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Virola sebifera - Aubl.

Common Name Virola Nut. Red Ucuba. Pintri,
Family Myristicaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Found mainly in savannah and semideciduous forests at higher elevations, almost always on well-drained soils[419 ]. It is not frequent in dense, primary forests[419 ]. Grows principally in secondary forests[341 ]. Found from sea level to 1,500 metres[556 ].
Range S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, the Guyanas; Central America - Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Virola sebifera Virola Nut. Red Ucuba. Pintri,
Virola sebifera Virola Nut. Red Ucuba. Pintri, - João Medeiros


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Virola sebifera is a deciduous Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). . The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Myristica cordifolia Mart. ex A.DC. Myristica fulva King Myristica mocoa A.DC. Myristica panamensis Hemsl. Myristica sebifera (Aubl.) Sw. Myristica virola Raeusch. Palala mocoa (A.DC.) Kuntze Palala panamensis (Hemsl.) Kuntze Virola boliviensis Warb. Virola mocoa (A.DC.) Warb. Virola mycetis Pulle Virola panamensis (Hemsl.) Warb. Virola peruviana tomentosa Warb. Virola venezuelensis Warb. Virola warburgii Pittier


Edible Uses

None known


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.

The sap is used for treating ulcers and skin eruptions[348 ] The bark is astringent, emetic and stimulant[348 ].An infusion is used in the treatment of dyspepsia, intestinal colic, erysipelas and inflammations[739 ]. The bark is boiled with water and used to induce vomiting[348 ]. The macerated bark is soaked in water and drunk as an anti-diarrhoeal[348 ]. Juice from the bark is applied externally as an analgesic for cracked heels[348 ]. An infusion of the bark is used as a wash for cleaning contusions and ulcers[739 ]. A decoction of the bitter red sap from the bark is gargled or drunk to treat thrush and sores of the mouth. The sap becomes resinous on exposure to air and is then used to relieve the pain of toothache and to cauterize aphthae[348 ]. An exudate from the bark is worked into preparations with psychotropic properties by the native peoples of S. America[739 ].


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Other Uses

The seed yields an oil formerly used as illuminating oil[348 ]. The oil is used for making candles and soap[378 ]. The seeds burn readily with a clear light. Native people stick them on a thin piece of hard wood and use them as torches when they have to go out in the dark[551 ]. Cut or damaged trees exude a blood-red, watery latex that is similar to the kino of commerce[378 ]. The heartwood is a uniform light reddish, greyish or brown; merging gradually into the pale golden to pale rose-brown sapwood[341 ]. The wood is straight-grained; medium-textured; with a medium to high lustre; odour and taste indistinct. It is moderately heavy; of low durability; very susceptible to termite and pinhole borer attack[341 , 419 ]. It works easily with ordinary tools and finishes well; nails and screws easily without splitting; it can be stained, varnished and polished with good results; turns satisfactorily; glues readily[341 ]. It is used for construction, internal finishing in buildings, toys, light boxes etc, and is suitable for making toothpicks[341 , 419 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming


Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Oil  Management: Standard  Regional Crop

Grows best in a sunny position[419 ]. Newly planted young trees are fairly slow to grow away, rarely surpassing 2 metres in height in the second year[419 ]. A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required[556 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Oil  Materials, chemicals and energy include bioplastics, biomass, glycerin, soaps, lubricants, paints, biodiesel. Oilseed crop types.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.


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Seed - it has a limited viability and should be sown as soon as it is ripe. Sow in individual containers in a lightly shaded position. Germination rates are generally less than 30%, the seed sprouting within 30 - 50 days[419 ]. The seedlings grow away quite slowly[419 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Moulomba (Guyana); Sangre; Cumala Blanca (Peru); Camaticaro (Venezuela); Palo De Sangre; Colorado; Ucuuba (Brazil); Sebo (Colombia); Nuanamo (Colombia); Birma; Shempo (Ecuador); Cumala Colorada (Peru); Cumala (Peru); Pintri (Surinam); Cajuea (Trinidad & Tobago); Otivo (Venezuela); Virola (Venezuela); Cuajo (Venezuela); Sangrino (Venezuela); Chaliviande (Ecuador); Dalli (Guyana); Banak; Bicuiba Branca (Brazil); Tapsava; Virola (Brazil); Ucuhuba (Brazil); Yayamadou (Guyana); Baboen (Surinam); Chalviande (Ecuador); Tzimbo (Ecuador); Gabón (Bolivia); Sangrino (Venezuela); Cuajo (Venezuela); Virola (Venezuela); Cumala (Peru); Banak; Veuhuba; Venhuba; Babun; Sangre De Toro (Colombia); Bagabani; Sangre; Camaticaro; Baboen (Surinam); Dalli (Guyana). Man-dalli, Egron-baboen, Virola Nut. Red Ucuba. Pintri,

Found In

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

Bolivia, Brazil, Central America, Costa Rica, Guiana, Guianas, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, South America, Suriname, Venezuela

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

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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