Canarium album (Lour.) Raeusch. - BURSERACEAE

Basionym : Pimella alba Loureiro

English   Lao   

Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : Young twig covered by reddish brown hairs and then becoming glabrous. Lower leaflets pairs small than the other pairs. Leaf stalk glabrescent, regularly swollen at base. White aromatic resinous sap.
Habit : Large tree up to 30 m high, 80 cm in diameter. Branches ascending to main trunk.
Trunk & bark : Trunk cylindrical, straight and late branched. Bark light brown, scaly. Outer bark thin, inner bark pinkish brown.
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Twigs terete, covered by reddish brown hairs when young, becoming glabrous when mature. With many lenticels.
Exudates : White resinous and sticky sap, aromatic.
Leaves : Leaves compound imparipinnate, alternate spiral and clustered at tip of branches, leaflets opposite, 7-14 by 5-7 cm sized, elliptic or ovate to oblong-ovate, apex acuminate, base obtuse slightly oblique, margin entire, basal pairs smaller than the other, rachis 26-28 cm long.
Midrib flat above, primary vein single, secondary veins oblique to the midrib, widely parallel, tertiary veins oblique. Rachis 26-28 cm long. Stipule awl-shaped, hairy, soon caducous.
Inflorescences or flowers : Flowers yellowish-green, grouped in axillary raceme, flower polygamous.
Fruits : Fruit is a drupe, 4.5 by 2-2.5 cm sized, stone hard, woody, with 6 ribs on the surface, rounded at both ends, yellowish green when ripe; calyx persistent in fruit.
Seeds : 3 seeds.

Habitat and ecology :

Distributed in primary and secondary forests, usually mixed with Peltophorum spp., Hopea odorata. Flowering period: January to May; Fruiting time: April to October.

Distribution :

China, Japan, Malaysia , Vietnam (Northern), Laos (Khammouan).

Remark/notes/uses :
The raw fruit is sold on markets and is edible: it is believed to help indigestion and combat drunkenness. The aromatic resin tapped from the trunk is used in incense making.

Specimens studied :
BT 187 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences-NUoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Flore Générale de l’Indochine. 1911-1912. Vol.1, Fasc. (7). Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire de Phanérogamie, Paris, France.
Hoang Van Sam, K. Nanthavong & P.J.A. Keβler. 2004. Trees of Laos and Vietnam: A field guide to 100 economically or ecologically important species. Blumea N° 49.

Top of the page