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Canarium vulgare Leenh.

Family Name: Burseraceae
Synonyms: Canarium commune (auct., non L.)
Common Name: Chinese Olive, Java Almond, Kenari-nut Tree, Kenari, Kanari Nut, Kanari Panjang, Kanali, Wild Almond
Full Sun Moderate Water Fruit or Vegetable Herb or Spice Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 45 m


Native Distribution In Indonesia, at the Lesser Sunda Islands, Moluccas, Sulawesi to New Guinea.
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Mountain, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Sundaland

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is tree, up to 45 m tall.
Foliage Its leaves are compound leaves, comprising of usually 9-11 oval shaped leaflets. Each leaflet has entire margins, leathery, with prominent secondary veins on the underside.
Flowers Its flowers are unisexual, with male and female flowers borne on separate terminal inflorescences. The male flowers are about 5 mm long, while the female flowers are slightly larger, measuring about 6-7 mm long.
Fruits Its fleshy fruits are ovoid and smooth, 3.5-5 cm long and 1.5-3 cm wide, green ripening dark purple or black in colour.
Habitat It grows in primary lowland forests on limestone, up to 1200 m altitude.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed.
Etymology Latin Canarium, from the Malay name kanari and the Moluccan name kenari; Latin vulgare, usual, common, possibly referring to the gregarious populations of this plant in its natural habitat.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Fruit & Vegetable;Herb and Spice)
Cultural / Religious ( Heritage Tree: There is 1 individual of Canarium vulgare listed as Heritage Trees in Singapore. It can be found in Singapore Botanic gardens. To find out more about this tree, please visit the Heritage Tree Register.)

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for planting in parks and large gardens for its edible fruits and large bushy form.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Compound (Odd-Pinnate)
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Black, Purple
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Non-Accessory Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 29350
Species ID 3659
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 27 May 2022.