Macrolobium elegans Miq.
Macrolobium hymenaeoides Willd.
Macrolobium stamineum G.Mey.
Macrolobium vuapa J.F.Gmel.
Vouapa bifolia Aubl.
Vouapa staminea (G.Mey.) DC.
Vuapa bifolia (Aubl.) J.St.Hilaire
Common Name: Ipê
Macrolobium bifolium is a deciduous tree with a large, dense, roundish crown; it can grow 5 - 18 metres tall[
]. The bole can be unbranched for more than half its height and up to 35cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood. It is grown as a pioneer species for restoring degraded land, and is also planted as a shade tree along beaches of white sand[
S. America - northern Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas.
Rainforests and gallery forests, most commonly in the more open, secondary formations, usually in areas subject to seasonal inundation; favouring moist to swampy, fertile soils near rivers and also found in white sand beaches on river margins[
|Other Uses Rating
|Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Succeeds in full sun to moderate shade[
]. Prefers a moist to wet, fertile soil, though it also succeeds when planted in white, infertile sands[
Young plants have a moderate rate of growth[
Although many species within the family Fabaceae have a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria, this species is said to be devoid of such a relationship and therefore does not fix atmospheric nitrogen.
The bark has medicinal properties[
We have no further information, but a decoction of the bark of the related Macrolobium angustifolium is used internally and externally to treat fevers[
The tree is recommended as a pioneer species for planting in disturbed and degraded areas[
The heartwood is light red; it is sharply demarcated from the about 5cm wide band of dirty pinkish-grey sapwood. Texture is medium to coarse; the grain straight. The wood is moderately heavy, soft, and of low durability. It is easy to work, with moderate mechanical properties; has a tendency to split and so takes nails badly; planes easily but badly; polishes moderately well. It is only used locally for purposes such as general construction, making boxes, tool handles etc[
The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in individual containers. A high germination rate can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 30 - 40 days[
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