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Useful Tropical Plants

Melaleuca cajuputi

Powell

Myrtaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Cajaput

Melaleuca cajuputi
close up, flowers
Photograph by: Fagg, M.
Image credit to Australian National Botanic Gardens
Melaleuca cajuputi Melaleuca cajuputi Melaleuca cajuputi Melaleuca cajuputi Melaleuca cajuputi Melaleuca cajuputi

General Information

Cajaput is an evergreen shrub or, more usually, a single-stemmed tree with a fairly dense and wide crown that is somewhat silvery in appearance; it usually grows up to 25 metres tall with occasional specimens to 40 metres[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The bole is often twisted and poorly formed, but straight and cylindrical boles have also been reported[
893
Title
Identification and utilization of lesser-known commercial timbers in Peninsular Malaysia 6
Publication
Timber Technology Bulletin No. 40
Author
Lim S.C. & Gan K.S.
Website
http://www.frim.gov.my/?page_id=1842
Publisher
Forest Research Institute; Malaysia
Year
2006
ISBN
139-258
Description
Part of an excellent series of publications, this one giving a brief guide to four lesser known groups of commercial timbers from southeast Asia. It is available in PDF format on the Internet.
]. The tree has an extensive root system, sometimes with aerial adventitious roots[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The tree has been cultivated for several centuries, mainly in Indonesia and Vietnam, for the leaves and twigs which are used medicinally and as a source of essential oil[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
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.
]. The essential oil is traded internationally[
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

None known

Botanical References

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.

Range

Southeast Asia - Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia to Australia.

Habitat

In open, savannah like vegetations and coastal swamps at elevations up to 100 metres[
359
Title
Trees of Sungai Wain
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.nationaalherbarium.nl/Sungaiwain/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site with factsheets on almost 1,000 species of forest trees growing at Sungai Wain in Indonesia. Each factsheet has good quality pictures plus basic information on the ecology and uses of the plants.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height25.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of hot, moist, lowland tropical areas, found at elevations from sea level 150 metres, with occasional specimens to 400 metres[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It grows in areas where the mean temperature is in the range 17 - 33°c, and the mean annual rainfall is 1,300 - 1,750 mm with a strong, monsoonal pattern[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Grows in a wide range of conditions, but most stands are found on low swampy coastal plains, sometimes immediately behind mangroves that may be flooded to a depth of over one metre during the wet season[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The soils are often highly organic alluvial clays with poor drainage and very low fertility, and may be potentially acid sulphate[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Plants can succeed in very acid conditions with a pH of 4 or less, but grow better in richer soils with a higher pH[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
]. Tolerates exposure to salt-laden winds[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
A long-lived, moderately fast-growing 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.
].
Plants are resistant to fire[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Young trees set their first flower buds when only 13 - 14 months old[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. In some areas of the tropics the plant flowers all year round, in other areas it is more seasonal[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Edible Uses

The essential oil is used as a flavouring in food[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

Medicinal

The leaves possess antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anodyne properties[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. They are used traditionally against pain, burns, colds, influenza and dyspepsia[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Cajaput oil is an essential oil produced from the leaves by steam distillation. The oil is a sedative and relaxant and is useful in treating worms, particularly roundworm, and infections of the genito-urinary system[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
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.
]. The oil is a common household medicine, especially in South-East Asia, used internally for the treatment of coughs and colds, against stomach cramps, colic and asthma[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
It is used externally for the relief of neuralgia and rheumatism, often in the form of ointments and liniments, and for the relief of toothache and earache. It is also applied in treating indolent tumours[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

