Geoffroea bredemeyeri Kunth
Geoffroea striata (Willd.) Morong
Geoffroea superba Humb. & Bonpl.
Robinia striata Willd.
Geoffroea spinosa is a spiny, deciduous shrub or small tree with a fairly narrow elongate crown and horizontal branches. It grows 6 - 12 metres tall with a straight bole 30 - 50cm in diameter[
The tree has several local uses and is often harvested from the wild. The fruits are eaten, the tree also has medicinal properties and is a source of wood. The plant can be grown as a pioneer for restoring native woodland and establishing woodland gardens. A very ornamental plant, especially when in bloom, and with a crown that resembles a conifer, it can be used in general landscaping[
The bark is used medicinally, but is toxic in larger doses[
S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela.
Atlantic rainforest, arid forest and savannah, found mainly in secondary formations in land subject to periodic inundation[
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Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Tolerates seasonal inundation of the soil[
Young plants have a moderate rate of growth[
At the beginning of the rain season the tree guttates (exudes water from the leaves), dampening the surrounding soil[
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 fruits are eaten in Brazil[
]. The seedpod contains a thick, sweet pulp surrounding a solitary seed[
A tea made from the leaves and young shoots is used to stimulate the flow of menses and also to treat diarrhoea[
The bark is anthelmintic and purgative, but toxic in large doses[
The plant is a natural pioneer with a moderate rate of growth, fixing atmospheric nitrogen and providing food, medicines and wood. It can be used in reforestation projects for restoring native woodland, and also for establishing woodland gardens[
The wood is thick-textured, moderately heavy, hard to cut, with moderate mechanical properties and not durable. It is used locally for general carpentry, construction of rustic furniture etc[
The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in individual containers. A germination rate in excess of 50% can usually be expected, with the seed sprouting within 20 - 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 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[
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