Aleurites moluccanus (or moluccana), the candlenut, is a flowering tree in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, also known as candleberry, Indian walnut, kemiri, varnish tree, nuez de la India, buah keras, or kukui nut tree, and Kekuna tree.
Its native range is impossible to establish precisely because of early spread by humans, and the tree is now distributed throughout the New and Old World tropics. It grows to a height of 15–25 m (49–82 ft), with wide spreading or pendulous branches. The leaves are pale green, simple, and ovate, or trilobed or rarely five-lobed, with an acute apex, 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) long. The nut is round, 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) in diameter; the seed shell has white, oily, and fleshy kernel that contains a thin embryo surrounded by an endosperm. Its kernel serves as the source of oil, and is covered with a thin layer of secondary seed coat.
|Candlenut foliage, flowers, and nut|
The candlenut was first domesticated in island Southeast Asia. Remains of harvested candlenuts have been recovered from archaeological sites in Timor and Morotai in eastern Indonesia, dated to around 13,000 and 11,000 BP, respectively.  Archaeological evidence of candlenut cultivation is also found in Neolithic sites of the Toalean culture in southern Sulawesi dated to around 3,700 to 2,300 BP. Candlenuts were widely introduced into the Pacific islands by early Austronesian voyagers and became naturalized to high volcanic islands.
The Proto-Austronesian word for candlenut is reconstructed as *kamiri, with modern cognates including Hanunó'o, Iban, and Sundanese kamiri; Javanese and Malay kemiri; and Tetun kamii, but the Oceanian words for candlenut is believed to be derived, instead, from Proto-Austronesian *CuSuR which became Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *tuhuR, originally meaning "string together, as beads", referring to the construction of the candlenut torches. It became Proto-Eastern-Malayo-Polynesian and Proto-Oceanic *tuRi which is then reduplicated. Modern cognates including Fijian, Tongan, Rarotongan, and Niue tui-tui; and Hawaiian kui-kui or kukui.
The nut is often used cooked in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, where it is called kemiri in Indonesian or buah keras in Malay. On the island of Java in Indonesia, it is used to make a thick sauce that is eaten with vegetables and rice.
In the Philippines, the fruit and tree are traditionally known as lumbang after which Lumban, a lakeshore town in Laguna is named. Before the intrusion of non-native species, it was frequently used as a property-line manager, because its silvery underleaf made the tree easy to distinguish from a distance.
Outside of Southeast Asia, macadamia seeds are sometimes substituted for candlenuts when they are not available, as they have a similarly high oil content and texture when pounded. The flavor, however, is quite different, as the candlenut is much more bitter. At least one cultivar in Costa Rica has no bitterness, and an improvement program could likely produce an important food crop if nontoxic varieties can be selected and propagated. A Hawaiian condiment known as ʻinamona is made from roasted kukui (candlenuts) mixed into a paste with salt. ʻInamona is a key ingredient in traditional Hawaiian poke.
In ancient Hawaiʻi, kukui nuts were burned to provide light. The nuts were strung in a row on a palm leaf midrib, lit on one end, and burned one by one every 15 minutes or so. This led to their use as a measure of time. Hawaiians also extracted the oil from the nut and burned it in a stone oil lamp called a kukui hele po (light, darkness goes) with a wick made of kapa cloth.
Hawaiians also had many other uses for the tree, including: leis from the shells, leaves, and flowers; ink for tattoos from charred nuts; a varnish with the oil; and fishermen would chew the nuts and spit them on the water to break the surface tension and remove reflections, giving them greater underwater visibility. A red-brown dye made from the inner bark was used on kapa and aho (Touchardia latifolia cordage). A coating of kukui oil helped preserve ʻupena (fishing nets). The nohona waʻa (seats), pale (gunwales) of waʻa (outrigger canoes) were made from the wood. The trunk was sometimes used to make smaller canoes used for fishing. Kukui was named the state tree of Hawaii on 1 May 1959 due to its multitude of uses. It also represents the island of Molokaʻi, whose symbolic color is the silvery green of the kukui leaf.
As recently as 1993, candlenuts were chewed into sweet-scented emollient used during a traditional funerary ritual in the outlying islands of the kingdom of Tonga. Their scent was also used for making various sweet-smelling oils for the skin.
Modern cultivation is mostly for the oil. In plantations, each tree produces 30–80 kg (66–176 lb) 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.
In Fiji, this nut is called sikeci and its oil is used in cosmetic products.
