The name Peumus is derived from peumo, a name that probably goes back to the Mapuche Indians of Chile. The species name boldus is in honour of the Spanish botanist, Boldo. The monimiaceae family is of particular interest because it is a very old plant family. The remaining stock has survived only in isolated areas with ideal growing conditions. They show a remarkable diversity in their formation.
Boldo is an evergreen tree or shrub growing up to six metres in height.
It belongs to the monimiaceae family, which are closely related to the
laurel family. It is dioecious.
Boldo's light grey-green leathery leaves are elliptical-oval, entire,
and have light-coloured tubercles on the surface. They have a
characteristic odour and a burning-spicy, slightly bitter taste. The
intensely fragrant radial flowers are white or yellowish and arranged
in an inflorescence. The oval, aromatic pitted fruits are edible.
Boldo flowers throughout the year.
The Boldo tree is the characteristic plant of the dry areas of Chile
and Peru. Together with other shrubs, it forms a dense bush savannah.
The leaves are gathered throughout the year.
A.Vogel/Bioforce uses the dried, shredded leaves to produce an alcohol extract.
Infusions of the dried, shredded leaves are also common. In Chile, the
Boldo bark is also used medicinally. There it is thought to be more
effective than the leaves which are used in Chile as a kitchen
seasoning. The essential oil is used in the perfume industry.
The Boldo tree also provides a bark dye and a hardwood also known by the name of Boldo.