Hydnocarpus kurzii (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Hydnocarpus kurzii (King) Warb.

Protologue: Engl. & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 3, 6a: 21 (1893).


  • Taraktogenos kurzii auct. non King s.s.

Vernacular names

  • Malaysia: kulau (Peninsular)
  • Burma (Myanmar): kalaw
  • Thailand: ngaa yoi, ma duuk.


India, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.


The oil extracted from the seeds is used in the treatment of leprosy. It is the major source of chaulmoogric acid. It is advised not to eat pigs nor fish that have been feeding on the seeds, as their flesh induces nausea and vomiting. A decoction of the bark is drunk for internal disorders and skin diseases in Burma (Myanmar). The roots as well as the seeds are used by Thai traditional doctors for the treatment of skin diseases.


  • A dioecious tree, 8-20(-30) m tall, bark smooth, grey, young branchlets fulvous pubescent, rather soon glabrescent.
  • Leaves lanceolate-oblong, entire, 15-22(-32) cm × 4-6.5 cm, subcoriaceous, glabrous, base cuneate, symmetrical, apex subacuminate; inflorescence a short pedunculate cyme 5-7(-9)-flowered.
  • Flowers whitish with unpleasant odour, male flowers with 4 sepals and 8 petals, stamens (15-)18-25(-30), female flowers with 10-16 staminodes.
  • Fruit globose, (5-)8-10 cm in diameter, rugose, exocarp fibrose-cancellate, 3-4(-6) mm thick.
  • Seeds angular-ovoid, 3 cm × 1.5 cm.

Two subspecies have been distinguished: subsp. australis Sleum. occurring in southern Burma (Myanmar), Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia, and subsp. kurzii from India and northern Burma (Myanmar). Subsp. australis differs from subsp. kurzii in the thicker exocarp and the venation of the leaves. H. kurzii occurs scattered in evergreen forest at 600-1800 m altitude.

Selected sources

202, 260, 580, 843, 900, 1126, 1308, 1376, 1377, 1378, 1564.


Khozirah Shaari & L.S.L. Chua