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Cecropia peltata

Pronunciation: Sek-kroh-pee-uh pel-tay-tuh
Family: Moraceae (mulberry family)
Common Name: Trumpet tree, snakewood, congo pump, wild pawpaw, pop-a-gun
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 30-70'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: The flowers are small inconspicuous yellow catkins. They are followed by numerous small seeds embedded in 3 in (7. 5 cm) long soft-fleshed fruiting stems. Prop roots sometimes develop at the base of the tree.
Plant Perks:
  • Medicinal
Propagation: Trumpet tree can be propagated from seed, but the seeds germinate slowly. In the wild, the seeds are dispersed by bats and birds.
Native to: Cecropia peltata is native to central america, northern south america, and the caribbean, and it has naturalized in parts of africa. This is an early-succession species adapted to grow rapidly in disturbed areas. It is therefore most common in secondary woods and along forest edges.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - cecropias are widely planted for tropical landscape effects. The young buds may be eaten as a cooked vegetable. The corrosive and astringent latex is used against warts, calluses, herpes, ulcers, dysentery, and venereal diseases. The leaves of both cecropia peltata and c. Palmata are used in herbal medicine under the name "embauba leaf. " a tea made from the leaves is widely employed as a cure for asthma and thought to be useful in treating a wide variety of other ailments including liver disease, cardiovascular problems, parkinson's disease, and snakebite. It also is used to ease childbirth and menstrual complaints. The trumpet tree's main trunk is solid and composed of a soft, weak, brittle, lightweight wood. It is combined with cement to make insulation board and made into excelsior, matchsticks, crates, toys, partitions, and paper pulp. The wood ignites readily from friction and makes good tinder. A latex rubber is made from the milky sap and the inner bark yields a coarse fiber. The leaves are sometimes used as sandpaper. The hollow stems have been fashioned into musical instruments, fishing floats, life preservers, water troughs, gutters, and bottle "corks. " the dead leaves dry dark mahogany brown above and white beneath, and curl into interesting sculptural forms which can be used in dried arrangements. Care: these are fast growing, short-lived trees. Young specimens can put on 2-3 in (5-8 cm) diameter per year. They need fertile soil to grow well and dislike competition from lawn grasses. These trees grow best on well drained soils with ample moisture.
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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