Plant Catalog

Plant Catalog Index

Catálogo Plantas

Aprovechamiento integral y racional de la tara Caesalpinia spinosa

La presente investigación sobre el aprovechamiento integral y racional de la Tara es producto de una extensa revisión bibliográfica relativa a este producto, con la finalidad de conocer como utilizar la materia prima para la obtención del ácido tánico, muy usado en las industrias peleteras, farmacéutica, química, de pinturas, etc.., y de gomas para uso alimenticio proveniente del endosperma, constituyéndose en alternativa a las gomas tradicionales en la industria mundial de alimentos, pintura, barnices, entre otros; considerando que el Perú es un país de geografía variada que condiciona la heterogeneidad de los recursos naturales, cuya disponibilidad y calidad es necesario conocer para poder planificar el desarrollo económico social en provecho de la población rural.

Primo De la Cruz Lapa
Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru
Plant Catalog
Caesalpinia spinosa


English (wattle,chestnut);

Spanish (tara,quebracho,huarango,guaranga)


Caesalpinia spinosa is a shrub or small tree up to 5 m high with reflexed prickles along its spreading spinose grey-barked densely leafy branches.

Leaves bipinnate, smooth or with sparse, short prickles; pinnae 2-3 pairs, often 10 mm long, with about 8 pairs of subsessile, firm, reticulate-veined, oblong-elliptic, glabrous leaflets, oblique at base, rounded at apex, about 2.5 cm long, 1 cm broad.

Flowers reddish-yellow, in narrow racemes 8-12 cm long; pedicels puberulent, 5 mm long, auriculate below the short calyx tube; larger calyx segments serrulate, about 6 mm long, the petals less than twice as long, about as long as the stamens.

Pods red, flat, 10 cm long, 2.5 cm broad, 4-7 seeded.

Seeds large, round and black at maturity.

Agroforestry Database 4.0
Plant Catalog
Analytical Studies on Tara Tannins

In this paper, an extract from fruits pods of Caesalpinia spinosa (tara) a native leguminosae widely distributed in Peru, known by its high tannin content is evaluated for its utilization in wood adhesives. Commercial pods of tara were extracted for 1 hour with water (1:4 w/v) at 65°C. The extract was spray-dried to obtain tara tannin. Spectrophotometric and chromatographic analysis were performed before and after hydrolysis to quantify amounts of free and combined components. Gallic acid concentration in the extract reached up to 53% and these results encourage us to further develop a method to extract gallic acid from tara pods (25% yield). The thermal behaviour of tara tannin-formaldehyde reaction at different pH conditions were investigated by thermoanalytical methods (Borchardt- Daniels and ASTM E-698). Kinetic parameters obtained were compared with those obtained for gallic acid-formaldehyde reaction.

J.M. Garro Galvez
B. Riedl
A. H. Conner
Plant Catalog

Byrsonima crassifolia

The nance is a slow-growing large shrub or tree to 33 ft (10 m) high, or, in certain situations, even reaching 66 ft (20 m); varying in form from round-topped and spreading to narrow and compact; the trunk short or tall, crooked or straight. Young branches are densely coated with russet hairs. The opposite leaves, ovate to elliptic or oblong-elliptic, may be 1 1/4 to 6 1/2 in (3.2-17 cm) long and 1 1/2 to 2 3/4 in (4-7 cm) wide, rounded or pointed at the apex, blunt or pointed at the base; leathery, usually glossy on the upper surface and more or less brown- or gray-hairy on the underside. The flowers, borne in thinly or conspicuously red-hairy, erect racemes 4 to 8 in (10-20 cm) long, are 1/2 to 3/4 in (1.25-2 cm) wide; the 5 petals yellow at first, changing to dull orange-red. The fruit is peculiarly odorous, orange-yellow, round, 5/16 to 7/16 in (8-12 cm) wide, with thin skin and white, juicy, oily pulp varying in flavor from insipid to sweet, acid, or cheese-like. There is a single, fairly large, stone containing 1 to 3 white seeds.

Julia F. Morton
Purdue University
Plant Catalog
Yellow Mombin

Spondias mombin

The yellow mombin tree, unlike that of the purple mombin, is erect, stately, to 65 ft (20 m) tall, with trunk to 2 or 2 1/2 ft (60-75 cm) in diameter, somewhat buttressed, and thick, fissured bark, often, in young trees, bearing many blunt-pointed spines or knobs up to 3/4 in (2 cm) long. Generally, its lower branches are whorled. Its deciduous, alternate, pinnate leaves, 8 to 18 in (20-45 cm) long, have hairy, often pinkish, petioles and 9 to 19 sub-opposite, ovate or lanceolate, pointed leaflets, 2 to 6 in (5-15 cm) long, inequilateral and oblique at the base. Small, fragrant, whitish, male, female and bisexual flowers are borne, after the new leaves, in panicles 6 to 12 in (15-30 cm) long. The fruit, hanging in numerous, branched, terminal clusters of a dozen or more, is aromatic, ovoid or oblong, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 in (3.2-4 cm) long and up to 1 in (2.5 cm) wide; golden-yellow; with thin, tough skin, and scant, medium-yellow, translucent, fibrous, very juicy pulp, somewhat musky, very acid, often with a hint of turpentine, clinging to the white, fibrous or "corky" stone.

