Vaupesia cataractarum is an evergreen tree growing up to 25 metres tall[
Although poisonous unless treated, the seeds are often gathered as a source of food for native people.
The seeds contain cyanic compounds and are poisonous[
]. They can, however, be prepared as food - see the method below in Edible Uses[
Northern S. America - northern Brazil, Colombia.
Rocky and sterile but well-watered sites usually alongside cataracts and rapids in the rivers, where there are either quartzitic or granitic outcrops[
The seeds are usually produced in great profusion every year[
Seed - cooked[
]. The seeds are poisonous raw and need careful preparation to render them safe to eat. They are boiled and then washed several times to leech out the toxic compounds, after which they are broken up by hand. A paste resembling cream-cheese in appearance and taste can be prepared from them[
]. Alternatively, the damp mash can be gently toasted on a flat plate over the fire and reduced to a fine greyish white meal which is made into casabe or unleavened bread[
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