Monographs Details: Aleurites molucanna (L.) Willd.
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - Known also as Otaheite Walnut, this East Indian tree has been widely planted in the West Indies, and is occasionally spontaneous from its seeds, which yield a valuable oil. In Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands it occurs sparingly, seldom over 8 meters high, but it may reach a height of about 20 meters. The numerous, clustered, mostly imperfect, white flowers are attractive, and are followed by large, round, edible, greenish fruits.
Aleurites (Greek, like meal) , was established as a genus by Forster, in 1776, with the species here illustrated and described, typical. Three other species are known, and all of them are natives of the Old World tropics. They have large, alternate, stalked leaves, with 5 or 7 nerves radiating from the base. The flowers are in dense clusters at the ends of branches, the staminate ones many, the pistillate few; the nearly globular calyx splits into 2 or 3 lobes; the narrow petals are longer than the calyx; the staminate flowers have several, or many stamens; the pistillate flowers have a few-celled ovary, and as many 2-divided styles as ovary-cavities. The fleshy fruits fall away without opening, containing 1 or 2 seeds.
Aleurites moluccana (first known from the Molucca islands) has brownish, shallowly fissured bark; its stout twigs and the flower-clusters are densely scurfy, the light yellow wood weak and soft. The leaves long-stalked, from 8 to 25 centimeters long, are various in outline, ovate to nearly orbicular, some 5-lobed, some 3-lobed, some without lobes, stellate-hairy on the under side. The clusters of flowers are from 8 to 15 centimeters long, with white petals about 8 millimeters long. The fruit is from 4 to 6 centimeters thick, a little wider than long.
Discussion:Nuez de India
Jatropha moluoccana Linnaeus, Species Plantarum 1006. 1755,
Aleurites triloba Forster, Charaoteres Geneva Plantarum 112. 1776.
Aleurites moluoccana Willdenow, Species Plantarum 4: 500. 1805.