Alexandrian Laurel Balltree Calophyllum Inophyllum Seeds Hong Hou Ke
红厚壳 hong hou ke
Balsamaria inophyllum (Linnaeus) Loureiro.
Trees 5-12 m tall. Bark gray brown or dark brown, thick, with longitudinal fissures, always exuding pellucid resins when wounded. Young shoots striate. Petiole robust, 1-2.5 cm; leaf blade shiny on both surfaces, broadly elliptic or obovate-elliptic, rarely oblong, 8-15 × 4-8 cm, thickly leathery, midvein raised abaxially, impressed adaxially, base rounded or broadly cuneate, apex rounded or emarginate. Thyrses in upper axils, 7-11-flowered, rarely shorter than 10 cm. Pedicel 1.5-4 cm. Flowers scented, white, 2-2.5 cm in diam. Sepals 4; outer 2: suborbicular, ca. 8 mm; inner 2: obovate, petaloid. Petals 4, oblanceolate to obovate, ca. 1.1 cm, concave, apex subtruncate or rounded. Ovary subglobose; stigma peltate. Mature fruit yellow, globose, ca. 2.5 cm in diam. Fl. Mar-Jun, fr. Sep-Nov. 2n = 32.
Wild or cultivated on open waste sites on hills, seashores, sandy wastelands; 100(-200) m. Hainan, Taiwan [Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; Africa (including Madagascar), Australia, Indian Ocean islands (Mascarenes), Pacific islands (Polynesia)].
The seeds yield 20%-30% oil, the seed kernels 50%-60%. The seed oil is used for industry or as a medicine; it is also edible after refinement and detoxification. The timber is hard and heavy, and is used for making furniture. The bark contains ca. 15% tannin.
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