Results of DNA analysis in various studies (see, for example, R.B. Figlar & H.P. Nooteboom, Blumea 49: 87-100. 2004) have supported the concept that the various genera comprising the subfamily Magnolioideae would be more consistently treated as a single genus, Magnolia. This is the treatment followed here, though it is still not universally accepted[
Talauma macrocarpa Zucc.
Talauma mexicana (DC.) G.Don
Magnolia mexicana is a large, evergreen tree that can grow up to 30 metres tall with a bole 1 metre in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food flavouring, medicine and source of wood. The wood is of high quality and is commonly traded[
]. The plant is especially valued within its native range for the extremely sweet aroma of its flowers, one flower being said to be sufficient to scent a whole house[
]. The tree is sometimes cultivated for its flowers and possibly its seed cones[
Central America - Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico.
Forests at elevations around 1,500 metres in Guatemala[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
The powdered cones (more probably the petals) are said to be used like nutmeg for flavouring chocolate and other articles of food[
The bark is employed as a remedy for fevers, and is said also to have an effect upon the heart similar to that of digitalis[
An infusion of the flowers is said to be aphrodisiac[
]. A decoction of the flowers is used as a treatment for epilepsy, paralysis, and various heart affections, and is also considered to be a tonic[
The plant, upon analysis, is said to yield a glucoside which dissolves the blood corpuscles[
The wood is of high quality and has industrial uses[
We do not have any more information on the wood of this species, but a general description of the wood for members of this genus growing in Central America and the Caribbean is as follows:-
The heartwood is olive-green when freshly cut, becoming light yellowish-brown to greenish-brown sometimes with a purplish tinge upon exposure, purple, dark brown, or nearly black streaks are common; the wide band of sapwood is white to greenish when first cut, darkening somewhat on exposure. The texture is fine and uniform; the grain straight to interlocked; lustre is low to moderate; there is no distinctive odour or taste. The heartwood is rated durable to highly durable with respect to deterioration by both white-rot and brown-rot fungi, but vulnerable to dry-wood termite attack. The wood is easy to air season, drying rapidly with no or slight warp and checking. It saws and machines easily, however in planing there may be considerable tearing where grain is irregular. It is used for utility veneer and plywood, millwork, furniture and cabinet work, general interior and exterior construction, boat planking, and turnery[
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