Canarium acutifolium (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Canarium acutifolium (A.DC.) Merr.

Protologue: Interpr. Herb. amboin.: 302 (1917).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: sakenau (Waigeo, Irian Jaya), bowwie, mengkis (Vogelkop, Irian Jaya).


Central Sulawesi, the Kai Islands, New Guinea and New Britain.


The wood is used as kedondong. The resin has been used for lighting and for caulking boats.


  • A medium-sized to large tree up to 45 m tall, bole branchless for up to 18 m, up to 90 cm in diameter, with buttresses up to 3 m high, bark surface scaly, grey-brown or pale brown, inner bark salmon-coloured.
  • Stipules subpersistent, filiform; leaves with (3-)5-11(-15) leaflets, leaflets glabrous, apex abruptly and rather long bluntly acuminate, margin entire, with 11-20(-25) pairs of secondary veins.
  • Inflorescence axillary, laxly pyramidal-paniculate.
  • Flowers c. 4 mm long, with 3 or 6 stamens.
  • Fruit ovoid, circular in cross section, 12-18 mm × 8-13 mm, glabrous.

Three varieties are distinguished. Var. acutifolium (synonyms: Canarium longiflorum Zipp. ex Miq., Canarium lineistipula K. Schumann & Lauterb., Canarium leeuwenii H.J. Lam) is found in the Kai Islands, New Guinea and New Britain. Var. aemulans (Lauterb.) Leenh. (synonym: Canarium aemulans Lauterb.) differs in having 6 stamens and occurs in north-eastern New Guinea and New Britain, up to 1000 m altitude. Var. celebicum Leenh. also has 6 stamens, but in addition has leaflets with 20-25 pairs of secondary veins, and is found in Central Sulawesi only. C. acutifolium is common in primary and secondary forest, especially in more open locations, often on wet clayey soils, up to 200(-1000) m altitude. The density of the wood is 580-710 kg/m3 at 15% moisture content.

Selected sources

162, 330, 342, 366, 474.


M.S.M. Sosef (selection of species)

Main genus page