Almond Java
  • Botanical: Canarium commune
  • Known as: Protium, Amyris elemifera, Boswellia frereana, Bursera elemifera, Bursera penicillata, Bursera tomentosa, Canarium indicum, Canarium mauritianum, Protium icicariba
  • Old Use: Burseraceae
  • Aroma: smoky, woody

Almond Java

They grow up to large evergreen trees of 40–50 m (130–160 ft) tall, and have alternately arranged, pinnate leaves.

Manila elemi, when recent, occurs in transparent, soft, granular masses, consisting of a solution of solid resin in essential oil. Externally it has a light, canary-yellow color, and, as found in commerce, is largely solidified, presenting an opaque and granular fracture, due to the crystallization of the resin. Chips and other foreign substances are often found in the solid fragments. When wetted with a little alcohol, elemi readily disintegrates, showing a multitude of small, crystalline needles. It melts easily, a transparent fluid resulting. It has an aromatic, warm, acrid taste, and a fragrant odor, resembling that of the terebinthinates, the drug in many respects closely resembling the latter class of substances. It is insoluble in water, partly soluble in cold, and completely soluble in hot alcohol; easily soluble also in oil of turpentine and ether.

  • Botanical: Boswellia Serrata
  • Family: Burseraceae
  • Known as: Olibanum, Weihrauch, Salai, Boswellia carteri, frankincense
  • Old Use: medicinal; culinary
  • Aroma: earthy, smoky, woody


Obtained from the leafy forest tree Boswellia Thurifera, with leaves deciduous, alternate towards the tops of branches, unequally pinnated; leaflets in about ten pairs with an odd one opposite, oblong, obtuse, serrated, pubescent, sometimes alternate; petioles short.

Flowers, white or pale rose on short pedicels in single axillary racemes shorter than the leaves. Calyx, small five-toothed, persistent; corolla with five obovate-oblong, very patent petals, acute at the base, inserted under the margin of the disk, acstivation slightly imbricative. Stamens, ten, inserted under the disk, alternately shorter; filaments subulate, persistent.

  • Botanical: Commiphora myrrha
  • Family: Burseraceae
  • Known as: Balsamodendron Myrrha. Commiphora Myrrha, var. Molmol. Mirra. Morr. Didin. Didthin. Bowl
  • Old Use: culinary; ritual; medicinal


A shrub or tree growing up to 5 m tall, scented myrrh has greenish or brownish peeling bark. The leaves are composed of 3 or 5-7 leaflets, 2.5 x 10 cm long when fully mature and oval to broadly oval in shape. The flowers are cream in colour and very small, being only a few mm wide at most. The fruit is rounded, about 1 cm in diameter and contains a single stone.

  • Botanical: Icica icicariba
  • Family: Burseraceae
  • Known as: Protium heptaphyllum, Protium icicariba, Copal, Kopal


The species are usually small or medium-sized trees, but some can be large, up to Template:35 tall. In their native range, some species are grown for timber, used as firewood, as medicinal plants, for their fruit, or in other cultural contexts.

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