The essential oil usually contains substantial amounts of 1,8-cineole (3 - 60%), and the sesquiterpene alcohols globulol, viridiflorol and spathulenol. Other compounds present, usually in quantifiable amounts, are limonene, 'BETA'-caryophyllene, 'ALFA'-humulene, viridiflorene, 'ALFA'-terpineol, 'ALFA'- and 'BETA'-selinene and caryophyllene oxide[
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.
]. Cajeput oil is mainly a pale yellow mobile liquid sometimes with a greenish-bluish tint. The green-blue coloration may be a function of the presence of azulene compounds in the fractions of the oil that have a higher boiling point, but has also been attributed to chlorophyll or small amounts of copper in the oil[
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 green colour mostly disappears in storage. Some cajeput oils with significant amounts of eudesmol isomers solidify into a whitish paste after extraction. The odour of commercial oils is rather penetrating, with a camphoraceous-medicinal aroma, similar to cineole-rich eucalypt oil but milder and more fruity[
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 almost fruity-sweet body notes and the soft tones in the dry-out are very characteristic. The taste is aromatic; the initial burning sensation on the tongue is followed by a cooling sensation[
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.
]. Cajeput oil is classified as non-toxic and non-sensitizing, although skin irritation may occur at high concentrations[
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 has been approved for food use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States[
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:

Cajaput makes an excellent shade and shelter tree[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It is one of the few trees that can be grown successfully to reforest exposed locations on brackish soils and acid sulphate soils[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The tree often plays an important role in estuarine environments where it provides habitat for birds, fish and shrimps[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Other Uses

The leaves contain 0.4 - 1.2% essential oil[
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.
]. This oil is very rich in cineole[
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 is used as a fragrance and freshening agent in soaps, cosmetics, detergents and perfumes[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].
The essential oil is reputed to have insect-repellent properties[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It is used as an insecticide[
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.
].

The soft bark is used for caulking and as a packing material, in boat building, filling mattresses or pillows and for insulation[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
359
Title
Trees of Sungai Wain
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.nationaalherbarium.nl/Sungaiwain/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site with factsheets on almost 1,000 species of forest trees growing at Sungai Wain in Indonesia. Each factsheet has good quality pictures plus basic information on the ecology and uses of the plants.
].
The bark is inflammable and can be used as torches[
359
Title
Trees of Sungai Wain
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.nationaalherbarium.nl/Sungaiwain/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site with factsheets on almost 1,000 species of forest trees growing at Sungai Wain in Indonesia. Each factsheet has good quality pictures plus basic information on the ecology and uses of the plants.
].

The heartwood is pinkish-grey to brown; it merges gradually into the yellowish sapwood. The texture is fine and even; the grain is straight or shallowly interlocked. The wood is hard, fairly heavy, durable in the ground or in water, with a high silica content of 0.2 - 0.95% which blunts saws. It requires careful seasoning because of its liability to check and warp. It is difficult to plane and mortise due to interlocking grain, but glues well and is a good jointing timber. Of limited interest for sawmilling, it is generally used in the round or roughly fashioned and is suitable for posts, poles and piles[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
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.
,
893
Title
Identification and utilization of lesser-known commercial timbers in Peninsular Malaysia 6
Publication
Timber Technology Bulletin No. 40
Author
Lim S.C. & Gan K.S.
Website
http://www.frim.gov.my/?page_id=1842
Publisher
Forest Research Institute; Malaysia
Year
2006
ISBN
139-258
Description
Part of an excellent series of publications, this one giving a brief guide to four lesser known groups of commercial timbers from southeast Asia. It is available in PDF format on the Internet.
]. When carefully seasoned it is suitable for general construction and flooring, and can also be employed for ship-construction, carpentry and turnery[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
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.
].
The wood makes a good fuel wood[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Propagation

Seed - does not require pre-treatment[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
]. In the nursery, seeds are sown in seedbeds and covered with a very thin layer of soil, or mixed with sand and spread on top of the seedbed[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
]. The seeds are very light sensitive and will not germinate or grow in shade[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
]. Germination is usually only 30 - 40% due to many empty seeds. The tiny seedlings are sensitive to desiccation and to strong watering, both artificially and by heavy direct rain. After germination seedlings are transplanted into pots, nursery period is from 3 - 6 months[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
].
Cuttings are easy[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
].

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