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Calophyllum inophyllum L.

Botanical Name

Calophyllum inophyllum L.


Balsamaria inophyllum Lour., Calophyllum apetalum Blanco [Illegitimate], Calophyllum bingator Roxb., Calophyllum blumei Wight, Calophyllum ovatifolium Noronha [Invalid], Calophyllum spurium Choisy, Calophyllum wakamatsui Kaneh.[4]


Clusiaceae [4]

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Penaga laut [2], bentagor bunga, bintagor, bintangor laut, enaga, penaga air,  pudek, senaga [5]
English Alexandrian laurel, beautyleaf, Indian laurel, laurelwoodmastwood [1]borneo mahogany [2] beach mahogany, poon, oil nut tree [3], ball nut, ball nut tree, portia tree, poonay oil plant, satin touraga, sweet-scented calophyllum [5].
China Hai-tang-guo, hong hou ke, hu tong [5]
India Sultana-champa, surpunka, undi (Hindu); hona, hone, mara, surahonnae ponne, voma, uma (Kannada); betan, cerupunna, pine, ponna (Malayalam); nagchampa, pumag, surangi, undag, undi (Marathi); tungakesara (Oriya); namaeruak, panchakaeshera, punnaman, tunga (Sanskrit); arttakecam, cayantakam, koppika, pinnai, punnakam, tevali (Tamil); naameru, ponna, pumagamu (Telugu) [5]
Indonesia Nyamplung (Javanese and Sundanese); dingkaran (Sulawesi); punaga, penago (Sumatra) [5]
Thailand Kating, kra ting (General); saraphee naen (Northern); naowakan (Nan) [5]
Vietnam Cong, mù U [5]
Philippines Bitaog, bitok, bitong, butulau, dagkalan, palo maria de la playa (Tagalog); pamitaogen (Iloko); vutalau (Ivatan) [5]
Myanmar Ponnyet, ph'ong [5]
Papua New Guinea Beach calophyllum [3] [5]
Hawaii Kamani, kamanu, [3] foraha, tamanu [5]
Fiji Dilo [3] [5].


Calophyllum inophyllum is a member of the Clusiaceae family. It is a tree that can reach up to 15 m high. The bark is light grey with pink inner bark. The leaves are paired, shiny and coriaceous with midrib prominent. It is elliptic with a slight notch at the tip. The flowers are in small clusters, white and fragrant. The fruit is globose with one large seed. The plant has a cream-coloured resinous latex [1].


The tree is native to Peninsular Malaysia and India. It is commonly planted as ornamental in the West Indies, South Florida, Hawaii and Guam [1].

Plant Use

The plant has been planted to provide shade along the roads in may tropical municipality of the world. It also had been known for its medicinal values. The whole plant is traditionally used to treat rheumatism and various skin affections. The bark is used to treat haemorrhage. The leaves decoction and the diluted latex may be used for eyes ailments. The seed oil is used to heal burn and skin diseases [2] [3].

Toxic Parts

Seed kernel, oil expressed from the seeds. The leaves are poisonous to the fish [1] [2].


Innophyllum A-E, calophyllolide, c.alophynic acid.

The unrefined oil extracted from the seeds is considered toxic. In rats fed with the oil, mild, focal to severe and widespread lesions were found in the kidneys, hearts and livers [2].

Risk Management

C. inophyllum has been planted for shade in many parts of the world. It is a prolific seeder. The hard, golf ball-sized fruits are not only mildly poisonous especially the ripe ones, but can pose a problem when they fall on sidewalks, streets, lawns and other areas. People accidentally stepping on them may slip and fall. These fruits should be frequently removed by the local authority workers to avoid this from happening [3].

Clinical Findings

Ingestion of the fruit of C. inophyllum can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, diarrhoea, and dehydration. The latex is used as a home remedy in the West Indies and the Pacific and appears to be non-toxic, although it can cause keratoconjuctivitis when in contact with the cornea [1] [2].


It is rare to find significant toxicity as a result of exposure to C. inophyllum. When such thing is to occur then intravenous rehydration, anti-emetics and electrolyte replacement therapy suffice in particular in children [1].


  1. Nelson LS, Shih RD, Balick MJ. Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. Berlin: Springer-Verlag; 2007. p. 100-101.
  2. Koh HL, Kian CT, Hoon TC.  A Guide to medicinal plants: An illustrated scientific and medicinal approach. Singapore: World Scientific; 2009. p. 33.
  3. Elevitch CR. Traditional trees of Pacific Islands: Their culture, environment, and use. Holualoa: Permanent Agriculture Resources; 2006. p. 194.
  4. The Plant List. Calophyllum inophyllum L. Ver1.1. c2013 [cited 2014 August 2]. Available from: 
  5. Lim TK. Edible medicinal and non-medicinal plants, Volume 2: Fruits. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer; 2012. p. 7.

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