Parsonsia epilobiifolia (Koehne) Standl.
Cuphea epilobiifolia is an erect, much-branched, evergreen perennial plant with stems that can become more or less woody and persist; it can grow 40 - 200cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
S. America - Peru, Venezuela; C. America - Panama to Costa Rica
Margins of streams, rocks in streams and wet forest; at elevations up to 1,300 metres.
|Pollinators||Insects, Humming birds
Species in this genus generally prefer a position in full sun, but are tolerant of partial shade. They generally grow best in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils[
The seed of Cuphea species is generally a good source of medium length fatty acids, which have a range of industrial and cosmetic applications and can also be used in foods[
]. Several species are being trialled as seed oil crops in temperate zone countries, though they are unlikely to become a commercial crop in the tropics simply because it is so much easier to grow oil crops such as palm oil (Elaeis species) and coconut (Cocos nucifera).
An aqueous infusion of the fresh aerial parts is taken orally for the treatment of rheumatism[
The seed contains around 67.9% lauric acid[
We have no further specific information for this species but, although rather small, the seed of Cuphea species is generally a good source of medium length fatty acids[
Industrial oils made from these fatty acids have a range of uses, including as a defoaming agent; a booster for soaps and detergents; and in health and beauty products[
]. They can also be used in foods, mostly as vegetable shortenings.
Seed - can be sown in situ[
]. Germination usually takes a few weeks because of the hard seed coat.
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