Hevea brasiliensis - (A.Juss.) Meull.
Common Name Para Rubber Tree, Brazilian Rubber Tree
Family Euphorbiaceae
USDA hardiness 11-12
Known Hazards The seeds contain cyanic compounds are poisonous to humans unless treated[587 ]. See notes on edible uses below[K ]. (Seed is poisonous if ingested Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction )
Habitats Along river banks in rainforests[307 ]. Rainforest, often in periodically flooded areas, but larger trees are found on the well-drained plateaux. In its natural habitat, it forms part of the middle storey of the tropical forest[303 ].
Range S. America - Brazil around the Amazon and Orinoco rivers.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.

Known as the most important rubber-producing tree worldwide, Hevea brasiliensis or commonly known as para rubber tree, is a deciduous tree growing up to 20 m in height with smooth and gray bark, dark green leaves, pale yellow flowers, and large capsule fruits. It is a tropical plant native to the Amazon in Brazil but can be found in other locations across South America, Africa, and Asia. Seeds are poisonous thus it requires treatment by soaking for a prolonged period or boiling prior to consumption. The seeds contain Para rubber seed oil, a semi-drying pale yellow oil used for illumination, soap making, paint, varnish, and as a treatment against house flies and lice. The plant is often intercropped with coffee or cocoa. Tapping the trunk yields latex used in wide range of applications. The wood is used for furniture, interior finish, moulding, etc.

Hevea brasiliensis Para Rubber Tree, Brazilian Rubber Tree

Hevea brasiliensis Para Rubber Tree, Brazilian Rubber Tree
Vinayaraj wikimedia
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Hevea brasiliensis is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 16 m (52ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10 and is frost tender. and are pollinated by Wind, Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.


Edible Uses
Seed - cooked[307 ]. Although poisonous, the seeds are a staple food of local peoples in the jungle[307 ]. The seed needs to be treated by soaking for a prolonged period or boiling them to destroy the cyanic poisons[303 , 307 ]. The seeds contain 40 - 50% oil. This is suitable for use as food[303 ]. A famine food.
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


Other Uses
Humid shade garden. Specimen. Botanic collection. Agroforestry Uses: Intercropping with coffee or cocoa, perhaps in conjunction with ipecac, is possible. After a few years under legumes, no nitrogen fertilizer may be needed, but phosphorus, magnesium and potassium may be limiting in some areas[303 ]. Other Uses: Press cake or extracted meal can be used as fertilizer[303 ]. A latex is obtained by tapping the trunk[307 ]. The latex coagulates with the aid of acetic acid, formic acid and alum[303 ]. This is the major source of natural rubber, used in a wide variety of applications including car tyres, shoes and boots, balls, elastic bands, erasers etc[307 ]. It is also much used by local people to make domestic items such as water bottles, balls etc[307 ]. The seeds contain a semi-drying pale yellow oil, known as Para rubber seed oil[46 , 303 ]. Boiling the seed removes the poison and releases the oil, which can be used for illumination, soap making, paints and varnishes[46 , 303 ]. The oil can be used as an effective treatment against houseflies and lice[303 ]. The heartwood is pale cream in colour, often with a pink tinge when fresh, darkening on exposure to pale straw-coloured or pale brown, not clearly demarcated from the sapwood. The grain is straight to shallowly interlocked, texture moderately coarse but even. Sawn rubberwood often shows black stripes with the inclusion of bark material, the result of poor tapping practices with damaged or removed cambium; in freshly sawn wood there is a characteristic and distinct smell of latex. Most of the timber is used to manufacture furniture. Other uses include interior finish, moulding, e.g. For wall panelling, picture frames, drawer guides, cabinet and other handles, parquet flooring, many household utensils, block board cores, pallets, crates, coffins, veneer, and glue-laminated timber, e.g. For staircases and door and window components[303 ]. Since the timber is only moderately durable when exposed to the elements, it should not be used for exterior purposes[303 ]. Offcuts and other rubberwood residues have been used successfully in Malaysia for the production of particle board, wood-cement board, and medium-density fibreboard[303 ]. Rubberwood was formerly regarded as a by product of the rubber plantations and used for the production of charcoal or as fuel wood, for brick making, tobacco drying and rubber drying[303 ]. Rubberwood waste is an excellent medium for the growing of mushrooms, especially oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus spp.)[303 ].
Cultivation details
Agroforestry Services: Crop shade;  Global Crop;  Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon;  Industrial Crop: Oil;  Management: Standard;  Other Systems: Multistrata;  Other Systems: Strip intercrop.

