Myristica guatemalensis Hemsl.
Virola laevigata Standl.
Virola guatemalensis is a tree growing about 30 metres tall[
The tree is mainly used locally as the source of an oil-rich seed used for lighting and food. The seeds are sold in local markets for use as a flavouring[
Central America - Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico.
Moist or wet forest, at elevations from sea level to about 1,150 metres[
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A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required[
The dry seeds are much used for flavouring chocolate and other beverages[
An oil is obtained from the seeds[
]. It is used in some quantity for making soap and candles and for oiling machinery[
The seeds are sometimes strung on splinters and burnt like candles[
The young branches often appear in whorls at the ends of the larger ones and such whorls are used like egg-beaters for whipping chocolate and for stirring food in the process of cooking[
Cut or damaged trees exude a blood-red, watery latex that is similar to the kino of commerce[
The wood is pale brown, light in weight but firm, rather coarse-textured, easy to work, not durable. It is said to be suitable for general carpentry and construction, for boxes, and for other purposes where great durability is not necessary. It is suitable also for paper pulp[
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[
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