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Tabebuia impetiginosa (syn. Tabebuia avellanedae Lorentz ex Griseb., Tabebuia palmeri Rose, Tecoma impetiginosa Mart. ex DC.) or pink lapacho is a native Bignoniaceae tree of America, distributed from northern Mexico south to northern Argentina. It is a common tree in Argentina's northeastern region, as well as in southeastern Bolivia.
Additional recommended knowledge
The pink lapacho is a rather large deciduous tree, with trunks sometimes reaching 80cm width and 30m height. Usually a third of that height is trunk, and two thirds are its longer branches. It has a large, globous, but often sparse canopy. Leaves are opposite and petiolate, 2 to 3 inches long, elliptic and lanceolate, with lightly serrated margins and pinnate venation.
It flowers between July and September, before the new leaves appear. Lapacho flower is large, tubular shaped, its corolla is often pink or magenta, though exceptionally seen white, about 2 inches long. There are 4 stamens and a staminode. The fruit consists of a narrow dehiscent capsule containing several winged seeds.
Lapacho bark is brownish grey, tough and hard to peel. Wood is of a pleasant yellowish colour, barely knoted and very tough and heavy (0,935 kg/dm³). It's rich in tannins and therefore very resistant to weather and sun. Unfortunately, it is not very useful for furniture since it is so hard to work by hand. It can be found as beams or fullfiling other structural uses where needed outdoors.
Tabebuia impetiginosa, as well as other species of this genus, are trees naturally found in the wild of central to South American forests. However it has been broadly used as ornamental tree in landscaping gardens, public squares and boulevards due to its impressive and colorful appearance as it flowers.
The inner bark of Tabebuia impetiginosa is used medicinally. It is dried, shredded, and then boiled, making a bitter brownish-colored tea. The unpleasant taste of the extract is lessened when taken in pill form, or as tinctures. Lapacho bark is typically used during flu and cold season and for "curing" smoker's cough. It apparently works by promoting the lungs to expectorate and free deeply embedded mucus and contaminates during the first three to ten days of treatment. In ancient ethnomedicine Lapacho plays a central role in the herbal medicine of several South American indigenous peoples. In the past decades it has been used by herbalists as a general tonic and adaptogen. Those adaptogenic properties have been said to improve quality of life for cancer and inmunodepressed patients. However, there is no substantial scientific proof regarding benefits on the latter.
Other common brazilian names are: Pink Ipê, Ipê-roxo, Paud'arco-roxo, Ipê-roxo-damata, Ipê-reto, Ipê-rosa, Ipê-comum, Ipê-cavatã (not to be confused with regular Ipê or Ipê-amarelho)
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tabebuia_impetiginosa". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|