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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Hymenaea courbaril widespread in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
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© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Hymenaea candolliana Kunth:
Mexico (Mesoamerica)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Inga megacarpa M.E. Jones:
Mexico (Mesoamerica)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Hymenaea multiflora Kleinhoonte:
Suriname (South America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Hymenaea courbaril var. obtusifolia Ducke:
Brazil (South America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Hymenaea courbaril L.:
Belize (Mesoamerica)
Bolivia (South America)
Brazil (South America)
Costa Rica (Mesoamerica)
Colombia (South America)
El Salvador (Mesoamerica)
Ecuador (South America)
Mexico (Mesoamerica)
Panama (Mesoamerica)
Paraguay (South America)
Peru (South America)
Suriname (South America)
Honduras (Mesoamerica)
Guatemala (Mesoamerica)
Nicaragua (Mesoamerica)
French Guiana (South America)
Guyana (South America)
Caribbean (Caribbean)
Venezuela (South America)
China (Asia)
Taiwan (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Perennial, Trees, Woody throughout, Nodules present, Stems erect or ascending, Stems greater than 2 m tall, Plants gland-dotted or with gland-tipped hairs, Stems solid, Stems or young twigs glaucous, Leaves alternate, Leaves petiolate, Stipules conspicuous, Stipules green, triangulate to lanceolate or foliaceous, Stipules deciduous, Stipules free, Leaves compound, Leaves even pinnate, Leaf or leaflet margins entire, Leaflets opposite, Leaflets 2, Leaves glandular punctate or gland-dotted, Leaves glabrous or nearly so, Leaves coriaceous, Inflorescence panicles, Inflorescence terminal, Bracts very small, absent or caducous, Flowers actinomorphic or somewhat irregular, Calyx 4-lobed, Calyx glabrous, Petals separate, Petals white, Stamens 9-10, Stamens completely free, separate, Stamens long exserted, Filaments glabrous, Style terete, Fruit a legume, Fruit unilocular, Fruit indehiscent, Fruit oblong or ellipsoidal, Fruit orbicular to subglobose, Fruit fleshy, Fruit coriaceous or becoming woody, Fruit exserted from calyx, Fruit glabrous or glabrate, Fruit 2-seeded, Fruit 3-10 seeded, Seeds embedded in gummy or spongy pulp, Seeds ovoid to rounded in outline, Seed surface smooth, Seeds olive, brown, or black.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
H. courbaril inhabits tropical deciduous or subdeciduous forest, with Hura, Brosimum, Bursera or with Vitex, Cnidoscolus, Gyrocarpus, lowland areas and foothills.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hymenaea courbaril

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 15
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
Groom, A.

Reviewer/s
Hilton-Taylor, C.

Contributor/s

Justification
Hymenaea courbaril has a very large geographical distribution. The taxon is considered to be common and known to occur within the protected areas network. The taxon is not considered to be threatened or in decline at present thus a rating of Least Concern is given.
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Population

Population
This taxon is considered to be common.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
This taxon is not considered to be threatened or in decline.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are a number of protected areas within the range of this taxon and seeds have been collected and stored by the Millennium Seed Bank project as a method of ex situ conservation.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Significance

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.

  • Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.
  • James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
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Wikipedia

Hymenaea courbaril

Hymenaea courbaril (Jatobá or Guapinol or Algarrobo) 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 sap is utilized in perfumes and varnishes.

Names[edit]

Although Jatobá 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. Depending on the locale, Jatobá is also known as Brazilian copal, South American locust, or the West Indian locust. It is also known as stinking toe, old man's toe or stinktoe[1] because of the unpleasant odor of the edible pulp inside its seed pods.[2][3]

Animé[edit]

Jatobá 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.[4][5]

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.[4][5]

Brazilians use it internally in diseases of the lungs. It was formerly an ingredient of ointments and plasters, but at present its only use is for varnishes and incense.[5]

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.)

Wood[edit]

Jatobá is a very hard wood 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.

Jatobá wood features a tan/salmon color with black accent stripes that over time turns to a deep rich red color.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mesoamerican Copal Resins from Brian Stross at the University of Texas at Austin
  2. ^ Worldwide weird: Bite into a stinking toe from BBC Travel
  3. ^ Stinking Toe from StJohnBeachGuide.com
  4. ^ a b  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Animé". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press 
  5. ^ a b c Wikisource-logo.svg "Animé". The American Cyclopædia. 1879. 
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