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Cavanillesia Platanifolia (Cuipo) is a large tree of the American tropics which resembles the African Baobab. It can grow to a height of 150 feet. Cuipo has a straight very thick cylindrical trunk, sometimes swollen, with small buttress roots. However, it has a rather small, somewhat rounded, flat-based, sparse crown. Also, branching begins high on the trunk. The bark is smooth and gray.
Additionally, adult leaves are large and bright green. In addition, the leaves are nearly round, simple, entire, and about 8 inches long. Furthermore, juvenile leaves are palmate to square. Cuipo’s flowers are borne in small clusters at the branch ends and are pinkish orange to red. Each bloom is about 1 inch long with extended stamens, pollinated by insects. Moreover. the fruits are 5-winged capsules, about 6 inches long and pinkish-orange. Flowering and fruiting occur when the tree is leafless; and propagation is by seed.
Cavanillesia Platanifolia (Cuipo) wood is coarse, soft and extremely light and can be substituted for balsa wood. Trunks are used locally to make dug-out canoes and to float rafts of hardwood logs. The inner bark can be bleached and made into paper. The tree originates from the tropical dry forest and can grow on a variety of well-drained soils. Because of its very large size, Cuipo is only suitable for landscape growth in extensive parks or gardens, mainly as a curiosity.
Other Names common names are: Petrino, Macondo, Cuipo, Volao, pijio, bongo, pretino, petrino, cuipo, hameli or hamelí in Spanish or macondo