next arrow

Remember the Rainforest 1



Expedition Index






People / Scenes


Green Girl's Eco Club

Eco SuperHeroes RTR2

Free Posters

Authors / Artists

Contact us


















---continuation commentary #16h----

Other Brazilians distinguish it with the name "Brasil Mirim", i.e. lesser Caesalpinia brasiliensis, artist unknown. Thanks to www.scrd.netbrasilwood. It is Caesalpinia echinata L., or Caesalpinia vesicaria Vellozo. (2) There is another species of lesser value called Brasil Assu, i.e. greater brasilwood, or "Rozado" on account of its lighter, rosy sap: Caesalpinia Brasiliensis. There are three species of a pale yellow color in use in Brazil, known to the Brazilians as "Tatagyba" or "Tataiba": Broussonetia tinctoria Martius (3)Broussonetia brasiliensis Martius.; and Broussonetia Xanthoxylon, to which it is likely Morum Tataiba Vell. (4) pertains. Several of the royal woods are used most of all for making elegant furniture. Among these you should count several species of "Jacaranda", which in part belong to the Bignoniaceae; as well as the very beautiful, pale yellow wood "Pao amarello" or "Setim", and "Macacau-ba" or "Moira-pinima" wood, decorated with red and pale yellow or white stripes. These two have many times been adopted into the Leguminosaeas "Pao violete" and "Vinhatico"(5)

Etching 16 Cut forest from Martius's Flora Brasiliensis 1840. Thanks to Lehigh U., Special Collections ! Color by C. Miranda Chor

After this brief enumeration, which could not today be expanded further, let us turn to the actual description of the present etching. A gigantic tree occupying the left part of the picture impresses itself especially upon the viewer, a certain Ficus that holds a prominent place among the great and noble plants of the Brazilian forests : Ficus grandaeva Schott.. The wood of this tree is not very dense or heavy, but light and of rapid growth; it nonetheless attains an extremely old age, which rarely happens in the case of trees that form wood easily. Its trunk rises 80 to 100 feet, and it spreads its branches into a very broad crown. A singular feature of its growth is that the tree does not bury the neck of its roots or the horizontal roots themselves under the earth, but puts them out in the manner of rays, more or less undulated across the ground with remarkable bendings. These roots are not, as is usual for ours, semiconvex, but compressed on both sides and flat, so that they resemble a thick coin. 

The horizontal roots of some old trees reach a length of 20 or 30 feet, and in like manner extend upwards to a height of 5 to 8 feet, so that with the rays of its base the tree forms several vaults, as it were, around its center, which very often can hold a man standing upright. I once passed the night with my companions in two sections of this kind, sheltering their tops from the night-time dew and rain with beams and brushwood, and we fared no differently than in an enclosed chamber. This certainly peculiar formation of flat roots raised above the ground, which is found nowhere in Europe, in Brazil is called "Cepo apeba" or, with the name corrupted, "Sapupema".

Footnote (5)--Tree list

So that we do not wander too far from our goal, it seems fitting just to list several other kinds of these woods in alphabetical order. I would have you remember in regard to this matter that different trees are called by various names in different provinces. I shall add scientific names in some few instances, where they are open to no doubt. Acapu. Aderno. Amburana (in the provinces of Minas and Bahia, Bursera leptopleos M). Andiroba (Carapa gujanensis). Angelim or Angali or Andira; amargoso or Aracuy, Coco or Urarema, pintado or pinima, preto, vermelho, verdadeiro (Andira stipulacea, A. anthelmintica, A. Pisonis, ormosioides, rosea, etc.). Angico (Acacia Angico M.). Aroeira (Schinus rhoifolia, Schinus terebinthifolia). Bacori (Platonia insignis). Balata or Jequetiba vermelho (Curatari estrellensis Raddi or Pyxidaria macrocarpa Schott.). Barabu. Batinga; branca, vermelha. Biriba. Brauna or Barahuna, Brahuna, Maria preta (Melanoxylon Brauna Schott.). Buranhem (Chrysophyllum). Camacary. Caroba vermelha. Canella; amarella, benta or Menjuba, Capitao-mor, Capororoca, Jacu, verdadeira or da Serra, da vargem, Tapinhuam, vermelha or da folha larga (various Laurineae). Canella preta (Nectandra mollis). Capreuva or Capureigba, Balsamo, Pao d'Oleo, Jacaranda Cabiuna (Myroxylon?). Carvalho. Castanheiro do Para (Bertholletia excelsa). Catigua (Trichilia Catigua). Cedro; fino, ordin-ario, vermelho (Cedrela brasiliensis). Conduru or Gandaru, Gondoru, Pao vermelho (Leguminosa). Cumaru (Dipterix odorataand pterota). Garauno. Gibatao or Batao, Guratan moenda, Quebra machado (Astronium fraxinifolium Schott.). Gonsalvo Alves. Grapecihe. Guanandim. Guarabu or Gurabu preto (Astronium concinnum Schott.). Guarabu roxo or Pao roxo or Roxinha (Orectospermum Schott.). Guarapariba or Urupari, Tata jupoca, Pimba, in Maranhao. Arapari, Upeuna, on the island of St. Catherine. Ipe-buja (Leguminosa). Ipe-peroba, preto, tabaco (various Jacarandae and Tecomae). Rapicuru or Itapicura, Tapicura, Tapicuru. Itauba. Jacaranda; branco, mulato, preto, tan (Jacaranda brasiliana, etc.). Jacareuva or Landim, Landy, Lantim (Calophyllum brasiliense). Jatai or Jatahy, Jitahy or Quebra Machado (Outea gujanensis and Hymenaeae). Jatuba or Jatoba (species of Hymenaea). Jaquetiba or Jequetiva, Jiquetiva (Curatari legalis). Jequetiba; macho, Inhahyba, Giboia, de Cheiro, Sassafras, Barruga, Canella Sabao (various trees). Jipio or Gororoba. Joairana. Louro; preto, branco, etc. (Laurineae). Macacauba or Moirapinima, Pao pintado (Leguminosa). Macaranduba or Mata Mata (Eschweilera grandifolia and others). Madeira nova. Mocetahyba or Messetauba. Oity or Guity; -Cica, -Coroya (Ficus). Pao amarello or Setim, in Para (Leguminosa). Pao Rosa or Cego Machado, Sebastiao d'Arruda, in Goyaz (Physocalymma floridum). Pao ferro or Ibiraete, Antenilha (various Leguminosae). Pao preto, in Minas (Miscolobium violaceum). Paroba or Uperova; branca, vermelha, amarella, amargosa, mirim (OrmosiaAndira, Leptolobium). Parovinha, in Minas (Acosmium). Pinheiro (Araucaria
). Piquia or Piqui, Pequim; amarello or Mirindiba, preto, (Lecythis Pisonis). Sapucaja branca (Lecythis lanceolata Poir., or minor Vell.) [see Flora Fluminense V, tab. 85}. Sindiiba. Sucupira or Sacupira, Sebipira, Sicopira, Sapupira; Acari-acu-mirim, da praia, branca, amarella (Bowdichia major, floribunda). Tapinhuan or Tapihoam (Laurinea). Tatu. Tauari (Lecythidea). Urucuca. Utin. Utunica. Vinhatico or Subigambuga, Aranhay-ato, Cacunda; amarello, bravo, preto, vermelho or Testa de boy (Leguminosa; Ecyrospermum Schott., etc.). Yito (Guarea purgans).

etching commentary #16h