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Useful Tropical Plants

Heliocarpus americanus

L.

Malvaceae


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[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Heliocarpus cuspidatus Lundell

Heliocarpus floribundus Lundell

Heliocarpus gentlei Lundell

Heliocarpus tomentosus Turcz.

Common Name:

Heliocarpus americanus
Leaves and flower buds
Photograph by: Mary W. Farmer
Creative Commons License
Heliocarpus americanus Heliocarpus americanus Heliocarpus americanus

General Information

Heliocarpus americanus is a small tree growing 3 - 5 metres tall[
751
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 36
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Gardens; Mass.
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, it contains a monograph of the genus Heliocarpus. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a source of wood and fibre.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

751
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 36
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Gardens; Mass.
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, it contains a monograph of the genus Heliocarpus. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

C. America - Costa Rica to Mexico.

Habitat

Found at elevations from 400 - 1,200 metres[
751
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 36
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Gardens; Mass.
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, it contains a monograph of the genus Heliocarpus. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitTree
Height4.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Not known

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

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[
751
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 36
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Gardens; Mass.
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, it contains a monograph of the genus Heliocarpus. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

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[
419
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 1. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-17-8
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 high germination rate can usually be expected, with the seed sprouting within 10 - 12 days[
419
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 1. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-17-8
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.
]. 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[
419
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 1. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-17-8
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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