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Trees, monoecious or dioecious. Leaves alternate and distichous; stipules fully amplexicaul and connate, or semi-amplexicaul and free; blade entire, pinnately veined. Inflorescences in the leaf axils, bisexual or unisexual, pedunculate, receptacle (sub)globose, hemispheric, turbinate or convexly discoid, at first completely covered with peltate bracts. Staminate flowers several to numerous, on the surface of the receptacle; perianth well-developed, vestigial or lacking; stamens 4-1; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers one to several, embedded in the receptacle; ovary adnate to the perianth; stigmas 2, filiform to band-shaped. Fruit(s) forming a drupaceous whole with the enlarged, fleshy and often coloured receptacle; seed large, without endosperm, cotyledons thick, equal or unequal.


Guianas present, Neotropics present
Neotropics 13 species; the Guianas 7 species.

Wood observation species

B. acutifolium subsp. acutifolium, B. acutifolium subsp. obovatum, B. alicastrum subsp. bolivarense, B. guianense, B. lactescens, B. parinarioides subsp. parinarioides, B. rubescens, B. utile subsp. ovatijolium


Vessels diffuse, solitary (20-70%) and in short radial multiples and irregular clusters of 2-4, round to oval, 3-16 per sq. mm, diameter 70-185 μm. Vessel-member length: 400-600 μm. Perforations simple. Inter- vascular pits alternate, round, oval or polygonal, 3-13 μm. Vessel-ray and vessel-parenchyma pits variable, irregular in size and shape, half- bordered. Thin-walled tyloses often present, sometimes thick-walled tyloses occur.
Rays uniseriate and 2-4(7)-seriate, 5-9 per mm, up to 370-610 μm high. Heterogeneous, composed of procumbent cells, except for the uniseriate margins of 1-2 rows of square and upright cells. Rhombic crystals absent to extremely abundant in the marginal ray cells. Radial latex tubes common.
Parenchyma paratracheal, vasicentric-aliform with narrow wings, which are sometimes arc-shaped, occasionally confluent, sometimes banded, mostly unilateral. Strands of 2-5 cells. Rhombic crystals scarce.
Fibres non-septate, lumen 3-16 μm, walls 2-3(5) μm. Pits simple, small, confined to the radial walls. Gelatinous fibres scarce. Length: 980-1600 μm. F/V ratio: 2.0-3.4.

Table 1. Some wood anatomical features of species of Brosimum
VESSELSfrequency (sq. mm)diameter (μm)pit size (μm)tyloses
B. acutifolium4- 9130-1857-13-
B. alicastrum9-1670-1205- 7(t,T)
B. guianense6-1090-1304- 6T
B. lactescens7-16100-1353- 4t
B. parinarioides3-6140-1709-11-
B. rubescens4- 5125-1805- 8T
B. utile31859-13-
Legenda:T = Thick-walled; t = thin-walled
+ = present; — = absent
between brackets = occasionally present
PARENCHYMAconfluent-wavyregular bandsunilat. arrang.arc. sh. wingsradial latex tub.rhombic crystals
B. acutifolium--+-+r(a)
B. alicastrum+++-+rr(a)
B. guianense(+)-+(+)(+)rr(a)
B. lactescens(+)-(+)-+(r)
B. parinarioides-(+)(+)++-
B. rubescens-(+)(+)(+)+r(a)
B. utile(+)(+)(+)-+-
Legenda:+ = present; — = absent
r = in marginal ray cells; rr = abundant in marginal ray cells
a = in axial parenchyma
between brackets = occasionally present