Enterolobium cyclocarpum (Jacq.) Griseb., Fl. Brit. W. Ind. (1860)

Latin for 'circular fruits'.

Albizia longipes Britton & Killip
Enterolobium cyclocarpa (Jacq.) Griseb. [Spelling variant]
Feuilleea cyclocarpa (Jacq.) Kuntze
Inga cyclocarpa (Jacq.) Willd.
Mimosa cyclocarpa Jacq.
Mimosa parota Sesse & Moc.
Pithecellobium cyclocarpum (Jacq.) Mart.
Prosopis dubia Kunth
Prosopis dubia Guill. & Perr.

Mid-canopy tree up to 30 m tall and 60 cm dbh. Leaves alternate, compound, leaflets opposite, small, palmate-veined, glabrous. Flowers ca. 3 mm diameter, white, protruding stamens, placed in umbells within branched inflorescences. Fruits ca. 90 mm diameter, brown-black, spiral, flattened pods.

Tree, 15-30 m tall, crown thin and spreading, up to 45 m wide. Leaves bipinnately compound, with 4-9 pairs of pinnae, each with 13-30 pairs of leaflets; leaflets narrowly oblong, 8-13 mm x 2-4 mm, apex acute. Flowers in glomerules (heads), 1-2.5 cm in diameter, white or greenish, on a 2-3 cm long peduncle. Pod flat, curved into a circle or spiral, 7-12 cm in diameter, blackish-brown. Seeds in 2 rows, dark brown, compressed ovoid-ellipsoid, 13-20 mm x 11 mm x 8 mm, with pale pleurogram. [from PROSEA]

In Asia usually planted.

In tropical Central and South America and occasionally in South-East Asia, grown as a shade tree in coffee plantations. Young pods and seeds are eaten as a vegetable. Pods are used as a fodder. The bark and pods are occasionally used as a substitute for soap.

Native to Central and northern South America, now grown all over the tropics.

Local names
China: xiang er dou.
English: Elephant ear tree, Mexican walnut, pitchwood, earpod-tree.
Spanish: Guanacaste, Caro Caro.