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Canarium indicum - L.

Common Name Canarium Nut, Ngali, Galip nut, kenari nut
Family Burseraceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats A canopy or subcanopy tree in low elevation rainforests[ 324 , 388 ]. Usually found near the coast and up to elevations of 450 metres[ 658 ].
Range Eastern Indonesia, Papua, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Canarium indicum Canarium Nut, Ngali, Galip nut, kenari nut

Canarium indicum Canarium Nut, Ngali, Galip nut, kenari nut
Roger Culos wikimedia.org


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Canariym indicum, otherwise known as Canarium Nut, is an evergreen tree with a dense crown that grows up to 25 m tall and 100 cm trunk diameter. The leaves are composed of three to seven hairless, oblong leaflets. Its seeds can be consumed raw or cooked. It yields oil that is edible and is used as substitute to coconut oil. The ovoid drupe fruits of some cultivars are edible as well. The bark is used to treat chest pains. Resin can be obtained from the trunk which can later be used as incense. The wood is used in light construction as it is soft and non-durable when exposed to weather. It is also used as fuel. Canarium nut is wind resistant and ideal for establishing an agroforestry system. Other common names are galip nut and Java almond.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Canarium indicum is an evergreen Tree growing to 35 m (114ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Canarium amboinense Hochr. Canarium commune L. Canarium grandistipulatum Lauterb. Canarium mehenbeth

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Oil

Edible portion: Nut, Seeds - oil. Seed - raw or cooked[ 312 , 658 ]. The oily seed is consumed either fresh, roasted or smoked. It can be eaten as a snack food or incorporated into various cooked dishes[ 312 , 658 ]. Nuts which are removed from the shell and roasted can be stored in sealed containers for many months. The nuts are often coarsely ground and added to other foods[ 658 ]. The seed coat should not be eaten because it carries some substance that can produce diarrhoea[ 658 ]. The seed can vary widely in size and weight, measuring 28 - 62 mm long by 20 - 35 mm wide and weighing 8 - 20 g each fresh weight[ 312 ]. An edible oil can be obtained from the seed[ 658 ]. It is eaten mixed with other foods[ 658 ]. The fruit of some cultivars is edible[ 312 ]. The fruit is an ovoid drupe, 3 - 6cm long and 2 - 3cm wide[ 310 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

A preparation made from the bark is used for the treatment of chest pains[ 312 , 350 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Containers  Fuel  Incense  Lighting  Oil  Paint  Shelterbelt  Waterproofing  Wood

Other uses rating: Medium (3/5). Agroforestry Uses: Plants are very wind resistant and make an excellent addition to the top storey of a shelterbelt[ 303 , 312 ]. Canarium nut is amongst the oldest and most important tree crops in Melanesia, where it is an integral part of one of the world's first known permanent agroforestry systems[ 350 ]. Other Uses: A resin oozes from wounds on the trunk caused by a variety of natural factors such as pests/diseases, damage during cyclones, etc[ 312 ]. This resin was formerly collected for use as canoe caulk and was burnt to give light[ 312 ]. The resin is aromatic and has been used as incense[ 312 ]. The soot from burning resin was formerly used as a ceremonial black face paint[ 312 ]. An oil extracted from the kernel has various local uses. It may be substituted for coconut oil and has potential in skin-care products[ 312 ]. The oil-rich seeds can be strung together, then lit and used as torches[ 350 ]. The pink-brown wood is soft and fine textured. It has a medium density and is non-durable when exposed to weather[ 312 , 598 ]. It is suitable for light construction (in low-decay situations), moldings, veneer, and numerous interior purposes[ 312 ]. Traditionally, the wood is used to make canoes, bowls and other wood articles[ 312 ]. The wood is sometimes used as a fuel[ 312 , 598 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Oil

A plant of the lowland, subhumid to humid tropics, found at elevations from sea level to about 600 metres[ 312 ]. It experiences very warm temperatures throughout the year with a mean annual temperature of 25 - 28°c; and an annual rainfall in the range of 1,800 - 4,000 mm[ 312 ]. Plants are usually found in areas where the dry season is less than 2 months, but they can tolerate up to 4 months dry season[ 312 ]. Prefers a medium to heavy-textured soil of moderate to high fertility[ 312 ]. Intolerant of shallow, infertile, or saline soils[ 312 ]. Fruits best in a position with little or no shade, though young trees grow best in semi-shade[ 312 ]. Plants succeed with free to slightly impeded drainage and a neutral pH[ 312 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.1 - 7.4[ 312 ]. Plants are fairly tolerant of strong winds, quickly recovering if any damage is caused[ 312 ]. The tree has a minor potential to become invasive[ 312 ]. Plants grow fairly slowly during their first year, usually reaching 0.6 - 2 metres in height[ 312 ]. After that, the growth rate increases with annual height increases of 2.5 - 3 metres common for the next 5 - 6 years[ 312 ]. Trees produce a deep taproot[ 312 ]. Plants can commence fruiting when about 7 years old[ 312 ]. Annual yields have been estimated at up to 4 - 7 tonnes of kernels per hectare[ 312 ]. Selection of plants over the centuries has led to a number of distinct forms with thinner shells and larger seeds[ 312 ]. Plants are most commonly dioecious, meaning that both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required. However, some trees also bear hermaphrodite flowers plus either male or female flowers[ 312 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.
  • Staple Crop: Oil  (0-15 percent protein, 16+ percent oil). Some of these are consumed whole while others are exclusively pressed for oil. Annuals include canola, poppyseed, maize, cottonseed, sunflower, peanut. Perennials include high-oil fruits, seeds, and nuts, such as olive, coconut, avocado, oil palm, shea, pecan, and macadamia. Some perennial oil crops are consumed whole as fruits and nuts, while others are exclusively pressed for oil (and some are used fresh and for oil).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed -pre-soak in fresh water for 24 hours prior to sowing[ 312 ]. Discard any nuts that float or that do not sink completely to the bottom[ 312 ]. Seed should be sown 1 cm deep on their sides directly into large pots or polybags, or 3 - 4 can be sown together direct into the position where the tree is to grow[ 312 ]. Nursery grown plants are usually ready to plant out when they are about 3 months old, by which time they should be up to 30cm tall[ 312 ]. The seed has a short viability and should be sown as soon as possible after collection. If seeds need to stored for a few weeks, then the outer flesh should be removed and the nut-in-shell stored in a shaded, cool (e.g., 15 - 25°C) dry place, secure from rodents and other pests[ 312 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Canariym indicum, otherwise known as Canarium Nut. Other common names are galip nut and Java almond. Other Names: Angari, Hinuei, Jangli badam, Java badami, , Java almond, Kagli mara, Kanari, Keanee, Kenari, Lawele, Nangai, Ngali, Ngari, Ngoeta, Nolepo, Nyia nyinge, Nyia Nyinge, Okete, Pili, Rata kekuna, Sela, VoiÕa.

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Found In: Africa, Asia, Australia, East Timor, Fiji, Guam, Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia, Niue, Pacific, Palau, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Philippines, Samoa, SE Asia, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tahiti, Timor-Leste, Tonga, USA, Vanuatu.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Possibly weedy or invasive.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Canarium albumChinese White OliveTree15.0 10-13  LMHSNM221
Canarium luzonicumManila ElemiTree30.0 10-12  LMHNM434
Canarium ovatumPili NutTree20.0 10-12 MLMHNM433
Canarium schweinfurtiiAfrican elemiTree30.0 10-12 MLMHNM333
Canarium vulgareJava Almond, Kenari NutTree45.0 10-12 FLMHNM413

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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