Cecropia obtusifolia – Trumpet Tree
Other Common Names: Guarumo
The Cecropia obtusifolia tree is a plant species belonging to the Urticaceae family. It is commonly referred to as Guarumo, Snakewood, Tree of Laziness, Pop-a-Gun, and Trumpet Tree. It is usually found in tree fall gaps as well as surrounding tropical forests in the lowland.
Trumpet trees can grow up to 33 feet or 10 meters, sometimes even taller. They grow fast, but because of the wood of this tree are weak and soft, their height can be limited and their lives can be short-lived, as their wood is also prone to rotting. They have few stout branches that are greenish gray in color and have prominent rings and dots. They can also be described as smooth, yet hairy.
The leaves of the trumpet tree are large and palmately lobed, with about 9 to 13 lobes radiating from the central axis. They have distinct ruffled edges and are colored green above, but a little whitish below.
The flower clusters are paired at leaf bases and have dangling, green fruits that resemble fingers. They are frequently enjoyed by tanagers, toucans, and other birds because they are very accessible. Each fruit has one seed that is dark brown and is less than 1.5 millimeters long.
The trumpet tree is widely used in traditional medicine as they are known to help cure cough, asthma, bronchitis, and even heart failure. In some places, butanolic extract from the leaves of the tree is also used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. There are also studies which show that it also has potential for treating bacterial infections, obesity, and cancer.