Graves, Arthur H. Formerly, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut.
Davis, Kenneth P. Formerly, School of Forestry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Last reviewed:February 2018
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A fast-growing tree, Ochroma pyramidale (also known as O. lagopus), which is widely distributed in tropical America, especially in Ecuador. Balsa (Ochroma pyramidale; also, O. lagopus) belongs to the mallow family, Malvaceae, in the order Malvales. This fast-growing tree is indigenous to the tropical regions of the Americas, from southern Mexico to Bolivia. In particular, Ecuador is the world's leading producer of balsa wood. The leaves of balsa (see illustration) are simple, angled, or lobed. The flowers are large and yellowish-white or brownish, and they are terminal on the branches. See also: Forest and forestry; Malvales; Tree
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