Myristica calophylla Spruce
Otoba incolor H. Karst.
Palala calophylla (Spruce) Kuntze
Virola calophylloidea Markgr.
Virola incolor H. Karst. ex Warb.
Virola lepidota A.C. Sm.
Virola calophylla is a tree with a spreading crown; it can grow up to 21 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole has small buttresses and can be unbranched for up to 15 metres[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its timber and as a soap substitute.
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam.
Dense, flood-free forests at elevations around 125 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required[
An exudate from the stems is used in the treatment of mouth sores and thrush[
An hallucinogenic snuff is prepared from the reddish bark 'resin'[
]. The resin, which is boiled, dried, pulverized, and occasionally mixed with the powdered leaves of a Justicia species and the bark-ashes of Theobroma subincanum, or Elizabetha princeps, acts rapidly and violently. Effects include excitement, numbness of the limbs, twitching of facial muscles, nausea, hallucinations, and finally a deep sleep. Amongst some native people, use is restricted to Shamans, but in other tribes it is used frequently by many adult males[
Research has shown that the plant contains high amounts of alkaloids, apparently in the leaves alone[
The pulp surrounding the seeds is used locally as a substitute for soap[
The seeds are rich in oil[
]. It is used for making candles and soap[
Cut or damaged trees exude a blood-red, watery latex that is similar to the kino of commerce[
The heartwood is a dull reddish brown; it is distinctly demarcated from the lustrous pinkish brown sapwood. The wood is straight grained; medium-textured; it has a faintly spicy odour but taste is absent or not distinctive. Of fairly light or medium weight, the wood takes a smooth finish and is easy to work[
We do not have any more information on the wood of this species. However, a general description of the wood from this genus is as follows:-
Upon drying and exposure, the heartwood becomes a pinkish golden-brown or a deep reddish-brown; it is sharply demarcated from the cream to tan coloured sapwood. The texture is rather coarse; the grain straight; lustre is low to medium; there is no distinctive odour or taste. The wood is not resistant to attack by decay fungi and is very susceptible to attack by termites and other insects; logs require prompt conversion or water storage to prevent damage by pinhole borers; bacterial attack resulting in the formation of odoriferous compounds is also reported. It is generally reported to be difficult to season, with a strong tendency to warp and check as well as collapse and honeycomb; thick stock is slow to dry. It works easily with both hand and machine tools and produces a good finish; it glues well; cuts well into veneers. The wood is used for purposes such as veneer and plywood, particle and fiberboard, furniture components, boxes and crates, light construction, general carpentry, millwork[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.