Succeeds in humid lowland tropical areas, growing best at elevations of 300 - 500 metres, but also succeeding at elevations up to 900 metres[303 ]. Planting above 400 - 500 metres is not generally recommended because trees at higher altitudes tend to be smaller, with less vigorous growth, and with reduced production of both latex and timber[303 ]. It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature is in the range 23 - 35?c, and a mean annual rainfall of 1,500 - 3,000mm, though it can tolerate up to 4,000mm[303 ]. In some areas, rubber can tolerate a 2 - 3 month period of drought[303 ]. Prefers a fertile, moisture-retentive soil in light shade[307 ]. Plants tolerate some waterlogging[303 ]. Tolerant of a wide pH range from 4 - 8, though it does better in acid soils[303 ]. Lime is harmful, and shallow or poorly drained or peaty soils should be avoided. Thrives best in deep, well-drained loamy soil covered by natural undergrowth or a leguminous cover crop and protected from erosion[303 ]. Requires protection from strong winds[418 ]. Plants can be tapped for their latex from about the age of 7 years[307 ]. The root system has a well-developed taproot with far-spreading lateral roots[303 ]. In high-rainfall areas, good internal drainage of the soil is important. Strong winds may snap trunks and branches; however, more wind-resistant clones do exist[303 ]. Only a few clones are self-incompatible, but most benefit from cross-pollination or from hand pollination[303 ]. The economic life cycle of a rubber plantation is 30 - 35 years, after which replanting is necessary[303 ]. Flowering Time: Mid Summer. Bloom Color: Green. Spacing: 20-30 ft. (6-9 m).
Seed - it only has a short viability of 7 - 10 days and so should be sown as soon as possible[200 , 303 ]. The seed is often sown in situ - usually 2 or more seeds per hole are planted, and then the seedlings are selectively thinned[303 ]. The seeds can also be planted in a nursery bed. Seeds germinate in 1 - 3 weeks, depending on climatic conditions and freshness[303 ]. It germinates best at a temperature of about 25?c[300 ]. Seedlings grow to a height of 1 - 1.5 metres in 6 months[303 ]. Seed storage behaviour is recalcitrant; viability can be maintained for 3 months in moist storage with moist charcoal and sawdust in a perforated polythene bag at 7 - 10?c. Whole seed moisture content is 36%; lowest safe moisture content is 20%, and no seeds survive further desiccation to 15% mc[303 ]. Seeds are killed on exposure to -5 ?c for 3 - 4 hours. Commercial clonal seed are stored in cold storage at about 4?c, which often gives reduced but tolerable germination[303 ]. Vegetative propagation is by budding or cuttings. Seedlings make good cuttings, but cuttings from older, rubber-bearing trees take very poorly or not at all[303 ].
Other Names
Para Rubber Tree, Brazilian Rubber Tree, Seringa, borracha, borracha do pará, cautchu, goma elática, natural rubber (latex solids).
Found In
French Guiana; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Bolivia, Plurinational State of; Colombia; Peru; Brazil, Africa, Andamans, Asia, Central Africa, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, East Africa, East Timor, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guiana, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Malaysia, Nigeria, SE Asia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Thailand, Timor-Leste, West Africa,
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed
Related Plants


Print Friendly and PDF
Expert comment
(A.Juss.) Meull.
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.
Readers comment
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.
Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Hevea brasiliensis  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
Other Plant uses
Woodland Gardening
Why Perennial Plants?
Top Edible Plants
Top Medicinal Plants
Garden Design

Twiter      Facebook


Content Help
Support Us
Old Database Search
About Us
Sign In

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email ePost. You will receive
a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information &
functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address.
You can unsubscribe at anytime.