Candlenut


Candlenut

Taxobox
name = Candlenut



image_width = 240px
image_caption = Candlenut ("Aleurites moluccana") foliage, flowers, and nut
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Malpighiales
familia = Euphorbiaceae
genus = "Aleurites"
species = "A. moluccana"
binomial = "Aleurites moluccana"
binomial_authority = (L.) Willd.

The Candlenut ("Aleurites moluccana"), is a tree in the family Euphorbiaceae, also known as Candleberry, Indian walnut, Kemiri, Varnish tree or Kukui nut tree.

Its native range is impossible to establish precisely because of early spread by humans, and the tree is now widely distributed in the New and Old World tropics. It grows to a height of 15-25 m, with wide spreading or pendulous branches. The leaves are pale green, simple and ovate, or trilobed or rarely 5-lobed, with an acute apex, 10–20 cm long. The nut is round, 4–6 cm in diameter; the seed inside has a very hard seed coat and a high oil content, which allows its use as a candle (see below), hence its name.

Uses

*The candle nut is similar (though "rougher") in flavor and texture to the macadamia nut, which has a similarly high oil content. It is mildly toxic when raw.Fact|date=May 2008
*The nut is often used cooked in Indonesian cuisine and Malaysian, where it is called "kemiri" in Indonesian or "buah keras" in Malay. In Java of Indonesia, it is used to make a thick sauce which is eaten with vegetables and rice.
*Several parts of the plant have been used in traditional medicine in most of the areas where it is native. The oil is an irritant and purgative and sometimes used like castor oil. It is also used as a hair stimulant or additive to hair treatment systems. The seed kernels have a laxative effect. In Japan its bark has been used on tumors. In Sumatra, pounded seeds, burned with charcoal, are applied around the navel for costiveness. In Malaya, the pulped kernels or boiled leaves are used in poultices for headache, fevers, ulcers, swollen joints, and gonorrhea. In Java, the bark is used for bloody diarrhea or dysentery.
*In ancient Hawaiokinai, the nuts, named "kukui" were burned to provide light. The nuts were strung in a row on a palm leaf midrib, lit one end, and burned one by one every 15 minutes or so. This led to their use as a measure of time. One could instruct someone to return home before the second nut burned out.
*In Tonga, still nowadays, ripe nuts, named "tuitui" are pounded into a paste, "tukilamulamu", used as soap or shampoo.
*Candle nuts are also roasted and mixed into a paste with salt to form a Hawaiian condiment known as "inamona". Inamona is a key ingredient in traditional Hawaiian "poke". It's the Hawaiian state tree. [ [http://www.50states.com/tree/hawaii.htm State tree of Hawaii] ]
* Dead wood of candlenut is eaten by a larva of a coleoptera called "Agrionome fairmairei". This larva is eaten by some people.

Modern cultivation is mostly for the oil. In plantations, each tree will produce 30–80 kg of nuts, and the nuts yield 15 to 20% of their weight in oil. Most of the oil is used locally rather than figuring in international trade.

Mythology

In Hawaiokinai the Candlenut tree is a symbol of enlightenment, protection and peace. Candlenut was considered to be the body form of Kamapua'a, the pig god. One of the legends told about a woman who, despite her best efforts to please her husband, was routinely beaten. Finally, the husband beat her to death and buried her under a kukui tree. Being a kind and just woman, she was given new life, and the husband was eventually killed.Fact|date=May 2008

References

External links

* [http://www.hear.org/pier/species/aleurites_moluccana.htm Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk factsheet]
* [http://www.oilsofaloha.com Oils of Aloha] — A Hawaii company producing kukui and macadamia nut products, their website plays host to much information about both nuts.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Candlenut — Can dle*nut , n. 1. The fruit of a euphorbiaceous tree or shrub ({Aleurites moluccana}), native of some of the Pacific islands. It is used by the natives as a candle, the nut kernels being strung together. The oil from the nut ( {), native of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • candlenut — [kan′dəlnut΄] n. 1. the fruit of a tree (Aleurites moluccana) of the spurge family, growing in the Pacific Islands: the fruit is burned as a candle by indigenous peoples and processed commercially for its oil 2. the tree …   English World dictionary

  • candlenut —   Kukui; kuikui (Ni ihau).    ♦ Candlenut lei, lei kukui.    ♦ Smooth candlenuts used in leis, kukui ōmolemole.    ♦ Candlenuts carved in ridges, kukui ioio.    ♦ Candlenuts cut in facets, kukui ōpaka.    ♦ Relish of cooked candlenut, inamona,… …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • candlenut — molukinis tungamedis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Karpažolinių šeimos prieskoninis, vaistinis nuodingas augalas (Aleurites moluccanus), paplitęs pietryčių Azijoje, Australijoje. Iš jo gaminami maisto priedai (kvėpikliai), aliejus, sėklos …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • candlenut — noun 1. large tree native to southeastern Asia; the nuts yield oil used in varnishes; nut kernels strung together are used locally as candles • Syn: ↑varnish tree, ↑Aleurites moluccana • Hypernyms: ↑angiospermous tree, ↑flowering tree • Member… …   Useful english dictionary

  • candlenut — noun Date: circa 1836 the oily seed of a tropical tree (Aleurites moluccana) of the spurge family used locally to make candles and commercially as a source of oil; also this tree …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • candlenut — /kan dl nut /, n. 1. the oily fruit or nut of a southeastern Asian tree, Aleurites moluccana, of the spurge family, the kernels of which when strung together are used locally as candles. 2. the tree itself. Also called candleberry. [1850 55;… …   Universalium

  • candlenut — noun a) A flowering tree () of the family, Euphorbiaceae, also known as candleberry, Indian walnut, Kemiri, varnish tree or Kukui nut tree. b) The seed of said tree, used as a candle …   Wiktionary

  • candlenut — n. fruit of candleberry tree …   English contemporary dictionary

  • candlenut — noun an evergreen tree native to SE Asia and the South Pacific islands, with large seeds that yield an oil used for lighting. [Aleurites moluccana.] …   English new terms dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.