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Useful Tropical Plants

Virola guatemalensis

(Hemsl.) Warb.

Myristicaceae

+ Synonyms

Myristica guatemalensis Hemsl.

Virola laevigata Standl.

Common Name:

Virola guatemalensis
Drawing of the leaves, flowers and fruit
Photograph by: Hemsley, W.B., Biologia Centrali-Americani, Botany, vol. 5: t. 74 (1879-1888)
Creative Commons License

General Information

Virola guatemalensis is a tree growing about 30 metres tall[
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/
].
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[
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/
].

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

Central America - Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico.

Habitat

Moist or wet forest, at elevations from sea level to about 1,150 metres[
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

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitTree
Height30.00 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

The dry seeds are much used for flavouring chocolate and other beverages[
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/
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

An oil is obtained from the seeds[
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 is used in some quantity for making soap and candles and for oiling machinery[
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/
].
The seeds are sometimes strung on splinters and burnt like candles[
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/
].

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[
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/
].

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 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[
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/
].
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+guatemalensis>

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