Bombax affine (Mart. & Zucc.) Ducke
Bombax spectabile Ulbr.
Bombax spruceanum Ducke
Carolinea affinis Mart. & Zucc.
Carolinea insignis Sw.
Pachira affinis (Mart. & Zucc.) Decne.
Pachira spruceana Decne.
Pachira insignis is an evergreen or semideciduous tree with a dense, rounded crown; it can grow from 10 - 18 metres tall. The erect bole is 40 - 60cm in diameter[
The plant is cultivated in tropical South America and the Antilles as a hedge and is also grown as an ornamental, where it provides excellent shade[
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; Caribbean - West Indies.
Humid upland rainforests, mainly in dense primary forest or late-stage secondary formations in Brazil[
]. Wet, lowland, tropical rainforests at elevations up to 500 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the moist tropics. It is said to be able to tolerate occasional drops in temperature to just below freezing[
Grows well in a sunny position and in partial shade[
]. Prefers a clay, well-watered soil[
]. Prefers a well-drained soil[
]. Plants can tolerate periodic inundation, but also need some time when the soil becomes drier[
]. They grow well on the banks of rivers[
A fast-growing tree[
Seeds - raw or cooked[
]. Eaten raw, they are said to taste a bit like peanuts, whilst the cooked seeds are like chestnuts[
]. The seeds can be roasted and used like cocoa[
]. The seeds can also be ground into a powder and used as flour-substitute in bread[
]. The seeds contain about 50% oil[
]. The large seeds can be up to 8cm in diameter, and are contained in a woody capsule that can be 30cm in diameter and weigh more than 3 kilos[
The wood is light, straight-grained, coarse-textured, easy to cut but with a low resistance to rot[
]. A low value timber, it is used to make toys, boxes, door and panel fillings etc[
]. It is useful for the production of paper[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe. Sow the seed in a partially shaded position in individual containers. Germination rates are usually extremely good, with the seeds sprouting within 10 - 15 days. The seedlings develop quickly[
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