There has been considerable confusion amongst botanists over the status of the genus Deguelia, with it variously being included in Derris and Lonchocarpus. We are following the treatment in Camargo & A.M.G. Azevedo Tozzi. 2014. A synopsis of the genus Deguelia (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae, Millettieae) in Brazil. Brittonia 66(1): 12-32, which treats it as distinct[
Lonchocarpus costatus Benth.
Lonchocarpus costatus is a semideciduous plant that can grow as a shrub, a climbing shrub or as a tree. When growing as a climbing plant it can produce stems up to 48 metres long. When growing as a tree it has a pyramidal crown and a cylindrical bole that can be 20 - 30cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use of its wood. Very ornamental, especially when in bloom, the tree can be used in landscaping being suitable for street and avenue planting[
S. America - eastern Brazil.
Semideciduous forest, Atlantic rainforest and dryland forest; growing mainly in the more open, secondary formations, favouring sloping land with a well-drained, fertile soil that is rich in calcium[
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Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Prefers a well-drained, fertile soil that is rich in calcium[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
A fast-growing plant, especially when young[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The wood is thick-textured, straight-grained, moderately heavy, soft, with moderate mechanical properties and not very durable. It is only used locally, for purposes such as rustic constructions, stakes and fence posts[
The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal[
We have no more information on the wood of this species. However, we have a general description of the wood for members of this genus, which is as follows:-
The heartwood is yellowish-brown to dark reddish-brown, striped with rather fine uniform parenchyma laminations of a lighter colour; it is sharply demarcated from the thick band of yellowish sapwood. The texture is moderately coarse; the grain straight to irregular or interlocked; lustre is low to medium; there is no distinctive odour or taste. Durability varies considerably with the species. Seasoning also varies with species, the drying rate can be rather slow to rather
rapid. It is reported to dry satisfactorily without excessive distortion or shrinkage if dried slowly. In spite of its hardness, the wood is not particularly difficult to work; smooth planing, however, is difficult because of interlocked grain. It is used for purposes such as heavy construction, flooring, furniture components etc. Durable species have been suggested for railroad crossties[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. A high germination rate can be expected, with the seed sprouting within a few days[
Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have been dried for storage the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing[
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