Author Topic: anyone familiar with Acanthosyris spinescens/ Sombra De Touro ?  (Read 2366 times)


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anyone familiar with Acanthosyris spinescens/ Sombra De Touro ?
« on: October 18, 2015, 03:35:12 PM »

never heard of this one before
just ran across it.
it appears to be at least somewhat cold hardy from another site.
(im in zone 9)
the PDF below is in Spanish which i cant read.

Acanthosyris spinescens
Sombra De Touro

Southern S. America - Argentina, Uruguay, southern and eastern Brazil.
A tree of the subtropics to the tropics.

Fruit - raw. The thin-skinned fruit has a very succulent pulp with a sweet, pleasant flavour
 The fruits are about 3cm in diameter

Region: Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay - PDF (Spanish)


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Re: anyone familiar with Acanthosyris spinescens/ Sombra De Touro ?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2015, 07:41:07 PM »
South America and Africa have a lot of local fruit that are practically unknown to the outside world.  This one looks interesting because it can grow in some of the subtropical regions of the US.


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Re: anyone familiar with Acanthosyris spinescens/ Sombra De Touro ?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2015, 09:51:12 PM »
Fascinating. Related to the mistletoes! Lots (most?) species in the sandalwood family are semi parasitic. Also related to Leptomeria acida (sour currant or acid drop bush) and Santalum acuminatum (desert quandong). That last is grown commercially. Hard to propagate. Several threads here on it.


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Re: anyone familiar with Acanthosyris spinescens/ Sombra De Touro ?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2016, 08:13:16 AM »
Hi, I could buy some big trees of this one, it's a very interesting species! The seller told me it tastes like bubblegum...

Also, it seems that the nut is edible and tasty, for what the uruguayan Ricardo Carrere wrote here in the doc you posted:

I can translate any part of that PDF if you like it.

There is a very deep study here from Brazil:

By the way:
If you look to a brother of quebracho flojo, Quandong (Santalum acuminatum), the description of the fruit and nut is very similar:

"Quandong(Santalum acuminatum Sprague and Surnmerhayes, Family Santalaceae) Australia
Small, semiparasitic trees of desert regions; globular, edible, fleshy fruits; kernel enclosed in pitted, stony shell; oily; harsh aromatic flavour; nutritious, 60% fat, 25% protein; generally roasted."

" The nutritious, red, pulpy flesh of the fruit is used in jams, pies, and chutneys. The hard-shelled, edible nuts are customarily roasted."


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Re: anyone familiar with Acanthosyris spinescens/ Sombra De Touro ?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2016, 08:21:09 AM »
I converted that pdf into doc, then copied it to google translator, then removed the bad parts, here it is a quick translation (with photos from another sites...):

Loose quebracho (Acanthosyris spinescens): a different fruit

Ricardo Carrere, November 2010

Loose quebracho (also called quebrachillo) is an indigenous tree species present throughout the country (Brussa and Grela 2007). For those who do not know, the easiest to recognize time is between February and March, when the foliage stand out from its bright yellow fruits.

Another of its recognizable features are greyish leaves. However, keep in mind that, depending on their exposure, you can lose or retain their leaves in winter. If preserve them, they are grayish green color (ashen), whereas when the leaves fall in winter, new sprouting in spring are initially light green and only later changed to ashen green.

Another element that serves to identify are your short and straight, which develop accompanying each of its leaves thorns.

Overall it is a tree of medium size low (Brussa and Grela 2007), although under certain conditions it can reach greater heights, as shown in the pictures on the next page.

additional feature to emit shoots from their roots. Because of this feature sprouting from the roots, in its natural state is usually presented as a group of several specimens of the same species, composed of one or more adults and more trees coppice at different stages of development.

Those who attend there in Feb-Mar find the upholstered floor with fruits, because very few people know is a sweet edible fruit.

You may find a couple of copies in the sports plaza located in the Paso del Molino in the area of ​​the viaduct, as well as a group at the southern end of Lake Rodo Park, where it ends a lined path tall palms (Washingtonia).

