Bursera simaruba (L.) Sarg., Gard. & Forest 3: 260. 1890; Pistacia simaruba L.; Elaphrium simaruba (L.) Rose.
Arboles, 325 m de alto, corteza lisa, rojo-bronce a verde-rojiza, exfoliante. Hojas una vez pinnadas, hasta 34.5 cm de largo y 23.5 cm de ancho, puberulentas a glabras o glabrescentes en la haz, densa a escasamente pubescentes en el envés, raquis no alado; folíolos 59 (11), obovados a ovados, ápice abrupta y corta a largamente acuminado, enteros, lustrosos en la haz, del mismo color en ambas superficies o más claros en el envés. Panículas hasta 21.5 cm de largo (racemiformes y 612.5 cm de largo cuando en fruto); flores estaminadas con (4) 5 sépalos, éstos 1/4 del largo de los pétalos, pétalos (4) 5, ca 3 mm de largo; flores pistiladas con 3 (4) sépalos, éstos 1/4 del largo de los pétalos, pétalos 3 (4), ca 3 mm de largo. Frutos ovoides a elipsoides, 1013 mm de largo, 3-valvados, rojos y verdes a morado obscuros al madurar.
Común, en bosques secos, bosques de galería y en las partes más secas de ambientes húmedos, en todas las zonas del país; 101100 m; fl marago, fr durante todo el año; Stevens 16046, 22893; Estados Unidos (Florida), noreste de México a Perú y Brasil, también en las Antillas. Comúnmente usada como cercos vivos. "Jiñocuabo".
ish-woolly, becoming reddish-brown, covered with yellowish lenticels and con- spicuously marked by large elevated cordate leaf scars. Leaves odd-pinnate, 21- 35 cm long and 12-23.5 cm wide; petioles puberulent basally and sparingly pubescent above, or glabrous to rarely yellowish-woolly, 7-11.5 cm long; leaf- lets 5-7(-9), long-acuminate, inequilateral basally, the laterals broadly ovate to ovate-oblong, the terminals obovate, membranaceous to coriaceous, the margins entire, conspicuously lanate when young to nearly glabrate in age, becoming sparingly pubescent above, at least the veins pubescent beneath, slightly shiny above, paler beneath, the blades 4.5-14.5 cm long and 2.5-8 cm wide; petiolules pubescent to glabrous, 5-31 mm long; rachis not winged. Inflorescences usually glabrous, reddish; staminate 17-28 cm long, longer than the young leaves; car- pellate 4-10.5 cm long, ca. as long as the young leaves. Flowers 3- or 5-merous, with glabrous pedicels 2-4 mm long in flower and 5-16 mm long in fruit; staminate 5-merous, the calyx shallowly 5-lobed, the lobes less than 1 mm long, the petals 5, ovate-elliptic, acute and incurved apically, 2-2.5 mm long and 1 mm wide, the stamens 10, ca. as long as the petals, the filaments 1.5 mm long, the disc 5-lobed; carpellate 3-merous, the calyx lobes 3, the petals 3, ovate, acute and incurved apically, 2 mm long and ca. 1 mm wide, the stamens 6, ca. half as long as the petals, the ovary 3-loculed, ovoid, ca. 2 mm high, the stigma 3-lobed. Fruits subglobular, pointed at both ends, slightly 3-angled, green to bright pink, maturing reddish-brown and drying brownish, 8-13 mm long and 7-9 mm in diameter, dehiscing by 3 obovate valves; pyrenes 1(-2), 1-seeded, 3- angled, bony, lenticular-ovoid, pinkish to whitish, attached to the pedicel by a persistent whitish column ca. 2 mm long.
Bursera simaruba ranges from a bush to large trees over 15 meters in height. The trunk is a reddish brown that peels off in thing layers. New growth is more greenish. The leaves are compound ranging from 3 to 9 leaflets. They are arranged alternately and the leaflet margins are entire. The incomplete, imprefect actinomorphic flowers appear in before new leaves sprout during the spring in panicles. Plants are monoecious with every individual producing both male and female flowers. The staminate flower calyx and corolla is 5 lobed with 10 stamens. The carpellate flowers calyx and corolla is 3 lobed with 6 infertile stamens. The fruit is a berry with three seeds.
Bursera simaruba grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations (coppice) on both a limestone and sand substrate. It is a common species throughout the islands. It is also found in the Pine Woodlands.
Widespread throughout the Caribbean region, occurring from coastal north- eastern Mexico through Central America, and southern Florida through the West Indies, to Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. In Panama flowering from mid- March to mid-June, and collected in fruit in all months but September.
Bursera simaruba occurs on all islands of the Lucayan Archipelago as well as Florida, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. In the Lucayan Archipelago there is a related endemic species (Bursera frenningiae) that occurs in the southern islands.
There are many cultural uses of Bursera simaruba. Within the Lucayan Archipelago it is used medicinally to treat circulatory problems as well as in strengthening and aphrodisiac teas. Throughout its range it is propagated as an ornamental. Also in areas of Central and South America is used to make living fence poles due to its ability to grow from cuttings of the trunks.