Coumarouna alata (Vogel) Taub.
Common Name: Baru
Dipteryx alata is an evergreen tree with a dense, rounded crown; it can grow 15 - 25 metres tall[
]. The bole can be 40 - 70cm in diameter[
The tree yields a useful timber plus an edible fruit and seed, which are gathered from the wild and consumed locally. Currently (2015) underutilized, the plant is considered to have much potential as a source of food, food supplements, and medicines. The fruits and seeds are marketed and much appreciated locally in the Cerrado of Central Brazil, but they have not been widely commercialized[
]. .An elegant, majestic tree, it can be used in general landscaping[
Dipteryx alata has suffered from habitat conversion for agriculture. In addition, exploitation of its excellent quality timber and medicinal seeds has led to massive declines in population numbers. The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
S. America - Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil.
Dry soils in the savannahs and semi-deciduous broadleaved forests[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a sunny position[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
The tree has a moderate rate of growth, reaching a height of around 2.5 metres after 2 years[
Although many species within the family Fabaceae have a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria, this species is said to be devoid of such a relationship and therefore does not fix atmospheric nitrogen.
]. The dry pulp can be eaten raw, and is also made into sweets and jellies[
]. The brownish, sweet pulp is eaten preserved or processed in other ways or may be made into an alcoholic beverage[
Seed - raw or cooked[
]. It is eaten toasted or cooked, and also prepared in candies[
]. Almond-like, it is very nutritious[
]. It can be made into a peanut fudge[
]. The seeds contain around 30% protein[
]. The seeds are about 20mm long and 10mm wide[
The seed kernel is analeptic, diaphoretic and emmenagogue[
The bark contains triterpenes[
The wood is irregular to cross-grained, compact, very heavy, highly resistant to rot and wood eating organisms, even in adverse conditions. An excellent quality timber, it is used for external construction, railway sleepers, fencing poles etc, as well as for house building, ship building etc[
The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a semi-shaded position in individual containers[
]. Germination rates are usually low, with the seed sprouting within 30 - 40 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 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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