A different result

Outside, the fruits of this tree not seem to have any particular characteristic that distinguishes them from others. However, the difference is clearly seen when eating them, when it is perceived that consumed more liquid than a pulp. The way to eat them is to place the fruit on the lips apart and tighten by hand against her mouth. Immediately his mouth is filled with liquid and being the carozo fairly large, the danger of swallowing is not running. You could say that is a very similar procedure to that used to consume the bedbug or Brazilian grape (when not want to eat the peel), with the difference that in this case neither the shell nor the pit eaten.

Since ever said his fruit has laxative properties (Sanchez 1943), it is worth lar sign which says about an investigation carried out in
Brazil: "For practical experience it is highlighted here that the fruits when consumed raw, hot sun [emphasis added], have considerable laxative action"

(Kinupp and Inchausti 2007). Using the same practical approach, our experience tells us that consumed raw, but not "hot sun", have no
laxative action. Either way, it would not hurt to investigate further the subject.

The "tung" criollo

In 1959, Lombardo wrote that "It is remarkable the high proportion of oil
It contains the seeds of this species, oil that may possibly be a substitute
(Industrially) produced by the seeds 'tung' (Aleurites SP. Sp.) ".

Since they are today few people know what is tung oil, worth explaining that it is a product made from the resin of the seeds of a tree native to China called tung (Aleurites sp.). Its main advantage over other types of oils such as teak or linseed is that it is much more resistant substance. Also, do not alter the original color the treated surface, because it is quite transparent and yellowed less. The pores of the wood is sealed after application of this product and its surface hardens so that greater protection (Consumer Eroski S. F.) is achieved.

A rich food and seed

In addition to its industrial potential, quebracho loose nutsedge has proved to be edible. Given the lack of studies

in this regard, a Brazilian researcher decided that "not having chemical data

to report on acute toxicity Santalaceae family "(to which it belongs
this species) could make the experience of eating some coquitos the natural, which he did. The result was that pleased their flavor and texture and experienced no adverse effect (Kinupp E Inchausti 2007).

Following its investigation, "they were toasted almonds and pure consumed in large quantity by several people and used in the preparation of cakes, giving a typical crispness of the

chestnuts or peanuts; therefore they present a potential to be investigated further. "

The study referred to concludes that "according to the analysis

bromatológicos performed in this study, this species has great potential for use in human food, due to high tenors of lipids and proteins in addition to taste and texture nice, good productivity and absence of (acute immediate /) side effects after consumption. Almonds could be used directly or in the manufacture of other products, such as enrichment

breads, cakes and food concentrates, as well as through the extraction and refining of oil and / or use of almonds in the preparation of animal feed. The percentage of oil was higher than on average in peanuts and the

cashew nuts and protein was lower than tenor of these two species, but slightly higher than the tenor of Brazil nut ".

Other uses: juice and spirits

Given the characteristics of this fruit, it does not readily lends itself to the production of juices in the traditional way. We thus an expe rience different. First fruits fingers on a pot, ensuring that the nutsedge (with the attached pulp) is separated from the shell is pressed. Then water was added and

I was boiled for a while. Finally it filtered to remove all the shells and coquitos and the resulting liquid was allowed to cool.

According to Lahitte and Hurrell (1999), the fruits "are also used in the preparation of liqueurs and sweet as relaxing."

Timber description

As its name would indicate ( "loose" quebracho), its wood is not very

quality, which does not mean that has no utility as such. Senyszyn (1989) describes it as follows:

"Sapwood and heartwood yellow to very light brown. Growth rings

demarcated; fine to medium texture. Heavy wood (Pe 0.84 to 0.90), quite sturdy and

elastic; it works well and takes good finish and luster. uses local posts, piques and firewood. It can be used in carpentry, joinery, tool handles, turnery. "

With regard to its possible use for posts, Nin (1981) says that "it was used as

fencepost, with negative results: a year had moth-eaten and buried part was totally rotten ".

