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Useful Tropical Plants

Hydnocarpus alcalae

C.DC.

Achariaceae


The genus Hydnocarpus is currently (2015) under review and there seems no clear and generally accepted treatment currently available. Because different authorities are treating the genus differently, we have included several species here where we are uncertain if we are using the correct name - or even if we are including it more than once under different names. Although its position is currently unresolved, this is one of the species we are more confident about[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Common Name:

Hydnocarpus alcalae
Leaves
Photograph by: Danilo Tandang; PhytoImages
© 2014 by Danilo Tandang
Hydnocarpus alcalae Hydnocarpus alcalae Hydnocarpus alcalae

General Information

Hydnocarpus alcalae is an evergreen shrub or a small tree, usually growing from 4 - 10 metres tall. The bole can be up to 30cm in diameter and is usually slightly fluted near the base[
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.
,
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
,
701
Title
Asean Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://211.114.21.20/tropicalplant/index.jsp
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details, with photos, of many of the plants growing in the tropical forests of southeast Asia. Gives some details of plant uses along with a description of the plant and its range.
].
This species produces the largest fruits known in the genus and is a good source of chaulmoogric and hydnocarpic acids. Prior to the synthesis of modern drugs for treating leprosy, the fruits were much harvested for their oil - indeed they are still very commonly used in traditional medicine. The plant was often cultivated for its oil in the past, though with the advent of synthetic leprosy drugs in the 1960s, this cultivation has lost its importance[
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.
].

Known Hazards

Although we have seen no specific information for this species, the seeds of many members of this genus contain cyanogenic glycosides[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
,
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 very small quantities this has been used medicinally, having been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

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

Moist ravines at low elevations[
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.
,
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
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height7.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details


Grows best on well-drained, sandy, alluvial flats and floodplains along rivers, or at least in moist but well-drained surroundings[
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.
,
1008
Title
The Chaulmoogra Tree and some Related Species - A survey conducted in Siam, Burma, Assam and Bengal
Publication
United States Dept of Agriculture, Bulletin No. 1057
Author
Rock J.F.
Publisher
Government Printing Office, Washington.
Year
1922
ISBN
 
Description
A review of various species in the genus Hydnocarpus that are the source of the medicinal oil Chaulmoogra.
].
Seeds tend to go rancid rather quickly. Therefore ripe fruits should be opened and the fruit pulp and aril removed from the seeds. Seeds are then washed and dried in the sun. Sun-dried seeds, either whole or broken, are cold-pressed or pressed under concurrent heating to extract the oil. The chemical composition of the end-product of these methods varies[
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 dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The seed oil has been used extensively in the treatment of leprosy and skin diseases[
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.
]. It is a good cure for wounds[
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
].
The obovoid fruit is dark brown with purple and greenish spots, 15 - 31cm long and 8 - 15cm wide, containing 80 - 110 seeds 30 - 50mm long and 25 - 30mm wide[
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.
].

The oil-rich seeds contain high concentrations of the cyclopentenyl fatty acid chaulmoogric acid and hydnocarpic acid. These are the most medically active components in chaulmoogra oil (obtained from various Hydnocarpus species) and commonly used in the treatment of a wide range of skin problems, including leprosy[
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.
,
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

None known

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe, when it will usually germinate quickly. Germination of stored seed can be slow, with some species in the genus taking up to 2 years. Sow the seed in a shaded position in a nursery seedbed and keep moist. Grow on the seedlings in shade until large enough to plant out[
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.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2021-03-07. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Hydnocarpus+alcalae>

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