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Manilkara huberi - (Ducke) Standl.

Common Name Cow Tree, Massaranduba. Black balata
Family Sapotaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rainforests, in areas that do not become inundated[416 ].
Range Northern S. America - Brazil, Venezuela, French Guiana, Surinam, Guyana.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Manilkara huberi Cow Tree, Massaranduba. Black balata

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Manilkara huberi Cow Tree, Massaranduba. Black balata


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Manilkara huberi is an evergreen Tree growing to 40 m (131ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
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.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Mimusops huberi Ducke


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Sap
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw[416 ]. A juicy, aromatic pulp with a sweet flavour[416 ]. A drinkable milk exudes from the cut bark[317 ].

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

The latex is a source of an inferior balata in Guyana[317 ]. Balata is a gum, resembling rubber, used to make gaskets, chewing gum etc[K ]. The heartwood is dark red brown with purplish shade; it is clearly demarcated from the 4 - 6cm wide band of whitish to pale brown sapwood. It is finely and uniformly textured; usually straight-grained. The wood is very hard, very heavy, tough, strong, elastic; very durable, even in contact with the soil, being very resistant to fungi, dry wood borers and termites, but susceptible to marine borers. It seasons slowly, with a high risk of checking and distortion; once dry it is poorly stable in service. The wood has a fairly high blunting effect, stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide tools are recommended; nailing and screwing are good, but require pre-boring; gluing is correct for internal purposes only, and needs to be done with care because of the density of the wood. The wood is used for several purposes, both internal and external. It is used for purposes such as sculpture, tool handles, industrial or heavy flooring, sliced veneer, stairs, furniture , ship building, wood frame house, bridges, posts, stakes, sleepers, heavy carpentry[386 , 848 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon  Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Protein

Humid Tropics. Grows best in a sunny position[420 ].

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.
  • Staple Crop: Protein  (16+ percent protein, 0-15 percent oil). Annuals include beans, chickpeas, lentils, cowpeas, and pigeon peas. Perennials include perennial beans, nuts, leaf protein concentrates, and edible milks.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[420 ]. Sow in a well-drained seedbed in semi-shade[420 ]. Germination usually takes place in 4 - 8 weeks, though germination rates are usually low[420 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Chupon, Maparajuba, Massarunduba, Massarunduba balata, Pulgo negro, Purguo, Macaranduba, Macaranduba-balata, Macaranduba-mansa,

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, Brazil*, French Guiana, Guianas, Guyana, 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
Manilkara bidentataBalata, bulletwood, bully treeTree30.0 10-12 MMHSNMWe224
Manilkara discolorRed milkwood, Silvery milkwoodTree20.0 10-12 MLMHSNDM402
Manilkara zapotaSapodilla, NisperoTree25.0 10-12 SLMHNDM524

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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Expert comment


(Ducke) Standl.

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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