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Home - Use - Aromatic copals - Almárciga


Copals in Mexico

Almárciga (Bursera citronella)

For its fine fragrance this plant is also known as xochicopal or lináloe, although botanically they are different. Its distribution includes the basins of the Armería, Coahuayana and Coalcomán in Michoacán, Jalisco and Colima, and a small population that grows in the Papagayo River basin in Guerrero. The papagayo populations grow on extremely arid rock outcrops surrounded by lowland forests of sub-humid warm climates.


Ilustración: Rafael Ruíz
Información geográfica: Claudia Aguilar
Diseño: Rosalba Becerra

There are marked differences between populations of western B. citronella and those from the Papagayo. The resin from the latter is known as almárciga and is distinguished as Bursera aff. citronella, which takes into account its potential as a different species. The collection of almárciga resin has only been recorded in the communities of Omitlán and El Tepehuaje, Guerrero.

It is assumed that the name is a variant of almáciga which is synonymous with rubber or resin. The crystallized resin is harvested by removing the tip of a branch which has produced resin after being pierced by a weevil. In this way the vitality of the tree is not affected.

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