Alicastrum guianense (Aubl.) Kuntze
Brosimum aubletii Poepp. & Endl.
Brosimum discolor Schott
Brosimum lecointei Ducke
Brosimum lemeei (Benoist) Lemee
Brosimum palmarum Standl.
Brosimum panamense (Pittier) Standl. & Steyerm.
Brosimum rotundatum Standl.
Brosimum tessmannii Mildbr.
Brosimum velutinum (S.F. Blake) Ducke
Piratinera discolor (Schott) Pittier
Piratinera guianensis Aubl.
Piratinera lemeei Benoist
Piratinera mollis Killip
Piratinera panamensis Pittier
Piratinera scabridula S.F. Blake
Piratinera velutina S.F. Blake
Common Name: Bastard Breadnut
Looking up the trunk into the canopy
Photograph by: Tarciso Leão
Bastard breadnut is a deciduous tree with a dense, elongate crown; it can grow up to 40 metres tall, but is usually much smaller. The straight, cylindrical bole can be unbranched for 12 metres and 40 - 70cm in diameter; it is unbuttressed and can be with or without basal prop roots[
The plant is exploited from the wild for its wood, which is highly sought after for specialist uses. It is one of the most expensive of woods, often sold by weight[
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia and Peru, north through Central America to Mexico.
Forests that are not subject to inundation at elevations from sea level to 1,000 metres[
]. It is most commonly found in secondary forests, and sometimes in very dry or very humid terrains[
|Other Uses Rating||
A plant of the lowland tropics, where it is found in dry to very humid regions[
Succeeds in a sunny to semi-shaded position. Plants are at least somewhat drought resistant[
Young plants normally establish well and grow away quickly[
Plants flower and fruit throughout the year.
A monoecious species, but male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed is required.
The macerated bark is warmed and used as an analgesic[
The latex is anthelmintic, bitter and caustic[
]. It is mixed with dairy milk and then drunk as a remedy for internal ulcers. It is drunk as a treatment for asthma and colds[
A thick, sticky, white latex is obtained from the bark[
The tree is slow in forming heartwood, which is the only part used commercially. A tree of 35cm diameter may, on occasions, have only 2 - 10cm of heartwood, while a 50cm tree will ordinarily have not more than 18cm. The amount of heartwood is reported to vary according to location. Certain areas produce timber with considerable heartwood, while in other areas even large trees may not be worth felling[
The heartwood is dark red to reddish brown or brown, with black markings that resemble letters or hieroglyphs - the
distinctiveness of these markings is reduced as the colour of the backgrounds is darkened by exposure; it is not clearly demarcated from the light, yellow to nearly white sapwood[
]. The texture is medium; the grain straight; lustre medium; there is no distinctive odour or taste. The wood is extremely hard, extremely heavy, strong, very durable, resistant to dry wood termites[
]. Because of its hardness, the wood is worked with considerable difficulty, being difficult to cut and taking nails poorly, however it finishes smoothly and takes a beautiful polish[
Because of the limited supply, small size, and high cost, the wood is best suited for specialty items that capitalize on its unusual beauty, hardness, and density. It is therefore mainly used for purposes such as inlay work, furniture, drum sticks, umbrella handles, fishing rods, fancy articles, violin bows, cabinet work etc[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in individual pots or a nursery bed in a sunny position[
]. Germination rates are usually above 50%, with sprouting occurring in a few weeks[
]. Plants grow away quickly.
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.