Rohwer, H.G.Richt. & van der Werff
Chlorocardium is a genus of the family Lauraceae. It contains only two species: Chlorocardium rodiei and Chlorocardium venenosum. It is native to northern South America. The name Chlorocardium means green (chloro-) heart (cardia), referring to the wood.
They are trees up to 40 m high, mostly 30 m high, hermaphrodites. They are slow-growing canopy evergreen trees and have a valuable timber. The wood and bark are pleasantly scented. They are present in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and the Guiana Shield (in northeastern Brazil, Venezuela (Amazonas, Bolívar and Delta Amacuro states), Guyana, Surinam and French Guiana).
The species are heavily used by the timber industry. This causes a shortage of mature trees. Their timber is of great commercial value and much exploited, but Chlorocardium rodiei is able to produce sprouts from more than 50% of stumps.
They grow in evergreen tropical forest. They do not form large stands but occur with a density of up to one individual per five hectares. The ecological requirements of the genus are those of moisture precipitating almost continuously in cloud-cover for much of the year.
The trees are used by the timber industry. The fruit, a berry, is an important food source for birds.
The common name in Guyana is Greenheart.
- Antarctic vessel the 'Hero' takes compression much better than steel. Built from green heart wood. "She's like a Sherman tank." Portland Magazine. 8 November 2012]
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