Balsa

Scientific Name
Ochroma pyramidale

Common Name
Balsa (U.S.), Topa (Peru); Balso, Lano (Panama, Central America); Algodón (El Salvador); Gatillo (Nicaragua); Lanero (Cuba); Corcho (Mexico); Túcumo (Colombia); Tami (Bolivia); Pau de balsa (Brazil)

Family
Bombacaceae, although recent molecular studies consider this species to be within the family Malvaceae.

Characteristics
10-30 meters tall, grows at low and middle elevations in dry, humid, or very humid forests. Commonly found on the sides of paths, roads, and river banks growing on land with a high content of organic material and sand.

Range
South of Mexico to Bolivia and Brazil

Uses
Wood for thermal, sound, and vibratory insulation; construction of rafts and buoys; packaging; miniature models; mattresses (cotton fiber from the fruit); decoration

Help Reforest the Amazon

We need to raise awareness in the general public about the possibilities of reforesting and regenerating areas affected by gold mining and deforestation. By socializing the reforestation process with other government and non-government organizations, including associations of miners, people can understand the effects of human activity to our planet and our health and become part of the solution. Together we can strengthen the ability for the Amazon to recover from deforestation.

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