Common Name: Lapachillo
Poecilanthe parviflora is an evergreen tree with a dense, globose crown; it is often only 4 - 10 metres tall, but can reach 15 - 25 metres. The bole can be 40 - 60cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its good quality wood. It has potential for use as a pioneer species in restoring native woodland. An extremely ornamental tree, valued especially for its dark-green, shiny foliage, it can be used in landscaping and is particularly useful for street planting[
Information is limited, but indicates that the species is endemic to an area extending from northern Argentina into the Rio Uruguay valley in Brazil. The plant is classified as 'Data Deficient' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(1998)[
S. America - Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, southern and eastern Brazil.
Broadleaved, semideciduous forests, found mainly in the dense primary forest, though able to grow in more open areas; favouring deep, clayey soils[
]. Gallery forest, secondary scrub and pasture[
|Conservation Status||Data Deficient
|Other Uses Rating||
A tree mainly of the subtropics, just entering into the tropics in eastern Brazil.
Grows best in a position with some shade, though it also succeeds in full sun[
]. Found in the wild mainly in deep, clayey soils[
Young plants are moderately fast-growing, able to reach a height of around 2.5 metres within 2 years from seed[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.
Often occurring in secondary scrub and pasture[
], coupled with its ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen and its fast growth[
], makes this a potentially good species for use as a pioneer in restoring native woodland[
The wood is fine-textured, irregular or cross-grained, very heavy, with good mechanical properties, highly resistant to rot and the attacks of dry wood termites. It is used for cabinet making; decorative panels; lathe work; for various purposes in construction including beams, rafters, laths, parquet flooring, floor boards, door and window frames; and for various outdoor uses including poles, posts and railway ties[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed or in individual containers. A germination rate in excess of 50% can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 20 - 40 days[
]. When the seedbed-sown seedlings are 4 - 6cm tall, pot them up into individual containers and they should be ready to plant out 4 - 5 months later[
Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have been dried for storage the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order 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 before sowing[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.