22 February 2010


The Pili Nut (Canarium Ovatum)
One of 600 species in the family Burseraceae, is native to the Philippines and is abundant and wild in the Bicol Region particularly in Sorsogon, and in parts of Visayas and Mindanao. Trees of Canarium ovatum are attractive symmetrically shaped evergreens, averaging 20 m tall with resinous wood and resistance to strong wind. C. ovatum is dioecious, with flowers borne on cymose inflorescence at the leaf axils of young shoots. As in papaya and rambutan, functionalhermaphrodites exist in pili. Pollination is by insects. Flowering of pili is frequent and fruits ripen through a prolonged period of time. The ovary contains three locules, each with two ovules, most of the time only one ovule develops (Chandler 1958).  Pili fruit is a drupe, 4 to 7 cm long, 2.3 to 3.8 cm in diameter, and weighs 15.7 to 45.7 g. The skin (exocarp) is smooth, thin, shiny, and turns purplish black when the fruit ripens; the pulp (mesocarp) is fibrous, fleshy, and greenish yellow in color, and the hard shell (endocarp) within protects a normallydicotyledonous embryo. The basal end of the shell (endocarp) is pointed and the apical end is more or less blunt; between the seed and the hard shell (endocarp) is a thin, brownish, fibrous seed coat developed from the inner layer of the endocarp. This thin coat usually adheres tightly to the shell and/or the seed. Much of the kernel weight is made up of the cotyledons, which are about 4.1 to 16.6% of the whole fruit; it is composed of approximately 8% carbohydrate, 11.5 to 13.9% protein, and 70% fat. Kernels from some trees may be bitter, fibrous or have a turpentine odor.

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