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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Diesel tree
Copaifera langsdorfii in a park in São Paulo Brazil.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Tribe: Detarieae
Genus: Copaifera
Species: C. langsdorffii
Binomial name
Copaifera langsdorffii

The tropical rainforest tree Copaifera langsdorffii is known as the diesel tree and kerosene tree. It has many names in local languages, including kupa'y, cabismo, and copaúva.


Biological description

It is a medium-sized tree usually reaching 12 meters in height, with white flowers and small, oily fruits. The wood is light due to its porosity. And, it is honeycombed with capillaries filled with oil. Tapping the tree involves cutting a well into which the oil seeps and where it can be easily collected. Despite its vigorous production of oil, the tree does not grow well outside of the tropics, and does not show promise as a reliable source of biodiesel in temperate climates.



Biodiesel use

It produces a large amount of terpene hydrocarbons in its wood and leaves. One tree can produce 30 to 53 liters of hydrocarbons per year, en-mass producing 10,000 - 12,000 litres/hectare/year[1] which is incredibly high. The oil is collected by tree tapping. The main compound in the oil is copaiba, an oleoresin which is useful in the production of oil products such as lacquers and can be used as biodiesel. The tree is also the main source of copaene, another terpene.

Wood uses

The wood can be burned for firewood or used in carpentry.

Pollen collector

Bees utilize the tree for pollen collection.

Medicinal uses

The plant has a great number of historical medicinal uses.


External links


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Copaifera langsdorffii


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales
Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Caesalpinioideae
Tribus: Detarieae
Genus: Copaifera
Species: Copaifera langsdorffii


Copaifera langsdorffii Desf.


  • Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. 7:377. 1821
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. 312665
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Copaifera langsdorffii on Wikimedia Commons.


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