Family: Fabaceae

Latin name: Inga spp.

Vernacular name: Shimbillo, shimbillo de agua, pacae, paca shimbillo, shimbillo de fraile, shimbillo de mono. Many varieties exist.

Ethnobotany
As with I. eudlis , many Inga species provide fruit for people, often when others are scarce. The fruit pods are usually much smaller than that of I. edulis. Some species of Inga have excellent wood for fuel (harder than I edulis), and charcoal is often made from the trees of this genus.

Agroforestry
Multi-purpose, nitrogen-fixing shimbillo grows quickly and can easily adapt to almost any agroforestry system. Some varieties of shimbillo can resist heavy, prolonged floods, such as “shimbillo de agua” and “paca shimbillo”. The trees coppice well and are often so well established that they are considered a nuisance in some fields. Removal is not easy, and some shimbillos regenerate with ease. The fruits attract animals to fields. Inga can grow to be huge, and is an important genus in the region’s forests. Inga species have great potential for use on degraded lands, and forest or wildlife restoration projects throughout much of South America. Planners must pay more attention to this magnificent native natural resource.

Inga harvested from a fallow, to be made into charcoal.

Inga harvested from a fallow, to be made into charcoal.

Inga can have large or very small fruits.

Inga can have large or very small fruits.

Shimbillo wood is common in charcoal.

Shimbillo wood is common in charcoal.

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