Tabebuia cristata A.H.Gentry
Handroanthus cristatus is a deciduous tree with an oval crown; it can grow 15 - 35 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 40 - 50cm in diameter[
The tree yields a good quality wood and so is often harvested from the wild. Very ornamental when in flower, it can be used in landscaping[
S. America - eastern Brazil.
A canopy or subcanopy tree in the Atlantic rainforest, favouring dry, well-drained soils[
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Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Found in the wild on well-drained, dry soils[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
A fast-growing plant[
The wood is fine-textured, irregular-grained, heavy, hard to cut, highly resistant to wood-eating organisms. It can be used for finishing work in interior construction and also for external structures[
Most species of Handroanthus, almost certainly including this one, produce a very hard, heavy and durable timber known as Ipe. The general description of Ipe wood is as follows:-
The heartwood is yellowish brown to dark olive brown, sometimes with thin veins; it is clearly demarcated from the 3 - 9cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is usually fine, though it is medium in some species; the grain is interlocked; there are canals in the wood containing a greenish-yellow deposit of lapachol. The wood is very heavy; very hard; elastic; it is very durable, even in contact with the soil, resisting fungi, dry wood borers and termites. It seasons slowly, but with only a low risk of checking or distortion; once dry it is moderately stable in service. The wood has a fairly high blunting effect - stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide tools are recommended; there can be some difficulties due to the interlocked grain; filling is recommended in order to get a good finish; nailing and screwing are good , but require pre-boring; gluing is correct for internal use only, and needs to be done with care because the wood is so dense. A very durable and strong wood, it has a very wide range of uses, especially for outdoor applications. It is used for making high class furniture, cabinet work, heavy construction, railway sleepers, bridges, hydraulic works, industrial flooring, posts and poles, turnery, musical instruments, tool handles, veneer etc[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. A germination rate in excess of 50% can be expected if the seed is fresh, with the seed sprouting within 10 - 15 days[
The seed has a short period of viability of less than 4 - 5 months in storage[
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