Canarium oleosum (PROSEA)

From PlantUse English
Jump to: navigation, search
Logo PROSEA.png
Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Canarium oleosum (Lamk) Engl.

Protologue: Engl. & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 3(4): 241, fig. 136Q-S (1896).


  • Canarium microcarpum Willd. (1806),
  • Canarium laxiflorum Decne (1834).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: rani kalang bahi (Timor), kayu rasamala (Bacan, Obi and Buru), kanari minyak (Ambon)
  • Papua New Guinea: grey canarium (general).


The Lesser Sunda Islands, northern Sulawesi, the Moluccas, New Guinea and New Britain.


The wood is used as kedondong, e.g. for light construction, mouldings and interior finish. There have been unconfirmed reports that the wood of the buttresses is a component of the aromatic wood "kayu rasamala". An oil can be extracted from the resin which is used as a balm on wounds and for hair lotions. In New Guinea, it is mixed with coconut oil for the latter purpose.


  • A medium-sized to large tree up to 50 m tall, bole up to 50 cm in diameter, sometimes buttressed, bark surface almost black, inner bark exuding a yellow and fragrant resin.
  • Stipules absent; leaves with (1-)7(-11) leaflets, leaflets with a gradually narrowing blunt apex, margin entire, glabrous, with 10-15 pairs of secondary veins which are conspicuous on both sides.
  • Inflorescence axillary, narrowly and laxly paniculate.
  • Flowers 5-7 mm long, stamens 6.
  • Fruit ovoid to obovoid, circular in cross-section, 12-20 mm × 7-13 mm, glabrous.

C. oleosum is found in primary and secondary forest, up to 400(-1200) m altitude. The density of the wood is 560-740 kg/m3 at 15% moisture content.

Selected sources

145, 162, 342, 366.


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

Main genus page