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Useful Tropical Plants

Vernicia montana

Lour.

Euphorbiaceae

+ Synonyms

Aleurites montanus (Lour.) E.H.Wilson

Aleurites vernicius (Corrêa) Hassk

Dryandra vernicia Corrêa

Elaeococca montana (Lour.) Oken

Common Name:

Vernicia montana
Growing as street trees
Photograph by: Tatiana Gerus
Creative Commons License
Vernicia montana Vernicia montana Vernicia montana Vernicia montana Vernicia montana

General Information

Vernicia montana is a shrub or tree growing up to 15 metres tall[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The straight bole can be 25cm in diameter[
443
Title
Biotik, Laos
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://biotik.org/species_list_laos.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on more than 100 species of Laotian trees.
]. The plant is evergreen in suitable climates, but can lose its leaves in areas with cold or dry seasons[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The tree is often cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas for the valuable oil obtained from its seeds[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The tree is sometimes planted as an ornamental and to provide shade[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Known Hazards

The whole plant is poisonous. Animals, including cattle, horses and chicken that have eaten the leaves or seed cake show haemorrhagic diarrhoea accompanied by anorexia. In severe cases, they become emaciated and may die in 1 - 3 weeks[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The fruits are attractive in appearance and taste, but ingestion by humans of even a single seed causes severe abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea and general exhaustion after 3 - 5 hours[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

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

E. Asia - southern China, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam.

Habitat

Disturbed places and margins of evergreen forest, or in depleted forest along the road, in dry, sandy soils, at elevations up to 1,200 metres in Laos[
443
Title
Biotik, Laos
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://biotik.org/species_list_laos.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on more than 100 species of Laotian trees.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height12.00 m
PollinatorsBees, Butterflies
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the subtropics and tropics, in tropical areas it is usually grown at elevations from 800 - 2,000 metres. It grows best in areas that are frost-free, with an average annual temperatures in the range 15 - 27°c; and where the mean annual rainfall is 850 - 2,000mm[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The plants requirement for low temperatures in order to initiate flowering is less than that of Vernicia fordii[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Prefers a slightly acid soil, tolerating a pH in the range 5.5 - 8[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Adequate soil fertility is needed for good production. It is often grown on slopes, but grows well on flat land provided it is well-drained[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Harvesting by manual collection of the fallen fruits is the most common method, but in China green fruits are also picked from the trees[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Careful selection of clones can extend the harvesting season. During the rainy season, fruits should be collected every 10 days, and during the dry season about once a month[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Average yields of seeds are 3.5 tonnes per hectare in China and 1.8 tonnes in Malawi. In Malawi annual yields of air-dry seed of the best clonal material gradually increase from 280 kg/ha in 3 - 6-year-old plantations to 2.200 kg/ha in 11 - 14-year-old plantations and 3,000 kg/ha in 20-years-old plantations; yields of plantations of unselected seedling material are about half these amounts[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Plantations with a close planting system reach maximum production at an earlier age, but the maximum yields are the same as those from trees that are more widely spaced[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Regular weeding around the plants is needed for ease of harvesting[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
In hedgerow systems, pruning and training are recommended to obtain a frame of a few main branches and open crown[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
There are two main forms of this species, recognized in Malawi as types A and B. Similar types are also recognized in Indonesia as the Indo-China type and the China type:-
Type A is a fast-growing tree with a tall, straight trunk forming tiers of 5 spreading branches at regular intervals. Secondary branches form at relatively long intervals. The trees take 3 - 5 years to come into bearing[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Type B is more shrub-like. When the main stem has produced 1 or 2 tiers of branches, it loses its dominance. Secondary branches are formed at short intervals. The trees come into bearing after 3 years. Several high-yielding vigorously growing clones have been selected from this form[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
This species can hybridize with Vernicia fordii in the wild[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Occasionally monoecious, but more normally a dioecious species, in which case both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The oil is used to treat parasitic and other skin diseases and is a strong purgative[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It is a component of nearly all Chinese plasters[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The oil contains eleostearic acid, which is a virulent purgative when taken internally[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Other components of the fruits include tannins, phytosterols and a poisonous saponin[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Young trees are often intercropped with food crops such as maize, groundnut or soya bean in China. In Malawi intercropping with annuals or planting of cover crops is common. Prolonged intercropping with annual crops may cause damage to the shallow root system, but in China even mature trees are sometimes intercropped with winter crops[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

The seeds contain 14 - 20% of a quick-drying oil, called 'abrasin oil' or 'Chinese wood oil'[
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.
,
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. (The original text was somewhat misleading, saying that the fruit contained 14 - 20% oil, which was found in the seed, which made up 33% of the fruit. This could easily mean that the seeds themselves contain 42 - 60% oil[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].) Because of its similarity to 'tung oil' (from Vernicia fordii), the oils are often treated together as tung oil[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The oil is used traditionally in the manufacture of paints and Chinese black ink; for waterproofing cloth and paper; caulking and painting ships; and as a lamp oil[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It was also formerly used for insulating electric wires[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Currently, its main use is in the production of paints and inks, while low-quality oil is processed into soap or linoleum. Teak oil which is sold for maintaining fine furniture is usually refined tung oil[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Developments in environmental and health regulations have led to an increasing use of tung oil to line containers for food, beverages and medicines with an insulating coating[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The main fatty acid of the oil is alpha-eleostearic acid . In eleostearic acid, the 3 double bonds are conjugated making them highly reactive. Under the influence of light or catalysts such as sulphur and iodine, alpha-eleostearic acid converts to beta-eleostearic acid, which is even more reactive and spontaneously polymerizes into a solid mass.[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
] The fatty acid composition of the oil is: α-eleostearic acid 75 - 80%, palmitic acid 4%, stearic acid about 1% and oleic acid 15%[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Traditionally, the fruits are collected when still green, placed in heaps and covered with straw or grass. The fruit pulp is allowed to rot until the seeds can be easily removed. The seeds are then crushed in a mill and roasted for a short time in shallow iron pans. The crushed mass is then thoroughly steamed and subsequently the fluid is pressed out of the cake yielding commercial wood oil[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
In modern processing, hulling of fruits is done by hand or mechanically. The seeds are then dried and shelled mechanically, after which the kernels are ground with some shell added to facilitate oil extraction. Cold-expression is done in screw presses yielding a clear, light-coloured oil[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The cake may subsequently be warm-pressed or solvent-extracted to increase the yield, but the product is of lower quality[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The press cake, after extraction of the oil, is a good fertilizer, but it is poisonous and cannot be used as animal feed[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The wood is white, soft and perishable. It is only suitable for simple construction, core-stock for plywood, paper pulp[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The wood is used for fuel[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe, when it will germinate quickly. Stored seed develops a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing. When the loop of the hypocotyl becomes visible above the ground, seedlings are transferred from the germination bed to the nursery. Seedlings are transplanted into the field when they are 1 year old[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
In Malawi budding is done in the nursery. The simple shield method of budding at a height of 5 - 7.5 cm above the ground is commonly applied.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-12-06. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Vernicia+montana>

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