In turn, Lahitte and Hurrell (1999) state: "The wood is yellowish and quality

mediocre, hard, light heavyweight, fine textured, used locally for manufacturing yokes, screeds, poles, ceilings and rustic furniture. "

apiculture value

In Uruguay there is no documented information on the potential of this melífera

species. In a study conducted in Argentina, it was found that the loose Quebracho was among "the most popular species [bees] in the study area" and that pollen grains of the species "were identified in the samples analyzed honeys" (Chifa et al, S. F.).

In addition to pollen, bees are likely to also obtain nectar of this tree as Brussa and Grela (2007) say that their flowers have a "nectar notorious record".

Although not specifically bees, Lahitte and Hurrell (1999) argue that this species pollination is done by insects because "the fragrance of flowers". Is

likely then that the fragrance can also attract bees. Note that the flowers are very small and inconspicuous due to its greenish yellow color.

medicinal use

While in Uruguay its medicinal use is not common (only one is mentioned as a purgative by eating fruits), in the case of Brazil "tea leaves is used against severe fevers, and externally, used to wash wounds and ulcerations "(Kinupp
and Inchausti 2007).

nitrogen-fixing species

An interesting detail is provided by Kinupp and Inchausti (2007), who reported that "at the time of planting nodules were observed in the root system; because

its appearance similar to nodules of legumes, it was speculated that it was fixing atmospheric nitrogen. He diagnosed as nodules were caused by

N-fixing symbiotic bacteria, ruled out the possibility of nematodes. However, it was not possible to identify the identity of (the) body (s) symbiont (s) ".

Then add the hardiness shown by this species in adapting to sandy soils "reinforces the possibility of advantages gained from this partnership."

Shade and food for livestock

Kinupp and Inchausti (2007) also provide interesting information regarding the relationship between livestock and this species. In that sense, they begin by saying that
"According to the landlord of the property, cattle feeding on fallen fruit or

still attached to the mother plant. From his description, livestock basically uses the succulent pulp, as the 'coquitos' hard (endocarps) are

in cattle feces at the time of fruiting of the species. This informant also reported that 'so that the plant spreads through the area', stating that in addition to the observed population, there are many others in the property. "

The researchers then added that in an area of ​​study "were seen near

10 individuals, including most adult trees and young plants, they with

slight signs of herbivory, I caused by cattle grazing and those with súber [bark] 'polished' and blackened (oily) by the action of cattle to rub against
trees for scratching. These observations, coupled with the ground and beaten with feces

dried and fresh in large quantities under the trees, riograndense justify the popular name for the species: shade of bull. " It is clear that in Uruguay is called "shadow bull" to an entirely different species, whose scientific name
is Jodina Rhombifolia.

From the above it appears that this species provides several benefits, as livestock feeds both fruit and young branches, use the trunk to scratch and blanket under his broad crown. To which is added the aforementioned capacity as nitrogen-fixing species in the soil, which serves to improve the pastur as livestock feeds.

Difficulties germination

According to Brussa and Grela (2007), this species "reproduces by seeds or root sprouts." While this is true, it is clear that both methods
dificu ltades reproduction have their practices.

As for reproduction by seed, my personal experience matches the two nurserymen consulted indigenous species (Erramuspe and Quintin Walter Melgar). According to the first, the seeds take about 8 months to germinate. At the same time
Melgar reports that "are slow, fail a lot and then are remolonas". In my case

very few concrete germinated seeds sown and took nearly a year to do so. Probably linked to the depth at which the seeds were sown, two types of germination were observed: in one case, the seed remained attached to the floor and the other was raised by the outbreak. In all cases, it was found that first developed long root and only then began to deve llarse the aerial part of the plant.

In a case registered in Brazil, the person responsible for the production of plants in the
Porto Alegre Botanical Garden reported that "germination is good though but slowly". This opinion was "corroborated by records of the living heritage of the

Botanical garden when planting this species, which state that germination took about eight months. " The same informant provided an important fact in stating "that there is variation in germination and dimensions of the 'coquitos' among some trees in the arboretum, controlled by him for some years" (Kinupp and Inchausti 2007).

