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Cashew Family

Tapirira guianensis Aubl., a tree in the Anacardiaceae. Note how the veins bifurcate just before reaching the margin. Many anacards have similar, mango-like fruit. Un árbol. Note que las venas se dividen en dos antes de alcanzar la margen. Muchas Anacardiaceas tienen frutos similares, muy parecidos a los mangos.

Description: Anacardiaceae have alternate, pinnately compound leaves, except for a few simple-leaved genera (here, the introduced Anacardium and Mangifera). Many genera have secondary veins that split before they reach the margins, and many have oily- or glossy-looking leaf surfaces. Spondias can be distinguished by the presence of a submarginal collecting vein (a vein that runs just inside the perimeter of the leaflet). Most have a characteristic odor of green mango peel, but this scent can sometimes strongly resemble the incense odor of Burseraceae. Beware! This family contains the familiar temperate zone nuisances poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac. Many of the tropical species are just as noxious, especially to people who are highly sensitive to the temperate ones.

Economic uses: Mangos (Mangifera indica) are native to the Old World, but widely cultivated and often naturalized in South and Central America. The seeds of Anacardium occidentale(native to the Neotropics, though not to this region) are cashews, and the fruit, called marañon, is commonly eaten fresh or used in juice throughout the Neotropics. Several species of Spondias are cultivated for their fruit in Central America.

Descripción: Las Anacardiaceas tienen hojas alternas y pinnaticompuestas, con excepción de algunos géneros con hojas simples (aquí, los géneros introducidos Anacardium y Mangifera). Muchos géneros tienen venas que se dividen antes de alcanzar la margen, y muchas tienen hojas lustrosas y aceitosas. El género Spondias tiene una vena submarginal (es decir, una vena que rodea el foliolo cerca de la margen). Muchas especies tienen un olor a mango verde. En Burseraceas el olor es similar al incienso. ¡Cuidado! Muchas especies de Anacardiaceas presentan aceites que causan inflamación y salpullidos.

Usos económicos: El mango (Mangifera indica) es nativo al viejo mundo, pero se cultivan en muchas partes de Centro y Suramérica, y algunas poblaciones se han establecido fuera de los campos de cultivo. Anacardium excelsum (marañón), nativo a la zona neotropical pero introducido en Costa Rica tiene frutos y semillas comestibles. Se cultivan varias especies de Spondias (jocote) por sus frutos.

Genera/species at La Selva: 4/6 (all trees/ todos árboles): Anacardium (1), Mangifera (1), Spondias (3), Tapirira (1).

FIELD MARKS – alternate, simple or imparipinnate leaves, young leaves reddish, mango or turpentine odor.

Anacardium occidentale (Cashew) - simple leaves with red color in young leaves.
Spondias mombin – imparipinnate leaves with red color on rachis.
Spondias radlkoferi has pinnate leaves with an odd number of leaflets (imparipinnate) each with an elongated drip tip.

< < Previous family: Acanthaceae
Next family: Annonaceae > >
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