Candlenut Tree – Common Aleurites
|Candlenut foliage, flowers, and nut|
Aleurites javanicus Gand.
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.