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Useful Tropical Plants

Dipteryx panamensis

(Pittier) Record & Mell

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Coumarouna panamensis Pittier

Dipteryx oleifera Benth.

Oleiocarpon panamense (Pittier) Dwyer

Common Name: Almendro

Dipteryx panamensis
Close-up of the inflorescence
Photograph by: Environmental Sciences Program, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
© Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Dipteryx panamensis Dipteryx panamensis Dipteryx panamensis

General Information

Almendro is a tree with a rounded or elongated crown; it can reach a height of 15 - 50 metres. The bole of this species attains a diameter of 100 - 160cm, and has ample basal roots without buttresses[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
,
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].
The tree is harvested in the wild by local people for its edible seeds, and for the seedpods that can be used as torches. The wood is too hard for native tools, but is exploited commercially. The tree is reported to have great potential for use as an ornamental[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Northern S. America - Colombia, north through Central America to Honduras.

Habitat

A canopy or emergent tree in forests on very humid plateaux, in alluvial or sandy soils, and sometimes in acid and clay soils at elevations of 20 - 1,300 metres[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
]. It favours well-drained hillsides[
551
Title
A Century of Trees of Panama.
Publication
 
Author
Pittier H. Mell C.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A work that was very difficult to get published according to the correspondence contained at the start!. A treatment of 100 different species with descriptions and details of uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitTree
Height35.00 m
Growth RateSlow
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A tree of the lowland, humid tropics, found at elevations up to 1,300 metres[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
]. It grows in areas where the annual temperature varies between 24 - 30 °c, and the annual rainfall from 3,500 - 5,500mm[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].
Found in the wild in alluvial or sandy soils, and sometimes in acid and clayey soils[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].
A slow-growing tree[
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
].
The trees begin to flower and set fruit when they are 11 - 12 years old[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. Fruits develop in about 4 months, usually during a dry period[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].

Edible Uses

Seed - roasted[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
,
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
,
551
Title
A Century of Trees of Panama.
Publication
 
Author
Pittier H. Mell C.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A work that was very difficult to get published according to the correspondence contained at the start!. A treatment of 100 different species with descriptions and details of uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The seed, limited by the size of the pod, ranges from 4.5 to 6 cm long, 3 to 3.5 cm wide, and 1 to 1.6 cm thick[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The seedpods are used to make torches. These torches consist of about 20 nuts of the almendra tree, rather like nutmegs in shape and size. They are strung tight against each other on a long sliver of black palm and give a light about as bright as a common kerosene lantern. As one nut is consumed, it lights up the next one. . . .Each nut burns for about 5 minutes.

The heartwood is yellow, darkening to a reddish-yellow upon exposure; it is clearly demarcated from the thick band of much lighter, whitish sapwood that dries to a brown-yellow. The wood is cross and fine-grained; extremely heavy; dense; very hard; tough; strong; very durable, even in contact with the soil. It is difficult to work, taking a good polish. It can be used for industrial floors, bridges, railroad ties, marine construction in waters infested with marine borers, boats, oxcarts, handicrafts, sport implements, springboards, industrial machinery, and agricultural tool handles[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
,
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
,
551
Title
A Century of Trees of Panama.
Publication
 
Author
Pittier H. Mell C.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A work that was very difficult to get published according to the correspondence contained at the start!. A treatment of 100 different species with descriptions and details of uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It has been used for veneer[
381
Title
Timber Trees of Meso America.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/workshops/reports/MA2005/Annex%202.pdf
Publisher
UNEP
Year
2005
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF document, published on the internet. Detailed reports on about 30 species of timber trees from Central America.
].

Propagation

Seed - viability is generally restricted to a period of 9 - 10 days[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. Without pre-treatment, germination takes 12 - 20 days and is 80 - 90%[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. The fruits should be placed on a germination bank or in sand with the peduncle up, taking care that they are half-covered by the medium. Sometimes fruits are planted directly in plastic bags. After 3 - 4 months in the nursery, seedlings can be outplanted[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
Even though the seeds could be recalcitrant, they can endure a certain degree of dryness[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. The dry fruits can be stored in moist sawdust for at least 3 months and some seeds will germinate[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
When pseudocuttings are used for reproduction, they must remain in the nursery for at least 6 months[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].

Comments

Barry Biesanz 04th November 2015 7:12
I've planted hundreds of these over the last 18 years, and can say that they are quite fast growers to 8-10M. I've had them fruit in 5 years, but they usually take longer. my plantings are in Costa Rica, coastal central Pacific.

Left out of this article is the value as wildlife forage, the seeds are oily and abundant. Macaws in particular relish them, as do coatis and such.
I never see seeds on the ground, the get eaten quickly. I have fruits maturing now, at the near end of the rains.

nice flowers, compact crown

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