Pictogram Guide · Mouse over pictogram for definition

Triplaris surinamensis, Blochmannia weigeltiana, Triplaris cumingiana, Long John, Mulato Tree, Ant Tree, Vara de Maria

Triplaris surinamensis, Blochmannia weigeltiana, Triplaris cumingiana

Long John, Mulato Tree, Ant Tree, Vara de Maria
Family: Polygonaceae
Origin: South America, Surinam
Big tree taller than 20 ftFull sunDry conditionsModerate waterWhite, off-white flowersEthnomedical plant.
Plants marked as ethnomedical and/or described as medicinal, are not offered as medicine but rather as ornamentals or plant collectibles.
Ethnomedical statements / products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We urge all customers to consult a physician before using any supplements, herbals or medicines advertised here or elsewhere.

It is a very special plant. The leaves and bark of Triplaris surinamensis have a medicinal value. Leaves are used to treat diarrhea and bark is used to tone the digestive system. Triplaris surinamensis (Long John) is a native of South American. A tall tree, it can easily reach over 20 feet in height and is often used for ornamental and landscape purposes due to its attractive foliage. Its trunk is long and straight, with small cracks. The leaves are large and up to 15 inch in length and 6 inch in width; they are very ornamental, and feature intricate segmentations. The male flowers are small and white while the female flowers come in large compound clusters and are colored a light off-white. The brown seeds, small square nuts, have wings and resemble small helicopters when they fall to the ground.

When growing this tree, it requires full sun exposure and moderate water when it's young, however it can survive with very little water when it reaches maturity. It prefers dry conditions and is hardy in USDA Zone 9-11. It is very important that a pot is used when growing it in cooler climates to ensure the roots are well insulated from low temperatures.

Link to this plant: