We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Hancornia speciosa - Gomes

Common Name Mangaba Rubber Tree, Mangabiera
Family Apocynaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats It is a tropical plant. It grows in scrublands (caatinga) and barren lands in central Brazil[416 ]. It grows naturally in regions with average temperatures between 24-26°C. The rainfall is 1,400 mm per year. It can grow in the temperature range of 15-43°C. It grows in sandy soils.
Range Southern and western S. America - Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Hancornia speciosa Mangaba Rubber Tree, Mangabiera

João Medeiros wikimedia.org
Hancornia speciosa Mangaba Rubber Tree, Mangabiera
Isabela Lustz Portela Lima wikimedia.org


Translate this page:


Hancornia is native to South America (Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay). It contains only one known species, Hancornia speciosa, commonly called mangabeira, which produces fruits known as mangabas.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Hancornia speciosa is a deciduous Tree growing to 7 m (23ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor 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.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Hancornia gardneri Muell.Arg.; Hancornia lundii A DC.; Hancornia maximiliana A DC.; Hancornia pubescens Muell.Arg.; Ribeirea sorbilis Arr.Cam.; Echites glauca Roem. & Schult.;.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

Edible Portion - raw or cooked[301 , 416 ]. The fruit needs to be very ripe and soft (fallen to the ground) to be free of any latex or bitterness[416 ]. Fully ripe fruits have a delicious, succulent, viscous, sweet, aromatic pulp[416 ]. A pleasant subacid flavour[301 , 335 ]. The fruit can also be made into a juice, sherbet, preserves etc[301 ]. It is much esteemed as a marmalade in parts of Brazil[46 , 301 ]. The fruit is 3 - 6cm in diameter[335 ].

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.

The plant is an excellent remedy for bilious complaints[460 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses

The tree is a source of mangabeira rubber, which is of good quality and has in the past been exported from parts of Brazil[46 ]. The wood is light, spongy, soft and easy to work with. It has little durability, even when protected from the weather. It is only used for making boxes and for fuel[419 ]. Carbon Farming - Industrial Crop: hydrocarbon.

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon  Management: Standard  Regional Crop

Climate: tropical. Humidity: semi-arid to humid. A plant of the 'Caatinga' dry forest region of northeast Brazil. The climate is hot and dry, there are usually 6 to 11 months without rain each year. The mean annual rainfall varies from 250 - 1,000mm, and the mean annual temperature is from 24 - 26°c. Requires a sunny position to be at its best[419 ]. Grows best in a sandy soil, often growing in quite poor soils in the wild[335 , 419 ]. Established plants are drought tolerant[419 ]. Young plants grow slowly and are difficult to cultivate[416 ]. A very variable plant, a number of varieties have been described[416 ]. Plants grow slowly. Carbon Farming - Cultivation: regional crop. Management: standard.

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon  Materials, chemicals and energy include bioplastics, rubber, biomass products gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, butane, propane, biogas. Plants are usually resprouting plants and saps.
  • 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.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

Plants are grown from seed. The seeds from ripe fruit are removed and dried in the shade then planted. Seed - germinates easily[416 ]. It is best sown as soon as it is ripe and, since it does not transplant very well, is best sown in individual containers[419 ]. Germination rates are usually low, the seeds can be slow to sprout and also grow away slowly once they have sprouted[419 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Mangabeira, Mangabinha do norte, Manguba, Mangaba-da-restinga.

Native Plant Search

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

Amazon, Andes, Asia, Bolivia, Brazil, Malaysia, Paraguay, Peru, SE Asia, South America, 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.


Expert comment



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.

Readers comment

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Hancornia speciosa  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.