Ateramnus lucidus (Sw.) Rothm.
Excoecaria lucida (Sw.) Sw.
Sebastiania lucida (Sw.) Müll.Arg.
Cultivated plant at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami, FL USA
Photograph by: David Stang
Gymnanthes lucida is an evergreen shrub or tree with a narrow crown; it can grow up to 9 metres tall. The bole can be 20cm in diameter, with broad buttresses at the base[
The tree produces a beautiful wood, but it is generally only available in small dimensions and so is not much used.
The plant contains a poisonous, milky juice that can irritate the skin, causing inflammation[
It is said that smoke from the burning wood can cause eye irritation[
C. America - Costa Rica to Mexico; Caribbean - Leeward Isles to Cuba and the Bahamas; SE N. America - Florida.
Forests and thickets in limestone regions[
]. Woods at low elevations[
|Other Uses Rating||
The heartwood is light olive, streaked with dark brown; the sapwood is whitish or yellowish. The wood is very fine- grained, very hard, very heavy, takes a fine polish, and is durable. This beautiful figured and fine-textured wood is used for small carved articles, canes, brush and mirror backs, novelties, etc. Locally, its durability and strength give it value for making posts, stakes, etc., and where obtainable in sufficient size, is well adapted to heavy construction and furniture use. Thin cross-sections are sometimes found in the market for fancy cabinetwork, known as 'Cuban oyster wood'[
The wood is sometimes used for fuel[
]. Caution - see the notes above on 'Known Hazards'[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.