventually the host dies and this species remains[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
The tree has a number of local uses and is often harvested from the wild for its wood, latex and medicinal applications. It is often cultivated as an ornamental and street tree in the Tropics, where it is valued especially for its large, showy flowers[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].

Known Hazards

The ball-like fruits are not edible and are considered to be poisonous, though they are eaten by bats[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].

Botanical References


Range

S. America - Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama to Mexico; Caribbean - Trinidad to Bahamas; SE N. America - Florida.

Habitat

Banks and hillsides in forests[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height12.00 m
PollinatorsBats
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


Succeeds in full sun to partial shade[
302
Title
Tropical Ornamentals; A Guide
Publication
 
Author
Whistler. W. Arthur.
Publisher
Timber Press Inc. Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-448-2
Description
An excellent little guide to some of the more commonly cultivated ornamental plants of the Tropics, often giving some information on the plants other uses.
]. Prefers a well-drained soil[
302
Title
Tropical Ornamentals; A Guide
Publication
 
Author
Whistler. W. Arthur.
Publisher
Timber Press Inc. Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-448-2
Description
An excellent little guide to some of the more commonly cultivated ornamental plants of the Tropics, often giving some information on the plants other uses.
].Plants can thrive in a variety of environments, from dry barren lava landscapes to steep cliffs in wet areas[
854
Title
Plants of Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
Starr F.; Starr K.; Loope L.
Website
http://www.hear.org/starr/hiplants/reports/
Publisher
United States Geological Survey--Biological Resources Division;
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
Fairly detailed reports on 92 plants found growing in Hawaii, often giving plant uses. Produced in PDF format, they can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Established plants are drought tolerant, and can also tolerate periodic inundation of the soil[
710
Title
Tropical Flowering Plants. A Guide to Identification and Cultivation.
Publication
 
Author
Llamas K.A.
Publisher
Timber Press; Oregon.
Year
2003
ISBN
0-88192-585-3
Description
A terse guide for the gardener to almost 1,500 species of ornamental tropical plants with brief details on their cultivation and, usually, a small photograph of good quality.
]. The heavy foliage is salt tolerant and so this species can be grown in exposed positions near the coast[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].
Often grown as an ornamental, plants can spread readily into surrounding areas, presumably due to bird-dispersed seeds. It has become invasive in some areas and this, coupled with the tree's habit of strangling and killing more valuable trees in the forest, has led to it being classed as a forest pest[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
,
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
,
854
Title
Plants of Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
Starr F.; Starr K.; Loope L.
Website
http://www.hear.org/starr/hiplants/reports/
Publisher
United States Geological Survey--Biological Resources Division;
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
Fairly detailed reports on 92 plants found growing in Hawaii, often giving plant uses. Produced in PDF format, they can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
This species uses the ' Crassulacean Acid Metabolism' (CAM) pathway to photosynthesis, a mechanism which aids in conserving moisture. This type of mechanism is also used by cacti and other succulents. In Clusia, CAM is useful during the epiphytic seedling stage until aerial roots are able to reach the ground and draw up nutrients and moisture[
854
Title
Plants of Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
Starr F.; Starr K.; Loope L.
Website
http://www.hear.org/starr/hiplants/reports/
Publisher
United States Geological Survey--Biological Resources Division;
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
Fairly detailed reports on 92 plants found growing in Hawaii, often giving plant uses. Produced in PDF format, they can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
This species is unique in that it belongs to the only genus of plants capable of absorbing carbon dioxide during the night[
540
Title
Jardineiro.Net
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.jardineiro.net/br/index.php
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A Brazilian gardening site, giving cultivation details for a large number of species.
].
The plant can be in flower or fruit all year round[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are require[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
]. One report says that only functionally female flowers are known and that the tree produces seed apomictically (an asexual process)[
710
Title
Tropical Flowering Plants. A Guide to Identification and Cultivation.
Publication
 
Author
Llamas K.A.
Publisher
Timber Press; Oregon.
Year
2003
ISBN
0-88192-585-3
Description
A terse guide for the gardener to almost 1,500 species of ornamental tropical plants with brief details on their cultivation and, usually, a small photograph of good quality.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The resinous latex obtained from the plant is used medicinally and as a plaster[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
]. The latex is balsamic, bitter and purgative[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

The flowwers are bechic (they relieve coughs)[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The tree has been planted on the edges of beaches to prevent soil erosion[
710
Title
Tropical Flowering Plants. A Guide to Identification and Cultivation.
Publication
 
Author
Llamas K.A.
Publisher
Timber Press; Oregon.
Year
2003
ISBN
0-88192-585-3
Description
A terse guide for the gardener to almost 1,500 species of ornamental tropical plants with brief details on their cultivation and, usually, a small photograph of good quality.
].

Other Uses

The tree, especially the bark and surrounding the seeds inside the fruit, contains a yellow, resinous latex[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
]. It hardens upon exposure to the air and has been used for caulking boats, medicinal purposes etc[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].

The early Spanish conquistadores in the West Indies made playing cards of the thick, leathery, paddle-like leaves, drawing the figures and spots with a pin and shuffling these substitutes in their gambling games in the absence of regular cards. Another early use was for writing paper. It is possible to write words etc upon the leaves, using a finger nail or pin etc., and this writing will remain on the leaf[
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A wed site of native Indian plants, plus cultivated and naturalized species. It has good quality photos and terse details on more than 3,000 species and cultivars.
,
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
,
854
Title
Plants of Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
Starr F.; Starr K.; Loope L.
Website
http://www.hear.org/starr/hiplants/reports/
Publisher
United States Geological Survey--Biological Resources Division;
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
Fairly detailed reports on 92 plants found growing in Hawaii, often giving plant uses. Produced in PDF format, they can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The heartwood is reddish-brown; it is not clearly demarcated from the lighter coloured sapwood. Texture is medium to fine; grain is straight; lustre medium; without growth rings; there is no discernible taste or aroma in seasoned wood. The wood is hard, heavy, strong, very susceptible to attack by drywood termites. The rate of air-seasoning and amount of degrade are moderate. It is moderately difficult to saw and machine. Machining characteristics are as follows : planing and boring are fair, though tearing and crushing may occur frequently; and shaping, turning, mortising, sanding, and resistance to screw splitting are good; glueing and polishing are good. The wood is used mainly for fenceposts, rural construction, and crossties. It is suitable also for light and heavy construction, cheap furniture, farm implement parts, and tool handles[
341
Title
South American Timbers: the Properties, Uses and Characteristics of 190 Species.
Publication
 
Author
Bolza. E. & Christensen. F.J.
Publisher
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
Year
1979
ISBN
0 643 02582 0
Description
A very useful guide.
,
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].
The wood is used for fuel[
341
Title
South American Timbers: the Properties, Uses and Characteristics of 190 Species.
Publication
 
Author
Bolza. E. & Christensen. F.J.
Publisher
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
Year
1979
ISBN
0 643 02582 0
Description
A very useful guide.
,
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cuttings
Air layering
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-12-16. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Clusia+rosea>

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