In Maui, the kukui is a symbol of enlightenment, protection, and peace. Kamapuaʻa, the hog-man fertility demigod, was said to be able to transform into a kukui tree. One of the legends told of Kamapuaʻa: one day, a man beat his wife to death and buried her beneath Kamapuaʻa while he was in tree form.
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Aleurites is a small genus of arborescent flowering plants in the Euphorbiaceae, first described as a genus in 1776. It is native to China, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Papuasia, and Queensland. It is also reportedly naturalized on various islands (Pacific and Indian Oceans, plus the Caribbean) as well as scattered locations in Africa, South America, and Florida.These monoecious, evergreen trees are perennials or semiperennials. These are large trees, 15–40 m (49–131 ft) tall, with spreading, drooping, and rising branches.
The leaves are alternate, lobate, ovate to ovate-lanceolate with minute stipules. They are pubescent on both sides when young, but in a later stage they become glabrous.
The inflorescence consists of terminal plumes of small, creamy white, bell-shaped, fragrant flowers, branching from the base. The flowers are usually bisexual, with a solitary pistillate flower at the end of each major axis. The lateral cymes are staminate. There are five or six imbricate petals. The staminate flowers are mostly longer and thinner than the pistillate flowers, with 17-32 glabrous stamens in four whorls. The pistillate flowers have a superior ovary.
The fruits are rather large drupes with a fleshy exocarp and a thin, woody endocarp. They vary in shape, according to the numbers of developed locules. They contain oleiferous, poisonous seeds.
The oil has been used as a paraffin and lubricant, and as a constituent of varnish, paint, and soap. Once poisonous substances are removed, it can be used as a cooking oil.
Some deciduous Chinese species are now classified under a separate genus Vernicia.
The name Aleurites is derived from the Ancient Greek: ἄλευρον meaning "wheaten flour" or "ground meal", because of the appearance of the lower surface of the leaf.Aleurites rockinghamensis
Aleurites rockinghamensis, the candlenut, is a flowering tree in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae found in northeastern Australia.Aleuritideae
Aleuritideae is a tribe of the subfamily Crotonoideae, under the family Euphorbiaceae. It comprises 6 subtribes and 14 genera.Candlenut oil
Candlenut oil or kukui nut oil is extracted from the nut of Aleurites moluccanus (Aleurites triloba), the candlenut or kuku'i.Coumarinolignoid
Coumarinolignoids are phenolic compounds formed from a lignan structure with a coumarin formed in place of one of the two phenylpropanoids.Cyanea acuminata
Cyanea acuminata is a rare species of flowering plant known by the common names Honolulu cyanea. It is endemic to Oahu, where there are no more than 250 individuals remaining. It is a federally listed endangered species of the United States. Like other Cyanea it is known as haha in Hawaiian.This Hawaiian lobelioid is a shrub up to 2 meters tall. It grows in wet forests and on slopes and ridges in the Koʻolau and Waiʻanae Mountains of Oahu.The remaining plants are divided among 18 subpopulations which are threatened by damage to their habitat from feral pigs and goats, rats, and exotic plants such as Maui pamakani (Ageratina adenophora), kukui (Aleurites moluccanus), and ti plant (Cordyline fruticosa). Other threats to the plant and its habitat include fire and trampling by military personnel. Botanists are hopeful that there are many more than 250 plants remaining in unsurveyed areas of the island.Cyanea superba
Cyanea superba is a rare species of flowering plant in the bellflower family known by the common names Mt. Kaala cyanea and superb cyanea. It is endemic to the island of Oahu, but it is now extinct in the wild. It exists in cultivation and some individuals have been planted in appropriate habitat. It is a federally listed endangered species of the United States. Like other Cyanea it is known as haha in Hawaiian.This Hawaiian lobelioid was known from lowland forest habitat in the Waianae and Koʻolau Mountains of Oahu. There were two subspecies. The ssp. regina has not been seen since 1932 and is considered extinct. The ssp. superba was collected in the 19th century and then was not seen again until its 1971 rediscovery. In the 1970s there were about 60 plants counted. By the time the plant was listed as endangered in 1991 there were twenty individuals. These slowly disappeared and the last plant died in 2002.The plant is being propagated in a number of facilities in Hawaii. It has been planted in various parts of the island, often in fenced and otherwise protected areas. Many of the plants have survived, flowered, and produced viable seed, and seedlings have been observed. The U. S. Army has collected over 50,000 seeds from these plants and placed them in storage.This plant was driven to extinction by a number of forces, chiefly habitat destruction and degradation by feral pigs, rats, and introduced species of slugs. They faced competition from invasive plant species, including kukui (Aleurites moluccanus), silk oak (Grevillea robusta), and Christmas berry (Schinus terebinthifolius). Some factors continue to threaten the individuals that have been planted in the habitat, such as fires started during military exercises and through arson.Cyanea truncata
