The Canarium acutifolium (Canarium acutifolium (DC.) Merr.) Is an arboreal species belonging to the Burseraceae family.
From a systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Kingdom Plantae, Magnoliophyta Division, Magnoliopsida Class, Sapindales Order, Burseraceae Family and therefore to the genus Canarium and the Species. Acutifolium.
The following terms are synonymous:
– Canarium lineistipula (Schumann & Lauterb.) HJLam;
– Canarium longiflorum Zipp. ex Miq .;
– Canarium nigrum Roxb .;
– Canarium rostratum Zipp. ex Blume;
– Dammara nigra Rumph .;
– Marignia acutifolia DC ..
The species also has four subspecies which are:
– C. acutifolium (DC.) Merr. var. acutifolium – present in New Guinea, Moluccas, New Britain, New Ireland, Bougainville, Tropical Wetlands and Queensland (Australia); this differs from the other three varieties in that the flowers are with 3 stamens instead of 6;
– C. acutifolium var. aemulans Hewson – New Britain and New Guinea;
– C. acutifolium var. celebicum Leenh. – Central area of the island of Sulawesi;
– C. acutifolium var. Takeuchi pioriverensis – found only in the lowland forest around the crater of Mount Hagen in New Guinea.
The term Canarium comes from kanari or kenari, its Malay vernacular name.
The specific epithet acutifolium comes from acute, pointed and folium acutus: with sharp, pointed leaves.
Geographical Distribution and Habitat –
Canarium acutifolium is a forest tree plant that grows naturally in New Guinea, Moluccas, Sulawesi, New Britain, New Ireland, Bougainville and in the northeastern plain of Queensland, Australia.
In Australia, this species naturally grows below ca. 100 m above sea level in the sparse lowland rain forests remaining in the humid tropics region of northeastern Queensland. These are the only natural populations that have obtained “conservation” status in Australia as a vulnerable species.
Its habitat is represented by the dense, primary forest, even in the more open secondary formations; especially along the edges of the forest, the banks of rivers and in clearings; it is found mainly on wet clay soil (sometimes temporarily flooded); at altitudes up to 200 meters, occasionally up to 700 meters.
The Canarium acutifolium is a tree that usually grows up to 20 meters high, although specimens of 40 meters have been recorded.
The trunk is cylindrical, straight, can be unbranched for more than half its height and has a diameter of 20 – 90 cm, sometimes with buttresses up to 3 meters high.
The bark is gray or brown, slightly rough or smooth, pustular, with vertically elongated lenticels.
The leaves are spaced along the branches, in a spiral (leaves that occur individually at a node and arranged in a spiral along the twig), composed of two or more leaflets; petiole present, not winged, attached to the base of the leaf blade and swollen at the base.
The flowers appear in axillary inflorescences, on branched axes; the flowers are unisexual, with male and female flowers on different plants; the flowers consist of many planes of symmetry, up to 10 mm in diameter with perianth present, separate sepals and petals; the internal perianth is pale yellow; stamens 3 to 6, present, free from each other and free from the perianth; upper ovary, carpels united (when more than one is present), loculi 3; solitary styles, 1.
The fruits are drupes grouped in infructescences on a branched axis; each fruit is 15 – 25 mm long and 12 mm in diameter. They are silvery green, indehiscent, with a seed.
The Canarium acutifolium is a plant that grows spontaneously in its habitats and whose resin and wood is used for various purposes.
In the case of cultivation, it should be remembered that, being a dioecious species, both male and female pianos must be cultivated if fruits and seeds are to be obtained.
Uses and Traditions –
In 1917 the botanist Elmer D. Merrill was the first to formally describe this species, based on the name of Marignia acutifolia of 1825 by de Candolle which in turn had been based on the previous description of Rumphius of 1600 from “Amboina”, Ambon Island, in the Moluccas Islands.
In addition, Merrill based his description on a collection of specimens from 1913 made by other authors.
The resin of this plant is used, which although abundant, seems to have little importance; in any case it finds some uses for lighting and caulking purposes.
Wood is suitable for use in light constructions.
Method of Preparation –
Of this plant they do not know particular uses, edible or medicinal.
– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Tips and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for information purposes only, they do not in any way represent a medical prescription; therefore, no responsibility is accepted for their use for healing, aesthetic or food purposes.