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Fabaceae, Eperua falcata, Bootlace tree

December 30, 2008

Endemic to the humid, lowland forests of Guyana, northern S America, E. falcata remains largely unknown outside its place of origin. The tree can make a giant, robust forest tree, with a massive spreading canopy. Flower clusters dangle at the end of long, pendant stems, which hang down in abundance, forming a fringe below the canopy. Each inflorescence forms a fairly incredible, deep mauve-pink, woody pod containing a single seed. The pod is reminiscent in shape to a machete blade, or even more accurately, a scimitar. The pods explode upon opening, flinging their seed up to 100 feet.

The tree was considered to be the most beautiful flowering legume by the renowned Brazilian botanist Dr. Adolpho Ducke.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2010 10:08:07 pm

    This tree would be magnificent and useful for teaching in our Gifford Arboretum, a living museum of tropical trees at University of Miami. Does anyone know of a seed source? Any leads would be much appreciated!
    -John Cozza, PhD

    • January 27, 2010 10:08:10 am


      I do know of a seed source, the tree in the photos above (in Panama). I am currently growing trees from that seed. I have a number of requests for seed and am waiting for the tree to bear again, which it seems to do about once a year. It may very well be flowering now. I’ll have to check when I get back to Panama in about two weeks. I’d be happy to help support the Museum of tropical trees at U of Miami by sending seeds for propagation. The seeds probably don’t remain viable for very long so we’d have to be quick in shipping.


  2. March 4, 2010 10:08:29 pm

    We have Eperua bijuga, also a very beautiful tree from same genus, native from Amazon region growing in Rio de Janeiro. It has been introduced here by Dr. A. Ducke himself, in the first half of XXth Century.

    The canopy of Eperua bijuga turns violet-pinkish at flowering time, a wonderful vision. As far as I know, several Eperua spp. have the same effect.


  3. April 13, 2010 10:08:21 am


    Thank you so much. Sorry for my slow reply and I hope we haven’t missed the fruiting of this magnificent tree. Please let me know if seed is available. Of course we would take care of the shipping by whatever means you recommend. I look forward to hearing from you.


    P.S. We are also interested in
    Anonaceae, Stelechocarpus burahol, Kepel fruit
    Euphorbiaceae, Hevea brasiliensis, Para rubber tree, jebe

  4. Richtan permalink
    October 26, 2011 10:08:35 pm

    Wallaba ,the most impressive tree in the world .how nice
    If able to buy the seed and germinate it ! Pls if any one can sell seed to me!

  5. January 27, 2013 10:08:55 pm

    What an amazing tree! Those incredible flowers, that wonderful pod AND it is leguminous?! A beneficial to be sure 🙂

    • January 28, 2013 10:08:01 am

      Yeah, this is a very cool tree with a massive low branching canopy. It gets full of these pendulous strings (bootlace-like) full of flowers. The flowers turn into large machete-blade looking seedpods with a single seed. When they mature they crack open flinging the seed outward great distances. I’ve grown it from seed and from suckers cut off the roots.

      • January 28, 2013 10:08:52 am

        Sounds like an amazing plant. No WAY we would get it here ;). It would be good to see some of your plants if you wanted to share them with us. I bet you have an amazing collection from your work all over the world 🙂

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  1. Bee alighting on Eperua falcata flower – Panama « anthropogen

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