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Calophyllum inophyllum

Calophyllum inophyllum is a low-branching and slow-growing tree with a broad and irregular crown.
Botanical Name
Calophyllum inophyllum
Common Name
Alexandrian laurel, balltree,beach calophyllum,beach touriga, beautyleaf,Borneo-mahogany, Indian doomba oiltree, Indian-laurel, laurelwood, red poon,satin touriga, and tacamahac-tree.
Collection Locale
southern India
Plant Average Height

General Description


The flower is 25 millimetres (0.98 in) wide and occurs in racemose or paniculateinflorescences consisting of 4 to 15 flowers. Flowering can occur year-round, but usually two distinct flowering periods are observed, in late spring and in late autumn. The fruit (the ballnut) is a round, green drupe reaching 2 to 4 centimetres (0.79 to 1.57 in) in diameter and having a single large seed. When ripe, the fruit is wrinkled and its color varies from yellow to brownish-red.

Besides being a popular ornamental plant, its wood is hard and strong and has been used in construction or boatbuilding. Traditional Pacific Islanders used Calophyllum wood to construct the keel of their canoes while the boat sides were made from breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) wood.

The seeds yield a thick, dark green tamanu oil for medicinal use or hair grease. Active ingredients in the oil are believed to regenerate tissue, so is sought after by cosmetics manufacturers as an ingredient in skin cremes. The nuts should be well dried before cracking, after which the oil-laden kernel should be further dried. 


The leaves are also used for skin care and also soaked in water and used for eye inflammations.

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