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Myrocarpus frondosus - Allemão

Common Name Balsamo, incienso
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Atlantic rainforest and semideciduous forests, mature trees found most commonly as canopy or emergent trees in the dense forest, but seedlings and young trees only found in more open situations[419 ].
Range S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, southern and eastern Brazil, Bolivia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Myrocarpus frondosus Balsamo, incienso

Myrocarpus frondosus Balsamo, incienso
Jorge Vallmitjana


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Myrocarpus frondosus is a deciduous tree growing about 30 m in height, with an open and upright crown and bole that can be up to 90 cm in diameter. It is commonly found in South America particularly in Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, and Bolivia where it is highly valued for its timber. It is also used medicinally to treat rheumatism, respiratory problems, cystitis, and urethritis. Essential oil from the resin is used in perfumery.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Myrocarpus frondosus is a deciduous Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Bees, Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Leptolobium punctatum Benth. Myrocarpus paraguariensis Hallier f.


Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antirheumatic  Expectorant

The sap is expectorant[739 ]. The bark, the wood, and a resin obtained from them, are used in a tincture that is recommended for treating respiratory ailments, cystitis and urethritis[739 ]. The tincture is applied externally for healing injuries and treating rheumatism[528 , 739 ]. The seedpods are antidyspeptic and excitant[739 ]. An essential oil in the resin has nerolidol as its major constituent[739 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Cosmetic  Essential  Furniture  Resin  Wood

Other Uses An aromatic gum/resin is obtained from incisions in the trunk. It is widely used medicinally[419 ]. An essential oil obtained from the resin is used in perfumery[549 ]. The wood is fragrant and is sometimes burnt during ceremonies and as an insect repellent[402 ]. The heartwood is reddish-grey with yellowish spots; it is distinctly demarcated from the sapwood. The wood is very aromatic, medium-textured, irregular-grained, heavy, hard to cut and of great durability even when exposed to the elements. It polishes well to give a beautiful finish. A very useful timber, it is widely employed for a great many purposes including for outdoor purposes such as bridge beams, railway sleepers and posts; in construction for beams, rafters, laths, floor boards etc; for cabinet making, lathe work, cart bodies, panels, veneer etc[419 , 549 ].

Special Uses

Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the subtropics to the tropics, being found in areas of seasonal rainfall and also all year rainfall, at elevations from near sea level to over 1,500 metres. Requires a sunny position[419 ]. Plants have a moderately fast rate of growth, able to reach a height of around 2.5 metres within 2 years from seed[419 ]. There are conflicting reports on whether or not this tree has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, so it is unclear as to whether this tree fixes atmospheric nitrogen[755 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed or in individual containers. A germination rate in excess of 75% can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 10 - 15 days[419 ]. The seed has a short viability of less than 3 months in storage[419 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

óleo-pardo - Portuguese, bálsamo - Portuguese, cabriúva-parda - Portuguese, incienso - Spanish. cabreuva, incienso, incienso amarillo, incienso blanco, incienso negro.

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Argentina; Paraguay; Brazil

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Data Deficient

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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