Cassia grandis

Viable seeds / kg (approx.): 1,600

Minimum purchase: 100 g




Descripción



C. grandis is native from
southern Mexico through Central America and the Antilles to Brazil. It is a
medium-sized tree that normally reaches 10-18 m in height and 45-80 cm in diameter (DBH),
but it can reach up to 30 m and 100 cm in DBH. The stem branches at half height to
produce an irregular crown, rounded or scattered with somewhat hanging
branches.



Uses



The species is recommended for live
fences, as scattered trees in crops, for reforestation of gallery forests, in
mixtures with other species and in agroforestry systems. It is also recommended
for planting on pastures, especially because the fruits are highly prized by
livestock. It is often used as an urban tree or in gardening, for the beauty of
its pink flowers, but care must be taken because of its large and hard pods. In
Central America, the sweet pulp that surrounds the seeds is used to make an
energy drink, and several extracts of the plant have medicinal uses in some
countries. The wood is hard and resistant, easy to saw but with a rough,
moderately durable, cross-grain texture. The heartwood is yellowish brown with
darker stripes. The sapwood is almost white and very distinctive from the darker
heartwood. It is used in construction, such as small bridges and boats.
Sometimes it has been used for carpentry, joinery, floors, posts, rustic
furniture and tool handles. It is considered good for firewood and coal.



Environmental conditions



It is part of semi-deciduous
lowland forests of 0-800 masl, with mean annual rainfall of 800-3000 mm and dry
seasons of 2-6 months, with mean temperatures of 21-26ºC.



Soils



It prefers fertile soils with good
drainage; does not tolerate prolonged waterlogging.



Seeds and nursery



As a pre-germination treatment,
manual scarification with sandpaper is suggested until the seeds lose their brightness,
or making a small cut at the opposite end of the embryo with pruning shears,
and then leave the seeds in running water at room temperature for 24 hours.
Pretreatment accelerates germination, starting at 3-6 days, as compared to 45
days without pretreatment. For the seedbed, it is recommended to use a loose substrate
such as river sand, well washed and disinfected, distribute the seed uniformly
or in rows separated 2 cm, and sow superficially. Transplanting is done when
the seedlings reach 3-8 cm in height and the first true leaves appear. The root
is usually very long, so it must be pruned to about 3 cm in length. When
transplanting, be sure to make a hole deep enough in the substrate to avoid
curving up of the roots. Shade should be provided for the first 2-3 weeks after
transplanting, for instance using shade clothing (saran) 50%.  With seeds of good germination it is possible
to sow directly in the containers, placing 1-2 seeds per cavity. The plants
will be ready for field planting after at least 4 months, when they have a
height of 20-25 cm. A couple of weeks before planting out in the field it is
recommended to reduce watering to stimulate the lignification of the stems.



Growth



The growth of C. grandis is relatively slow, with increments of 1.5-2 m in height
and 1.7-2 cm in diameter per year.

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Banco de Semillas Forestales

Costa Rica

USD 75/kg