Myristica fatua Sw.
Myristica gracilis A.DC.
Myristica sebifera longifolia Lam.
Myristica surinamensis Rol. ex Rottb.
Palala surinamensis (Rol. ex Rottb.) Kuntze
Virola carinata (Benth.) Warb.
Virola glaziovii Warb.
Virola nobilis A.C.Sm.
Common Name: White Ucuba
White ucuba is an evergreen tree growing 25 - 35 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole is buttressed, it can be free of branches for 15 - 18 metres and 60 - 90cm in diameter[
The tree provides an important timber that is traded internationally. It is also harvested from the wild for the local use of the fat obtained from its seeds and for its medicinal properties.
Although the species is listed as globally threatened it is one of the most common trees in lowland Surinam being found in almost all forest types, including secondary forest[
]. The plant is classified as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, the Guyanas; Central America - Costa Rica; Caribbean - Trinidad, Martinique.
Rainforests, in both primary and secondary formations, in areas liable to periodic inundation[
]. Swamp and marshy forests[
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Prefers a sunny position[
]. Trees are tolerant of periodic inundation of the soil[
Newly planted young trees establish and grow away moderately well[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required[
An edible fat is obtained from the seed[
The stem is antitussive, disinfectant and emollient. The branches are grated and drunk in a decoction to relieve coughs[
]. This species is possibly used as an hallucinogenic snuff in Amazonia, where an intoxicating paste is also made from the bark[
The bark is used to treat haemorrhoids and in a mouthwash to treat abscessed teeth[
]. Combined with the bark of Humiria balsamifera, it is used as a wash to treat erysipelas and swellings[
A reddish exudate from the stems is resolvent[739. It is applied to skin rashes, mouth sores, thrush, toothache, anal itch and jock itch fungus[
The oil from the seeds is used as a rub in the treatment of aphthae and piles[
An infusion of the leaves is used to treat stomach troubles[
The leaf contains the lignans elemicine, galbacine, veraguensine, surinamensine and viroline, which have been shown to be toxic to parasitic bilharzia worms[
The seeds contain 60 - 70% fat[
]. It is used as a fuel[
]. The fat 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 cream, light brownish to pinkish-grey when first cut, turning pinkish to deep reddish or golden-brown on exposure; clearly demarcated from the sapwood. It is straight-grained; medium to coarse texture; medium lustre, growth rings not always distinct[
]. The wood is light in weight, soft, rough-surfaced, coarse, with a low resistance to rot and very susceptible to termite and marine borer attack[
]. It cuts well with hand and power saws; works easily with hand and machine tools; turns satisfactorily and finishes well, takes nails and screws easily without splitting; glues readily; takes a high lustrous finish[
]. A first class peeling timber, it is used for making plywood, cabinet lining, boxes, veneer, pulping for paper[
Seed - it has a limited viability and should be sown as soon as it is ripe. Sow in individual containers in a lightly shaded position. Germination rates are generally low, the seed sprouting within 30 - 60 days[
]. The seedlings grow away quite slowly and take 8 - 9 months before they are ready for planting out[
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