1. CALOPHYLLUM L., Sp. Pl. 513. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5. 229. 1754.

by Denis M. Kearns

Trees, rarely shrubs, glabrescent, buds finely tomentose; latex sulfur yellow with a faint greenish tint. Leaves opposite, secondary veins closely parallel, alternating with latex canals (modified veins). Inflorescences usually short axillary or terminal racemes, rarely reduced panicles, bracts deciduous, bracteoles absent. Flowers bisexual or unisexual (plants hermaphroditic or dioecious); sepals (2-)4, decussate, often petaloid; petals absent or 2-4 to many, white or yellowish, opposite or imbricate. Stamens numerous; filaments slender, rarely connate at base; anthers short. Ovary 1-locular, with a single ovule; style single, usually long; stigma expanded. Fruit green, drupe-like, usually subglobose; testa hard or thin. Seed 1; cotyledons massive.

Pantropics; ca. 190 species, 2 in Venezuela, 1 of these in the flora area.

Calophyllum brasiliense Cambess. in A. St.-Hil., Fl. Bras. Merid. 1: 321, pl. 67. 1825. -Babe (Waroa), Cachicamo, Cachicamo de altura, Cojón, Kapakek, Kapodék, Kapo-yek (Arekuna), Palo de cachicamo, Sun-sun.

Calophyllum lucidum Benth., London J. Bot. 2: 370. 1843.

Calophyllum antillanum Britton, Bot. Porto Rico 5: 584. 1924. -Calophyllum brasiliense var. antillanum (Britton) Standl., Trop. Woods 30: 7. 1932.

Calophyllum piaroanum A. Castillo & C. Gil, Ernstia ser. 2, 1(1): 41, fig. 1. 1991.

Tree to 30 m tall; bark deeply fissured. Evergreen lowland to montane forests, gallery forests, mangrove and Mauritia palm swamps, seasonally flooded riverbanks, 0-1400 m; Delta Amacuro (widespread), Bolívar (Gran Sabana, Río Antavari, Río Caroní, lower and middle Río Caura, Río Karún, Río Toro, Roraima, 5 km east of Túriba, Urimán), Amazonas (Caño Guaca off Río Sipapo, Río Cataniapo, Río Temi, San Carlos de Río Negro). Apure, Anzoátegui, Aragua, Distrito Federal, Lara, Miranda, Táchira; Panama, West Indies, Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay. Fig. 178.

The wood of this species is reported to be light and good for making dugout canoes, tables, and houses. Calophyllum brasiliense is here treated as a widespread and somewhat variable species. Minor variants have sometimes been treated as subspecies and varieties or as separate species. Some specimens from southwestern Amazonas have also been identified as Calophyllum pachyphyllum Planch. & Triana. Detailed biosystematic study of this genus in South America is needed to resolve the taxonomy.


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