Ceiba chodatii (palo borracho, palo botella, samu’u)

Ceiba chodatii, known locally as palo borracho, is one of the most characteristic trees of the Chaco region in Paraguay because of its distinctive shape.

Different indigenous groups living in the Chaco area use the tree extensively to make canoes, handicrafts and other artefacts for daily use.

Extracts of the bark are used to tan leather. The fibres are used to make ropes and a dye is extracted from the bark.

The seeds were consumed by the Wichí people during dry years.

In the dry season, water accumulated in the trunk is given to cattle.

The decoction of the flowers is used to treat headaches. The plant is strongly linked to Native American mythology and legends related to the beginnings of life (for the Chamacocos or Wichí).

Species detail

  • Ceiba chodatii
    Taxonomy

    Ceiba chodatii is a deciduous tree that grows to more than 12 metres tall. Discover what gives Palo borracho its distinctive bottle-shaped trunk.

  • Ceiba chodatii
    Distribution

    Ceiba chodatii grows in dry seasonal woodlands in the Dry Chaco of Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. Discover which other plant species also grow in these dense, spiny forests.

Images

Ceiba chodatii

Ceiba chodatii

Ceiba chodatii

Ceiba chodatii

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Ceiba chodatii

Ceiba chodatii

Ceiba chodatii

Ceiba chodatii

Author

Maria Peña Chocarro
Research Assistant
Botany Department

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