Carapa

Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Sapindales
Familia: Meliaceae
Genus: Carapa
Species: C. angustifolia - C. batesii - C. borneensis - C. carnosula - C. cauliflora - C. dinklagei - C. gogo - C. granatum - C. grandiflora - C. guianensis - C. guineensis - C. gummiflua - C. guyanensis - C. hygrophila - C. indica - C. latifolia - C. macrantha - C. macrocarpa - C. megistocarpa - C. mekongensis - C. microcarpa - C. moluccensis - C. nicaraguensis - C. obovata - C. parviflora - C. procera - C. rumphii - C. sericea - C. slateri - C. surinamensis - C. touloucouna - C. trijuga - C. velutina

Name

Carapa Aubl.

References

* GBIF .

Carapa is a genus in the mahogany family Meliaceae. The c. 25 species become medium-sized to large trees to 30 m tall, occurring in tropical South America and Africa; common names for include Andiroba and Crabwood.


Species

A recent PhD dissertation by David Kenfack [1] (2008) revolutionized the taxonomy of the genus Carapa with a renewed classification using both old and new species names. See more at carapa.org

Formerly, only the three species mentioned here below were accepted; it is now ca. 25 proposed species, among them 12 new species which will be soon released in scientific journals.

* Carapa guianensis
* Carapa megistocarpa
* Carapa nicaraguensis
* Carapa procera

Currently, it is thus very hazardous to use the above-cited species names without appropriate identification and fertile plant collections. For instance, C. guianensis (4-merous type flowers) and C. procera (5-merous type flowers) are complex of species in America and Africa, respectively.

Certification of natural oil therefore now required additional investigation to ensure that species name is correctly mentioned on packaging. Indeed, in 99,9 % percent (not to say 100 %) the name C. guianensis is mentioned for andiroba or carapa oil, and this might be wrong depending on location of harvested seeds. Oil quality might also differ depending on tree species and country or region of origin.

Occurrence

Some genus members occur in the Cental American region; for example Carapa nicaraguensis is a sub-dominant dominant tree in certain seasonal swamp forests in coastal areas of the Isthmian-Atlantic moist forests.(C.Michael Hogan. 2008)

References

C.Michael Hogan. 2008. Isthmian-Atlantic moist forests. Encyclopedia of Earth and World Wildlife Fund National Council of Science and the Environment, eds. Mark Mcginley and Cutler Cleveland

Uses

The timber is important, and oil is produced from the seeds. The name andiroba is from Nheengatu nhandi rob, meaning "bitter oil". Carapa guianensis produces seeds which oil is similar in properties to neem oil. The name Touloucouna also means bitter oil in Western Africa.

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