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Useful Tropical Plants

Hymenaea verrucosa

Gaertn.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Trachylobium hornemannianum Hayne

Trachylobium verrucosum (Gaertn.) Oliv.

Common Name: East African Copal

Hymenaea verrucosa
Tree, 7 metres tall, growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Henry T. Wright
Creative Commons License
Hymenaea verrucosa Hymenaea verrucosa Hymenaea verrucosa Hymenaea verrucosa

General Information

East African copal is a flat-crowned, evergreen tree, usually growing from 6 - 24 metres tall but with occasional specimens reaching heights of up to 40 metres. Older trees can have a clear bole up to 15 metres long[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for its resin, and is also the source of a useful timber. It is also cultivated as a street tree[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Tropical East Africa - Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, to Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles.

Habitat

On or near the coast in dry evergreen forest, woodland and evergreen bushland, usually at elevations below 100 metres, but sometimes up to 240 metres[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitTree
Height15.00 m
PollinatorsBees
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details



The flowers are very attractive to bees[
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
].
This plant is the closest living species to the extinct species H. mexicana, which was found in amber from the mines of Chiapas, Mexico[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
]. This fact indicates a former physical connection between the land mass of Africa and that of S. America[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The roots, trunk and fruits yield copal[
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.
,
364
Title
Field Guide to the Moist Forest Trees of Tanzania.
Publication
 
Author
Lovett J.C.; Ruffo C.K.; Gereau R.E.; Taplin J.R.D
Website
http://www.york.ac.uk/res/celp/webpages/projects/ecology/tree%20guide/introduction.htm
Publisher
Frontier
Year
0
ISBN
1-873070-33-0
Description
A lovely little book giving a basic identification guide to more than 650 species of trees growing in Tanzania. It is also available to view on the internet.
]. Much copal can be obtained from semi-fossilized material dug from the soil[
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.
]. Copal is a hard resin that is obtained from various tropical trees and is used to make varnish.

The wood is heavy and hard. It is used for general construction, flooring, joinery, bridges, sleepers, firewood, charcoal, poles and tool handles[
364
Title
Field Guide to the Moist Forest Trees of Tanzania.
Publication
 
Author
Lovett J.C.; Ruffo C.K.; Gereau R.E.; Taplin J.R.D
Website
http://www.york.ac.uk/res/celp/webpages/projects/ecology/tree%20guide/introduction.htm
Publisher
Frontier
Year
0
ISBN
1-873070-33-0
Description
A lovely little book giving a basic identification guide to more than 650 species of trees growing in Tanzania. It is also available to view on the internet.
].

Propagation

Seed - freshly sown, still moist seed does not require pre-treatment, but if the seedcoat has dried and hardened then it will require some treatment to help it absorb moisture more rapidly. This can be done by soaking the seed for 12 hours in warm water - if it swells it can be sown, otherwise carefully nick the seedcoat, making sure not to damage the embryo, then soak for a few hours more before sowing[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Sow the seed in light shade in individual containers or a nursery seedbed. Treated seed usually starts to sprout after 8 - 12 days at an optimal temperature of 30°c[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
].
Softwood cuttings in misted beds with steam or electrically heated soil[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

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