ORIGIN AND DISTRIBUTION
Native to South America - Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela; C. America - Panama.
Typically found growing as an understory tree in the rainforest, often subject to periodic inundation.
USES AND ETHNOBOTANY
In the Darien region of Panama the bark of Brownea is boiled in water to make tea used to treat diarrhea. The flower is considered to be "from the devil" and infused in water used for ritual baths.
PROPAGATION AND CULTIVATION
Brownea can be grow easily from the large brown seeds. Some literature states that Brownea seed has a semi-hard seed coat and benefits from light scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination, however I have never found this to be the case. Germinate fresh seeds in a compost rich, well drained soil mix and results should be good. Seeds to not have a very long viability.
Brownea macrophylla is native to the moist tropics, it cannot tolerate frosts. Trees prefer a position in partial shade requiring moist soil and dense deep, rich, slightly acid soil. Trees are slow growing and, if happy, will flower when three to four year olds from seed.