Scientific name: Astronium Gravolens
This species is quite common throughout Latin and Central America. Its distribution ranges from Southern Mexico to the most Southern parts of Amazonia
Muiracatiara is a long-lived tree of medium size in the rainforests. Normally it does not grow taller than 30 meters and the diameter is rarely larger than 1 meter.
The flowers of Astronium Gravolens often attract large numbers of bees and are therefore often used by indigenous people for collecting honey.
A number of medical usages by native people in Amazonia have been reported.
Laboratory studies have shown that a volatile component of a crude extract of this tree is highly repellent to ants.
Some research suggests that Muiracatiara is one of the favourite nesting sites for the Lilac-crowned Parrot.
The wood is heavy at about 800kg per M3, which is about the same as Oak. It is excellent wood, easy to work with and comes with a beautiful uniform light brown colour and sometimes with beautiful black stripes against a light brown background, almost like the colour of milk chocolate.
Despite having excellent characteristics, timer from this species are only exported on a small scale. It is perhaps one of the most underutilized tropical timbers of all.
Under the Canopywood code of conduct, harvesting this species in limited numbers does not in any shape or form threaten this species from extinction in the area from where it originates. In fact it helps preserve other trees of the same gender nearby.