Hevea nitida is usually a medium-sized, evergreen tree with a sparse crown; it can grow up to 28 metres tall. However, when growing in areas that are seasonally lightly inundated, it can become a stout tree up to 27 metres tall[
The seeds are an important food source for native people in some parts of the Amazon, though in other areas they are used as a food in times of famine only.
The seeds contain cyanic compounds are poisonous to humans unless treated[
]. See notes on edible uses below[
Northern S. America - northern Brazil, Colombia.
Usually found in light, sparse, caatinga forests on well-drained sandy soils, though it is also sometimes found in areas that are lightly inundated for part of the year[
]. Lowland and lower montane rainforest at elevations up to 1,000 metres[
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A plant of the 'Caatinga' dry forest region of northeast Brazil. The climate is hot and dry, there are usually 6 to 11 months without rain each year. The mean annual rainfall varies from 250 - 1,000mm, and the mean annual temperature is from 24 - 26°c.
Seed - cooked[
]. Poisonous raw, the seeds are boiled for 24 hours, then the liquid is strained off[
]. The mass that remains has somewhat the colour and consistency of rice that has been boiled a long time[
]. The seeds are commonly used by some native people, though other tribes view them only as famine foods when better foods are not available[
A thin, white latex is obtained from the tree[
]. This latex is of no value as a source of rubber; indeed, if it is mixed (as has often happened when new jungle areas were opened to tapping) with the latex of other species, it acts as an anti-coagulant[
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