Closely related to Platymiscium dimorphandrum, and considered conspecific with it by some authorities.
Amerimnon pinnatum Jacq.
Lonchocarpus amerimnum DC.
Platymiscium cochabambense Rusby
Platymiscium dubium Pittier
Platymiscium polystachyum Benth. ex Seem.
Platymiscium urophyllum Harms
Common Name: Panama Redwood
Panama redwood is a deciduous tree with a spreading to rounded crown that can be depressed or elongate; it usually grows to about 20 metres tall, but can reach 33 metres. The straight, cylindrical bole is up to 100cm in diameter, sometimes with small buttresses at the base[
The tree yields a valuable timber, which is used locally and also exported[
]. It is also grown as an ornamental, being valued especially for its showy, sweetly violet-scented flowers[
Northern S. America - Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela; C. America - Panama; Caribbean - Trinidad and Tobago.
Mature rainforests, often on humid slopes, and grassy savannahs[
]. Deciduous to evergreen forests, along rivers in arid coastal scrub, and in the transition forest between savannah and tall gallery fores; at elevations to 1,350 metrest[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A plant of tropical lowland areas, where it is found at elevations up to 600 metres[
]. Prefers a mean annual temperature of 23 - 26°c[
]. Succeeds in areas where the mean annual rainfall varies from 1,500 - 3,000mm[
Prefers a position in full sun[
]. Grows best in a deep, fertile, moisture-retentive soil[
]. Established plants are fairly drought tolerant[
Fairly fast-growing according to one report[
], but slow-growing according to another[
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[
Roasting corn meal in the leaves of this tree is said to impart an agreeable flavour[
Used as a medicine for skin ailments[
The heartwood is rich red or reddish brown, uniform or sometimes with lighter or darker veining; it is clearly demarcated from the 5 - 10cm wide band of yellowish white sapwood. The texture is medium; the grain straight or interlocked, sometimes wavy. The wood is moderately heavy to heavy; hard to very hard; tough; elastic; durable, being resistant to fungi, dry wood borers and termites. It seasons somewhat slowly, with only a slight risk of checking or distortion; once dry it is stable in service. It works well with ordinary tools; finishes smoothly; takes a high polish; nailing and screwing are good, but require pre-boring; gluing is correct. A beautiful and expensive timber usually reserved for first class end uses, it is used in construction, high class furniture and cabinet making, billiard cues, turnery, sculpture, musical instruments, panelling, flooring veneer etc[
]. In Guatemala it is believed to be the favourite wood for making the keys of marimbas[
The wood is used for fuel[
]. The smoke is believed to impart a very pleasant taste to corn tarts that are cooked over the wood[
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