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[
Athenaea guianensis (Aubl.) J.F. Gmel.
Casearia arguta Kunth
Casearia fallax Miq.
Casearia ramiflora Vahl
Iroucana guianensis Aubl.
Samyda octandra Sessé & Moc.
Common Name: Guyanese wild coffee
Casearia guianensis is an evergreen shrub or a tree with a spreading crown; it usually grows up to 6 metres tall, but occasional specimens up to 20 metres are recorded. The short bole can be 5 - 15cm or more in diameter[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood.
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 - Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas; C. America - Panama, Costa Rica; Caribbean - Trinidad to Cuba.
Mainly in more open areas of rainforest, seasonal forest and coastal forest, also in savannah and steppe savannah, and areas of secondary growth, roadsides etc, growing in a range of soil types; at elevations up to 630 metres[
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The fruit is a capsule containing a number of seeds that are surrounded by a fleshy 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[
The bark is astringent[
]. It is used in the treatment of urethral discharge[
The yellow or light brown wood is hard and heavy[
]. When available in sufficient size it can be used for lumber, for construction of traditional houses, fences etc.
The wood is used for fuel[
The seed of species in this genus often has a short period of viability and so is best sown as soon as it is ripe. The seed is collected when the fruits start to open - leave them in the sun to open completely to release the seed, then rinse the seed in water to remove the arils[
]. Sow the seed in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed, only just covering the seed, and keep moist. Germination rates vary, but can usually be expected to be low, with the seed sprouting within 20 - 30 days[
]. When the seedlings are 3 - 5cm tall, pot them up into individual containers and they should be ready to plant out a few months later[
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