Coumarouna panamensis Pittier
Dipteryx oleifera Benth.
Oleiocarpon panamense (Pittier) Dwyer
Common Name: Almendro
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[
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[
Northern S. America - Colombia, north through Central America to Honduras.
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[
]. It favours well-drained hillsides[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A tree of the lowland, humid tropics, found at elevations up to 1,300 metres[
]. It grows in areas where the annual temperature varies between 24 - 30 °c, and the annual rainfall from 3,500 - 5,500mm[
Found in the wild in alluvial or sandy soils, and sometimes in acid and clayey soils[
A slow-growing tree[
The trees begin to flower and set fruit when they are 11 - 12 years old[
]. Fruits develop in about 4 months, usually during a dry period[
Seed - roasted[
]. 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[
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[
]. It has been used for veneer[
Seed - viability is generally restricted to a period of 9 - 10 days[
]. Without pre-treatment, germination takes 12 - 20 days and is 80 - 90%[
]. 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[
Even though the seeds could be recalcitrant, they can endure a certain degree of dryness[
]. The dry fruits can be stored in moist sawdust for at least 3 months and some seeds will germinate[
When pseudocuttings are used for reproduction, they must remain in the nursery for at least 6 months[
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