Returning to Uruguay, it is interesting to note what they said Lopez and Cussac in 1943 on the planting of this species "should be planted immediately [have matured]

in seedbeds outdoors in drills. As it takes quite hard seed to germinate, so in the spring; It must be covered with litter and loose soil so that the cover is not tighten the winter rains, and form an enabling environment

for germination and seedling development. When they have a year or two of mastic, they may be definitive place during the winter and bare root. "

Propagation by root sprouts

While I start by saying that my failure was total in this matter, I think is worth detailing some observations, which can serve to advance in this method of propagation.

The first thing to note is that I only experience with seven volunteers removed in November, so the flaw could be due to this being a bad time of year to do it. However, Erramuspe (pers. Comm. 2010) reports have tried with little success in different seasons.

The second thing to note is that the tree being installed in a sandy soil, extraction of root regrowth is fairly simple operation, which does not occur in heavier soils or stony.

The third is that, once placed in containers, the sprouts remain green but growth for more than a month, after which some begin to dry.

However, when they seem to definitely be dead and container plant is removed, it is found that in many cases the root seems to be in perfect condition and even some live shows buds under the neck of the plant. Once

noted above, did two experiments, one with the root and then placed lying covered with a thin layer of soil and other root replanting precut dry aerial part. Of the two experiences I had only one success (passenger) with the second, as several seedlings began to issue new shoots.

However, while also died. A curious case occurred with one of those plants that looked dead and out of the land, only to find that the inside of the bottom of the root was emerging a finer root. I went to plant immediately, but at the time he died.

The above suggests that multiplication by root regrowth is possible, but more research is required. Personally, if I tried again would on sandy soil (not in pots), cut the aerial part of the sprouts and perhaps most important would have much more patience to wait for the evolution of the process.

An untapped potential eleven

Beyond the difficulties for multiplication, the truth is that this species grows naturally throughout the country and is still largely untapped measure. Summarizing the above considerations comes a long list of possible uses of this species:

edible fruit
edible natural and roasted seed
seed ingredient in breads, cakes, etc.
livestock feed (fruit)
shelter and shade for livestock
nitrogen-fixing on the floor
industrial oil
wood for certain uses

However, almost none of these potentials are being exploited consciously in Uruguay, which is required to disseminate them and promote research that serve to incorporate this kind to our production systems.

Note: The author thanks María Isabel Sanz for the translation into Spanish of dating Kinupp study and Inchausti (2007). Also takes the opportunity to thank Flavio Pazos who, in this as in the previous 17 papers on indigenous species, has been responsible for the layout.


BRUSSA, C .; GRELA, I. (2007) .- Tree Flora of Uruguay, with emphasis on e species of Rivera and Tacuarembó. Montevideo, COFUSA.

CHIFA, C .; MONTENEGRO, S .; AVALLONE, C .; PIRE, S. (s.f.) .- Pollen quality of honey produced in the Department. Güemes of the prov. Chaco (Argentina)

CONSUMER EROSKI (s.f.) .- Properties tung oil

KINUPP, V. F .; INCHAUSTI DE BARROS, I. B. (2007) .- Biological Observações, Estudo Bromatological and economic potential Shadow-of-Touro (Acanthosyris spinescens (Mart & Eichl) Griseb -... Santalaceae). Revista Brasileira de Biociências, Porto Alegre, v. 5, suppl. 1 p. 66-68, jul. 2007

LAHITTE, H. B. & Hurrell, J. A., eds. (1999) .- Rioplatenses trees. Buenos Aires, L.O.L.A.

LOMBARDO, A. (1959) .- Contribution to better understanding of indigenous Lantas p. In: Almanac State Insurance Bank: 124-136.

LOPEZ, E .; CUSSAC, C. (1943). - Forest trees in Uruguay and related problems. Montevideo, Mercant.

NIN, R. (1981) .- A study of native trees and shrubs on the banks of river from Step Yí San Borjas to the mouth of Maciel stream. Montevideo, Faculty of Agronomy.

SANCHEZ, H. (1943) .- The forest trees. Montevideo, Imp. Moderna

SENYSZYN, P. (1989) .- Uruguay Main indigenous woods. Montevideo, MGA, Forestry Department.


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