Thursday, September 15, 2016

Canarium spp.

Canarium is a genus of about 75 species of tropical trees in the family Burseraceae, is native to Melanesian areas of eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in the humid lowlands.

It is also found in secondary forests, old garden areas and is widely planted around villages an settlements. They are large evergreen trees up to 40-50 m tall, with alternate, pinnate leaves.

It has been and continues to be a very important food tree in Melanesia and was an important component in one of the world’s first known permanent agricultural/arboricultural systems.

Uses of Canarium 
Several species have edible nuts, known as Canarium nut, Pili nut or Galip nut. C. indicum and C. ovatum are among the most important nut-bearing trees in eastern Indonesia plus the SW Pacific and the Philippines respectively. Other species, most importantly C. luzonicum, produce the resin elemi.

Canarium odontophyllum (common name, Dabai) is a species of Canarium which is a delicious and nutritious fruit which tastes something like avocado. The skin and flesh are edible afer soaking in warm water.

Nut oils from Canarium species have been patented as a treatment for arthritis pain. The commercial product called ‘Arthrileaf’ comprises oil pressed from Canarium nuts mixed with a sorbolene base. The mixture is then applied to the skin.

The fruit contains protein, fat and carbohydrate, thereby making it a perfect food. It has been introduced from Borneo to Queensland, Australia. In addition to food for humans, this plant's fruit may be eaten by certain lemurs such as the Red-bellied Lemur in Madagascar's eastern rainforests.
Canarium spp.

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