Swinglea glutinosa

Viable seeds / kg (approx.): 18,500

Minimum purchase: 100 g


Swinglea is an evergreen tree that in natural condition reaches heights
of up to 10 m, but in fences it can be maintained at the desired height and shape
by pruning.


Swinglea is used mainly for living fences, because its dense foliage and thorns in some cases practically eliminates the need for posts
and barbwire. It is also used for windbreaks and property protection. For
fences, a spacing of 25-33 cm between plants is recommended (3-4 per linear
meter), and the desired height and width are controlled by pruning, which also
helps to thicken the hedge. It is suggested to make a first pruning by cutting the terminal bud when the plants reach 60 cm in height, to stimulate branching, and then continue pruning both the vertical stems and the branches to maintain the desired height and width.


It develops best at altitudes of 0 to 700 masl, with a mean temperature
of 20-24 °C and mean annual rainfall of 800-2000 mm. Although it can grow under moderate shade, its best development occurs under full sun exposure.

Seeds and nursery

As a pre-germination treatment it is recommended to keep the seed in running
water at room temperature for 24 hours. For the seedbed, a loose substrate such
as river sand should be used, well washed and disinfected. The seed should be
distributed evenly or in rows 2-3 cm apart, sowing it superficially. Germination
begins after 20-30 days and transplanting can be done when the plants reach 3
to 5 cm 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%. The plants will be ready for field planting after
2-3 months with a height of 15 to 20 cm. A couple of weeks before planting out
in the field it is recommended to reduce watering to stimulate the
lignification of the stems.


There is not much data on growth rate of
Swinglea, possibly because it is usually managed as low hedges, under frequent
pruning. In a study in Peru, height growth of up to 30cm was recorded 90 days
after planting, with application of 200 g of poultry litter per plant.

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Banco de Semillas Forestales

Costa Rica

USD 175/kg