Platonia insignis, the sole species of the genus Platonia, is a tree of the family Clusiaceae native to South America in the humid forests of Brazil, Paraguay, parts of Colombia and northeast to Guyana; especially in Amazon Rainforest. Common names include bacuri (and numerous variant spellings thereof; bacurí, bacury, bakuri, pacuri, pakuri, pakouri, packoeri, pakoeri), maniballi, naranjillo and bacurizeiro.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Clusiaceae
Tribe: Symphonieae
Genus: Platonia
P. insignis
Binomial name
Platonia insignis

Aristoclesia esculenta Stuntz
Moronobea esculenta
Platonia esculenta (Arruda) Rickett & Stafleu

P. insignis wood

There was a degree of nomenclatural confusion, caused by Moronobea esculenta. If that were validly published for this species the current name would be Platonia esculenta. It was established that Moronobea esculenta is not a formal name (not "validly published"), so the name remains Platonia insignis.[1][2]

Platonia is related to Montrouziera[3] from New Caledonia.


Platonia insignis is a dry-season deciduous tree, reaching 25–40 m high. It has a pyramidal crown and copious yellow latex in the bark. The leaves are opposite, simple oblong to elliptic, 8–15 cm long, and glossy dark green, with wavy margins and a leathery texture.

The flowers are 5–7 cm long and pink in color, with five petals and numerous stamens. The fruit is round to oval and 7–14 cm long, with a thick, yellow skin. It resembles a papaya. The rind exudes a yellow latex when pressed.[4] The sticky white pulp is fragrant, with a taste that is both sweet and sour. There are 3 to 5 seeds.

The white-bellied parrot (Pionites leucogaster) is a pollinator of the plant, making it ornithophilous.[5]

Cultivation and uses

Bacuri plantation

The bacuri is grown for its fruit, which is made into various condiments and beverages. It contains high levels of phosphorus, iron, and vitamin C. The oily brown seeds are used as a home remedy to treat skin conditions. Its yellowish wood is frequently used as timber.

Oil and butter

Bacuri butter

The grease of the bacuri oil has a high absorption rate, due to its high level of tripalmitin (50% to 55%), which penetrates the skin quickly. The high amount of fatty palmitoleic acid (5%), compared to other oils (less than or equal to 0.5 to 1.5%), makes the bacuri oil useful as an emollient and moisturizing agent.[6]

Physico-chemical data

IndexUnitReference value
Iodine Indexgl2/100g57
saponification indexmgKOH/g211
Index peroxidemeq/Kg5
Fusion point°C35



Platonia is a natural source of trioxygenated xanthones.[8] The latex contains resinotol.[9]


  1. van Rijckevorsel 2002.
  2. Kirkbride 2007.
  3. Ruhfel, B. R., V. Bittrich, C. P. Bove, M. H. G. Gustafsson, C. T. Philbrick, R. Rutishauser, Z. Xi, and C. C. Davis (2011). Phylogeny of the Clusioid Clade (Malpighiales): Evidence from the Plastid and Mitochondrial Genomes. American Journal of Botany 98: 306–25.
  4. Rogez, H., et al. (2004). Chemical composition of the pulp of three typical Amazonian fruits: araça-boi (Eugenia stipitata), bacuri (Platonia insignis) and cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum). European Food Research and Technology 214(4) doi:10.1007/s00217-003-0853-6
  5. Cornell University Caique Glossary Archived 2007-10-27 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Morais, L. R. Banco de Dados Sobre Espécies Oleaginosas da Amazônia, não-publicado
  7. MORAIS, L. R. B.: Produção de óleo de duas espécies amazônicas por prensagem: Bacuri Platonia insignis (Mart.) e Pracachy Pentaclethra macroloba (Willd), 2005, Monografia em Curso de Mestrado Em Química Orgânica, Universidade Federal do Pará, Centro de Ciências Exatas e Naturais 76pp. Não publicada.
  8. Peres, V. and T. J. Nagem. (1997). Trioxygenated naturally occurring xanthones. Phytochemistry 44(2) 191-214. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(96)00421-9
  9. "Platonia insignis". Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2010-08-15.


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