1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aleurites
|←Aletrium||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 1
|See also Aleurites on Wikipedia, and our 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica disclaimer.|
ALEURITES (Gr. ἀλευρίτης, pertaining to ἄλευρον, ground meal, from ἀλεῖν, to grind), a genus of trees belonging to the natural order Euphorbiaceae. Aleurites moluccana, or triloba, is widely cultivated throughout the tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world for its fruit, which is about the size of a walnut, and contains several seeds which are rich in oil. The oil is extracted and used for food and light; it is known in India as kekuna, and the tree as the "candle-nut." In the Sandwich Islands the nuts are strung upon strips of wood and used as torches. The oil is exported to Europe for candle-making. A. cordata flourishes in China, where it is known as the varnish-tree, on account of the lac contained in its seeds.