Enterolobium ellipticum Benth.
Feuilleea gummifera (Mart.) Kuntze
Pithecellobium gummiferum Mart.
Enterolobium gummiferum is a deciduous tree with a roundish crown; it can grow 4 - 6 metres tall. When growing in poorer soils, the plant is more commonly only shrub-like[
]. The short, crooked bole is 15 - 25cm in diameter with a corky bark[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its useful timber and also for local use as a medicine and source of tannins and a gum. An ornamental plant, it can be used in landscaping[
S. America - central, eastern and northern Brazil.
Savannah and woodland savannah, favouring fairly fertile, well-drained soils[
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Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Prefers a well-drained soil of moderate fertility[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
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 sap, the leaves and a gum obtained from the bark are all said to have medicinal properties[
A gum is obtained from the bark. It has medicinal properties and has the same adhesive properties as gum arabic (from Acacia spp.)[
The bark is a good source of tannins[
The wood is thick-textured, cross-grained, moderately heavy, hard, with good mechanical properties and moderately durable. It is used for internal purposes in construction, for light cabinet making, door and window frames, crates etc[
The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal[
Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and benefits from scarification before sowing 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. Sow the treated seed in a sunny position in a nursery seedbed. A moderate germination rate can be expected from treated seeds, with the seed sprouting within 7 - 14 days[
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