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Useful Tropical Plants

Elaeocarpus angustifolius

Blume

Elaeocarpaceae

+ Synonyms

Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb.

Elaeocarpus grandis F.Muell.

Elaeocarpus sphaericus (Gaertn.) K.Schum.

Elaeocarpus subglobosus Merr.

Common Name: Blue Marble Tree

Elaeocarpus angustifolius
Close-up of the fruits
Photograph by: Merryjack
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Elaeocarpus angustifolius Elaeocarpus angustifolius Elaeocarpus angustifolius Elaeocarpus angustifolius Elaeocarpus angustifolius Elaeocarpus angustifolius Elaeocarpus angustifolius

General Information

Blue marble tree is an evergreen tree with a thin, open canopy that can grow up to 35 metres tall but is usually smaller[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. The bole is prominently buttressed, even in small trees, and can be 20 - 200cm in diameter[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
,
538
Title
Endemia.nc
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.endemia.nc/flore/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A web site focussing on the endemic flora and fauna of New Caledonia.
,
713
Title
Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/rfk/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online resource giving botanical information, and a little bit about plant usage, for over 2,700 species of plants found in the Australian rainforest.
]. The buttresses are thin, but can extend for up to 6 metres from the tree[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
A sacred tree in India, where its seeds are commonly used as beads to make rosaries, the seeds are also used for buttons etc. The tree is also commonly harvested for its wood, whilst it also has minor medicinal and edible uses[
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.
,
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
]. The plant is sometimes cultivated, and is also grown as an ornamental[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. 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.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
421
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 54
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
1967
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent botanical publication, available for download from the Internet. This volume contains parts of the Flora of Panama.

Range

E. Asia - China, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar through Malaysia, Cambodia to Australia and the Pacific

Habitat

Open places at elevations of 600 - 1,100 metres in Nepal[
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
]. Broad-leaved mountain and valley rain forests at elevations of 400 - 1,300 metres[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. Common in secondary forest and persisting in mature regrowth[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height15.00 m
Growth RateFast
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the moist lowland tropics and subtropics, where it is found at elevations up to 500 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 - 28°c, but can tolerate 8 - 38°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 3,000mm, but tolerates 1,000 - 3,500mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Prefers a position in full sun but tolerates some shade[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Prefers a fertile, humus-rich, moisture-retentive but well-drained soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.5 - 7.5[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
One of the fastest-growing species in the Australian rainforest[
713
Title
Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/rfk/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online resource giving botanical information, and a little bit about plant usage, for over 2,700 species of plants found in the Australian rainforest.
].
The fruits of this species are a brilliant, iridescent blue-a colour produced not by anthocyanin pigments as in other blue fruits, but by physical interference. In the epidermal cells of the fruits, cellulose layers form a special structure outside the cell membrane but inside the cell wall. The layers create constructive thin-film interference with blue light (thus reflecting the blue colour)[
713
Title
Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/rfk/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online resource giving botanical information, and a little bit about plant usage, for over 2,700 species of plants found in the Australian rainforest.
].
The trees are sometimes partially ring-barked. This results in the tree producing smaller than normal seeds - these smaller seeds are more highly valued for decorative purposes that the usual sized seeds[
421
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 54
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
1967
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent botanical publication, available for download from the Internet. This volume contains parts of the Flora of Panama.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - 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.
]. The thin layer of pulp round the seeds of ripe fruits is edible[
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
]. It can be eaten out of hand, or the flesh can be removed and mixed with water to make a paste[
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 bright blue, globular fruits are around 15 - 23mm in diameter[
713
Title
Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/rfk/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online resource giving botanical information, and a little bit about plant usage, for over 2,700 species of plants found in the Australian rainforest.
].

Medicinal

The seeds are valued as a remedy for blood pressure and heart ailments[
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
].

The fruit is used in the treatment of diseases of the head and epileptic fits[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
].

The leaf sap is used to cure stomach-ache or pain in the chest and shoulders[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

In the Philippines, there is one record of the bark being applied to treat an enlarged spleen[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

This species has potential for use in re-establishing rainforest and also for use in larger permaculture projects. It is very fast growing; establishes itself well in open, disturbed locations; has a light, open crown that allows other plants to establish; and a variety of uses[
694
Title
Australian Rainforest Plants Volumes 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Nicholson N. & H.
Publisher
Terania Rainforest Publishing; New South Wales.
Year
2007
ISBN
9-78095894-3628
Description
Beautiful set of booklets with a terse description of over 600 species and their habitat, often including some of their uses and notes on their cultivation, plus at least one, excellent photograph.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Its main disadvantage are its wide-ranging buttress roots that can extend several metres from the tree[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Other Uses

The hard seeds are made into a variety of commodities such as beads for rosaries, hatpins, buttons etc[
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.
,
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
,
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.
]. They are used as sacred beads, known as 'rudraksha' in India[
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.
].

The heartwood is light-yellowish white to pink-brown, it is not distinctly demarcated from the up to 10cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is moderately fine and even to coarse, with straight to shallowly interlocked grain. The wood is soft to moderately hard; light in weight to moderately heavy; weak; not very durable. It seasons fairly slowly with slight end and surface checking; shrinkage is fairly low. It is easy to resaw and cross-cut; planing is easy and leaves a moderately smooth finish; nailing properties are good; it is easy to glue and stain. A general purpose wood that is very suitable for bent work; it is suitable for purposes such as general planking, shuttering, boxes, crates, wooden pallets, boat planking, racing oars, match splints, veneer and plywood[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
,
996
Title
A Dictionary of Malaysian Timbers
Publication
Malayan Forest Records No. 30
Author
Wong T.M.
Website
http://Elaeocarpaceae
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur
Year
2002
ISBN
983-2181-29-1
Description
A fairly comprehensive guide to Malaysian timbers, giving their properties and the main tree species from which they are obtained.
]. A useful, soft, lightweight carving timber, also suitable for barrels (cooperage)[
713
Title
Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/rfk/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online resource giving botanical information, and a little bit about plant usage, for over 2,700 species of plants found in the Australian rainforest.
].

Propagation

The seed of most species in this genus is covered by a hard, woody shell and can be very slow and erratic to germinate, sometimes taking 2 years or more. Filing down the shell, or cracking it (being very careful not to damage the seed) in order to allow the ingress of moisture can help to greatly speed up germination. Sow the seed in containers in light shade. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on until large enough to plant out,
Cuttings of almost ripe shoots, in a sandy soil in a frame. The leaves should be left on the stem.[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Many species strike readily from cuttings.

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