Leguminosae Mimosoideae
Inga spp.


Inga edulis


Inga edulis


Inga sp.

Inga is a genus with about 300 species. Inga has been recognized as the only known legume in tropical America that will survive and flourish on the impoverished acidic red soils that cover much of the land surface of the region (1). Although Inga are not pioneer colonizers of open ground, they can function as such once they are established as seedlings, which requires the help of soil supplements (2). Many thousands of hectares of coffee, cacao and tea depend on Inga not only for their shade but also for their leaf mulch (which provides weed control and nutrients) and for their nitrogen fixing properties (1). The attraction of a variety of ant, fly, wasp, and spider species to the extrafloral nectaries of Inga species offers the potential to use these beneficial organisms to control insects that are detrimental to crops (2).

The cultivated plants have larger flowers than those in wild populations, where the pod rarely exceeds 50 cm in length (1). The white edible pulp of Inga edulis is soft and slightly sweet, appreciated as a delicacy by many people as well as monkeys and birds (2). The species is known in traditional medicine for a variety of applications.

(1) Pennington, TD (1997) The Genus Inga; botany. RBG Kew 844 p.

(2) Pennington, TD & Fernandes, ECM (eds.) (1997) The Genus Inga; utilization. RBG Kew 167 p.

 


 

Stryphnodendron pulcherrimum • Fava Barbatimaõ
Stryphnodendron pulcherrimum is a tree with beautiful compound leaves and inflorescences, which can be included as an ornamental in landscape design, such as at Amazonat.

 

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