Parkia alliodora Ducke
Parkia arborea (H. Karst.) J.F. Macbr.
Parkia ingens Ducke
Parkia inundabilis Ducke
Parkia oppositifolia Spruce ex Benth.
Parkia paryphosphaera Benth.
Parkia sylvatica Pulle
Paryphosphaera arborea H. Karst.
Parkia nitida is a semi-deciduous tree with a roundish crown; it can grow 20 - 35 metres tall[
]. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 40 - 70cm in diameter[
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and timber.
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama.
Found mainly in old secondary formations of the rain forest, on clay or sandy soils, in both dryland areas and in periodically inundated areas[
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A plant of the moist tropics, mainly found at low elevations, but also ascending to 1,500 metres.
Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Succeeds in wet and dry soils[
Newly planted young trees establish well and grow away quickly[
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 sugary, black substance surrounding the seed is eaten[
The inner bark is rasped into boiling water and the decoction used as a wash for fever[
The heartwood is creamy white, sometimes with very large light brown veins; it os not demarcated from the sapwood. The texture is medium; the grain straight or interlocked. The wood is very light to light in weight, soft; not very durable, being susceptible to fungi, dry wood borers and termites. It seasons fairly quickly, with a high risk of checking and distortion; once seasoned it is poorly stable in service. It can be worked with ordinary tools, though there is a risk of fuzzy surfaces; nailing and screwing are poor; gluing is correct. A low quality wood, it is used for purposes such as interior panelling and joinery, furniture components, boxes and crates, moulding, blockboard and veneer[
The wood is used for fuel[
Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and needs scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours. Sow the seed in a sunny position in a nursery seedbed or in individual containers. Germination rates are usually in excess of 50%, with the seed sprouting within 3 - 4 weeks[
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