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Useful Tropical Plants

Hydnocarpus kunstleri

(King) Warb.

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.

+ Synonyms

Taraktogenos kunstleri King

Common Name:

Hydnocarpus kunstleri
Drawing of the leaves, fruit and seed
Photograph by: Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta, vol. 5(2): t. 152 (1891) [K.P. Das]
Creative Commons License

General Information

Hydnocarpus kunstleri is an evergreen tree usually growing 12 - 20 metres tall, exceptionally to 35 metres. The bole can be 25 - 40cm in diameter, often with thin, high buttresses[
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 tree is harvested from the wild for local use of its wood. This genus is the souce of chaulmoogri oil, which is much used in the treatment of a range of skin conditions, including leprosy. Whilst the main source is probably Hydnocarpus kurzii, many other species are also harvested from the wild and used interchangeably. We have no specific information for this species, but it could be one of those alternative species[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Known Hazards

Although we have seen no specific information for this species, the seeds of many members of this genus contain cyanogenetic 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 - Malaysia, Indonesia.

Habitat

Scattered on hilly, never inundated, soil on sandy or clayey ground, mostly at low elevations but ascending to 700 metres in Sumatra[
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 *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height18.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Species in this genus generally require well-drained sandy or loamy silt soils and grow best along creek beds or on the banks of streams[
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

We have seen no specific information for this species, but the seeds of many members of the genus contain an oil that is rich in the medically active compounds chaulmoogric and hydnocarpic acid. The oil has been shown to be an effective topical treatment for a range of skin probles (including leprosy), wounds, rheumatism etc[
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 dull brown wood is rather hard, but not heavy. It is attacked by various insects and therefore used only where it is not in contact with the soil[
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
].
When it attains suitable dimensions, the wood of species in this genus is often used locally for house building (poles), temporary heavy construction, posts, fences, interior finishing, panelling and door and window frames[
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.
].

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. 2024-06-13. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Hydnocarpus+kunstleri>

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