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Useful Tropical Plants

Virola calophylla

(Spruce) Warb.

Myristicaceae

+ Synonyms

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.

Common Name:

Virola calophylla
Fruit opening to show the seed
Photograph by: C. E. Timothy Paine
Creative Commons License
Virola calophylla Virola calophylla Virola calophylla

General Information

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[
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for its timber and as a soap substitute.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam.

Habitat

Dense, flood-free forests at elevations around 125 metres[
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitTree
Height15.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details



A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required[
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/
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

An exudate from the stems is used in the treatment of mouth sores and thrush[
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
].

An hallucinogenic snuff is prepared from the reddish bark 'resin'[
630
Title
Botanical Museum Leaflets Vol 28
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1981
ISBN
 
Description
An article on the Ethnopharmacological uses of plants in northwestern S. America, amongst many other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. 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[
630
Title
Botanical Museum Leaflets Vol 28
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1981
ISBN
 
Description
An article on the Ethnopharmacological uses of plants in northwestern S. America, amongst many other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Research has shown that the plant contains high amounts of alkaloids, apparently in the leaves alone[
630
Title
Botanical Museum Leaflets Vol 28
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Cambridge, Mass.
Year
1981
ISBN
 
Description
An article on the Ethnopharmacological uses of plants in northwestern S. America, amongst many other articles. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Other Uses

The pulp surrounding the seeds is used locally as a substitute for soap[
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The seeds are rich in oil[
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 used for making candles and soap[
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.
].

Cut or damaged trees exude a blood-red, watery latex that is similar to the kino of commerce[
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 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[
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
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[
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 -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-08-25. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Virola+calophylla>

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