Monday, May 21, 2007

Lacre (Vismia)

Our botanical listing of trees was done about 10 years ago by Sr. Manuel dos Santos under the supervision of Dr. Luiz Pedroso at SUDAM. Refer to Botanical Listings on this blog, over on the left hand side of the page. Sr. Manuel referred to two species of lacre at Bosque Santa Lucia, one being lacre grande and the other lacre vermelho. To be honest about it, I haven't taken the time to sort out which is which. I only know that the tree is distinguished by leaves which are a reddish/copper color on the inferior side and the normal jungle green on the superior side. One, or maybe both species produce a thick red resin, which reminds me of the lacre material used to seal letters and documents in older days. As you might suspect, this material is also used in traditional medicine practices.

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