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Useful Tropical Plants

Canarium luzonicum

(Blume) A.Gray

Burseraceae

+ Synonyms

Canarium carapifolium G.Perkins

Canarium oliganthum Merr.

Canarium polyanthum G.Perkins

Canarium triandrum Engl.

Pimela luzonica Blume

Common Name: Manila Elemi

Canarium luzonicum
The resin exuding from a cut in the trunk
Photograph by: Alma Gamil
Creative Commons License

General Information

Manila Elemi is a large, evergreen tree reaching a height of more than 30 metres with a bole that can be a metre or more in diameter[
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
].
The plant is one of the best known and single largest source of the world's supply of elemi - a fragrant oleoresin with a range of food, medicinal and industrial applications[
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
]. The tree is widely harvested from the wild by local people and is also occasionally cultivated for its resin and also its edible seed[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
63
Title
Nuts.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
Rather old but still a masterpiece. Has sections on tropical and temperate plants with edible nuts plus a section on nut plants in Britain. Very readable.
,
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
].
The plant is endemic to the Philippines, where it is threatened by habitat destruction. It is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet

Range

Southeast Asia - Philippines.

Habitat

Lowland rainforest[
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
]. Primary forests at low and medium elevations[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusVulnerable
Edibility Rating *  *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height30.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details



A single tree yields 4 - 5 kilos of resin[
402
Title
Contribution to an evaluation of tree species using the new CITES Listing Criteria
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://sea.unep-wcmc.org/species/tree_study/
Publisher
UNEP-WCMC; Cambridge.
Year
1999
ISBN
 
Description
A document produced by UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre in 1999. It contains fact sheets on more than 200 tree species from around the globe.
].
Wild forms usually have three, sometimes two kernels present in the nut, each in its own compartment[
63
Title
Nuts.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
Rather old but still a masterpiece. Has sections on tropical and temperate plants with edible nuts plus a section on nut plants in Britain. Very readable.
]. In the case of cultivated trees, however, only one kernel is sometimes found in each nut[
63
Title
Nuts.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
Rather old but still a masterpiece. Has sections on tropical and temperate plants with edible nuts plus a section on nut plants in Britain. Very readable.
]. When this is so, the kernel is proportionately larger and the nut easier to crack[
63
Title
Nuts.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
Rather old but still a masterpiece. Has sections on tropical and temperate plants with edible nuts plus a section on nut plants in Britain. Very readable.
].
Trees are dioecious, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seeds are required.

Edible Uses

Seed - raw or cooked. The sweet nuts have a delicious flavour when roasted and are served like almonds[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. They can also be used in confections, ice cream, nut milks etc, and as an adulterant to chocolate[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The coat surrounding the kernel should be removed since it can cause diarrhoea[
63
Title
Nuts.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
Rather old but still a masterpiece. Has sections on tropical and temperate plants with edible nuts plus a section on nut plants in Britain. Very readable.
]. The shell is very thick and difficult to crack, though some thinner shelled forms have been found[
63
Title
Nuts.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
Rather old but still a masterpiece. Has sections on tropical and temperate plants with edible nuts plus a section on nut plants in Britain. Very readable.
].

A sweet oil obtained from the seed is used for cooking purposes[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

The fruit pulp is boiled and eaten[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. Rather tasteless[
63
Title
Nuts.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
Rather old but still a masterpiece. Has sections on tropical and temperate plants with edible nuts plus a section on nut plants in Britain. Very readable.
].

An oil can be extracted from the fruit pulp[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. It has a tangy, resin-like flavour[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Young shoots - raw[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. Eaten in salads[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

Manila elemi (the oleoresin obtained from the tree), and the essential oil distilled from the resin, have a long history of medicinal use. They are considered to be antibacterial, antifungal, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic and rubefacient[
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
].
A study on the composition of Manila elemi oil from the distillation of elemi resin yielded 39 compounds, with limonene, the most abundant at 56%[
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
].

