Solena latifolia Rudge
Tocoyena latifolia (Rudge) Lam.
Common Name: Needle Flower Tree
Needle flower tree is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing 6 - 15 metres tall[
The edible fruit is appreciated by some - it is gathered from the wild and consumed locally[
]. The tree is occasionally cultivated in Panama in house-gardens[
], it is also often grown as an ornamental, being valued especially for its remarkable and very fragrant blooms which can be carried in great profusion[
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, north through Central America to Mexico.
]. Humid forests on volcanic soils[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a position in full sun or bright shade[
]. Grows best in a deep, rich, moisture-retentive soil[
]. Established plants are fairly drought tolerant[
The plant flowers when there is a period of heavy rain following a dry period[
Fruit - raw[
]. A sweet, fleshy aril[
]. Not very tasty[
]. The yellow fruit is about 5cm in diameter[
The bark contains a blood-clotting agent and is used in the Amazon to treat wounds caused by poison arrows[
]. It has been trialled as an AIDS vaccine[
The dried, powdered flowers are used to repel fleas[
The small calliper, finely grained dense wood is used for making walking sticks[
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