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Useful Tropical Plants

Mimusops balata

(Aubl.) C.F.Gaertn.

Sapotaceae


There is often confusion over this name. Mimusops balata Crueg. ex Griseb., is a synonym of Manilkara bidentata (A.DC.) A.Chev., a plant of the American tropics that is commonly known as Balata and is the source of Balata gum. The species treated here, Mimusops balata (Aubl.) C.F.Gaertn., is a distinct African species[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Achras balata Aubl.

Binectaria borbonica Kuntze

Imbricaria balata (Aubl.) A.Chev.

Imbricaria binectaria A.DC.

Imbricaria borbonica C.F.Gaertn.

Imbricaria commersonii G.Don

Imbricaria gigantea Pierre ex Baill.

Imbricaria maxima Poir.

Kaukenia commersonii (G.Don) Pierre ex Engl.

Mimusops balota Blume

Mimusops commersonii (G.Don) Engl.

Mimusops imbricaria Willd.

Mimusops maxima (Poir.) R.E.Vaughan

Mimusops nattarium Willemet

Mimusops retusa Willemet

Common Name:

Mimusops balata
Looking up the trunk
Photograph by: David Stang
Creative Commons License
Mimusops balata Mimusops balata Mimusops balata Mimusops balata Mimusops balata

General Information

Mimusops balata is a tree that can grow up to 20 metres tall[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The tree has been heavily exploited for construction timber, and is also harvested from the wild as a local supply of food and medicine[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. In RĂ©union the tree is planted for ecological restoration of the environment and as an ornamental tree[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Africa - Mauritius, RĂ©union.

Habitat

Humid forests at elevations up to 1,100 metres[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. In drier regions it is usually found along streams[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitTree
Height15.00 m
Growth RateSlow
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details



The tree is fairly slow-growing[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw. A sweet pulp with an agreeable flavour[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The fruit is a bright green, globose to pear-shaped berry 5 - 7 cm in diameter, containing 1 - 7 seeds[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Medicinal

A leaf decoction is astringent and used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery and haemorrhage[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

The tree contains latex[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. No uses are mentioned.

The heartwood is reddish brown. The wood is close-grained, heavy, hard and durable, even for exterior use. It is used for construction, shingles, joinery, furniture and wooden toys[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow in a nursery seedbeds or individual containers, pressing the pointed ends of the seeds 2 - 3cm into the soil. Germination starts after 8 weeks, with the seeds sprouting over the next 4 weeks. It is possible tp speed up the process by mechanical scarification of the seed at its rounded end. Seedlings quickly develop a long taproot, so pot-sown seedlings need to be planted out whilst still small. Seedbed plants can be transplanted, so can be kept in the nursery for 8 - 9 months before planting out[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The seeds can be stored for 6 months at ambient temperature in air-tight containers[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2022-09-27. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Mimusops+balata>

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