A corn-sized drop of the resin is taken with water in the treatment of fevers and chills[
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
].
The oleoresin is applied externally to arthritic and rheumatic joints, boils, abscesses, furuncles, burns and sores[
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
]. It is heated and applied to the chest as a poultice to stop severe coughing[
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
].

The tree bark is commonly used for postpartum baths[
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
].

The essential oil is an ingredient of a commercial preparation called 'Lysout', a natural anti-lice foaming gel that also contains Echinacea purpurea[
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
].

Other Uses

An oily resin called Manilla elemi is obtained from incisions in the bark[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. Manila elemi is a soft and fragrant oleoresin, oily, pale yellow to greenish, of honey consistency, balsamic in odour and bitter tasting[
360
Title
Philippine Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.stuartxchange.org/CompleteList.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A lovely site, giving brief details on the medicinal uses of several hundred (over 400 at the last count) plants in the Philippines, plus a picture of each plant.
]. It is used in varnishes and inks; for caulking boats; torches; perfumery and for various medicinal applications[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. It can be used for the same purposes as turpentine[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].

A tannin of reasonable quality is obtained from the bark[
402
Title
Contribution to an evaluation of tree species using the new CITES Listing Criteria
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://sea.unep-wcmc.org/species/tree_study/
Publisher
UNEP-WCMC; Cambridge.
Year
1999
ISBN
 
Description
A document produced by UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre in 1999. It contains fact sheets on more than 200 tree species from around the globe.
].

The wood is not very hard. It is used for light construction[
402
Title
Contribution to an evaluation of tree species using the new CITES Listing Criteria
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://sea.unep-wcmc.org/species/tree_study/
Publisher
UNEP-WCMC; Cambridge.
Year
1999
ISBN
 
Description
A document produced by UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre in 1999. It contains fact sheets on more than 200 tree species from around the globe.
,
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].
This species is one of the sources of kedondong timber, which is obtained from several species in the family Burseraceae[
884
Title
The World List of Threatened Trees
Publication
 
Author
Oldfield S.; Lusty C.; and MacKinven A.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
World Conservation Press; Cambridge UK
Year
1998
ISBN
1-899628-10 X
Description
A list of the trees on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Plant Species in 1998, often giving some information on habitat and the reasons for being on the list. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. However, the tree is more highly valued for its resin and edible seed and so is little harvested for its wood. We do not have a specific description of the wood for this species, but the general description of kedondong wood is as follows:-
The heartwood is generally a light brown; it is not sharply demarcated from the 3 - 5cm wide band of lighter-coloured sapwood. The texture is moderately fine and even; the grain is interlocked to wavy; the surface is lustrous. The wood is light in weight; moderately hard; not very durable, being susceptible to fungi, dry wood borers and termites. It seasons somewhat slowly with only a slight risk of checking and distortion; once dry it is moderately stable to stable in service. The wood has a fairly high blunting effect, stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide tools are recommended; it is moderately easy to slightly difficult to plane; finishes smooth to rough; can be easy to very difficult to bore; slightly difficult to difficult to turn; nailing and screwing properties are good; gluing is correct. The wood is suitable for internal use as a general utility timber for planking, cladding, plywood, flooring, furniture, packing cases, pallets and general carpentry work[
316
Title
Tropical Timbers of the World. Ag. Handbook No. 607.
Publication
 
Author
Chudnoff. Martin.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service. Wisconsin.
Year
1984
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on the properties of the wood of almost 400 species of trees from the Tropics.
,
848
Title
Tropix 7
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tropix.cirad.fr/en
Publisher
CIRAD
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line guide to the timbers of 245 species of trees.
].

Propagation

Seed - we have no specific information for this species but seeds of this genus generally have a hard seed coat and germinate erratically. Filing away some of the seed coat to allow moisture to enter more readily, without damaging the seed, will encourage a faster and more even germination[
658
Title
Food Plants of Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
French. B.R.
Publisher
Author.
Year
2006
ISBN
 
Description
Published on-line in PDF format, this book contains information on several hundred New Guinea food plants.
].

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