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Useful Tropical Plants

Prioria copaifera

Griseb.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Camibar

Prioria copaifera
Close-up of the flowers
Photograph by: R. Pérez; Center for Tropical Forest Science
© Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Prioria copaifera Prioria copaifera

General Information

Camibar is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 50 metres tall with a deep, very dense crown that allows almost no light to pass through[
333
Title
Tree Species of Panama
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ctfs.arnarb.harvard.edu/webatlas/mainframe.php?order=s
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Factsheets on all the tree and shrub species of Panama, giving identification guide, brief guide to the species and some uses. A vast, but rather incomplete work as of 15/07/09.
]. One of the spectacular forest trees of Panama, it has a clear straight bole up to 75cm in diameter with exceptional specimens to 150cm, the bole is unbuttressed and generally unbranched until near the top[
315
Title
Flora of Barro Colorado Island
Publication
 
Author
Croat. Thomas B.
Website
http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bioinformatics/croat/home
Publisher
Stanford University Press
Year
1978
ISBN
0-8047-0950-5
Description
A very good flora of an area in Panama. Written some years ago, so some of the names have been changed. The book is out of print, but the whole flora is now available on the web.
,
333
Title
Tree Species of Panama
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ctfs.arnarb.harvard.edu/webatlas/mainframe.php?order=s
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Factsheets on all the tree and shrub species of Panama, giving identification guide, brief guide to the species and some uses. A vast, but rather incomplete work as of 15/07/09.
].
This is one of the most commonly harvested timber trees of Panama, owing to its large size and its tendency to form nearly monospecific stands in swamps along rivers[
333
Title
Tree Species of Panama
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ctfs.arnarb.harvard.edu/webatlas/mainframe.php?order=s
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Factsheets on all the tree and shrub species of Panama, giving identification guide, brief guide to the species and some uses. A vast, but rather incomplete work as of 15/07/09.
]. This tree also furnishes the resin known in commerce as Copaiba balsam (balsamo de copaiba), which has various uses in medicine and pharmacy[
369
Title
Flora of Costa Rica
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C.
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago
Year
1938
ISBN
 
Description
Rather dated, but an excellent treatment of the area. Available for download from the internet.
]. The edible seeds are gathered from the wild for local use and are sold in local markets under the name 'cativa'[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

315
Title
Flora of Barro Colorado Island
Publication
 
Author
Croat. Thomas B.
Website
http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bioinformatics/croat/home
Publisher
Stanford University Press
Year
1978
ISBN
0-8047-0950-5
Description
A very good flora of an area in Panama. Written some years ago, so some of the names have been changed. The book is out of print, but the whole flora is now available on the web.
,
898
Title
A Revision of Prioria, including Gossweilerodendron, Kingiodendron, Oxystigma and Pterygopodium (Leguminosae - Caesa
Publication
Wageningen Agricultural University Papers 99-3
Author
Breteler F.J.
Publisher
Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands.
Year
1999
ISBN
90-5782-045-5
Description
A treatment of the genus Prioria (Fabaceae), uniting the genera Gossweilerodendron, Kingiodendron, Oxystigma and Pterygopodium under Prioria.

Range

Northern S. America - Colombia; C. America - Panama to Nicaragua; Caribbean - Trinidad.

Habitat

A canopy tree of rainforests, often found in swampy ground[
333
Title
Tree Species of Panama
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ctfs.arnarb.harvard.edu/webatlas/mainframe.php?order=s
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Factsheets on all the tree and shrub species of Panama, giving identification guide, brief guide to the species and some uses. A vast, but rather incomplete work as of 15/07/09.
]. Found mainly along the margins of rivers and swamps, especially the inland side of mangrove swamps, it can form nearly pure stands in flooded areas[
315
Title
Flora of Barro Colorado Island
Publication
 
