Tabebuia umbellata (Sond.) Sandwith
Tecoma umbellata Sond.
Handroanthus umbellatus is a deciduous tree with a spreading crown growing 10 - 15 metres tall. The bole can be 40 - 50cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its useful wood. It is also sometimes used in reforestation projects. A very ornamental tree, valued especially for its exuberant flowering[
S. America - southern and eastern Brazil.
Primary and secondary formations in the Atlantic forest or the very humid plains of the sea coast, occurring in moist or wet soils and in areas of periodic inundation[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a sunny position[
]. Requires a moist to wet soil[
Young plants have a moderate rate of growth, reaching a height of around 2.5 metres after 2 years[
The bark is astringent[
]. It is used in the treatment of mouth and throat disorders[
Although somewhat slow growing, the tree is suitable for use in reforestation projects in swampy areas and gallery forests[
The wood is fine-textured, even-grained, with a lustrous and smooth surface, heavy, hard, with good mechanical properties and highly durable, even when exposed to the elements[
]. It is used for outdoor work such as railway sleepers, beams for bridges, fence posts, poles, parquet flooring etc[
Most species of Handroanthus, almost certainly including this one, produce a very hard, heavy and durable timber known as Ipe. The general description of Ipe wood is as follows:-
The heartwood is yellowish brown to dark olive brown, sometimes with thin veins; it is clearly demarcated from the 3 - 9cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is usually fine, though it is medium in some species; the grain is interlocked; there are canals in the wood containing a greenish-yellow deposit of lapachol. The wood is very heavy; very hard; elastic; it is very durable, even in contact with the soil, resisting fungi, dry wood borers and termites. It seasons slowly, but with only a low risk of checking or distortion; once dry it is moderately stable in service. The wood has a fairly high blunting effect - stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide tools are recommended; there can be some difficulties due to the interlocked grain; filling is recommended in order to get a good finish; nailing and screwing are good , but require pre-boring; gluing is correct for internal use only, and needs to be done with care because the wood is so dense. A very durable and strong wood, it has a very wide range of uses, especially for outdoor applications. It is used for making high class furniture, cabinet work, heavy construction, railway sleepers, bridges, hydraulic works, industrial flooring, posts and poles, turnery, musical instruments, tool handles, veneer etc[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed or in individual containers. A germination rate in excess of 60% can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 4 - 8 days[
]. When the seedbed-sown seedlings are 3 - 6cm tall, pot them up into individual containers and they should be ready to plant out 4 - 5 months later[
The seed has a viability of less than 4 months in storage[
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