Cyanea truncata is a rare species of flowering plant in the bellflower family known by the common name Punaluu cyanea. It is endemic to the islands of Oahu and Molokai in Hawaii, but it is now critically endangered. It exists in cultivation and some individuals have been planted in appropriate habitat. It is a federally listed endangered species of the United States. Like other Cyanea it is known as haha in Hawaiian.By the 1980s this Hawaiian lobelioid was known only from the Koʻolau Mountains of Oahu, and the last plants were seen in 1983. No more were found until 1998 when one plant was discovered; it died in 2001 but by then its offspring were being propagated. In 2004 three plants were discovered and these were still alive two years later. In the meantime, the offspring of the propagated individual had been planted in appropriate habitat. Some of these are still alive today, growing inside an enclosure along with another endangered plant, Schiedia kaalae, where they are protected from feral pigs that rove the area.The aforementioned pigs were a major force that drove the plant to near extinction. The animals are extremely destructive to the habitat, rooting the soil, tearing down larger vegetation, uprooting small plants and seedlings, and transporting the seeds of exotic plants into the area. Exotic plants that threaten this and other rare natives include kukui (Aleurites moluccanus), ti (Cordyline fruitcosa), and Christmas berry (Schinus terebinthifolius). Rats and slugs also damage the plants.Erechthias zebrina
Erechthias zebrina is a fungus moth (family Tineidae). Initially, it was mistakenly believed to be an ermine moth (family Yponomeutidae) of genus Argyresthia.
This species has a wingspan of 8–10 mm. It was first described by Arthur Gardiner Butler in 1881 from Hawaii, but is a widespread species reported from Africa, the Seychelles, Réunion, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, India, Australia, China, Java, Borneo, Fiji, Samoa, Society Islands, South America (including Brazil) and the West Indies.The larvae have been collected amongst old books, in a mud dauber's abandoned nest, in houses, and on the trunk of Aleurites moluccanus. It is believed to feed upon arthropod remains and other detritus.Euphorbia haeleeleana
Euphorbia haeleeleana, the Kauaʻi spurge, is a species of flowering plant in the croton family, Euphorbiaceae, that is endemic to the islands of Kauaʻi and Oaʻhu in Hawaii. Like other Hawaiian spurges it is known as `akoko.
It inhabits dry, coastal mesic, and mixed mesic forests from 205–670 m (673–2,198 ft). Associated plants include ʻōhiʻa lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha), koa (Acacia koa), lama (Diospyros sandwicensis), kukui (Aleurites moluccanus), ʻaʻaliʻi (Dodonaea viscosa), wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis), hala pepe (Pleomele spp.), ʻohe kukuluāeʻo (Reynoldsia sandwicensis), and āulu (Sapindus oahuensis). Kauaʻi Spurge is a small tree, reaching a height of 3–14 metres (9.8–45.9 ft).It is threatened by habitat loss and disturbance. Feral pigs and goats damage the habitat and non-native plant species take hold there and compete for resources.Flueggea neowawraea
Flueggea neowawraea, the mēhamehame, is a species of flowering tree in the family Phyllanthaceae, that is endemic to Hawaii. It can be found in dry, coastal mesic, and mixed mesic forests at elevations of 250 to 1,000 m (820 to 3,280 ft). Associated plants include kukui (Aleurites moluccanus), hame (Antidesma pulvinatum), ʻahakea (Bobea sp.), alaheʻe (Psydrax odorata), olopua (Nestegis sandwicensis), hao (Rauvolfia sandwicensis), and aʻiaʻi (Streblus pendulinus). Mēhamehame was one of the largest trees in Hawaiʻi, reaching a height of 30 m (98 ft) and trunk diameter of 2 m (6.6 ft). Native Hawaiians used the extremely hard wood of this tree to make weaponry.Although it had declined along with other dry and mesic forest plants, many large trees could still be found until the 1970s. At that point, the arrival of the black twig borer, (Xylosandrus compactus) caused a catastrophic collapse of the species. Today, populations only exist in the northwestern part of Kauaʻi, the Waiʻanae Range on Oʻahu, the southwestern slopes of Haleakalā on Maui, and the Big Island's Kona coast. Nearly all living individuals exist as basal shoots from older trees where the main trunk has died, or are outplanted saplings. Because of the extreme durability of the wood and its easily recognized fluted pattern, many dead trunks can still be found.Hyposmocoma alliterata
Hyposmocoma alliterata is a species of moth of the family Cosmopterigidae. It was first described by Lord Walsingham in 1907. It is endemic to the Hawaiian islands of Oahu, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii. This species is thought to range from the lowlands to the highlands, where it is most abundant.
