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The genus Bursera covers a vast area in the New World, extending from the southwestern part of the United States through México, Central and South America, and into the Caribbean Islands. Bursera has been embedded in the folklore of the Americas for its colorful exfoliation and for its aromatic gum resin known as copal since the Aztec and Inca periods. The resounding similarities of its use in medicine and incense make Bursera the Frankincense of the Americas.
Cultivation of Bursera is a guide to growing, cultivating, and exhibiting Bursera, with the primary objective to preserve these hidden jewels of the New World through horticulture. The scientific classification of Bursera is put into context with its horticulture for a holistic understanding of the genus in habitat and in cultivation. It is written to be a reference book containing all 113 known species with their taxa, including descriptions, illustrations, photos of habitat and cultivated plants, with specificity to enable the reader to identify the species.