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Useful Tropical Plants

Herrania purpurea

(Pittier) R.E.Schult.

Malvaceae

+ Synonyms

Theobroma purpureum Pittier

Common Name: Monkey Cocoa

Herrania purpurea
Ripening fruits
Photograph by: Reinaldo Aguilar
Creative Commons License
Herrania purpurea Herrania purpurea Herrania purpurea Herrania purpurea Herrania purpurea Herrania purpurea Herrania purpurea Herrania purpurea Herrania purpurea Herrania purpurea

General Information

Herrania purpurea is an evergreen tree growing up to 3 metres tall. The bole is branchless, except for near the apex[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food.

Known Hazards

The fruits of many members of this genus have some or many stinging hairs on them[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Botanical References

635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

Northern S. America - Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia; Central America - Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua.

Habitat

Usually found at elevations below 60 metres, often growing by rivers on land that becomes inundated with more than 1 metre of water in the rainy season[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height3.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Succeeds in most soils[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Edible Uses

A bitter tasting beverage is made from the seeds[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The following report is based mainly on the seeds of H. Nitida, but the seed of this species is likely to be very similar[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The seed contains up to 66% oil[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is solid at room temperature, turning liquid at 25 - 29°c[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The oil comprises 18 - 26% linoleic acid, 2 - 7% oleic acid and 74 - 76% saturated acids[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Fruit - raw[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The pulp (aril) surrounding the seeds is delicious and refreshing. This white, acidulous pulp is eaten raw and is most delicious just before the complete ripening of the fruit[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The following description of the wood is for H. Nitida. The wood of this species is likely to be very similar[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The heartwood is pinkish brown, the sapwood pale pink[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The wood has no distinctive odour or taste; it is straight- or wavy-grained; coarse-textured. It is light in weight; soft; not durable[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It requires sharp tools in order to cut smoothly across the grain[
635
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 39
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1958
ISBN
 
Description
Amongst the many botanical articles is a treatment of the genus Herrania. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-12-08. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Herrania+purpurea>

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