Zschokkea panamensis Woodson
Lacmellea panamensis is an evergreen tree with a thick but narrow, bright green crown; it can grow 15 - 20 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be up to 45cm in diameter, armed with broad-based, conical thorns. The bole of larger trees can have low, rounded, short buttresses. The bole is frequently covered by colonies of blue-grey lichens[
The trees are harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of latex and wood.
S. America - Ecuador, Colombia; C. America - Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua
An understorey or subcanopy tree, growing on well-drained soils in a range of conditions but mainly in the deep shade of dense, primary forest[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Pollinators||Bees, Butterflies, Hawkmoths
The plant has a main period of flowering, but also flowers sporadically throughout the year. The fruits ripen slowly and sporadically, with a few falling to the ground sporadically thoughout the year as they become fully ripe[
All parts of the plant exude a thick white latex when broken[
]. The fruit is a yellow, spherical berry around 4cm in diameter, containing 2 seeds[
The latex has been used as a milk substitute in coffee[
The latex is used as a galactagogue to promote milk production in nursing mothers[
We have no specific information for this species, but the latexes of several South American species of Lacmellea have been used as chewing gum, as an additive to rubber, and as a milk substitute in coffee[
The wood is hard and of fine quality. It has many uses[
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