Bowdichia martiusi (Benth.) Ducke
Dibrachion riparium Benth.
Flowers and leaves
Photograph by: T. Croat
Diplotropis martiusii is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 25 metres tall. The bole can be 40 - 60cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine, and for its wood, which is used locally and also exported.
S. America - Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana.
Periodically flooded forests at elevations below 500 metres[
|Other Uses Rating
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The leaves have been burned to make an ash mixed with the powdered leaves of coca (Erythroxylon coca) then used as a stimulant[
]. The dried leaves are powdered and mixed with fariña to ingest when there is blood in the stool[
The heartwood is dark brown to reddish brown, with lighter, thin veins; it is clearly demarcated from the 1 - 2cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is medium; the grain straight or interlocked. The wood is heavy, very hard, elastic; very durable, being resistant to fungi, dry wood borers and termites. It seasons fairly slowly with only a slight risk of distortion or checking; once dry it is poorly to moderately stable in service. It has a fairly high blunting effect upon tools - stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide tools are recommended; there are simetimes difficulties due to the interlocked grain; a good finish can be obtained with fillers; nailing and screwing are good, but pre-boring is required; gluing is correct for interior use only. The wood has many uses, including for high class furniture, cabinetwork, flooring, stairs, heavy carpentry, interior and exterior joinery and panelling, ship building, turnery[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a lightly shaded position in a nursery seedbed[
]. Germination rates are usually high, with the seed sprouting within 14 - 21 days[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual containers when they are 4 - 5cm tall and they should be ready to plant out 5 - 6 months later[
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