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Campomanesia lineatifolia

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Campomanesia lineatifolia
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Campomanesia lineatifolia

 

Campomanesia lineatifolia is native to Columbia, Brazil and parts of Amazonia belonging to Peru. The plant is a member of the family of the Myrtaceae. In its home country it is cultivated on a small scale. The natives name the plant shortly champas. It is also known as perfume guava. Campomanesia lineatifolia grows as a tree and reaches a height of up to 10 m. The trunk gets 25 cm in diameter. Campomanesia lineatifolia has a strongly branched treetop. The bark is slightly whitish. The leaves are elliptic and get 18 cm long. The upper side is dark green; the bottom side is a little lighter. The venation is prominent. All leaf nerves meet at the leaf edge building a continuous network. The leaves are opposite. The flower is actinomorphic, white and gets 1,5 cm in diameter. They are placed in the leaf axilla.

The fruits are between 3 and 7 cm in diameter and are slightly flattened. They are fist green and get yellow while ripening. The fruit looks similar to the guava to which Campomanesia lineatifolia is related. It is eatable. The pulp is very sweet. In its home country smoothies, beverage and sweets are made from the fruits. Or the fruits are simply eaten with ice cream. The fruits are healthy as they contain vitamin c. The seeds are surrounded by the pulp. From the seeds some new chemical compounds were isolated named champonones. They are slightly antimicrobial. In Brazil Campomanesia lineatifolia is used against gastrointestinal problems. Indeed researchers proved that free radicals can be trapped by chemical compounds gained from the leaves of Campomanesia lineatifolia. Thereby the risk for gastric ulcers is reduced. First successes were achieved with mice. In addition Campomanesia lineatifolia is able to increase the mucus production that also protects the stomach.

The seeds of Campomanesia lineatifolia germinate without any pretreatment. However one should take care that the seeds do not get dry before planting them. This would reduce the germination ability. Planted into the moist substrate germination occurs after 1 to 2 month at a tropical temperature of 25° C. A slightly acid substrate raises germination success.

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