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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 11 | Euphorbiaceae | Aleurites

1. Aleurites moluccana (Linnaeus) Willdenow, Sp. Pl. 4: 590. 1805.

石栗 shi li

Jatropha moluccana Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1006. 1753; Aleurites ambinux Persoon; A. commutata Geiseler; A. cordifolia (Gaertner) Steudel; A. javanica Gandoger; A. lanceolata Blanco; A. lobata Blanco; A. triloba J. R. Forster & G. Forster; Camirium cordifolium Gaertner; C. moluccanum (Linnaeus) Kuntze; C. oleosum Reinwardt ex Müller Argoviensis; Juglans comirium Loureiro.

Evergreen trees up to 20 m tall; bark dark gray, shallowly dehiscent to nearly smooth; young branches densely gray-brown stellate-puberulent, subglabrous at maturity. Stipules minute, subulate; petiole 6-12(-22) cm, densely stellate-pu berulent; leaf blade papery, ovate to elliptic-lanceolate (some times rounded-reniform, entire or up to 5-lobed), (7-)14- 20(-24) × (4-)7-17(-20) cm, both surfaces stellate-puberulent when young, adaxially glabrescent, abaxially sparsely stellate-puberulent or glabrescent, base broadly cuneate or obtuse, rarely shallowly cordate, with 2 sessile discoid adaxial glands, margin entire or shallowly repand-dentate, apex acute to acuminate; basal veins 3-5(-7). Panicles terminal, (10-)15-20 × 10-14 cm. Male flowers: pedicels 7-10 mm; buds ovoid, ca. 2 mm; calyx lobes ovate, 3-3.5 × 2-3 mm, apex acute, abaxially stellate-tomentose, adaxially glabrous; petals narrowly oblong-spatulate, 6-8 × ca. 2 mm, obtuse, glabrous, yellowish white; disk glands shallowly 3-lobed; stamens 15-20; inner filaments connate into hairy column, ca. 4 mm; free filaments ca. 1 mm, puberulent. Female flowers: pedicels 3-4.5 mm; buds ca. 4 mm, conical; calyx and petals as in male but petals ca. 1.5 mm wide; disk ca. 2 mm across, flat; ovary densely stellate-puberulent, 2(or 3)-locular; styles 2, short, bipartite. Drupes subglobose or slightly obliquely globose, 4-5 × 4-6 cm, shallowly 2-lobed with 4 low longitudinal ribs, 1- or 2-seeded. Seeds broadly ovoid, ca. 2.5 × 2.75 × 2.25 cm, lateral margin flattened; episperm hard, tuberculate-angular. Fl. Apr-Oct, fr. Oct-Dec.

Mixed evergreen forests, cultivated on hillsides, at roadsides, and in country villages; 100-1000 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan, Yunnan [Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; Pacific islands (New Zealand, Polynesia); widely cultivated in the tropics].

Aleurites moluccana, known as the candlenut tree, is cultivated for the oil obtained from its seeds. It is also widely grown as a roadside tree. The seeds contain hydrocyanic acid and a trace of a toxalbumin.


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