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Platonia

Platonia insignis (= Aristoclesia esculenta Stuntz), the sole species of the genus Platonia, is a tree of the family Clusiaceae native to South America in the humid forests of Brazil, Paraguay, parts of Colombia and northeast to Guyana; specially in Amazon Rainforest. Common names include Bacuri , Maniballi, Naranjillo and Bacurizeiro.

There was a degree of nomenclatural confusion, caused by Moronobea esculenta. If that were validly published and were to apply to this species the correct name would be Platonia esculenta. Recently this has been cleared up: it has been decided that Moronobea esculenta is not a formal name (not "validly published"). The name remains Platonia insignis.

It is a dry-season deciduous tree, reaching 25-40 m high. It has a pyramidal crown and copious yellow latex in the bark. The leaves are opposite, simple oblong to elliptic, 8-15 cm long, glossy dark green, with wavy margins and a leathery texture.

The flowers are 5-7 cm long, pink, with five petals and numerous stamens. The fruit is round to oval, 7-14 cm long, with a thick, yellow skin, looking similar to a papaya. The sticky white pulp, which is wrapped around seeds somewhat like a pomegranate, is fragant, with a taste that is both sweet and sour.

The white-bellied parrot P. l. leucogaster has been reported to pollinate it, making it an ornithophilous plant .

Cultivation and uses

The bacuri is also grown for its fruit, which contains notable amounts of phosphorus, iron, and vitamin C, and is often made into various condiments and beverages. Bacuri seeds, which are brown and fairly oily, are commonly used as a home remedy to treat skin conditions. Its yellowish wood is frequently used as timber.

See also

List of plants of Amazon Rainforest vegetation of Brazil

References

ITIS report

Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana: Platonia

Bakuri

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Platonia


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