Geissospermum martianum Miers
Geissospermum vellosii Allemão
Tabernaemontana laevis Vell.
Geissospermum laeve is an evergreen tree with a dense crown; it can grow up to 30 metres tall. The bole is 40 - 60cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its wood and a range of local medicinal uses.
The wood contains the alkaloid geissospermine, a paralyzing poison that can stop the functions of the central nervous system[
Northern S. America - Brazil, Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana.
Upland rainforest in the Guyanas[
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Succeeds in a sunny position or dappled shade[
Newly planted young plants usually establish themselves and grow away moderately well[
The tree has a great regenerative capacity when felled, even if subject to fire[
The bark is astringent, febrifuge, tonic and vermifuge[
]. As a tincture in alcohol, it is used in the treatment of malaria; as a decoction it is used to treat diarrhoea, internal parasites in children, infections of glans penis, diabetes, fever, stomach worms, itches[
The bark contains an indolic alkaloid, known as geissospermine, which has been shown to be hypotensive, as well as a depressant of the respiration and of the cardiac action[
]. It can stop the functions of the central nervous system[
The seed is bitter[
The wood has a fine and medium texture; is straight-grained; moderately heavy; with good mechanical properties and of medium durability[
]. It is good for general constructions, domestic utensils and tool handles[
Seed - it does not require pre-treatment, being best sown as soon as it is ripe in a nursery seedbed in light shade[
]. A germination rate of more than 50% is usually achieved within 30 - 50 days[
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