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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Caesalpinioideae
Tribus: Caesalpinieae
Genus: Mora
Species: M. abbottii – M. ekmanii – M. excelsa – M. gonggrijpii – M. oleifera – M. paraensis
Source(s) of checklist:

Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Mora (Fabaceae) in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Jul 21. Reference page.


Mora R.H.Schomb. ex Benth., 1839

Type species: Mora excelsa Benth.

Primary references

Schomburgk, R.H., 1839. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 18(2): 210, t. 16.

Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Mora in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Jul 21. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Mora. Published online. Accessed: Jul 21 2019. 2019. Mora. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Jul 21.
Hassler, M. Jul. Mora (Fabaceae). World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. Jul. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: Jul 21 Mora. Reference page.

Vernacular names

Mora is a genus of large trees in the subfamily Caesalpinioideae of the legume family Fabaceae, (or in some classifications the family Caesalpinaceae of the order Fabales).

There are seven to ten species, all native to lowland rainforests in northern South America, southern Central America and the southern Caribbean islands. These are large, heavily buttressed rainforest trees up to 130 feet (40 meters) in height (to 190 feet (58 meters) in the case of M. excelsa ).[2] The genus is particularly noteworthy for the exceptional size of its beans, which are commonly acknowledged to be the largest known dicot seeds, in the instance of M megistosperma being up to seven inches (18 cm) in length, six inches (15 cm ) in breadth and three inches (8 cm)in thickness,[3][4] and a weight of up to 2.2 pounds (1000 grams).[5] The beans of Mora spp. are edible if boiled, and are also the source of a red dyestuff.[6] The species M. excelsa is one of the few rainforest trees to grow in pure stands.[7]

Mora abbottii Britton & Rose — cola tree, coi, col (Caribbean)
Mora ekmanii (Urb.) Britton & Rose (Caribbean)
Mora excelsa Benth. — nato, nato rojo, mora (Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela)
Mora gonggrijpii (Kleinhoonte) Sandwith — Moraboekea (Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela)
Mora megistosperma (Pittier) Britton & Rose (Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia)
Mora oleifera (Hemsl.) Ducke (Panama, Colombia)
Mora paraensis (Ducke) Ducke — pracuuba (Brazil)

Some of the species are important for timber production. Mora excelsa and Mora gonggrijpii are also known as nato, and are commonly used in guitar body and neck construction.


The Legume Phylogeny Working Group (LPWG). (2017). "A new subfamily classification of the Leguminosae based on a taxonomically comprehensive phylogeny". Taxon. 66 (1): 44–77. doi:10.12705/661.3.
Beard, J. S. (July 1946). "The Mora Forests of Trinidad...etc". Journal of Ecology. 33 (2): 173–192. doi:10.2307/2256464. JSTOR 2256464.[permanent dead link]
Elbert L. Little and Robert G. Dixon, "Arboles Comunes de la Provincia de Esmerelda" (Rome: UNFAO, 1969)p. 222.
Daniel H. Janzen, "Costa Rican Natural History" (Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press,1983) p. 281
O.N. Allen and Ethel K. Allen, "The Leguminosae" (Madison: Univ. Wisconsin Press) pp. 445-446
Ivan T. Sanderson and David Loth, "Ivan Sanderson's Book of Great Jungles" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1965) p. 116.

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