Canarium pimela (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Canarium pimela Leenh.

Family: Burseraceae


  • Pimela nigra Lour.

Vernacular names

  • Chinese black olive (En)
  • Vietnam: càna, trám-den, bùi.


Wild and cultivated in southern China, Hainan, Indo-China, and on Borneo (Sarawak). Occasionally cultivated elsewhere.


The fruits are highly esteemed by the Chinese who eat them candied or pickled. The wood and resin are sometimes used, but are of no great value. Fruits and leaves also used medicinally.


  • Tree, up to 30 m tall and trunk 1.5 m in diameter.
  • Leaves 4-6-jugate.
  • Infructescences 8-35 cm long, with 1-4 long-stalked fruits.
  • Fruit a narrowly ovoid drupe, 3-4 cm × 1-2 cm, containing 1 or 2 seeds.

In dense to open forests, usually at medium altitude. In Sarawak it flowers in August.

Selected sources

  • Mansfeld, R. & Schultze Motel, J., 1986. Verzeichnis landwirtschaftlicher und gärtnerischer Kuturpflanzen. 2nd ed. 4 Volumes. Springer Verlag, Berlin. 1998 pp.
  • Page, P.E. (Compiler), 1984. Tropical tree fruits for Australia. Queensland Department for Primary Industries, Brisbane, Australia. 226 pp.
  • van Steenis, C.G.G.J. et al. (Editors), 1950-. Flora Malesiana. Series 1. Vol. 1, 4-10. Centre for Research and Development in Biology, Bogor, Indonesia, and Rijksherbarium, Leiden, the Netherlands. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Boston, London.


P.C.M. Jansen, J. Jukema, L.P.A. Oyen, T.G. van Lingen