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Useful Tropical Plants

Licania alba

(Bernoulli) Cuatrec.

Chrysobalanaceae

+ Synonyms

Caraipa longifolia Aubl.

Licania longifolia Benoist

Licania venosa Rusby

Theobroma album Bernoulli

Common Name:

Licania alba
Drawing of the leaves and flowers (Fig 2 only)
Photograph by: Aublet, F. , Histoire des plantes de la Guiane Franc?oise, vol. 4: t. 223 (1775)
Creative Commons License

General Information

Licania alba is a tree with a heavy crown; it can grow up to 35 metres tall. The bole is unbuttressed, usually cylindrical, around 40 - 60cm in diameter and unbranched for up to 18 metres[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
].
The tree has local medicinal uses. It is also harvested commercially from the wild for its timber, which is often exported[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

422
Title
Fruits of the Guianan Flora
Publication
 
Author
van Roosmalen. M.G.M.
Publisher
Institute of Systematic Boyany, Utrecht University; Netherlands.
Year
1985
ISBN
90-9000988-4
Description
Terse descriptions of over 1,700 species from the Guianas that bear fruits - not necessarily edible! Often mentions if the fruit is edible, plus gives brief description of habit and habitat.
,
734
Title
Chrysobalanaceae Part 1. Species Plantarum: Flora of the World, Part 9: 1-319
Publication
 
Author
Prance G.T.; Sothers C.A.
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/cjb
Publisher
Australian Biological Resources Study; Canberra.
Year
2003
ISBN
0 642 56832 4
Description
An excellent monograph, part of a very ambitious project to catalogue all the plants in the world. It can be downloaded as a PDF file from the Internet.

Range

Northern S. America - northern Brazil, Venezuela, the Guyanas.

Habitat

A canopy tree in rainforests and seasonal forests, usually on sandy soils[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
,
422
Title
Fruits of the Guianan Flora
Publication
 
Author
van Roosmalen. M.G.M.
Publisher
Institute of Systematic Boyany, Utrecht University; Netherlands.
Year
1985
ISBN
90-9000988-4
Description
Terse descriptions of over 1,700 species from the Guianas that bear fruits - not necessarily edible! Often mentions if the fruit is edible, plus gives brief description of habit and habitat.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitTree
Height30.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Not known

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The powdered outer bark is used to dry and clean ulcers and sores[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

A decoction of the inner bark is used to treat snakebite[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

Other Uses

The heartwood is generally a yellowish brown to brown or dark brown, sometimes with a reddish tinge; it is clearly demarcated from the tan-coloured sapwood. The grain is straight; texture close and fine; without characteristic odour or taste; growth layers are not evident. The wood is very dense, hard, very heavy, strong, not very durable in the soil but very resistant to marine borers. Most species contain an abundance of silica[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
]. The wood is difficult to work owing to the high silica content and hardness. The combination of these factors causes a rapid dulling of cutting edges. When sharp cutting edges are maintained, the wood can be machined to a smooth surface in planing, boring, sawing, and other operations[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
]. The high marine borer resistance of the wood indicates that the highest use for these timbers is for piling and marine construction in waters infested with marine borers. The difficulty in working these timbers except with an axe or adze, as well as their high density and only moderate resistance to decay, suggests that their most suitable secondary use would be in heavy construction above ground[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
].
The wood is used for fuel and also for making charcoal[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-12-06. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Licania+alba>

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