Licania bullatifolia Cuatrec.
Licania retusa Pilg.
Licania seleriana Loes.
Licania arborea is a medium-sized or large tree with a rounded crown and dense foliage[
]. It usually grows 10 - 25 metres tall, with some specimens up to 30 metres, with a bole that can be from 10 - 50cm in diameter[
The tree is commonly harvested from the wild, especially in Mexico, for its seed which is a source of oil[
]. The tree is of some potential economic importance because it is closely related to the oiticica tree (Licania rigida) of Ceara, Brazil, from whose seeds is extracted a commercially important oil[
]. This is exported in large quantities for use in the manufacture of paints[
]. There is every reason to suppose that the oil of this species may have the same properties and be of equal value if available in sufficient quantity[
]. The tree is cultivated for its oil in S. America.
Western S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela; C. America - Panama to Mexico.
Chiefly in dry brushy forest, at elevations of 1,300 metres or less[
]. Low elevations, in dry or wet areas. It is common in savannahs and grasslands in dry areas of the Pacific in Panama, but rare or absent in the Caribbean rainforest[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
The bark and leaves are used in folk medicine to cure haemorrhoids and kidney problems[
The seeds are said to contain about 30 per cent of oil and to burn readily[
]. They are sometimes strung on sticks and burned like candles[
]. The oil has been used in substantial amounts for making candles, soap, axle grease, and other articles[
]. It is said to have a peculiar odour, disagreeable flavour, and a greenish colour that it imparts to soap made from it[
The obovoid fruits are 2 - 3 cm long or larger and contain a single large seed[
The wood is durable[
], and is reported to be used at times for heavy construction[
]. It is used in rural construction and for fence posts[
We have no more specific information on the qualities of this wood, the following is the general description for the genus:-
The wood is a pale or pinkish brown with a greyish tinge, sometimes darkening on exposure, and with long, broad, prominent, dark reddish brown gum streaks[
]. Straight-grained; medium or coarse-textured; when seasoned it is odourless and tasteless. The wood is heavy, hard, strong, and durable. It is easy to split and takes a smooth, fairly lustrous polish[
]. It should be suitable for heavy construction[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.