Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Copaifera langsdorffii
Desf., Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Evaluate, score: 4 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Copaiba langsdorfii (Desf.) Kuntze; Copaifera nitida Hayne; Copaifera sellowii Hayne

Common name(s): [more details]

English: Langsdorf's copaifera, copaiba

French: copahu

Spanish: cabismo, cupay, kupay

Habit:  tree

Description:  "An evergreen tree to 6-12(-35) m tall, and 1 m diameter.  Leaves paripinnate, glabrous, subcoriaceous, 5-10cm long; leaflets 2-4 pairs, opposite or semi-alternate, petiolulate, elliptic ovoid, 2-6cm long, 1.2-2.5cm broad, with finely pinnate reticulate nervation, glandular-punctate.  Flowers in terminal racemes to compound panicles with numerous, subsessile whitish flowers. Sepals 4, lanceolate, concave, firm, glabrous outside, pubescent inside. Petals absent. Stamens free, (8)10, anthers elliptic, versatile. Ovary hirsute, briefly stipitate.  Fruit ovoid, compressed, 2 x 3cm, coriaceous, with one large seed partially covered with a thick aril"  (Agroforestree Database).

Habitat/ecology:  "A climax species probably ranging from subtropical to tropical dry and wet forest, it is found in both riparian forest and montane semi-deciduous forest. The tree tolerates annual precipitation of 1000-4000mm, annual temperature of 20-27 deg C (with no frost), and soil pH of 4.5-7.5.  Mean annual temperature: 20-27 deg C, Mean annual rainfall: 1000-4000mm, Soil type: Copaiba grows well on dark-red latosols and lithosols, it tolerates soil pH of 4.5-7.5 and some waterlogging"  (Agroforestree Database).

Propagation:  Seed.  "C. langsdorfii shows a tendency towards a tri-annual reproductive pattern.  Seedlings germinate well in dense shade"  (Agroforestree Database).

Native range:  Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela (Agroforestree Database).


Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
Imada, Clyde T./Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral R. (2013)
Harold L. Lyon Arboretum

Control:  If you know of control methods for Copaifera langsdorffii, please let us know.

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This page was created on 26 NOV 2008 and was last updated on 17 MAR 2010.