Forest EcologyGeneral SilviculturePlant Taxonomy

Aleurites fordii Hemsl.

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Aleurites fordii Hemsl. Family


Aleurites fordii Hemsl. English Name

Japanese Tung

Aleurites fordii Hemsl. Local Name

Japani Tung

Aleurites fordii Hemsl.

Aleurites fordii Hemsl. Description

This plant is medium sized deciduous tree with a spreading crown that grows up to the height of about 20 m. This plant is commonly known as tung tree. The bark of the tree is thin and smooth. When the bark is cut it bleeds latex. The leaves are simple, alternate, heart shaped, green in colour from both sides, about 4 to 25 cm long and 3 to 20 cm wide. At the base of the leaf red conspicuous glands are present. Petiole is 5 to 25 cm long. The Flowers have five yellowish pink to purple petals and are 2 to 4 cm in diameter. The fruit is green when young and becomes brown when it ripens. The fruit is a pear-shaped berry, hard and is 3 to 6 cm ling and 2.5 to 5 cm broad. The fruit is green when young and becomes dull brown when it ripens in autumn season. it contains 4 to 5 seeds. 

Aleurites fordii Hemsl.

Aleurites fordii Hemsl. Distribution

This plant is native to western and central Asia; its seeds have been planted there for thousands of years. It has also been widely cultivated in other areas of the world including, Pakistan, India, Burma, Africa and in America. It grows well in the rocky places at the altitude of about 1000 m. But they can also be found at the elevation of 2000 m.

Aleurites fordii Hemsl.

Aleurites fordii Hemsl. Uses

This tree can be used as an ornamental plant. The oil derived from the seeds of the tree is known as tung oil. The oil poisonous but it has great value and has been used for the treatment of skin problems like burns, wounds and scalds. Extracts from the fruit have antibacterial properties. Tung oil has been traditionally used in lamps. It is also being used in paints, varnishes as an ingredient. After purification and processing of this tung oil, it can also be used in motors.  The wood of the tree is very strong and light in weight and it is often used as substitute for basswood or balsa.

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