Light walnut

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Light walnut
Rigid 061212-2305 Aleurites moluccana.jpg

Light walnut ( Aleurites moluccanus )

Eurosiden I
Order : Malpighiales (Malpighiales)
Family : Spurge Family (Euphorbiaceae)
Genre : Aleurites
Type : Light walnut
Scientific name
Aleurites moluccanus
( L. ) Willd.
Branches with “floury”, lobed leaves, inflorescence and fruit

The light walnut ( Aleurites moluccanus ), also known as kukui nut , Kemirinuss or Candlenut and Lumbangbaum , Bankul Nussbaum , Candlenut as Indian walnut , is a species within the family of Euphorbiaceae (Euphorbiaceae). Its range extends from India to New Zealand . Its kernels are used as a spice in Southeast Asia .


Vegetative characteristics

The light walnut is an evergreen tree that can grow to heights of up to 20 meters and more. It has a wide treetop . The bark is dark gray and the bark is hairy gray-brown.

The alternate leaves are arranged in a petiole and a leaf blade. The petiole is usually 6 to 12, rarely up to 22 centimeters long. The simple, soft leathery leaf blade is 12 to 23 centimeters long and 6 to 12 centimeters wide on young specimens three to five-lobed and ovoid on fully grown trees. The base of the blade is slightly heart-shaped to rounded and the tip (s) is / are pointed to pointed. The leaf margin has entire margins or has a few teeth. The upper side of the leaf is dark green and very shiny and the underside appears brightly shimmering through silvery star hairs . There are three to five, rarely seven, leaf veins. The stipules are tiny and fall off early.

Generative characteristics

The light walnut is single sexed ( monoecious ). The stalked flowers are in terminal or lateral, 10 to 20 centimeters long, branched inflorescences . The female flowers are 9 to 11 millimeters and the smaller male 6 to 7 millimeters long. The calyx are two to three lobes and hairy. The five white petals are obovate.

The tomentose, hairy stone fruits are almost spherical with a diameter of 4 to 6 centimeters and slightly in two parts with four longitudinal ribs. The leathery shell is colored olive green and tinged with red. The fruits have a white "pulp" and contain one or two stone pits. The hard-shell stone core is approximately 2.5 × 2.75 × 2.25 centimeters wide and egg-shaped with laterally flattened edges. The episperm is hard and warty, angular. The shell of the stone core is roughly wrinkled, rounded and brown-black in color.

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 22 or 44.


Occurrence and cultivation

The distribution area of ​​the light walnut extends from India through China and Southeast Asia to New Zealand. The light walnut tree is seldom planted in other tropical areas. They are found in a rather dry tropical climate at altitudes of up to 1200 meters. The light walnut tree is sensitive to frost and loves warmth.


The light walnut ( Aleurites moluccanus ) is a species from the genus Aleurites . The Basionym Jatropha moluccana L. was published by Carl von Linné . Other synonyms include Aleurites javanicus Gand. and Aleurites pentaphyllus Wall. ex Langeron .


The seeds contain hydrogen cyanide and a trace of toxalbumin .


Women in Babulo ( East Timor ) prepare sticks with light nut wax for festive lighting

The kernels are rich in oils and are often used as a condiment in Southeast Asian cuisine. They have a slightly sweet, nutty taste and act as a flavor enhancer. Raw they are poisonous and can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. They are therefore roasted before use, which makes them lose their toxicity. The kukui nut oil (light nut, lumbang, bankul, candelut oil) pressed from the kernels is used as candle or lamp oil, for the production of soap and for the treatment of various skin diseases . It can also be taken as a light laxative . The pressed oil cake is processed into a snack in Indonesia . The cores can also be lit untreated as a light source.

The wood of the light walnut is light and not very durable.


In New Caledonia , the straight-billed crow ( Corvus moneduloides ) uses the leaves and branches of the light walnut tree as raw material for toolmaking. The bent stems and branches are used by these birds to pull longhorn beetle larvae from their feeding passages.


Web links

Commons : Light walnut ( Aleurites moluccana )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang, Blaschek (Ed.) U. a .: Hager's Handbook of Pharmaceutical Practice . Volume 2: A – K , Springer, 1998, ISBN 3-540-61618-7 , pp. 60 f.
  2. a b c d e f g h Bernd Nowak, Bettina Schulz: Pocket dictionary of tropical useful plants and their fruits . Quelle & Meyer, Wiebelsheim 2009, ISBN 978-3-494-01455-5 , p. 26-27 .
  3. a b c d e Bingtao Li & Michael G. Gilbert: Aleurites : Aleurites moluccanus , p. 265 - online with the same text as the printed work , In: Wu Zheng-yi, Peter H. Raven & Deyuan Hong (eds.): Flora of China , Volume 11 - Oxalidaceae through Aceraceae , Science Press and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing and St. Louis 2008, ISBN 978-1-930723-73-3 .
  4. Aleurites moluccanus at In: IPCN Chromosome Reports . Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis.
  5. Aleurites moluccanus in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  6. Zurich Cantonal Laboratory: Annual Report 2003. P. 82 f, (PDF) .