From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Guarea guidonia 3.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Meliaceae
Genus: Guarea
F.Allam. ex L.

See text

Guarea is a genus of evergreen trees in the mahogany family Meliaceae, native to tropical Africa and Central and South America. They are large trees 20–45 m tall, with a trunk over 1 m trunk diameter, often buttressed at the base. The leaves are pinnate, with 4–6 pairs of leaflets, the terminal leaflet present. The flowers are produced in loose inflorescences, each flower small, with 4–5 yellowish petals. The fruit is a four or five-valved capsule, containing several seeds, each surrounded by a yellow-orange fleshy aril; the seeds are dispersed by hornbills and monkeys which eat the fleshy aril.

Selected species


The timber is important; the African species are known as bossé, guarea, or pink mahogany, and the South American species as cramantee or American muskwood. It is said to possibly cause hallucinations if ingested.[3]

The bark of Guarea rusbyi (Britton) Rusby, a synonym of Guarea guidonia (L.) Sleumer,[4] is used as an expectorant[5] named cocillana.[6]

Corinthos sculpture in guarea wood by Barbara Hepworth at Tate Liverpool.[7]

The wood can be used for sculpture and was favoured by the British 20th century sculptor Barbara Hepworth.[7]


  1. ^ Guarea glabra (in Spanish).
  2. ^ Guarea grandifolia (in Spanish).
  3. ^ "Scientists get dirt on mystery plant". 5 May 2009. Archived from the original on 16 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-07. External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ "Guarea rusbyi". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  5. ^ Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
  6. ^ Ballard, C. W. (1922). "Histology of cocillana and substitute barks". Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association. 11 (10): 781–787. doi:10.1002/jps.3080111004.
  7. ^ a b "Corinthos 1954–5". UK: Tate Gallery. Retrieved 5 August 2015.