Collophora utilis Mart.
Couma dulcis Spruce ex Müll.Arg.
Couma multinervis Monach.
Common Name: Sorva
Couma utilis is a medium-sized, evergreen tree with an ample and dense crown; it can grow from 5 - 20 metres tall with occasional specimens to 25 metres[
]. The straight bole can be 40 - 80cm in diameter[
A very popular fruit in its native range, where it is widely sold in local markets[
]. The tree is harvested from the wild for food, medicine and the latex it yields. It is also cultivated for these purposes in Brazil and is grown as an ornamental[
S. America - lowland Amazonia in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.
Dense forest of virgin bushes, on flooded or dry land[
]. Often grows in dry non-flood zones, in or near fields and grasslands[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A tree of the moist, tropical lowlands where it is found at elevations up to 500 metres[[
]. It grows best in areas where the temperature ranges from 20 - 30°c, but is able to tolerate a range from 15 - 35°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall of 2,000 - 4,000mm, but tolerates from 1,500 - 5,000mm, and is found in areas with a distinct dry season as well as areas of all year round rainfall[
Succeeds in full sun or dappled shade[
]. Grows wild on white sand soils[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 4.5 - 6, tolerating from 4 - 6.5[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
Trees have a moderate rate of growth[
Fruit - raw[
]. Small and round, looking somewhat like a guava, with an edible sweet, fleshy pulp[
]. The flavour is like a mangaba (Hancornia speciosa) with a hint of sapodilla (Manilkara zapota)[
]. The brown, globose fruit is about 4cm in diameter[
The latex obtained from the tree has a sweet flavour[
]. It is used as a chewing gum and also to flavour drinks[
The latex obtained from the tree is anthelmintic and antiseptic[
]. It is eaten to treat diarrhoea, worms and parasites[
The latex is applied externally to treat skin irritations[
A latex is obtained from tapping the tree[
]. Used traditionally for caulking boats[
]. It is used for a variety of industrial purposes, including varnishes, for ceramics, glues etc[
The wood is fine-textured, straight-grained, moderately heavy, with moderate mechanical properties and of very low durability. It is used in cabinet-making, carpentry and general construction[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a lightly shaded position in a nursery seedbed[[
]. A high germination rate can be expected, with the seeds sprouting within 20 - 40 days[
]. Transplant the seedlings into individual containers when 4 - 6cm tall, and plant out 5 - 6 months later[
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