Julia F. Morton
Purdue University
Plant Catalog

Spondias cytherea

Spondias dulcis

The tree is rapid-growing, attaining a height of 60 ft (18 m) in its homeland; generally not more than 30 or 40 ft (9-12 m) in other areas. Upright and rather rigid and symmetrical, it is a stately ornamental with deciduous, handsome, pinnate leaves, 8 to 24 in (20-60 cm) in length, composed of 9 to 25 glossy, elliptic or obovate-oblong leaflets 2 1/2 to 4 in (6.25-10 cm) long, finely toothed toward the apex. At the beginning of the dry, cool season, the leaves turn bright-yellow and fall, but the tree with its nearly smooth, light gray-brown bark and graceful, rounded branches is not unattractive during the few weeks that it remains bare. Small, inconspicuous, whitish flowers are borne in large terminal panicles. They are assorted, male, female and perfect in each cluster. Long-stalked fruits dangle in bunches of a dozen or more; oval or somewhat irregular or knobby, and 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 in (6.25-9 cm) long, with thin but tough skin, often russetted. While still green and hard, the fruits fall to the ground, a few at a time, over a period of several weeks. As they ripen, the skin and flesh turn golden-yellow. While the fruit is still firm, the flesh is crisp, juicy and subacid, and has a somewhat pineapple-like fragrance and flavor. If allowed to soften, the aroma and flavor become musky and the flesh difficult to slice because of conspicuous and tough fibers extending from the rough ridges of the 5-celled, woody core containing 1 to 5 flat seeds. Some fruits in the South Sea Islands weigh over 1 lb (0.45 kg) each.

Julia F. Morton
Purdue University
Plant Catalog

Theobroma grandiflorum

The cupuaçu is an arboreal fruit species considered to be a pre-Colombian crop plant which is still found wild in the eastern subregion of Brazilian Amazonia. Several authors rate it as one of the most promising fruits among the rich Amazonian flora, of which 271 fruit species have been described. An analysis of the potential of the fruit species native to Amazonia induced the author to propose four priority groups: 14 species considered to be domesticated, including the cupuaçu: 19 semi-domesticated species; 12 species that are not domesticated but whose domestication potential is recognized; and 13 palm species.

Theobroma grandiflorum is an arboreal species which reaches 15 to 20m in height, but less than 8 m when cultivated. It exhibits trichomic branching. its leaves are simple, alternate and coriaceous. 25 to 35 cm long and 6 to 10 cm wide, with a bright-green, pubescent upper surface and grey underside. It has a cymose inflorescence with three to five flowers, five dark-purple subtrapezoidal petals, a calyx with five triangular sepals, five stamens with bilocular anthers, five staminodes and a pentagonal superior ovary with five locules containing numerous seed primordia. Pollination is carried out mainly by ants and aphids, with vespertine anthesis. The fruit occurs in the form of a drupe and is strong and pleasant smelling. It is smooth on the outside, ellipsoidal, 25 cm long by 12 cm wide and weighs up to 1.5 kg. The endocarp is white, soft and sour-tasting, containing 25 to 50 superposed seeds in five rows. The ripe fruit is harvested when it falls to the ground.

J.E. Hernándo Bermejo
J. León
Plant Catalog
Taxonomía y Morfología de la Yuca




Capítulo 2 del Libro: La Yuca en el Tercer Milenio: Sistemas Modernos de Producción Procesamiento, Utilización y Comercialización.

La yuca pertenece a la familia Euphorbiaceae, constituida por unas 7,200 especies que se caracterizan por su notable desarrollo de los vasos laticíferos, compuestos por células secretoras llamadas galactocitos. Esto es lo que produce la secreción lechosa que caracteriza a las plantas de esta familia.

Existe una gran variabilidad de arquitecturas de la planta dentro de esta familia, desde los tipos arbóreos (caucho, Hevea brasiliensis) hasta los arbustos, también de importancia económica (ricino, Ricinus comunis).

Hernán Ceballos
Gabriel Antonio de la Cruz
Plant Catalog
Fisiología de la Yuca (Manihot esculenta Crantz)


Capítulo 3 del Libro: La Yuca en el Tercer Milenio: Sistemas Modernos de Producción Procesamiento, Utilización y Comercialización

La yuca (Manihot esculenta Crantz), planta originaria de América tropical, es un arbusto leñoso perenne, que pertenece a la familia Euphorbiaceae.

Es una de las especies más eficientes en cuanto a la producción de almidón, pues obtiene rendimientos de 80t/ha por año bajo condiciones experimentales, siendo su potencial similar al de la caña de azúcar, el maíz, el sorgo y el arroz. Ahora bien, bajo condiciones subóbtimas, su potencial de rendimiento sobresale cuando se le compara con otros cultivos; por eso se dice que esta especie tiene la habilidad de producir donde otros cultivos no crecerían.

María Sara Mejía de Tafur
Plant Catalog

Jojoba (Simmodsia chinensis (Link) Schneider) is a perennial woody shrub native to the semiarid regions of southern Arizona, southern California and northwestern Mexico. Jojoba (pronounced ho-HO-ba) is being cultivated to provide a renewable source of a unique high-quality oil.

Native Americans extracted the oil from jojoba seeds to treat sores and wounds centuries ago. Collection and processing of seed from naturally occurring stands in the early 1970s marked the beginning of jojoba domestication. In addition, the ban on the importation of sperm whale products in 1971 led to the discovery that jojoba oil is in many regards superior to sperm oil for applications in the cosmetics and other industries.

Today, 40,000 acres of jojoba are under cultivation in the southwestern U.S. Much of the interest in jojoba worldwide is the result of the plant's ability to survive in a harsh desert environment. The utilization of marginal land that will not support more conventional agricultural crops could become a major asset to the global agricultural economy.

The oldest commercial jojoba plantings in the U.S. were established in the late 1970s, and present production of jojoba oil is in the range of thousands of tons per year. The major world producers are the United States and Mexico, with considerable quantities of oil being exported to Japan and Europe.

D.J. Undersander
E.A. Oelke
A.R. Kaminski
J.D. Doll
D.H. Putnam
S.M. Combs
C.V. Hanson
Purdue University
Plant Catalog