Canarium vulgare (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Canarium vulgare Leenh.

Protologue: Bull. Bish. Mus. 216: 31, fig. 13 (1955).


  • Canarium commune L. (1767) p.p.

Vernacular names

  • Java almond (En).
  • Amande de Java (Fr)
  • Indonesia: kanari (general), ki tuwak (Java), jal (Ambon)
  • Malaysia: pokok kenari, rata kukana (Peninsular).


The Kangean and Bawean Islands, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Sulawesi, the Moluccas and New Guinea. Possibly naturalized elsewhere in the Malesian region. Planted throughout the tropics for its fruits.


The wood is used as kedondong, also for making canoes and as firewood. Paddles have been manufactured from the buttresses. The resin is suitable for varnish and caulking boats, and is used medicinally as a balsam. The seeds are highly valued as a snack, and are sometimes used as a substitute for almonds. The oil from the seeds has been used as a substitute for coconut oil. Trees are planted for shade in nutmeg plantations, and along roadsides.


  • A large tree up to 45 m tall, bole often gnarled in cultivated specimens, branchless for up to 20 m, up to 70 cm in diameter, buttresses up to 3 m high, bark surface pale greyish, inner bark exuding clear or whitish resin.
  • Stipules caducous, inserted at the leaf axil, oblong; leaves with (5-)9-11 leaflets, leaflets gradually to distinctly long-acuminate at apex, margin entire, glabrous, with 12-15 pairs of secondary veins which are slightly prominent below?
  • Inflorescence terminal, broadly paniculate.
  • Male flowers 5 mm long, female ones 6-7(-12) mm long, stamens 6.
  • Fruit ovoid, circular to slightly trigonous in cross-section, 35-50 mm × 15-30 mm, glabrous.

C. vulgare occurs locally gregariously in primary forest on limestone, up to 1200 m altitude. The density of the wood is 480-680 kg/m3at 15% moisture content.

Selected sources

63, 78, 162, 218, 234, 330, 342, 366.


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

Main genus page