Chinese Olive

Canarium is a genus of about 100 species of tropical and subtropical trees, in the family Burseraceae. They grow naturally across tropical Africa, south and southeast Asia, Indochina, Malesia, Australia and western Pacific Islands; including from southern Nigeria east to Madagascar, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and India; from Burma, Malaysia and Thailand through the Malay Peninsula and Vietnam to south China, Taiwan and the Philippines; through Borneo, Indonesia, Timor and New Guinea, through to the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Palau.

They grow up to large evergreen trees of 40–50 m (130–160 ft) tall, and have alternately arranged, pinnate leaves.


This species listing was sourced from The Plant List data aggregation website that takes in some inaccurate data. The brief species distribution information was sourced from Flora Malesiana, the Flora of China (series) and the Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants information system.

Uses and ecology

Several species have edible nuts, known as galip nut or nangae (C. indicum), pili nut (C. ovatum), or simply canarium nut (C. harveyi and C. indicum). C. indicum are among the most important nut-bearing trees in eastern Indonesia and the Southwest Pacific. C. ovatum is cultivated extensively only in the Philippines.

Dabai (C. odontophyllum) is a species which is a delicious[opinion] and nutritious fruit which tastes something like avocado.[citation needed] The skin and flesh are edible after soaking in warm water. The fruit contains all of protein, fat and carbohydrate, thereby making it an ideal food (most nuts are low in protein).[citation needed] It has been introduced from Borneo to Queensland in Australia.[citation needed] In addition to providing food for humans, this plant's fruit is eaten by certain animals, such as the Red-bellied Lemur (Eulemur rubriventer) and the ruffed lemurs (Varecia) of Madagascar's eastern rainforests.

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