Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Para rubber tree, Rubber tree, Hevea, Natural rubber,Para rubber

+ Tree Species

Hevea brasiliensis

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Rubber tree is native to Brazil. It has been introduced to many parts of the tropics for rubber production. In East Africa, Hevea brasiliensis has been recorded in Central and southern Uganda and North eastern (coastal) parts of Tanzania. It occurs along river banks in rainforests, often in periodically flooded areas, but larger trees are found on the well-drained plateaux. In its natural habitat, it forms part of the middle storey of the tropical forest. In Kampala, Para rubber tree can be found along Yusuf Lule, Kyadondo road among other places.

+ Description

Para rubber tree is a deciduous tree with a conical crown, rarely exceeding 25 meters in height in plantations, but wild trees of over 40 meters have been recorded. The bole is usually straight or tapered, branchless for 10 meters or more, up to at least 50cm in diameter, without buttresses.

BARK: pale to dark brown with a smooth surface and the inner bark pale brown with abundant white or cream colored latex.

LEAVES: spirals and with three leaflets. the leaf stalk 7.5-10(-70) cm long; leaflets obvate (egg-shaped in outline but with the narrower end at the base), apically acuminate, entire, basally acute, penninerved, 10-15(-50) cm long, 3-6(-15) cm broad, elliptic-lanceolate in outline.

FLOWERS: small with no petals, bright or cream-yellow in color and extremely pungent. They are either male or female but both are found in the same inflorescence. Female flowers are apical, the more numerous male flowers lateral in the inflorescence.

FRUIT: exploding 3- lobed, 3-seeded ellipsoidal capsule. Fruits burst open when ripe and the seeds are scattered up to 15 m from tree. Seeds are variable in size, 2.5-3 cm long, mottled brown, lustrous.

+ Uses

Edible: seed contain 40 - 50% oil which is suitable for use as food. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Hevea+brasiliensis

Press cake or extracted meal can be used as fertilizer.

The latex is the major source of natural rubber, used in a wide variety of applications including car tyres, shoes and boots, balls, elastic bands, erasers etc. It is also much used by local people to make domestic items such as water bottles, balls etc.

The seeds contain a semi-drying pale yellow oil, known as Para rubber seed oil which can be used for illumination, soap making, paints and varnishes.

The oil can be used as an effective treatment against houseflies and lice.

The wood is used mostly for timber which is used to manufacture furniture.

It is also used for interior finish, and moulding like for wall panelling, picture frames, drawer guides, cabinet and other handles, parquet flooring, many household utensils, block board cores, pallets, crates, coffins, veneer, and glue-laminated timber.

Rubber-wood was formerly regarded as a by -product of the rubber plantations and used for the production of charcoal or as fuel wood, for brick making, tobacco drying and rubber drying.

Rubber-wood waste is an excellent medium for the growing of mushrooms, especially oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus spp.)

Agroforestry: can be intercropped with other crops.

+ Propagation

Seeds, budding or cuttings.

+ Management


+ Remarks

The Para rubber tree is the most important rubber-producing tree in the world. It is widely cultivated for its latex under humid lowland tropical conditions, roughly between 15 N and 10 S, where there is comparatively little variation in temperature.

Development partners