Ocotea cymosa - (Nees) Palacky
Common Name Varongy
Family Lauraceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Forests and coastal sands at elevations up to 1,000 metres[455 ].
Range Africa - eastern Madagascar.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun

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Ocotea cymosa is an evergreen tree growing about 20 m in height and can be found in Africa. It has a straight, buttressed bole that can be branchless for up to 16 m and usually up to 80 cm in diameter. The leaves and fruits are used as condiment, and the bark is used in preparing alcoholic beverages. The plant yields high quality timber used for furniture, cabinet making, boat constructions, ship building, toys, boxes, etc.

Ocotea cymosa Varongy

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Ocotea cymosa Varongy
Public Domain
Physical Characteristics
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Ocotea cymosa is a TREE growing to 20 m (65ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Agathophyllum cymosum Blume ex Meisn. Agathophyllum lindleyanum Blume Daphne cupularis Lindl. ex Bai

Edible Uses
The leaves, bark and fruits are aromatic; the leaves and fruits are used as condiment, the bark is added to locally prepared alcoholic drinks[299 ].
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
Other Uses The heartwood is pale brown; it is usually indistinctly demarcated from the sapwood. The grain is usually interlocked, texture medium. The wood is moderately lightweight, it is often attacked by pinhole borers, but is moderately resistant to fungi, dry-wood borers, termites and marine borers. It is easy to saw and work with both hand and machine tools; sanding is sometimes needed for good results in planing operations; it is fairly easy to glue, paint and varnish; it nails well, with good nail-holding capacity. The peeling and slicing properties are good. The moulding properties are satisfactory and the wood is suitable for carving. It is resistant to impregnation by preservatives[299 ]. Freshly sawn wood has an unpleasant smell[299 ]. The wood of this species, and several other Ocotea species from Madagascar, is known as 'Varongy. It is in high demand for furniture, cabinet making, boat construction and mortars, but is also valued for construction, joinery, vehicle bodies, interior trim and pattern making. It is suitable for mine props, ship building, toys, novelties, boxes, crates, carvings, turnery, veneer and plywood. It is less suitable for flooring because it is too soft[299 ].
Cultivation details
Although generally thought of as needing moderate amounts of sun, trials have shown that it is extremely shade tolerant[299 ].
Seed -
Other Names
Found In
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
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Ocotea kenyensisTransvaal stinkwood, stinkhout02
Ocotea porosaBrazilian-walnut, imbuia00


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(Nees) Palacky
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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Subject : Ocotea cymosa  

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