Author: Jan Scholten
Names: Calophyllum nagassarium.
English: Ceylon ironwood; Poached egg tree; Indian rose chestnut; Cobra’s saffron.
Region: east Asia, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines.
Habitat: moist to wet tropics; lowland evergreen forest; montane evergreen or semi-evergreen forest; level or undulating land; usually along streams but also on ridges; shallow soils; sea-level up to 500 metres; shade tolerant, more light-demanding as they grow larger; fairly rich, well drained soil; prefers a pH in the range 5 - 5.5, tolerating 4.3 - 6.9.
Culture: sacred in India.
Content: up to 76% oil; xanthones, euxanthones, mesuaxanthones.
Use: wood, very hard; seed for oil, surli nuts, edible when well-cooked; raw, young leaves for food, sourish, astringent flavour; aromatic flowers; attractive lawn tree, along roadsides and in parks.
Slow-growing, canopy, understorey, evergreen tree; regular, dense, conical crown; from 30 - 45 metres tall; wood sinks in water.
Root: endomycorrhizal associations, which fix atmospheric nitrogen.
Stem: bole cylindrical to poorly shaped; up to 95 cm in diameter; fluted or buttressed; exudes an aromatic white resin when it is wounded.
Leaves: vivid green leaves.
Flowers: showy, fragrant
Fruit: wrinkled when ripe; resembling a chestnut in size, shape and taste.