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Guarea guidonia - (L.) Sleumer

Common Name Muskwood , Carrapeta, Cedro Macho
Family Meliaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The juice of the plant is a corrosive poison which can be counteracted by an infusion of the buds of Jatropha curcas[348 ]. The leaves are considered to be toxic to cattle[419 ].
Habitats Lowland forests in Panama[333 ]. Often found in gallery forests, on alluvial plains and in valleys, it is found in both dense primary forests and, more commonly, in secondary formations[419 ].
Range S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama, Costa Rica; Caribbean.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Guarea guidonia Muskwood , Carrapeta, Cedro Macho

Guarea guidonia Muskwood , Carrapeta, Cedro Macho
Flickr - Alex Popovkin


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Muskwood or Guarea guidonia is an evergreen tree growing up to 23 m in height with trunk diameter of up to 90 cm. It has a straight bole and a large, dense, roundish crown. The leaves are compound. The fruit is a capsule. The seeds are covered with an orange red pulp. Muskwood can be found in South America. It is harvested from the wild for medicinal purposes and timber. Conditions like angina, asthma, dyspnoea, vomiting, infant?s thrush, and body aches can be treated using different plant parts and forms of Muskwood. It also provides shade in coffee plantations. Reddish Sandal oil is obtained from the wood. The wood is ideal for furniture, cabinets, construction, window frames, carpentry, etc.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Guarea guidonia is an evergreen Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
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 can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Guarea alba C.DC. Guarea alternans C.DC. Guarea andreana C.DC. Guarea aubletii A.Juss. Guarea bilibi

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.
Abortifacient  Antiasthmatic  Cardiac  Emetic  Emmenagogue  Expectorant  Haemostatic  Purgative  

A decoction of the whole, crushed plant is drunk as a treatment for angina, asthma and dyspnoea[348 ]. The resin obtained from the leaves and the stem, as well as the pulverised bark, is used locally as styptic[317 ]. The stem bark is emetic (in larger doses), expectorant, haemostatic and purgative[46 , 317 , 348 ]. A decoction is used to induce vomiting and to treat infant's thrush[348 ]. Applied externally, the powdered bark is used as a haemostatic to stem bleeding[46 ]. The liquid obtained from the rasped bark is rubbed onto skin in order to relieve body aches[348 ]. The boiled leaves are used as an emetic[348 ]. The bark contains the alkaloid rusbyine[46 ]. A juice obtained from the roots and stems is abortifacient, emmenagogue, purgative and violently emetic[348 ]. The juice is a corrosive poison which can be counteracted by an infusion of buds of Jatropha curcas[348 ]. Extracts of the bark and wood contain beta-sitosterol[348 ]. The seed contains angustinolide, a tetranotriterpenoid[348 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Essential  Furniture  Wood

Agroforestry Uses: The tree is cultivated in an agroforestry system on Haiti together with coffee, bananas and other species[317 ]. In Puerto Rico it is considered to give too dense a shade for growing with coffee[447 ]. Other Uses: A reddish Sandal oil is obtained from the wood[46 ]. (refers to G. trichilioides, a synonym of this species.) The very attractive heartwood is pinkish to red, turning light reddiish brown; the sapwood is whitish to brownish. The texture is medium, grain is straight; aromatic when green though odourless when seasoned. The wood is of medium weight to moderately heavy; hard; strong; tough; elastic to somewhat brittle; and very durable, even when in wet ground, with resistance to attack by dry-wood termites. Rate of air-seasoning is slow, and amount of degrade is moderate. Machining characteristics are as follows: planing, shaping, turning, mortising, and resistance to screw splitting are good; boring is fair; and sanding is excellent. This pretty wood makes fine furniture and cabinets, since it resembles mahogany and Spanish-cedar and takes a high polish. It is used also for construction, internal works, window frames, carpentry, implements, cooperage etc[46 , 333 , 419 , 447 ]. The wood is a favoured fuel because it splits easily[922 ].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a sunny position[419 ]. Newly planted young trees are fairly slow-growing[419 ]. Plants can flower and produce fruit for most of the year[447 ]. Flowering Time: Late Winter/Early Spring Mid Spring Late Spring/Early Summer Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall. Bloom Color: White/Near White. This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

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Plant Propagation

Seed - it has a short viability and should not be allowed to dry out, nor should the aril surrounding the seed be removed[419 ]. Sow the seed as soon as it is harvested in a lightly shaded position, either in a nursery seedbed or in individual containers. Germination rates are usually low, with the seed sprouting within 30 - 50 days[419 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Muskwood , Carrapeta, Cedro Macho, ball-wood, bois balé, cocillana, cocillana tree, cocillana tree#, guaraguao, guarea, guarea trichilioides, huapi bark, jitó, macaqueiro, muskwood, pamasuki, red-wood, requia.

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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

Nicaragua; Costa Rica; Panama; Cuba; Haiti; Dominican Republic; Puerto Rico; Virgin Islands, U.S.; Colombia; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Guyana; Suriname; French Guiana; Brazil; Ecuador; Peru; Bolivia, Plurinational State of; Paraguay, Central America, North America, USA,

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
Leplaea cedrataScented GuareaTree45.0 10-12 SLMHFSNM024
Leplaea thompsoniiBlack GuareaTree35.0 10-12 SLMHFSNM024

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.


Expert comment


(L.) Sleumer

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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