This species has been much confused with Heliocarpus popayanensis in the past and the two species have been considered to be conspecific. However, although there is no clear agreement amongst botanists, we are following the treatment in the on-line 'Flora Do Brasil' which holds them to be distinct and for Heliocarpus popayanensis to be the only species in S. America - this species being restricted to C. America. It is very likely that the two species have identical, or very similar, useful properties[
Heliocarpus cuspidatus Lundell
Heliocarpus floribundus Lundell
Heliocarpus gentlei Lundell
Heliocarpus tomentosus Turcz.
Heliocarpus americanus is a small tree growing 3 - 5 metres tall[
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a source of wood and fibre.
C. America - Costa Rica to Mexico.
Found at elevations from 400 - 1,200 metres[
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The bark of the young branches yields a strong, durable fibre from which a coarse rope is made. It is used also for weaving mats and baskets[
The wood is light in weight, soft, porous, with poor mechanical properties and not durable when exposed. It is only used for items such as light boxes, toys, pencils, press plates etc[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. A high germination rate can usually be expected, with the seed sprouting within 10 - 12 days[
]. When the seedlings are 3 - 5cm tall, pot them up into individual containers and they should be ready to plant out less than 4 months later[
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