Common Name: Macuna
Swartzia amplifolia is a shrub or a tree with a conical or spreading crown; it can grow 5 - 12 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole is around 18cm in diameter. It sometimes branches from low down, or can be unbranched for up to 5 metres[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use of its wood.
Swartzia amplifolia appears to be widespread in its natural range at present and with no major threats known to affect the species, the population is believed to be stable. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2012)[
The sawdust from wood of plants in this genus can be irritating to mill workers[
S. America - Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela.
Open dry patches, or along the margins of forests at elevations around 150 metres[
]. Dense rainforest, and also the more open, secondary formations, often along rivers, usually at low elevations, but to 2,100 metres in Colombia[
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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.
The heartwood is brown; the sapwood creamy yellow with violet or dark brown streaks, in some specimens turning to light greyish brown on exposure. The texture is medium, grain is straight, seasoned wood odourless and tasteless. The wood is of fairly light to medium weight. It is not difficult to work, takes a fairly smooth finish, and holds its place well[
We have no more information on the wood of this species. However, a general description of the wood from plants in this genus is as follows:-
The heartwood is dark brown, reddish-brown, or nearly black, in solid colour or somewhat variegated; it is sharply demarcated from the nearly white to yellowish sapwood. The texture is very fine to medium; the grain straight to irregular; lustre is usually medium; there is no distinctive odour or taste. The heartwood is very resistant to attack by decay fungi and resistant to dry-wood termites, though it is not resistant to marine borers. The wood is generally reported to be moderately difficult to air dry because of checking and warp. It is difficult to work because of its high density, but it finishes very smoothly and takes a high polish. It is used for purposes such as inlay, parquet flooring, turnery, furniture, cabinetwork, violin bows, specialty items; and has been suggested as a substitute for ebony[
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