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Swartzia leiocalycina - Benth.

Common Name Wamara
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The sawdust from wood of plants in this genus can be irritating to mill workers[316 ].
Habitats A canopy tree, frequent to dominant in the seasonal forest and occasional to frequent in the rainforest[378 ]. Found in more than one type of forest but grows mainly in mixed rain forests[341 ].
Range Northern S. America - Guyana.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Swartzia leiocalycina Wamara

Swartzia leiocalycina Wamara


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Swartzia leicalycina is a small tree found in Brazil and Peru. It is commonly harvested from the wild for medicinal purpose particularly against physical weakening due to age or medical conditions. This species is not edible. Its wood is of high quality - very heavy, very dense, very hard, and highly durable. Further, it is resistant to attacks of termites. A highly attractive wood, it is suitable for high quality furniture, cabinets, flooring, musical instruments, etc.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Swartzia leiocalycina is an evergreen Tree growing to 28 m (91ft) by 25 m (82ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map



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.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Furniture  Wood

Other Uses: Heartwood is only found in the largest trees. It varies from a chocolate brown to a pale reddish purple or purplish brown, occasionally marked by dark olive or purplish-brown coloured stripes[ it is clearly demarcated from the 3 - 8cm wide band of white sapwood. The texture is very fine; lustre good; the grain generally straight but may be variable; odour or taste is not distinctive in dry wood. The wood is extremely heavy, very dense, very hard, compact, very strong, and resilient. The heartwood is generally reported to be very resistant to decay, but the sapwood, which makes up the bulk of the lumber produced, is not durable. The wood is rated resistant to damage by the dry-wood termite. It seasons slowly, with a high risk of checking but only a slight risk of distortion; once dry it is poorly to moderately stable in service. It is variously reported as being very difficult to moderately difficult to work with either hand or machine tools, for it is a hard, high-density wood. But there is general agreement that the wood finishes smoothly, turns very satisfactorily (as do many other very dense woods), it does not take stains well but polishes to a good sheen. It takes nails and badly unless the wood is prebored; gluing properties are poor. The heartwood is one of the most attractive woods on the export market, it is used for high quality purposes such as furniture, cabinet making, inlay, walking sticks, bagpipes, parquet flooring, and bows, and is recommended as a substitute for ebony for it polishes to a high lustre. The whitish sapwood is used in some localities for implement frames and spokes of wheels; the heartwood for posts, articles of turnery, furniture, cabinetwork, and heavy and durable construction. The sapwood has been recommended as a substitute for hickory (Carya) for those purposes requiring very strong, tough, and resilient material[378 ]. The wood should be well fitted for many other uses requiring a heavy, hard wood having high bending and compression strength, abrasion resistance, and durability[341 , 378 , 848 ].

Special Uses

Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[755 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

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Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

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


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 : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Swartzia banniaBannia, BanyaTree12.0 10-12 MLMNM024
Swartzia benthamianaWamaraTree20.0 10-12 MLMHSNM024
Swartzia grandifoliaBig leafed Swartzia, Coracao-de-NegroTree15.0 10-12 MLMHNM004
Swartzia ingifoliaSwartziaTree20.0 10-12 FLMHNM004
Swartzia panacocoCoracao-de-Negro, panococo, Brazilian ebonyTree25.0 10-12 MLMNM024

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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Subject : Swartzia leiocalycina  
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