Plant Name Schleichera oleosa
Common name: Malay Lac Tree
Marathi: Koshimb/ Kussum
English: Lac Tree, Macassar oil tree, Kusum
Jawhar: Koshimb/ Koshim/ Kusum
Interesting facts and history
Currently, commercially biodiesel is produced from the refined edible vegetable oils such as Schlichera oleosa seeds oil by alkaline catalyzed esterification process. This process is reported to be not suitable for unrefined non-edible vegetable oils because of their high free acid value. Thus a two-step esterification method was developed to produce methyl ester (bio-diesel) from high FFA Schlichera oleosa oil.
Malay lac tree is a rather slow-growing, briefly deciduous tree that can reach a height of 40 metres. The bole, which is usually crooked and slightly buttressed, can be up to 2 metres in diameter, but is usually less.
grey in colour
pinnate, alternate-distichous arranged, bright red when young, oblong-elliptic shape, obtuse to rounded apex, entire margin
tiny, appears as a dense greenish-yellow cluster
size of small plum, brown, slightly spiny, leather like outer skin, seeds are enclosed in a pulpy aril which is sour to taste.
Habit / Habitat
It thrives best in well drained gravelly soil.
Commonly found in India, foot hills of Himalaya, Burma, Thailand, Indo-China, Malaysia and Sri-Lanka
World wide use: Young leaves and shoots
Used by tribal community in Jawhar: Leaves, fruits and seeds
Method of consumption
Jawhar tribal: Seeds are crushed and used as edible oil.
Leaf decoction is given to cure vomiting and stomach problems.
Propagation and Storage
Season of collection
Fruits- March- June1 when fruits turn brownish green and the pulp is yellow
How to grow it?
In wild seeds are dispersed by wind. It could also be sown in shaded nursery beds or even in polythene bags2.
Method of storage
1) Edible parts:
Seeds- The pulp of fruit is removed before storage. The seeds are cleaned under running water and dried in sun.
Leaves – they are not stored and plucked from the tree as and when required.