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Useful Tropical Plants

Helicostylis tomentosa

(Poepp. & Endl.) Rusby

Moraceae

+ Synonyms

Greeneina affinis (Steud. ex Trécul) Kuntze

Greeneina poeppigiana (Mart.) Kuntze

Helicostylis affinis Miq.

Helicostylis duckei A.D.Hawkes

Helicostylis obtusifolia Standl.

Helicostylis podogyne Ducke

Helicostylis poeppigiana (Mart.) Trécul

Olmedia affinis Steud. ex Trécul

Olmedia asperula Standl.

Olmedia poeppigiana Mart.

Olmedia polycephala Pittier

Olmedia tomentosa Poepp. & Endl.

Trymatococcus guanabarinus Duarte

Common Name:

Helicostylis tomentosa
Leaves
Photograph by: Alex Popovkin, Bahia, Brazil
Creative Commons License
Helicostylis tomentosa Helicostylis tomentosa Helicostylis tomentosa

General Information

Helicostylis tomentosa is an evergreen tree with a narrow, elongated crown; it can grow 15 - 26 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 40 - 50cm in diameter[
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].
The tree produces a delicious fruit and also has medicinal properties and a very useful timber; it is commonly harvested from the wild for local use and trade.
The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

The latex of this tree is considered to be toxic when ingested[
697
Title
Botanical Museum Leaflets Vol 29
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Year
1983
ISBN
 
Description
Some interesting notes on plant uses in tropical America. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Botanical References


Range

S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama.

Habitat

A canopy tree in rainforests at elevations from sea level to 1,600 metres[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
,
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Edibility Rating *  *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height21.00 m
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Young plants require the dappled shade of the woodland, but become more tolerant of light as they grow larger, eventually accepting full sun[
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw. A delicious flavour[
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
]. The yellow, more or less globose fruit can be around 3cm in diameter[
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].

Medicinal

The red, milky sap from the bark is drunk as an hallucinogen in order to contact the spirits[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

The rasped bark, mixed with alcohol, is used as a remedy for stomach cramps and pain accompanying a high fever[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

Extracts prepared from the inner bark have been pharmacologically evaluated and are reported to elicit central nervous system depressant effects; and certain of the effects are described as being similar to those expected with Cannabis sativa. Because of the close taxonomic relationship of this species to Cannabis, one might expect similar types of chemical constituents in both genera. Whether or not the effects are due to the presence of cannabinoids remains to be determined[
630
Title
Botanical Museum Leaflets Vol 28
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1981
ISBN
 
Description
An article on the Ethnopharmacological uses of plants in northwestern S. America, amongst many other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Other Uses

The tree contains a yellow latex[
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].

The heartwood is dark brown, somewhat streaked or variegated with black and yellow; it is sharply demarcated from the wide band of golden, lustrous sapwood. Lustre is medium in the heartwood; texture medium; grain straight to roey; without distinctive odour or taste. The wood is moderately heavy, with very good mechanical properties, durable and resistant to wood-eating insects. It is rated fair to good in all machining operations but does cause excessive dulling of cutting edges; takes a high natural polish. Easy to work, it is used in general construction for purposes such as scantlings, beams, door and window frames, floors etc; also for lathe work and making furniture[
316
Title
Tropical Timbers of the World. Ag. Handbook No. 607.
Publication
 
Author
Chudnoff. Martin.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service. Wisconsin.
Year
1984
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on the properties of the wood of almost 400 species of trees from the Tropics.
,
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. A low germination rate can generally be expected, with the seed sprouting within 40 - 60 days[
625
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2009
ISBN
85-86714-34-4
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].

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