Synonyms: Lecythis bracteata, Barringtonia couroupita, Barringtonia pedicellaris There are two individuals of Couroupita guianensis listed as Heritage Trees. Major Threat(s): The habitat of this species has declined widely because of clearing for settlement, timber and agriculture, resulting in populations becoming . Couroupita guianensis, commonly known as cannonball tree, is a soft-wooded, deciduous tropical tree of the Brazil nut family that typically matures to ‘.

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The carpenter bee Xylocopa brasilianorum is a common pollinator of cultivated trees in Rio de Janeirojust outside the tree’s native range.

Flowering trunk Photograph by: Berg Couroupita saintcroixiana R. Each fruit typically takes 1 year or more to mature.

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. When ripe, fruits drop from the tree, usually splitting open as they hit the ground with an explosive splat. Knuth Couroupita guianensis var. Leaves typically drop once, but sometimes twice, per year, usually in response to dry weather, hence the designation of deciduous for this tropical tree.

Couroupita guianensis

The fruit is edible, but is not usually eaten by people because, in contrast to its intensely fragrant flowers, it can have an unpleasant smell. Native Amazonians use extracts of several parts of the tree to treat hypertensiontumorspainand inflammation.

No serious insect or disease problems. Fruits that remain whole may be broken open by animals such as pecarries. Dried rind of the fruit Photograph by: Although the flowers lack nectar, they are very attractive to beeswhich come for the pollen. Each fruit contains seeds which are embedded in an ill-smelling, soft red pulp which turns bluish-green when exposed to air. Specific epithet is in reference to the Guianas where this tree is native.


Couroupita guianensis is planted as an ornamental for its showy, scented flowers, and as a botanical specimen for its interesting fruit. It is primarily native to rainforests in the Guianas French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana in northeastern South America, but has been widely planted in a number of different tropical to semi-tropical areas around the world.

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The pollinators must work their way between the two areas of stamens as they gather the pollen. Close-up of flower Photograph by: It has been used to treat the common coldstomachacheskin conditions and wounds, malariaand toothache.

Couroupita guianensis – Plant Finder

The flowers produce two types of pollen: Back to Previous Page. Fruit Gardening Vegetable Gardening.

Berg Couroupita venezuelensis R. Retrieved from ” https: Plant as a curiosity in tropical gardens in areas where there will be minimal foot traffic under the tree when the ripened fruits are dropping.

Retrieved 21 December Close up of flowers Photograph by: Couroupita guianensis Conservation status. A superb work, guianensia the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.

Couroupita guianensis – Useful Tropical Plants

There gulanensis two areas of stamens: By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. When the fruits fall to the ground, the hard, woody shell usually cracks open, exposing the pulp and seeds.


Some trees flower profusely until the entire trunk is covered with racemes.

Edible Medicinal and Nonmedicinal Plants. This page was last edited on 19 Decemberat For reasons that remain unclear, after C. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Couroupita guianensis. Couratari pedicellaris Rizzini Couroupita acreensis R. Sign up for our e-newsletter. Couroupita guianensisknown by a variety of common names including cannonball tree, [3] is a deciduous tree in the family Lecythidaceaewhich also includes the Brazil nut Bertholletia excelsa and Paradise nut Lecythis zabucajo.

Other carpenter bees such as Xylocopa frontalisas well as waspsflower fliesand bumblebeesare also known to visit the flowers. The flowers are strongly scented, and are especially fragrant at night [8] and in the early morning.

The leaves, which occur in clusters at the ends of branches, are usually 8 to 31 centimeters 3 to 12 inches long, but can reach lengths of up to 57 centimeters 22 inches. Genus name is a modification of the name of a native tree used in Tropical America. One tree can hold as many as flowers per day. Fallen fruit Photograph by: Knuth Couroupita antillana Miers Couroupita froesii R.