Dialyanthera otoba (Humb. & Bonpl.) Warb.
Myristica otoba Humb. & Bonpl.
Otoba otoba (Humb. & Bonpl.) H.Karst.
Common Name: Otoba
Open fruit, revealing the white seed covered by the red aril
Photograph by: Reinaldo Aguilar
Otoba is a tall tree reaching up to 40 metres in height. Especially when growing in swampy areas, it has a conspicuously buttressed bole which can be more than 1 metres in diameter and is straight and cylindrical in the upper two-thirds[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its resin and wood.
Northwestern S. America - Colombia and Ecuador to Panama, Nicaragua and Costa Rica in C. America.
Humid and very humid tropical primary and secondary forests of the coastal lowlands and premontane zones, usually on fertile soils[
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A plant of the humid tropics, where it is found at elevations from sea level to 1,100 metres[
]. It grows in areas where the temperature range is 22 - 32 °c and the annual rainfall varies from 3,500 - 8,000mm[
Grows well in fertile alluvial soils that are well drained, moderately drained, or inundated for short periods[
]. These inundated areas are close to creeks or rivers[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required.
A resin obtained from the plant is used medicinally[
The fat-containing seeds are used to combat parasites in animals[
The bark exudes a red, astringent latex[
The plant (resin?) is used in perfumery; candle, and soap manufacture; and as medicine and a source of narcotics[
]. Several South American Indian tribes use its resin in their religious ceremonies as part of an hallucinogenic snuff[
The resin contains tryptaminic derivatives[
In a green condition, the sapwood and heartwood are reddish with small darker stripes. The air-dried wood is intense red or reddish brown[
]. Growth rings are not well defined. The wood is light or moderately light; straight-grained, sometimes interlocked; it has low natural durability and is susceptible to insect attacks; the texture is gross; the lustre high[
]. The wood is tasteless and odourless[
]. It is easily worked and the surfaces obtained are smooth[
The timber can be used to make boxes and crates[
]. It is also used in carpentry, internal construction, cabinetwork, treated posts, veneers, plywood, lathed objects, and tables[
]. It is very good for making paper[
Seed - fresh seed has a very short period of viability (10 - 12 days) and needs to be sown as soon as possible, before it dries out[
]. Seed does not require pre-treatment and germinates well in a sand bed in the nursery[
]. Germination rate is about 85%[
]. Young seedlings should be potted up into individual containers as soon as possible[
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