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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 11/27/2012)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 11/27/2012)
Species HYMENAEA COURBARIL L.
PlaceOfPublication Sp. P1. 1192. 1753.
Synonym Hymenaea resinifera Salisb. Prodr. 327. 1796. Hymenaea animifera Stokes, Bot. Mat. Med. 2:449. 1812, fide Index Kew. Hymenaea Candolleana HBK. Nov. Gen. & Sp. 6:323, t. 566. 1824. Hymenaea retusa Willd. ex Hayne, Darst. u. Beschreib. Arzneigew. 11:sub, t. I2. 1856.
Note Inga megacarpa (M. E. Jones, Contr. West. Bot. 15:140. 1929) is listed in the 'North American Flora' as a synonym of this species. Jones' description would preclude this pos- sibility, but if Britton had reference to the actual type perhaps the description was incor- rectly drawn by Jones. Description of the fruit would match H. Courbaril, but description of the leaves would not.
Description Tree to 30 m. tall, with smooth bark, the trunk to 2 m. in diameter, the wood hard and reasonably durable, the branchlets glabrous. Leaves glabrous; petiole about 1-2 cm. long, moderately thick, rugose when dry; stipules caducous; leaflets 2, narrowly oblong to elliptic-lanceolate, 4-10 cm. long, 2-5 cm. wide, obliquely asymmetric, the outer portion broadly rounded basally and without, the inner por- tion narrow and only slightly rounded, apically short-acuminate, subsessile, coriaceous, punctate, dull below, shiny above, with midvein very prominent below. Inflorescence articulate, several-flowered, the pedicels puberulent, the bracts caducous. Flowers whitish, gross, the receptacular portion (of calyx) about 8 mm. long; calyx-lobes ovate to oblong, about 15 mm. long, densely puberulent, verrucose, coriaceous, easily caducous; petals elliptic, up to 2 cm. long, mem- branaceous; stamens about 3 cm. long; anthers elliptic, versatile, bilocular; ovary elliptic, oblong or obovate, compressed, glandular, dark; style up to 2.5 cm. long, glandular. Legume oblong, turgid-compressed, 5-15 cm. long, few-seeded.
Habit Tree
Distribution Mexico through Central America; West Indies; northeastern South America.
Specimen CHIRIQUI: Caldera, Pittier 335I. COCLE: vicinity of El Valle, Allen I766; Penonom6, Williams 193. VERAGUAS: headwaters Rio Cafiazas, Allen 199.
Note The species is of economic importance, both as timber and as a source of the resin "South American copal." The pulp of the fruit is edible. The strong, heavy wood is employed in various kinds of construction. The resinous exudation front the trunks is of use medicinally, in varnish manufacture, and as an incense. Indians are reported eating the fruit pulp, and using the bark in making canoes.
 
 
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