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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Leaves typically drop once, but sometimes twice, per year, usually in response to dry weather, hence the designation of deciduous for this tropical tree.

When ripe, fruits drop from the tree, usually splitting open as they hit the ground with an explosive splat. Knuth Couroupita surinamensis Mart. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Each flower has a 6-lobed calyx and 6 spreading petals which encircle two types of stamens fertile stamens and sterile staminoides which are borne on a couuroupita androphore.

Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. Dried rind of the fruit Photograph by: Garden Uses 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 Smaller fruits may contain about 65 seeds, while large ones can hold as many as According to Buddhist tradition, Maya held guianeensis the branch of a blossoming sal tree Shorea robusta while she was giving birth to the Lord Buddha.

The seeds are covered with trichomes which may protect them as they pass through the animals’ digestive systems. Trees grown in public places often have warning signs about falling fruit.


The carpenter bee Xylocopa brasilianorum is a common pollinator of cultivated trees in Rio de Janeirojust outside the tree’s native range. Culture Winter hardy to USDA Zones where it is best grown in organically rich, well-drained soils ugianensis full sun to part shade. Many animals feed on the pulp and seeds, including peccaries, the pacaand domestic chickens and pigs. New York Botanical Garden.

Old trees often have the lower parts of their trunks completely covered with dangling flower racemes and fruits. Other carpenter bees such as Couroupit frontalisas well as waspsflower fliesand bumblebeesare also known to visit the flowers. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikispecies. Stunning photographs of each species, brief guinensis on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed.

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Couroupita guianensis

Guixnensis as a curiosity in tropical gardens in areas where there will be minimal foot traffic under the tree when the ripened fruits are dropping. There are many medicinal uses for the plant. Views Read Edit View history. Knuth Lecythis bracteata Willd. Publisher Weinheim Year ISBN – Description An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants.

For reasons that remain unclear, after C. It is native to the rainforests of Central and South America[1] and it is cultivated in many other tropical areas throughout the world because of its beautiful, fragrant flowers and large, interesting fruits.

Specific epithet is in reference to the Guianas where this tree is native. Common names in other languages include many translations of the English cannonball tree. Readable yet also very detailed. Back to Previous Page.


Couroupita guianensis is planted as an ornamental for its showy, scented flowers, and as a botanical specimen for its interesting fruit. Each fruit typically takes 1 year or more to mature.

On windy days, the fruits often bang against each other guianemsis the tree creating a sound reportedly resembling a cannonade. Couroupita guianensis Conservation status. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region. Berg Couroupita venezuelensis R. Close up of flowers Photograph by: When the fruits fall to the ground, the hard, woody shell usually cracks open, exposing the pulp and seeds.

Foot traffic should not be permitted under the drip-line of this tree because falling fruit can seriously injure or kill human beings.

Not for the casual reader. Knuth Couroupita guianensis var.

Couroupita guianensis – Cannon Ball Tree

Knuth Couroupita antillana Miers Couroupita froesii R. Last update on Wikimedia Commons has media related to Couroupita guianensis. Native Amazonians use extracts of several parts of the tree to treat hypertensiontumorspainand courouplta.

Leaf margins are entire or finely serrate. It is primarily native to rainforests in the Guianas French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana in northeastern South America, but has been widely planted guianennsis a number of different tropical to semi-tropical areas around the world. Missouri Botanical Garden Shaw Blvd. Fruit Gardening Vegetable Gardening. Veins on leaf undersides are pubescent. No serious insect or disease problems.