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Ocotea porosa - (Nees & Mart.) Barroso

Common Name Brazilian-walnut, imbuia
Family Lauraceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The sawdust can cause skin complaints[848 ].
Habitats Araucaria forest and higher elevations in the Atlantic rainforest, favouring secondary formations[419 ].
Range S. America - Paraguay, southern and eastern Brazil.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Ocotea porosa Brazilian-walnut, imbuia

Ocotea porosa Brazilian-walnut, imbuia
Daderot wikimedia.org


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Also grown as an ornamental tree, Ocotea porosa or Imbuia is highly valued for its timber and commonly harvested from the wild. It is slow-growing but highly exploited, thus now considered to be a 'Vulnerable' species in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is a semi-deciduous, natural pioneer which can be used in restoration of native woodland. It grows about 40 m in height and 1.8 m in trunk diameter, with an open and oblong crown and short bole. The wood is fragrant, moderately heavy, hard, and durable, and resistant to dry wood borers, fungi, and termites. Its is used in carpentry, panelling, sleepers, bridges, turnery, etc.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Ocotea porosa is a deciduous Tree growing to 18 m (59ft) by 16 m (52ft) at a slow 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


Cinnamomum porosum (Nees & Mart.) Kosterm. Nectandra dubia Hassl. Nectandra speciosa Chanc. Oreodaph


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.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Furniture  Pioneer  Wood

Agroforestry Uses: Although slow growing, the tree is a natural pioneer that also provides food for the native fauna[419 ]. It can be used in planting schemes for the restoration of native woodland[K ]. Other Uses The heartwood can be of varied colours, mainly ranging from yellow-brown to a dark brown with irregular, thin, darker layers; it is clearly demarcated from the 3 - 6cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is fine; the grain straight or interlocked; the surface is irregularly lustrous and smooth; there is a pleasant scent. The wood is moderately heavy, moderately hard; fairly durable, even when exposed to the elements, being resistant to dry wood borers and moderately resistant to fungi and termites. It seasons slowly, with only a slight risk of checking or distortion; once dry it is stable in service. It works well with ordinary tools, nailing and screwing are good; gluing is correct. A beautiful wood that is highly valued for the manufacture of luxury furniture, it is also used to make parquet blocks, luxury joinery, carpentry, turnery, panelling, stairs, and for external purposes such as sleepers, bridges and stakes[419 , 848 ].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Grows best in a sunny position[419 ]. A slow-growing tree[419 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Seed -

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Brazilian-walnut, imbuia - Portuguese, canela-imbuia, embuia, umbuia - Portuguese (Brazil), pocota.

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


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 : Status: Vulnerable A1cd

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Ocotea cymosaVarongyTree20.0 10-12 MLMFSNM204
Ocotea kenyensisTransvaal stinkwood, stinkhoutTree20.0 10-12 FLMHNM024

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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(Nees & Mart.) Barroso

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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