Inga ruiziana is a small or medium-sized tree with a spreading crown; usually growing up to 15 metres tall but with some specimens up to 25 metres. The bole is moderately straight and cylindrical, often branching from near the ground and up to 38cm in diameter[
The edible fruit is harvested from the wild for local use. It is sometimes sold in local markets[
]. The tree is often planted in Costa Rica and Panama to provide shade in coffee and cacao plantations[
S. America - Bolivia, western Brazil, north through Central America to Nicaragua.
Wet lowland areas[
]. Tropical moist forests[
]. Found mainly in lowland areas, growing in dry, loamy soils in old clearings or along the margins of forests[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A tree of the lowland moist tropics.
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.
The seedpods contain an edible, sweet tasting pulp surrounding the seeds[
Various medicinal uses have been reported for the plant[
Used as shade trees in the lower coffee belt or in the cacao grove at below 600 metres elevation[
Inga species generally have a number of factors that make them popular for use as shade trees in coffee and cacao plantations:- they grow quickly and so soon make an effecte shade; they respond well to drastic pruning and so are easy to keep within the required size and shade levels; they promote and maintain soil fertility; they are effective soil stabilizers[
The thin layer of reddish-brown heartwood is surrounded by the paler sapwood, which has creamy yellow or pinkish brown streaks and fine dark gray lines. The wood is moderately heavy to heavy, firm, and compact. It appears to be durable[
The wood is used mainly for fuel[
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