The larvae feed amongst lichens on trees trunks of Acacia koa, Aleurites moluccanus, Boehmeria, Manihot glaziovii, Prosopis and Sophora. Its larvae are at times common on the trunks of living trees.
Larvae in a broad, flat, rounded-oval case coming to a point in front. The case really is not so broad, but has a broad extension on sides and rear made of a single layer of round bits of epidermis from the bark, forming a mosaic of the coloration of the bark of the tree on which it lives, and thus not seen by the casual observerHyposmocoma chilonella
Hyposmocoma chilonella is a species of moth of the family Cosmopterigidae. It was first described by Lord Walsingham in 1907. It is endemic to the Hawaiian islands of Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Hawaii.
The larvae of the nominate subspecies are whitish and feed on Acacia koa, Aleurites moluccanus, Cheirodendron gaudichaudii, Coprosma foliosa and other Coprosma species, Metrosideros, Pipturus, Rubus hawaiiensis and Smilax sandwicensis. They bore in dead wood or pith. The larvae of subspecies H. c. percondita probably feed on dead wood. Larvae of subspecies H. c. triocellata have been recorded boring in dead wood of Cheirodendron, Hibiscus, Pipturus, Pittosporum, Rubus hawaiiensis and Wikstroemia. Larvae of subspecies H. c. venosa bore in dead wood of Wikstroemia.Hyposmocoma trimaculata
Hyposmocoma trimaculata is a species of moth of the family Cosmopterigidae. It was first described by Lord Walsingham in 1907. It is endemic to the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The type locality is the Waianae Range.
The larvae probably feed on lichen on and beneath the bark of Acacia koa and Aleurites moluccanus.
The larva forms a short subcylindrical case, constricted near each end and covered with minute bits of lichen.Lumban, Laguna
Lumban, officially the Municipality of Lumban, (Tagalog: Bayan ng Lumban), is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 30,652 people.Lumban is one of Laguna's oldest towns, located 104 kilometres (65 mi) southeast of Manila. It got its name from Aleurites moluccanus, a tree locally named "lumbang". The province's capital town, Santa Cruz, as well as Cavinti and Pagsanjan, were once part of Lumban. The town is the location of the river, wherein the Laguna Copperplate Inscription was found. The copperplate is the oldest known document found in the Philippines, dating to 900AD.
Lumban is the home of Lake Caliraya, a man-made lake often visited by nature lovers and sports people. It is known as the "Embroidery Capital of the Philippines". Fine Jusi and Piña cloth are embroidered by hand, and the finished product is worn by males as Barong Tagalog and by females as Saya (Filipiñana). These are export-quality items. Lumban is also known for its many designs of shoes, sandals, slippers, and step-ins - all made from local materials. They are usually sold in shopping malls in Metro Manila, albeit at slightly higher prices than what can be found in Laguna.Manihot
Manihot is a genus in the diverse milkspurge family, Euphorbiaceae. It was described as a genus in 1754.Species of Manihot are monecious trees, shrubs and a few herbs that are native to the Americas, from Arizona in the United States south to Argentina and Uruguay. The best known member of this genus is the widely cultivated cassava (Manihot esculenta).Manihot species are used as food plants by the larvae of some species of Lepidoptera including Endoclita sericeus and Hypercompe hambletoni.
variety treated as a speciesManihot carthaginensis subsp. glaziovii = Manihot glaziovii (Müll.Arg.) Allemformerly includedmoved to Aleurites Cnidoscolus JatrophaPeridroma cinctipennis
Peridroma cinctipennis is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It was first described by Arthur Gardiner Butler in 1881. It is endemic to the Hawaiian islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii.
The larvae feed on Aleurites moluccanus, Cheirodendron, various grasses, Lythrum, mango, Metrosideros, Pittosporum, Sonchus and Wikstroemia species.Varnish tree
The name varnish tree may refer to numerous species of tree:
The candlenut, or kukui (Aleurites moluccanus)
The goldenrain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)
The marking nut tree (Semecarpus anacardium)
The Chinese lacquer tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum)Xylinophylla hypocausta
Xylinophylla hypocausta is a moth of the family Geometridae first described by William Warren in 1897. It is found in Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra and Borneo.
The species has been treated as a subspecies of Xylinophylla maculata for some time.
The larvae feed on Aleurites moluccanus.
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