Machaerium paraguariense is a semideciduous shrub or a tree with a dense, globose crown; it can grow from 2 - 20 metres tall. The short bole can be 30 - 40cm in diameter[
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for its wood, which is used locally. A good pioneer species, it can be used for restoring woodland in areas where the soil is dry and of poor quality.
S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, southern, central and eastern Brazil, Bolivia.
Semideciduous broadleaved forest and altitude forest, growing mainly in open and secondary growth areas, favouring well-drained, stony soils[
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Requires a sunny position[
]. Requires a well-drained soil, succeeding in poor and dry soils[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
A fairly fast-growing tree, able to reach a height of around 2.5 metres within 2 years from seed[
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.
A moderately fast-growing tree that fixes atmospheric nitrogen and succeeds in poor, dry soils, it is a good species to use when restoring native woodland and can also be used when establishing woodland gardens[
The wood is medium-textured, irregularly cross-grained, moderately heavy, moderately durable when exposed to the elements. It is easy to cut and has been used to make oxen yokes, curved objects, tubs, lathe work etc[
Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing. Seedlings transplant very poorly, so sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in individual containers. A low germination rate can be expected from untreated seed, with the seed sprouting within 25 - 40 days[
]. The seedlings develop slowly, but they should be ready to plant out 7 - 8 months later[
The seed has a viability of no more than 90 days in storage[
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