Author
Croat. Thomas B.
Website
http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bioinformatics/croat/home
Publisher
Stanford University Press
Year
1978
ISBN
0-8047-0950-5
Description
A very good flora of an area in Panama. Written some years ago, so some of the names have been changed. The book is out of print, but the whole flora is now available on the web.
,
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height35.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant of moist to wet, lowland tropical areas, usually near the coast at elevations up to 40 metres, sometimes up to 150 metres inland[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
Young plants are tolerant of shade, but older trees require a sunny position[
333
Title
Tree Species of Panama
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ctfs.arnarb.harvard.edu/webatlas/mainframe.php?order=s
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Factsheets on all the tree and shrub species of Panama, giving identification guide, brief guide to the species and some uses. A vast, but rather incomplete work as of 15/07/09.
]. Prefers a rich, loamy soil[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. The tree grows best in areas that are flooded during the rainy season[
469
Title
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol. 27
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1928
ISBN
 
Description
Contains a Flora of the Panama Canal zone
].
The seeds are very buoyant and are often found floating in the water at the edge of lakes[
315
Title
Flora of Barro Colorado Island
Publication
 
Author
Croat. Thomas B.
Website
http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bioinformatics/croat/home
Publisher
Stanford University Press
Year
1978
ISBN
0-8047-0950-5
Description
A very good flora of an area in Panama. Written some years ago, so some of the names have been changed. The book is out of print, but the whole flora is now available on the web.
].

Edible Uses

The enormous seeds have edible embryos[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. They are sold under the name 'cativa'[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
].

Medicinal

The resin obtained from the wood is used as medicine by native Americans[
333
Title
Tree Species of Panama
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ctfs.arnarb.harvard.edu/webatlas/mainframe.php?order=s
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Factsheets on all the tree and shrub species of Panama, giving identification guide, brief guide to the species and some uses. A vast, but rather incomplete work as of 15/07/09.
].
The resin is used to heal cuts and bites and as a general antiseptic[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].

Other Uses

The bark is stripped from trees for making cord[
333
Title
Tree Species of Panama
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ctfs.arnarb.harvard.edu/webatlas/mainframe.php?order=s
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Factsheets on all the tree and shrub species of Panama, giving identification guide, brief guide to the species and some uses. A vast, but rather incomplete work as of 15/07/09.
].

A resin is obtained from the wood[
333
Title
Tree Species of Panama
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ctfs.arnarb.harvard.edu/webatlas/mainframe.php?order=s
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Factsheets on all the tree and shrub species of Panama, giving identification guide, brief guide to the species and some uses. A vast, but rather incomplete work as of 15/07/09.
]. The dark brown, resinous gum obtained by cutting the bole has a stinging taste and is used by natives as a flytrap[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].

The heartwood is medium to light brown, often attractively streaked; it is sharply demarcated from the thick band of sapwood, which is pinkish to white when fresh, becoming dingy on the surface because of oily exudations. The texture is rather fine and uniform; the grain straight; superficially dull but with a golden lustre beneath; there is no distinctive odour or taste. The wood is generally rated as non-durable, particularly in resistance to white rot. It dries rapidly, with no checking and only slight warping; collapse is reported to occur sometimes in the darker streaks in the heartwood, particularly during kiln drying. The wood tends to be wooly when sawn green; it machines well in all operations when dry mostly with smooth surfaces, sometimes with a slight tendency to fuzziness; easy to glue; requires care in finishing because of gum content; fair to good in steambending quality. It is used for purposes such as interior trim, furniture and cabinet work, joinery, veneer and plywood, millwork; it is used to prepare resinstabilized veneer for pattern stock[
316
Title
Tropical Timbers of the World. Ag. Handbook No. 607.
Publication
 
Author
Chudnoff. Martin.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service. Wisconsin.
Year
1984
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on the properties of the wood of almost 400 species of trees from the Tropics.
].

Propagation

Seed - it normally germinates whilst inside the pod, the shoots growing out of the apex[
342
Title
Flora of Jamaica
Publication
 
Author
Fawcett. W. & Rendle. A. B.
Publisher
British Museum
Year
1910
ISBN
 
Description
Rather dated, so many name changes. Nevertheless, a very good guide to the plants of the Caribbean. The book is out of copyright and can be legally downloaded from various websites.
]. Root protrusion occurs 30 - 40 days after sowing[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. The percentage of germination is greater than 85%[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].

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