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Aleurites moluccana which is also known as Candlenut, Candleberry, Indian walnut is a flowering tree.

Image of Aleurites Moluccana plant at Google

Aleurites moluccana which is also known as Candlenut, Candleberry, Indian walnut, Kemiri, Varnish tree, Nuez de la India, Buah keras or Kukui nut tree, Indian or Belgaum walnut is a flowering tree that belongs to the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae.

It is used in ancient oil extraction from its nuts.Other common names of this tree include:
– kukui, kuikui (Hawai‘i)
– lama (Samoa)
– rama (Mangareva)
– tahii, tahiri, tiairi, ti‘a‘iri, tutui (Moorea, French Polynesia)
– tuitui (Mangaia [Cook Islands], Futuna, Makatea, Niue,
– Tonga, Tubuai, Uvea)
– tutu‘i, ti‘a‘iri (Society Islands)
– tutui (Rimatara, Rurutu, Tahiti)
– lauci,
– nggerenggere
– sikeci,
– sikeli
– sikethi, toto, tuitui, tutui,
– waiwai (Fiji)
– lumbang (Guam)
– raguar (Caroline Islands)
– sakan (Palau)
– sakan, shakan (Pohnpei)

This tree can grow up to a height of 15–25 m (49–82 ft). The branches of this tree are spreading or pendulous. The leaves are pale green in color and simple to ovate. They are trilobed and sometimes 5 lobed. The nut is round in shape and about 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) in diameter. The nut is high in oil content and hence used as a candle and hence the name candlenut.

It has an important place in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine. On islands of Java in Indonesia, a thick sauce is made out of this nut and eaten with vegetables and rice.

Its parts are also used in traditional medicine like a laxative, hair stimulant, additive, on tumors, application on navel for costiveness, headache, fevers, ulcers, swollen joints, and gonorrhea and bloody diarrhea or dysentery. It is also used to make Soap, shampoo and making canoes for fishing.

The dead wood of this tree is eaten by a larva of a coleoptera named Agrionome fairmairei.

Growing/Caring conditions for Aleurites moluccana:
– This plant can be propagated from seed or from cuttings.
– The seeds take about 3-4 months to germinate.
– Sow the seeds and cover them will soil or pre-germinate the seed and transplant.
– The seedlings that emerge are very strong.
– The Mean annual temperature that this plant can tolerate is 19–27°C (66–81°F), Mean maximum temperature of hottest month 26–30°C (79–86°F), Mean minimum temperature of coldest month 8–13°C (46–55°F) and Minimum temperature tolerated 8°C (46°F).
– Once the plants are large enough to handle, transplant them.
– Plant in spring.
– This plant can tolerate full sun or shade.
– Keep the seeds moist until germination.
– This plant needs well drained and moist soil.
– Mulch the plant in early season.
– The plants should be watered around the soil to ensure soil to root contact.
– This plant needs moderately fertile and well drained soil.
– The plant can be grown in light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
– The plant tolerates acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils but prefers alkaline soils.
– Mulch with a 2-inch layer of bark or gravel mulch around the base for the plant to retain moisture and to keep the roots damp.
– Maintain evenly moist soil.

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