Chit-Chat: The only country named after a tree


Did you know that the word Brazil comes from the name of a tree called Pau-Brasil?

Pau-Brasil (Brazil wood), which according to etymology means “red-hot” owing to the reddish colour of its trunk, could be found in abundance along the Brazilian coast when the Portuguese arrived in the 16th Century. The tree, which can grow to a height 10-15 metres – and whose timber is considered to this day one to be of the most valuable in the world – is extremely strong, does not rot and is resistant to insects.


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