Description and Ethnobotany Growth Form It is a tree, up to 20 m tall. Bark is grey to dark brown and deeply fissured. Twigs are densely hairy when young, and becoming hairless as it matures. Tree may grow new leaves and flush red before flowering.
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It is native to parts of Brazil and Peru, where it will flower from August to September. It will begin to drop its leaves shortly prior to its flowers fully opening see this site for additional images of Lecythis spp. When the flowers of this species and other members of the Lecythidaceae senesce and fall to the ground, they attract an incredible diversity of insect life.
There have been observations of dead flowers of Lecythis harbouring over species of invertebrates from 21 families on one site! The presence of predatory and parasitic species suggested the formation of an additional trophic level within the micro-community associated with the deceased flowers, see: Feinstein, J. The fruit of this species can grow quite large, approaching the size of a huskless coconut.
A related species, Lecythis zabucajo, shares its distribution with that of the greater spear-nosed bat Phyllostomus hastatus. This bat is considered to be one of the main seed dispersers. The bat is large enough to carry the entire lb fruit, but it is only interested in the arils attached to the seed. There have been some reports of finding entire immature closed capsules as well as high concentrations of seed of Lecythis zabucajo below known roost sites of the greater spear-nosed bat.
Something is finally sinking in. Also interesting on the additional images page was the comment that the nuts are superior in flavour to the Brazil Nut. These two species are easy to mistake and plants of L. The entire fruit is never carried away by bats; it would be physically impossible for a bat to remove the fruits the pedicel is too thick and woody , let alone carry them away to eat under their roosts. Even the largest fruit bats in the world are not strong enough to do this!
There is more detailed information about this species on our website entitled Lecythidaceae Pages. There you can see paintings by Michael Rothman showing how the bat removes the seeds from the fruit and another showing how the species is pollinated. This blog demonstrates how easy it is to make mistakes when secondary sources are used for obtaining information.
When possible, it is best to ask specialists to review blogs before they are posted. Wendy Cutler, if you wish to read a popular account of the cannon ball tree, click on The cannon ball tree.
I always found these seeds and their capsule washed up slightly degraded along river shores in Brazil. So cool to ID this!! Many frugivorous mammals are fond of the seeds, when fallen to the ground, as agouties Dasyprocta , spiny rats Echimyidae , deers, tapirs, wild dogs, and tayassus Tayassuidae , all of them predating the starchy, soft seeds.
Monkeys collect the seeds directly from the fruit shell, eating the aril, and, the larger ones, the seeds. The culture of those plants, that are very handsome when they achieve new leaves, is very easy, but the trees are slow growers, taking more than ten years for the first blooming event. They thrive weel only in rich soils, plenty of clays.
Some species, as Lecythis pisonis, are among the taller trees in the forests, but some species are trees of moderate height. Sometimes we see large, old trees growing in Southeastern Brazil as ornamental trees, but the large, heavy empty fruits are dangerous for persons and vehicles. For that reason, the trees must be planted far from ways, parking areas, and houses.
Monkey pot-Lecythis pisonis
Monkey-pot-tree Health Benefits of Monkey pot Monkey pot contains enormous amounts of nutrients, minerals and amino acids which provide various health benefits which are described below: Treat arthritis Copper possess an anti-inflammatory properties which helps to reduce the arthritis symptoms. The people wear the copper bracelets to treat this health condition. Copper is an aid for the arthritis. The copper is stored in the water the whole night and drink that water in the morning to strengthen the muscular system.