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Useful Tropical Plants

Terminalia amazonia

(J.F.Gmel.) Exell

Combretaceae

+ Synonyms

Bucida angustifolia DC.

Chunchoa obovata Pers.

Chuncoa amazonia J.F.Gmel.

Chuncoa amazonica J.F.Gmel.

Chuncoa obovata (Ruiz & Pav.) Poir.

Gimbernatia amazonia Ruiz & Pav.

Gimbernatia obovata Ruiz & Pav.

Myrobalanus obovatus (Ruiz & Pav.) Kuntze

Terminalia excelsa Liebm. ex Hemsl.

Terminalia hayesii Pittier

Terminalia obovata (Ruiz & Pav.) Steud.

Terminalia odontoptera Van Heurck & Müll.Arg.

Terminalia ovata Steud.

Common Name: White Olive

Terminalia amazonia
Base of trunk showing small buttresses
Photograph by: Indiana Coronado
Creative Commons License
Terminalia amazonia Terminalia amazonia Terminalia amazonia Terminalia amazonia Terminalia amazonia Terminalia amazonia

General Information

White Olive is a moderately fast-growing, virtually evergreen tree with a large crown; it can grow up to 40 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be unbranched for 15 - 18 metres, up to 100cm in diameter, with buttresses that are often quite high[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
,
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 is often harvested from the wild, mainly for local use.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/

Range

S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; north through Central America to Mexico.

Habitat

Wet forest or open savannahs at elevations up to 300 metres in Guatemala[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
]. It can grow in swamps as well as on the lower parts of slopes[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height30.00 m
Growth RateMedium
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant of mainly lower elevations in the tropics, usually found from near sea level to below 1,000 metres but occasionally found as high as 2,000 metres near the Equator.
Succeeds in a wide range of soils in the wild, including poor sands and clays, but avoiding drier sites[
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.
]

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

The bark on the lower part of the trunk curls up in thin sheets that can easily be pulled loose; it often falls off and litters the ground[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Other Uses

The bark is a source of tannins[
341
Title
South American Timbers: the Properties, Uses and Characteristics of 190 Species.
Publication
 
Author
Bolza. E. & Christensen. F.J.
Publisher
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
Year
1979
ISBN
0 643 02582 0
Description
A very useful guide.
].

The heartwood is yellowish, light yellowish-brown or brownish-olive, often with irregular red-brown streaks; it merges gradually into the 3 - 8cm wiide band of yellowish sapwood. The texture is medium; the grain is straight; lustre is high to very high; there is no distinctive taste or aroma. The wood is heavy to very heavy; hard to very hard; strong; elastic; moderately durable, being resistant to dry wood borers, moderately resistant to fungi and termites, but susceptible to marine borers. It seasons slowly with a high risk of checking and distortion; once dry it is moderately stable to stable in service. It has a fairly high blunting effect, stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide tools are recommended; finishing is good, with the wood taking good polish; nailing and screwing are good if the holes are pre-bored; gluing is poor. Pieces that are straight grained can be planed, moulded, bored, mortised and sawn cleanly. A good quality wood, it is used for high quality furniture, cabinet making, arched goods, turnery, industrial flooring, ship building, joinery, tool handles, moulding, veneer etc[
363
Title
Technical Information on 134 Species of Bolivian Woods
Publication
 
Author
USDA Forest Service -- Forest Products Lab
Website
http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/publications/
Publisher
USDA Forest Service
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A PDF file, available for download. Exactly what the title says, brief and to the point.
,
848
Title
Tropix 7
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tropix.cirad.fr/en
Publisher
CIRAD
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line guide to the timbers of 245 species of trees.
]. The wood is also used for general construction and railroad ties, though it is not highly esteemed for the latter purpose[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
,
341
Title
South American Timbers: the Properties, Uses and Characteristics of 190 Species.
Publication
 
Author
Bolza. E. & Christensen. F.J.
Publisher
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
Year
1979
ISBN
0 643 02582 0
Description
A very useful guide.
].

Propagation

Seed -

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