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Plant Species of the genus Bursera

Information about this genus
Name: Bursera
Cultivation: CULTIVATION: The tree species from higher-rainfall areas are grown like most other tropical trees, preferring a sunny but sheltered position and well-drained soil with adequate subsoil moisture. The western Mexican species with swollen stems require a dry atmosphere and an open gravelly soil with excellent drainage; in cooler climates they are grown in greenhouses under high light levels. Propagate from seed or cuttings. Bursera simaruba is known to strike from large lengths of sapling stem, and it is likely that the succulent species will do the same, allowing the cut to callus first.
Description: Consisting of around 50 species of both evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs, Bursera is restricted to tropical America and the West Indies, with one species extending into southern Florida and another into southern California and Arizona. They are best known for their resins, used in varnish, perfume and incense. The genus gives its name to the family Burseraceae, among whose other genera are those yielding myrrh (Commiphora) and frankincense (Boswellia). Species of Bursera have smooth or flaky pale bark, pinnate leaves with an odd number of leaflets, and small greenish white to yellow flowers with separate petals, grouped in short sprays near the branch tips. The fruits are small to rather large capsules that split into segments to release 1 to 5 hard stones, each containing a single seed. Some shrubby species from hot dry regions such as northwestern Mexico have evolved swollen stems and smaller sparser leaves, and are sometimes collected by succulent enthusiasts.

Specie Vernacular Zone
Bursera microphylla 9-12
Bursera simaruba 10-12



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