Habitat and Ecology
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Resin contains copalic acid and other diterpenes.
Barcode data: Hymenaea courbaril
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hymenaea courbaril
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 15
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Bark: Bark is boiled, and the water drunk as an analgesic for back pain, by the Guyana Patamona. Bark is boiled, sugar added, and drunk as a beverage, and as a tonic, by the Guyana Patamona. Bark of trunk is depurative and antipyretic. Resin exuding from bark used for treating fresh wounds. Decocted bark tea is employed by the French Guiana Palikur for upset stomach; decoction for dysentery when mixed with barks of Humiria sp. and Manilkara sp.; boiled with other plants for bilious diarrhoea and for use as an aphrodisiac. Bark decoction or infusion for a carminative, vermifuge, purgative, dysentery and diarrhoea; bark infusion drunk for a good fatigue tonic and blood cleanser. Bark used as aphrodesiac and to treat coughs and colds in NW Guyana. Resin: Used as a cicatrizant and for pulmonary infections by the Guyana Patamona.. Fruit: French Guiana Wayapi use resinous secretion for dysentery.
Hymenaea courbaril is a tropical hardwood and a globally important commodity for its use in furniture-making, ship building, plywood, interior trim, veneer and manufacture of wooden components. It also yeilds a gum which is mainly used as varnish.
Hymenaea courbaril, with common names Brazilian copal, West Indian locust, amami-gum, is a tree common to the Caribbean, Central, and South America. It is a hardwood that is used for furniture, flooring and decorative purposes. Its hard pods have an edible dry pulp around the seeds. Its sap is utilized in perfumes and varnishes.
Although is sometimes referred to as Brazilian cherry or South American cherry, it is not a cherry tree but a legume belonging to the Fabaceae family. It is also known as stinking toe, old man's toe or stinktoe because of the unpleasant odor of the edible pulp inside its seed pods.
The fruit were a major food for the indigenous population. The smell is not considered unpleasant by those who eat it. The pulp inside the hard shell appears like miniature soluble fibers that dissolve easily in water or milk, which it thickens. Some like to add sugar for more sweetness, and if eaten raw it can tend to stick in the mouth like dry dust.
It is one of the richest vegetable foods known because of its high concentration of starches and proteins.
The pulp, in spite of it somewhat disagreeable smell, is of a sweet taste, is eaten raw, is also dried and transformed into powder to be incorporated in cookies (or crackers) and soups, or is mixed with water to prepare a drink, called atole. It can also be a first-rate concentrate feed for animals.
The wood is of excellent quality, hard and heavy, resistant to termites and is used in heavy construction (bridges, ships) for furniture, etc...
The tree produces an orange, resinous, sticky gum called animé, identical with the French word for animated, in reference to its insect-infested natural state. The production of the gum can be encouraged by wounds in the bark, and the resin will collect between the principal roots.
This gum is soft and sticky. Its specific gravity varies from 1.054 to 1.057. It melts readily over fire, and softens even with the heat of the mouth. It diffuses white fumes and a very pleasant odor. Insects are generally entrapped in large numbers. It is insoluble in water, and nearly so in cold alcohol. It is allied to copal in its nature and appearance, and a copal from Zanzibar is sometimes given this name. It can be obtained from other species of Hymenaea growing in tropical South America.
The gum will convert to amber through a chemical process that requires millions of years. Amber of million-year-old Hymenaea trees have provided scientists with many clues to its prehistoric presence on Earth as well as to the often extinct insects and plants encased in it, as shown in the Jurassic Park films. (See Dominican amber.)
The wood is very hard, measuring 5.6 on the Brinell scale or 2,350 lbf (10,500 N) on the Janka scale, approximate measurements of hardness. For comparison, Douglas fir measures 660 lbf (2,900 N), white oak[disambiguation needed] 1,360 lbf (6,000 N), and Brazilian walnut 3,800 lbf (17,000 N) on the Janka scale. It features a tan/salmon color with black accent stripes that over time turns to a deep rich red color.
- "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". Retrieved 27 December 2014.
- Mesoamerican Copal Resins from Brian Stross at the University of Texas at Austin
- Worldwide weird: Bite into a stinking toe from BBC Travel
- Stinking Toe from StJohnBeachGuide.com
- Frans Geilfus (1994). El Arbol Al Servico del Agricultor. 2: Guía de Especies. Turrialba. p. 147. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Animé". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- "Animé". The American Cyclopædia. 1879.
French Guiana: copal, copal du Bresil. FG Creole: caca chien, courbaril. FG Palikur: simigl, simir. Guyana: alikuya, kanawari, k'wanarri, locust, simiri, stinking toe. Guyana Macushi: moire. Guyana Wapishana: not. Surinam: lokus, rode lokus, zwarte lokus. Surinam Arawak: kawanahalli, kawanali, kawanari. Surinam Carib: semeri, semiri, simiri. Surinam Saramaccan: kakanja bosoe. Surinam Saramaccan and Sranan: loksi. Guyana Patamona: kha-moui-lea-yik, masek- yik, ah-mui-le-yik.