Botanical Name: coutarea latiflora, Hintonia latiflora
Common Names: red elephant tree, copal, torchwood, red torchwood, torote prieto
What parts of copalquin are used?
The bark and leaves are used in herbal medicine.
How do you identify copalquin and where is it grown?
Coutarea latiflora is a small desert tree/shrub able to survive intense monsoon rains as well as drought conditions. This tough survivor is an attractive reddish-brown color when young and matures to a smooth grey-red bark. It is soft, resistant to peeling and therefore appealing for carving by the Comcaac people, inhabitants of Tiburón Island in Mexico.
This flowering tree is also found on rocky hillsides and slopes throughout Mexico, Central America, and along the Baja coast. It flowers with small yellowish blooms and bears green and red fruits that resemble miniature apples.