Hevea

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Hevea

[′hē·vē·ə]
(botany)
The rubber tree genus of the order Euphoriales from which the largest volumes of latex are harvested for use in the manufacture of natural rubber.

Hevea

 

a genus of evergreen monoecious trees of the Euphorbiaceae family.

There are approximately 12 species of Hevea, found in the forests of tropical America. H. brasiliensis is the principal source of natural rubber; it grows wild in the damp tropical forests of the Amazon valley and is widely cultivated in tropical countries (most notably in Ceylon, the Malacca Peninsula, and the Greater Sunda Islands). The height of the tree is 30-40 m; the leaves are compound ternate and the blossoms small, unisexual, and gathered into paniculate inflorescences with capsular fruit. The seeds are oval and large (up to 3 cm) with a heavy brown casing, and quickly lose their germinating capacity. The milky sap of the plants contains the rubber, for which the trees are tapped from the age of 10-12 years. One tree may yield from 3-4 to 7.5 kg of rubber per year.

REFERENCES

Tekhnologiia rastitel’nogo kauchuka i guttaperchi. Moscow, 1944.
Zhukovskii, P. M. Kul’turnye rasteniia i ikh sorodichi, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1964. Pages 760-63.
Siniagin, I. I. Tropicheskoe zemledelie. Moscow, 1968. Pages 245-53.

S. S. MORSHIKHINA