Most plants within the reserve are yet to be described scientifically. Our Local biologist, Vincent Vos, estimates that only 3000 of about 8000 tree species of the Bolivian Amazon have been described so far. With such a large floristic diversity, the diverse indigenous peoples of the Amazon have developed an incredible variety of plant uses for the preparation of natural medicines and for local constructions.
The following table presents a selection of some of the most well-known plants in the municipality of Riberalta, including a small description of its uses.
Warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 12 in /home/customer/www/aquicuana.org/public_html/wp-content/plugins/js_composer/include/classes/shortcodes/vc-basic-grid.php on line 184
The Almond tree or chestnut (Bertholletia excelsa) is a giant tree that as an almond producer it constitutes the main sustenance of the economy of the north amazon. The species can be found in highland forests of the mainland, but due to its need for light, it regenerates much better in fallows.
The name Ambaibo applies to a group of species of the genus Cecropia. These are pioneer species of rapid growth that can mainly be found in fallows and places recently disturbed
La Balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) is another pioneer species that is very abundant in fallow and other open spaces. Its wood is very light and has utility for models.
Bibosis (Ficus ssp.) Include a large group of trees including several species known as kill them, as they climb on top of other trees to finally strangle them. Many species produce fruits appreciated by a variety of wild animals, and several species have utility as timber.
The Bitumbo colorado (Couratari macrosperma), with its large bell-shaped fruits is relative Almond tree Its wood is good so it is used by several timber companies in the region.
There are two species of Cedar, the white cedar (Cedrela fissilis) and the most common Red Cedar (Cedrela odorata). Both species are highly valued for their wood, although for their overexploitation. They are currently in extinction and export possibilities are limited.
Chamairo (Mussatia hyacinthina) is a species of vines or liana that is locally harvested for marketing such as sweetening coca (Erythroxylum coca) that is especially consumed by people who do physical work. Where coca also grows in the region, the leaves usually are imported within the country.
The Cocoa plant (Theobroma cacao) produces fruits with seeds that are used for cocoa manufacturing through a complex fermentation process. In the region there are several natural populations of this species in the low zones.
There is also a wild relative known as Chocolatillo (Theobroma speciosum) that also produces pleasant fruits.
Chonta (Astrocaryum aculeatum) is a palm tree with many thorns. Its fruit is appreciated so much for wild animals like the squirrel and parabas as for the villagers.
The Cupuazú (Theobroma grandiflorum) is another cocoa relative. This species native to the east of Brazil is currently being cultivated in agroforestry systems managed by peasant families. Its pulp is used for the preparation of delicious soft drinks that can be tested in numerous Restaurants in the city.
The Cuta (Astronium lecointei) is a timber tree that produces a heavy wood with a characteristic marbled color. It is one of the most used wood for the manufacture of doors, frames and all kinds of furniture.
The Guayabo (Psidium guajava) is a species of small tree very common in Riberalta gardens and peasant communities. It produces pleasant fruits that also lend themselves to the elaboration of jams and soft drinks.
The Güembé (Philodendron undulatum) is a plant that grows high in the tops of other trees (hemiepifita), mainly in low zones. It has long aerial roots that are harvested to produce fibers that lend themselves to the elaboration of handicrafts such as baskets and fans.
The Hoja redonda (Chelyocarpus chuco) is a relatively small palm species. Presents hand-shaped leaves. Especially members of the ethnic group that ejja knows how to harvest these leaves for the elaboration of crafts such as mats and fans.
The Isigo colorado (Tetragastris altissima) is a very common species in various types of forest. Where its fruits of pleasant flavor are appreciated by wildlife, the species is mainly valued for its wood that is a very good quality firewood.
Jatata (Genome deversa) is a small undergrowth palm that is used for Rustic roof construction. The roofs of various restaurants including the walk cabins.
Lluvia de oro
The Lluvia de oro (Cassia fistula) is an introduced species that is highly prized as a tree ornamental since it produces a lot of clusters of beautiful yellow flowers.
The Majo (Oenocarpus bataua) is a dark-leaved palm tree that grows on the banks of pampas and other places with poor drainage. Its fruits are harvested for the preparation of soft drinks Nutritious known as majo milk.
The Mapajo (Ceiba pentandra) is a species with large tabular roots that can reach enormous dimensions. It grows in places like Tumichucua and other low places that are flooded annually. According to local beliefs, the goblin (an evil forest spirit) usually lives in these trees.
The Mara (Swietenia macrophylla) since ancient times has been the most valued species for its unmatched quality wood. Where the natural populations of this species are in extinction and are limits the possibilities of exploitation for wood, it is currently being cultivated in systems agroforestry and some plantations.
The Mara macho (Cedrelinga cateniformis) is another timber species of high value that generally can be found in highland forests of the mainland. Considering its intensive use it is increasingly difficult to find large specimens of this species.
The Motacú (Attalea phalerata) is a palm of shoals very appreciated by the Riberalteños for their fruits. It also has several other uses: the leaves are used to roof houses and the roots are a proven remedy against dysentery.
The Ochoó (Hura crepitans) is a tree with broad tops, armored leaves and barks with thorns, which it grows in areas of periodic flooding. Its wood has utility for the production of venests. Its shell is poisonous and in the past it was used as a poison for fishing.
There is a great diversity of Pacay species (Inga sp.), All with their characteristic pods with seeds wrapped in a sweet white pulp. Especially the monkey-tailed Pacay (Inga edulis) is a species frequently cultivated in canchones and riberalteñas communities.
The Palma real (Mauritia flexuosa) is a very large palm with palm leaves that grows in areas of stagnant waters. Its fruits are not only appreciated by wild species such as parabas and antas, but it also serves to make soft drinks.
The Penoco (Samanea tubulosa) is a aparasolada tree that can frequently be seen in the grasslands that surround the city of Riberalta, where cattle usually relax in their shade.
Sangre de grado
Sangre de grado (Croton draconoides) is one of the most valued medicinal species in the region. The species that grows on the banks of the Amazonian rivers is scratched for the extraction of its “milk” that it is used to heal scars and is even used to treat cancer.
La Siringa (Hevea brasiliensis) is the famous tree producing a white resin used for rubber manufacturing In the surroundings of Riberalta you can find many of these trees that are easily recognizable by the characteristic stripes on their bark, signs of exploitation.
The Tajibo amarillo (Tabebuia serratifolia) is a tree with beautiful yellow flowers, which in time of flowering brightens both the streets and avenues of Riberalta and the grasslands and forests that surround it.
The Toborochi (Ceiba speciosa) is a tree with a very characteristic swollen trunk. Produces beautiful large and brushed flowers, which is why it has also been used as an ornamental tree. The Tumichucua community square presents several very large individuals.
The Tumi (Amburana cearensis) is another timber species of high value. Its light colored wood is very appreciated by which several companies take advantage of this species for export, but it is also used locally for furniture manufacturing.
The Urucú (Bixa orellana) also known as Achiote is a species of shrub that produces a seed capsules wrapped in a red powder, which is used as a food coloring.