Crescentia alata Health effects and herbal facts
Crescentia alata is a species in the trumpet-flower family Bignoniaceae, native to southern Mexico and Central America south to Costa Rica. It is a small tree growing to 8 m tall. It has hard, cannonball-like fruit 7–10 cm diameter, that are difficult to break into. It is believed that these fruit characteristics evolved as a defense mechanism against seed predation. However, it seems to be a counter-productive strategy, as the seeds inside the fruits never germinate unless the fruits are broken open, and with the exception of horses and humans, no animals break open the fruits. It has been observed that domestic horses may smash the fruit with their hooves and eat the pulp and seeds. Daniel Janzen suggested that Gomphotheres may have previously been responsible for the dispersal of C. alata seeds. With their extinction, C. alata became threatened with the possibility of habitat loss and suffered an extremely limited ability to migrate, but the introduction of a new vector, in the form of domestic horses, has allowed the species to maintain its viability. C. alata is, not surprisingly, most often found in open areas, such as pastures and fields.
- NORTHERN AMERICA
- SOUTHERN AMERICA
- Mesoamerica: Belize; Costa Rica; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Nicaragua
|Chemical||Plant part||Low ppm||High ppm|