Espinheira santa is a small, shrubby evergreen tree growing to 5 m in height with leaves and berries that resemble holly. It is native to many parts of South America and southern Brazil and it is even found in city landscapes for its attractive, holly-like appearance. With over 200 species of Maytenus distributed in temperate and tropical regions throughout South America and the West Indies, there are many Maytenus species that are indigenous to the Amazon region which have been used medicinally by indigenous tribes.
Jatobá is a huge canopy tree, growing to 30 m in height, and is indigenous to the Amazon rainforest and parts of tropical Central America. It produces bright green leaves in matched pairs, white, fragrant flowers that are pollinated by bats, and an oblong, brown, pod-like fruit with large seeds inside. The fruit is considered edible although hardly tasty; one of its common names, "stinking toe," is used to describe the smell and taste of the fruit! In the Peruvian Amazon the tree is called azucar huayo and, in Brazil, jatobá. The Hymenaea genus comprises two dozen species of tall trees distributed in tropical parts of South America, Mexico, and Cuba.
Pau d’arco is a huge canopy tree native to the Amazon rainforest and other tropical parts of South and Latin America. It grows to 30 m high and the base of the tree can be 2–3 m in diameter. The Tabebuia genus includes about 100 species of large, flowering trees that are common to South American cities’ landscapes for their beauty. The tree also is popular with timber loggers—its high-quality wood is some of the heaviest, most durable wood in the tropics. Pau d’arco wood is widely used in the construction of everything from houses and boats to farm tools.