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Useful Tropical Plants

Swartzia benthamiana

Miq.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Swartzia rosea Mart. ex Benth.

Tounatea benthamiana (Miq.) Taub.

Tounatea rosea (Mart. ex Benth.) Taub.

Tunatea benthamiana (Miq.) Kuntze

Tunatea rosea (Mart. ex Benth.) Kuntze

Common Name: Wamara

Swartzia benthamiana
A sample of the wood
Photograph by: mauroguanandi
Creative Commons License

General Information

Wamara is a tree with a small crown; it can grow up to 30 metres tall. The straight bole can be flat or somewhat flanged in shape with a few low buttresses. It can be 40 - 50cm in diameter, exceptionally to 70cm and can be unbranched for up to 20 metres[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
,
422
Title
Fruits of the Guianan Flora
Publication
 
Author
van Roosmalen. M.G.M.
Publisher
Institute of Systematic Boyany, Utrecht University; Netherlands.
Year
1985
ISBN
90-9000988-4
Description
Terse descriptions of over 1,700 species from the Guianas that bear fruits - not necessarily edible! Often mentions if the fruit is edible, plus gives brief description of habit and habitat.
].
Reputed to be one of the most beautiful woods of the Amazon Valley, it is commonly harvested from the wild for local use and for export.

Known Hazards

The sawdust from wood of plants in this genus can be irritating to mill workers[
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.
].

Botanical References

422
Title
Fruits of the Guianan Flora
Publication
 
Author
van Roosmalen. M.G.M.
Publisher
Institute of Systematic Boyany, Utrecht University; Netherlands.
Year
1985
ISBN
90-9000988-4
Description
Terse descriptions of over 1,700 species from the Guianas that bear fruits - not necessarily edible! Often mentions if the fruit is edible, plus gives brief description of habit and habitat.

Range

S. America - Brazil, Ecuador, the Guyanas.

Habitat

Rainforests[
422
Title
Fruits of the Guianan Flora
Publication
 
Author
van Roosmalen. M.G.M.
Publisher
Institute of Systematic Boyany, Utrecht University; Netherlands.
Year
1985
ISBN
90-9000988-4
Description
Terse descriptions of over 1,700 species from the Guianas that bear fruits - not necessarily edible! Often mentions if the fruit is edible, plus gives brief description of habit and habitat.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitTree
Height20.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the moist lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 600 metres.

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[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The red latex that is obtained from the trunk is put on a piece of cotton which is then packed into the cavity of a tooth to relieve toothache[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

The crushed leaves and bark are decocted and applied to aching teeth[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

The plant (part not specified) is used as a sudorific[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

Other Uses

A red latex is obtained from the trunk. It is used medicinally[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

Heartwood is only found in the largest trees. It varies from a chocolate brown to a pale reddish purple or purplish brown, occasionally marked by dark olive or purplish-brown coloured stripes. The very wide sapwood is white in colour. The texture is very fine; lustre good; the grain generally straight but may be variable; odour or taste is not distinctive in dry wood. The wood is extremely heavy, very dense, hard, compact, very strong, and resilient[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
]. It is variously reported as being very difficult to moderately difficult to work with either hand or machine tools, for it is a hard, high-density wood. But there is general agreement that the wood finishes smoothly, turns very satisfactorily (as do many other very dense woods), and polishes well. It takes nails badly and needs preboring for the use of nails or screws[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
]. The heartwood is generally reported to be very resistant to decay, but the sapwood, which makes up the bulk of the lumber produced, is not durable. The wood is rated resistant to damage by the dry-wood termite[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
]. The heartwood is one of the most attractive woods on the export market, it is used for inlay, walking sticks, bagpipes, parquet flooring, and bows, and is recommended as a substitute for ebony for it polishes to a high lustre. The whitish sapwood is used in some localities for implement frames and spokes of wheels; the heartwood for posts, articles of turnery, furniture, cabinetwork, and heavy and durable construction. The sapwood has been recommended as a substitute for hickory (Carya) for those purposes requiring very strong, tough, and resilient material[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
]. The wood should be well fitted for many other uses requiring a heavy, hard wood having high bending and compression strength, abrasion resistance, and durability[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
].

Propagation

Seed -

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