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Mezilaurus itauba - (Meisn.) Taub. ex Mez

Common Name Itauba
Family Lauraceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Primary forests of high terrain, with sandy or clayey-sandy soils, well-drained and of low fertility[420 ]. Humid tropical and subtropical forests in Bolivia[363 ].
Range S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Mezilaurus itauba Itauba
Mezilaurus itauba Itauba

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Mezilaurus itauba or Itauba is a large, tropical, slow-growing, evergreen tree growing about 20 - 40 m tall and 60 - 80 cm in trunk diameter. It can be found in South America. It has a round crown. The bark yields an essential oil containing apiol that may cause abortion in pregnant women. The edible fruit is an ellipsoidal berry. The wood is heavy, highly durable, and resistant to attack of marine borer. Due to its high quality, the wood is used in external heavy construction, high class furniture, boat buildings, etc.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Mezilaurus itauba is an evergreen Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 25 m (82ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Acrodiclidium anacardioides Meisn. Acrodiclidium itauba Meisn. Endiandra itauba (Meisn.) Benth. & Ho


Edible Uses

Fruit[444 ]. The fruit is an ellipsoid berry, around 2 x 1cm[444 ]. No more details.

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.

The bark is used as an abortifacient[46 ].

Other Uses

Other Uses An essential oil is obtained from the bark[46 ]. It contains apiol[46 ]. The heartwood is a yellow-brown to a dark, lustrous brown; it is not clearly demarcated from the 2 - 5cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is fine; the grain interlocked and sometimes wavy; the surface has an oily aspect. The wood is heavy; moderately hard to hard; elastic; very durable, being very resistant to fungi, dry wood borers and termites, and reported to be highly resistant to marine borer attack. It seasons slowly, with only a low risk of distortion but a high risk of checking; once dry it is moderately stable in service. It has a fairly high blunting effect, stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide tools are recommended; the interlocked grain means that it can be difficult to cut and to plane; nailing and screwing are good, but require pre-boring; gluing is correct for interior purposes only. A high quality wood, it is used sometimes as a substitute for teak (Tectona grandis). It is much used in external heavy construction for items such as bridges, railway ties, marine works, poles etc, for beams; and is also suitable for high class furniture, cabinet making, turnery etc; as well as for cart bodies, boat building, furniture components, joinery etc[341 , 420 , 444 , 848 ].

Cultivation details

Succeeds in full sun or dappled shade[420 ]. Although a plant of primary forests, it regenerates easily in open areas[420 ].


Seed - best sown in a position in light shade, in individual containers, as soon as it is ripe[420 ]. Germination rates are usually low, occurring in 3 - 5 weeks[420 ]. Plants grow away slowly[420 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here


Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela,

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


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(Meisn.) Taub. ex Mez

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.

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