Enterolobium cyclocarpum (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Enterolobium cyclocarpum (Willd.) Griseb.

Family: Leguminosae - Mimosoideae


  • Pithecellobium cyclocarpum Martius

Vernacular names

  • Mexican walnut, pitchwood, earpod-tree (En).


Native to Central and northern South America, now occasionally grown all over the tropics.


In tropical Central and South America and occasionally in South-East Asia, grown as a shade tree in coffee plantations. Young pods and seeds are eaten as a vegetable. Pods are used as a fodder. The bark and pods are occasionally used as a substitute for soap.


  • Tree, 15-30 m tall, crown thin and spreading, up to 45 m wide.
  • Leaves bipinnately compound, with 4-9 pairs of pinnae, each with 13-30 pairs of leaflets; leaflets narrowly oblong, 8-13 mm × 2-4 mm, apex acute.
  • Flowers in glomerules (heads), 1-2.5 cm in diameter, white or greenish, on a 2-3 cm long peduncle.
  • Pod flat, curved into a circle or spiral, 7-12 cm in diameter, blackish-brown.
  • Seeds in 2 rows, dark brown, compressed ovoid-ellipsoid, 13-20 mm × 11 mm × 8 mm, with pale pleurogram.

Selected sources

  • Flora Malesiana (various editors), 1950-. Series 1. Volume 1, 4-. Kluwer, Dordrecht & Flora Malesiana Foundation, Leiden, the Netherlands.
  • Mansfeld, R., 1986. Verzeichnis landwirtschaflicher und gärtnerischer Kulturpflanzen (ohne Zierpflanzen) [Register of cultivated agricultural and horticultural plants (without ornamentals)]. Schultze-Motel, J. et al., editors 2nd edition, 4 volumes. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 1998 pp.
  • Verdcourt, B., 1979. A manual of New Guinea legumes. Botany Bulletin No 11. Office of Forests, Division of Botany, Lae, Papua New Guinea. 645 pp.


  • M.S.M. Sosef & L.J.G. van der Maesen