Cordia bahiensis DC.
Cordia multispicata Cham.
Lithocardium multispicatum Kuntze
Varronia bahiensis (DC.) Borhidi
Common Name: Maria Preta
Varronia multispicata is a much-branched, wide-spreading shrub in open ground, usually growing up to 2.5 metres tall and more wide. In secondary forest it sometimes adopts a scrambling habit, growing up to 5 - 6 metres tall into the surrounding vegetation[
The plant has been cultivated since pre-Columbian times for its medicinal virtues[
]. It is a natural pioneer species, establishing in open places and providing a suitable habitat for rainforest trees to become established.
S. America - central and northeast Brazil, Guyana
Abandoned pastures and other open spaces, secondary vegetation[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Succeeds in a sunny position, growing well on nutrient-depleted soils[
The plant responds well to coppicing and can survive forest fires by resprouting from the roots[
The red, fleshy, conical fruits are around 4.8mm long and 3.5mm wide.
Although we have seen no specific information for this species, the fruits of most Cordia (Varronia) species are comprised of a thin to fairly thick layer of pulpy, sweetish-tasting flesh surrounding a single seed and are more or less edible[
], (though some are known to cause gastric disturbances).
An infusion of the leaves is taken as a tonic[
]. They are also used in the treatment of grippe, bronchitis and prolonged cough[
The leaves and aerial parts are used in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis and rickets[
Varronia multispicata is a natural pioneer species. It is a common shrub that invades open ground throughout Amazonia, often being found in abandoned pasture where it grows quickly and provides suitable conditions for the establishment of other rainforest trees and shrubs[
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