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Aspidosperma album - (Vahl) Benoist ex Pichon

Common Name Guatambu
Family Apocynaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The freshly cut wood and sap of Aspidosperma species causes irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, with general malaise[ 407 ]. The sawdust, on contact with abraded skin, produces local burning and a vesicular eruption with general symptoms of muscular weakness and cramps, sweating, dryness of the mouth, and faintness[ 407 ]. Once the wood is thoroughly dry it loses its toxicity unless polishes or dyes in organic solvents are used on it[ 407 ]
Habitats Dense forests [ 409 , 592 ].
Range S. America - Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Aspidosperma album Guatambu

Aspidosperma album Guatambu
(c)Projeto Flora Cristalino


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Aspidosperma album is a 10-30 m tall evergreen tree with a 30-60 cm bole diameter. It is commonly harvested from the wild for medicinal purposes and high class timber called Araracanga. The bark has antifungal properties. It is used as an astringent and to reduce fever. Diarrhoea, fevers, and malaria can be treated also by using bark decoction. For dermatosis, juice from the macerated inner bark can be applied to affected areas. The wood of A. album is used for heavy construction. It is resistant to fungi, dry wood borers, and termites.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Aspidosperma album is an evergreen Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 18 m (59ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
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 and can tolerate drought. The plant is not wind tolerant.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Aspidosperma centrale Markgr. Aspidosperma latisiliqua (Poir.) A.DC. Bignonia latisiliqua Poir. Maca

Plant Habitats

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.
Antidiarrhoeal  Antifungal  Astringent  Febrifuge  Febrifuge  Malaria  Skin

The bark is antifungal, astringent, febrifuge[348. A decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, fevers and malaria[ 348 ]. Juice from the macerated inner bark is applied to affected area as a treatment for dermatosis[ 348 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Furniture  Wood

Other uses rating: High (4/5). Other Uses The orange-brown wood has a waxy feeling[ 46 ]. It is used for heavy construction[ 46 ], and is recommended for high class end uses in cabinet making etc[ 848 ]. This tree yields a timber known as 'araracanga'. We do not have any more specific information, but a general description of araracanga is as follows:- The heartwood is vermillion or deep reddish brown, sometimes with large pink veins, and constitutes about two-thirds of the bole; it is clearly demarcated from the 3 - 8cm wide band of almost white to light brown sapwood[ 409 ]. The texture is medium; the grain straight or interlocked. The wood is very heavy, very hard and very durable when in contact with the soil, being very resisant to fungi and dry wood borers, and moderately resistant to termites. It is somewhay slow to season, with a high risk of checking and distortion; once dry it is poorly stable in service. It has a fairly high blunting effect and is hard to work - power tools that are stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide are recommended; nailing and screwing are good, but pre-boring is required; gluing is correct for interior purposes only. The wood has various applications, being used for purposes such as heavy bridges, railroad ties, house posts, heavy carpentry, industrial flooring, hydraulic works in fresh water etc[ 848 ].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A very variable species, especially in leaf form[ 409 ]. This is possibly as a result of hybridisation with other members of the genus, possibly A. Spruceanum or A. Fendleri[ 409 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation


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

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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.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Aspidosperma eburneumEburneumTree20.0 10-12 MLMHNM004
Aspidosperma polyneuronPeroba RosaTree15.0 10-12 SLMHSNM024
Aspidosperma quebracho-blancoQuebrachoTree0.0 -  LMHSNM022

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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(Vahl) Benoist ex Pichon

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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