There are still considerable differences in the concept of species delineation within this genus. We are following the treatment of Marquete R. & Mansano Vidal F., in O Gênero Casearia Jacq. No Brasil[
] for all the Brazilian species in this database[
Casearia lanosperma Diogo
Gossypiospermum paraguariense Rehder
Common Name: Pau de Espeto
Casearia gossypiosperma is a deciduous tree with a dense, elongate or pyramidal crown up to 4 metres wide; the tree can grow 10 - 40 metres tall, though occasionally is more shrub-like and as small as 3 metres. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 10 - 90cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use of its wood. It can be used in reforestation schemes and is also sometimes grown as an ornamental in parks and large gardens[
]. The plant has potential for use as an antidote to snake venom.
The fruit is a capsute containing several seeds. Although the capsule of some species (and possibly also the seeds contained therein) is somewhat toxic, the fleshy aril surrounding the seeds is a different matter and in some species (see information below on edibility to see if this is one of them) is often eaten and is considered to be perfectly wholesome[
S. America - Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru.
Semideciduous, broadleaved forests, found mainly in dense, primary forest, sometimes also in savannah, steppe savannah and degraded areas, growing on a wide range of soils[, at elevations up to 850 metres419,
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Succeeds in sunny positions and in moderate shade[
]. Grows in a wide range of soil conditions in the wild[
Young plants are fast-growing[
The fruit is a globose capsule around 3mm in diameter, containing a single seed surrounded by a fibrous aril[
]. We have no specific reports of edibility for this species, but the aril of several species in this genus are known to be edible and, unless it is very bitter, in an emergency the aril of this species is likely to supply a tiny bit of nutriment[
Both hexane and hydroalcoholic extractions of the leaves have shown a marked protection against the toxic effects of snake venom[
Although usually found in dense primary forest, the tree can also succeed in open positions and, being fast-growing, makes a good addition to planting schemes for restoring native woodland[
The wood is moderately heavy, hard, brittle, resistant to the attacks of wood-eating organisms. It is used in general construction for purposes such as scantlings, beams and laths; for the framework of furniture, toys and boxes[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. Only just cover the seed and then cover the seedbed with oakum bags until germination takes place, which should be within 15 - 30 days[
The seed has a viability of less than 90 days in storage[
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