Aruba cedron (Planch.) Kuntze
Quassia cedron (Planch.) D.Dietr.
Common Name: Cedron
Cedron is a semideciduous shrub or small tree with an elongated, sparse crown; usually growing 4 - 7 metres tall, but with occasional specimens up to 15 metres. The grooved bole can be 15 - 25cm in diameter[
The plant has a high reputation in Central America as a treatment against fevers and snake bites[
]. It also produces an edible fruit, though reports on its quality vary. Usually gathered from the wild, the plant is sometimes cultivated as a medicinal plant in Central America, and the seed traded for this purpose[
The intensely bitter seeds are poisonous - more than 1.5 - 2 grams, administered in a single dose, can lead to death[
S. America - eastern, central and northern Brazil, Bolivia.
High slopes of the Atlantic rainforest, usually on well-drained soils[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of lowland areas in the tropics.
Succeeds in a sunny position or in dappled shade[
]. Prefers a well-drained soil[
Plants have a moderate rate of growth[
]. The tree bears great quantities of brownish fruits, consisting of the large seed and a layer, 5 - 15mm thick, of reddish yellow flesh which is bitter and acrid[
]. Another report says that it is a popular fruit[
]. The greeny-brown, oval fruit can be 8cm long and 5cm wide[
The seeds are intensely bitter, and probably rich in tannins[
]. The cotyledons are used in the treatment of fevers and as an antidote to snake bites[
]. They are also used in the treatment of hydrophobia (rabies) and dysentery[
]. Great care should be used with this remedy, since excessive does can lead to death[
The bark is macerated in rum to make a vermifuge, antimalarial and bitter tonic[
A decoction of the inner bark is used as a remedy for malaria, as a wash on cutaneous eruptions, and to assist childbirth[
An infusion of the bark and seeds is used as an antidote for snakebite and as a febrifuge for mild or intermittent fevers[
The seeds contain the quassinoids cedrin, cedronin and cedronylin[
The bark and seeds contain the bitter alkaloid cedrine[
The seeds are believed to be rich in tannins[
The wood is of average texture, irregular grain, light in weight and slightly susceptible to wood-eating insects[
]. Of low quality, it is only used for fuel and to make charcoal[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. A germination rate of about 65% can be expected, with the seeds sprouting within 20 - 35 days[
]. Seedlings grow away moderately quickly[
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