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Quassia amara

Quassia amara

Quassia amara from Koehler's Medicinal-Plants (1887)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Sapindales
Family: Simaroubaceae
Genus: Quassia
Species: Q. amara
Binomial name
Quassia amara

Quassia amara is a species in the genus Quassia, with some botanists treating it as the sole species in the genus. It is a shrub or rarely a small tree, growing to 3 m tall (rarely 8 m), native to Brazil. The leaves are alternate, 15-25 cm long, and pinnate with 3-5 leaflets, the leaf rachis being winged. The flowers are produced in a panicle 15-25 cm long, each flower 2.5-3.5 cm long, bright red on the outside, and white inside. The fruit is a small drupe 1-1.5 cm long. Q. amara is widely planted outside its native range.


Additional recommended knowledge

It is famous and used for the bitterwood or quassia, its heartwood, used as a febrifuge; this contains quassin, a bitter-tasting substance (it is, in fact, the bitterest substance found in nature).[1] Extracts of Q. amara bark containing quassinoids are used as insecticides, being particularly useful against aphids on crop plants. [2]


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  2. ^ Lewis, W.H. and M.P.F. Elvin-Lewis (2003). Medical Botany. Hoboken: Wiley. page 598.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Quassia_amara". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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