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Useful Tropical Plants

Heliocarpus popayanensis

Kunth

Malvaceae


This species has been much confused with Heliocarpus americanus 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 H. Popayanensis to be the only species in S. America - H. Americanus 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 americanus popayanensis (Kunth) K.Schum.

Heliocarpus australis E.Watson

Heliocarpus boliviensis Hochr.

Heliocarpus rosei Hochr.

Heliocarpus rudis E.Watson

Heliocarpus stipulatus Hochr.

Heliocarpus trichopodus Turcz.

Common Name:

Heliocarpus popayanensis
Flowering branch
Photograph by: Wendy Cutler
Creative Commons License
Heliocarpus popayanensis Heliocarpus popayanensis Heliocarpus popayanensis

General Information

Heliocarpus popayanensis is a semideciduous tree with a dense crown; it can grow 6 - 12 metres tall. The moderately straight bole can be 30 - 50cm in diameter, often branching from low down[
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.
,
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
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 of its wood and fibre. It can be used as a pioneer species when restoring native woodland or establishing woodland gardens. A very ornamental plant when in bloom, especially the female form, it is suitable for use in landscaping[
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.
].

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

S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela; C. America - Panama, Costa Rica.

Habitat

Broadleaved, semideciduous forests, mainly around clearings in the woods in more secondary formations; favouring clayey, very fertile soils[
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.
]. At elevations above 1,000 metres in the high tropics, descending to sea level in Argentina[
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

Weed PotentialYes
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitSemi-deciduous Tree
Height9.00 m
Growth RateFast
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Grows best in a sunny position[
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.
]. Prefers a clayey, very fertile soil in the wild[
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.
].
The plant produces large quantities of wind-dispersed seeds each year. This has helped it to escape from cultivation in Hawaii, where it has become somewhat invasive[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].
A very fast-growing plant, easily able to reach a height of 5 metres within 2 years from seed[
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.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

A fast-growing plant that succeeds in full sun, it can be used as a pioneer species when restoring native woodland and can also be used when establishing a woodland garden[
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.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. It should, however, only be used within its native range because of the risk of it becoming invasive elsewhere[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

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 creamy-white wood has a moderately high, silky lustre; straight-grained; medium to rather coarse-textured; it is odourless and tasteless. The wood is light in weight, soft, strong for its weight, porous, with poor mechanical properties and not durable when exposed. It requires a sharp knife to cut smoothly across grain, saws slightly woolly, easy to
work, but does not take a smooth finish, and holds its place well. It is only used for items such as light boxes, toys, pencils, press plates etc. The light wood can also be used to make rafts[
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.
,
434
Title
Flora of Peru
Publication
 
Author
Macbride. J.F.
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent attempt at a Flora of Peru, though it is clear that many of the plants were imperfectly known at that time and so information on them was sketchy. Available for download from the Internet.
,
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
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.
].

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.
].
The seed has a viability in excess of 3 months in storage[
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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