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Useful Tropical Plants

Metopium toxiferum

(L.) Krug & Urb.

Anacardiaceae

+ Synonyms

Amyris toxifera L.

Common Name:

Metopium toxiferum
Small tree growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Creative Commons License
Metopium toxiferum Metopium toxiferum Metopium toxiferum Metopium toxiferum

General Information

Metopium toxiferum is an evergreen tree with a broad, rounded crown of widely spreading, stout branches; it can grow 4 - 12 metres tall. The usually short bole can be 15 - 60cm in diameter[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood.

Known Hazards

The plant contains a latex, which often exudes naturally from the bark and leaves, becoming black once exposed to the air. This latex irritates the skin and causes allergies. After contact with it, 70% of Europeans develop itching papules a few days later, which then develop into blisters and remain for several weeks[
374
Title
Contact-Poisonous Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Rohde. M.
Website
http://mic-ro.com/plants/
Publisher
 
Year
2006
ISBN
 
Description
A document on the internet. Gives brief information on about 35 species of plants that can cause severe problems from a single contact with the skin.
].
The smoke of the burning wood irritates the skin[
374
Title
Contact-Poisonous Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Rohde. M.
Website
http://mic-ro.com/plants/
Publisher
 
Year
2006
ISBN
 
Description
A document on the internet. Gives brief information on about 35 species of plants that can cause severe problems from a single contact with the skin.
].

Botanical References


Range

Caribbean - Leeward Islands to Cuba and the Bahamas; SE N. America - Florida.

Habitat

Forests and thickets of the dry limestone region and rare in the moist limestone region of Puerto Rico[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height6.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Not known

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

A resinous gum obtained from the bark is said to be diuretic, emetic and purgative[
876
Title
The American Woods (in 14 volumes)
Publication
 
Author
Hough R.B.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Romeyn B. Hough Co.; New York
Year
1888 - 1928
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information, with photographs, of the woods of almost 400 species of American trees. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Other Uses

The heartwood is a rich dark brown streaked with red; the sapwood is yellowish or light brown. The wood is rather fine-textured; hard; heavy; strong; durable. It is easily worked in one report, but hard to work according to another; it takes a fine polish[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
,
876
Title
The American Woods (in 14 volumes)
Publication
 
Author
Hough R.B.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Romeyn B. Hough Co.; New York
Year
1888 - 1928
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information, with photographs, of the woods of almost 400 species of American trees. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is little used in Puerto Rico but has served elsewhere for fence posts[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
]. It might well be used in cabinet work and for furniture, care being taken to overcome its tendency to check in drying[
876
Title
The American Woods (in 14 volumes)
Publication
 
Author
Hough R.B.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Romeyn B. Hough Co.; New York
Year
1888 - 1928
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information, with photographs, of the woods of almost 400 species of American trees. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-09-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Metopium+toxiferum>

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