Vateria indica L.

Vateria indica L. (Dipterocarpaceae)
 Common names
Kannada: Dhupa, Ganapathi kai, Painimaram, Vella payin.
Tamil: Vellai kundi, Pinaymarum.
Telugu: Dhupada maru.
 English: Piney varnish, White dammar, Indian copal, White dhup.

Description:  Trees, up to 30 m tall; bark smooth, white to grey, blotched with white and green, peeling off in thick, round flakes; branchlets and inflorescence stellate-canascent.  Leaves ovate or oblong or elliptic-oblong, up to 25 x 10 cm, cordate or rounded at base, obtuse or acuminate at apex, coriaceous, bright red when young; lateral nerves slender; petioles up to 4 cm long; stipules obliquely lanceolate, acute. Flowers in large terminal or lateral corymbose panicles, white, fragrant. Calyx lobes 5, lanceolate, obtuse, canascent on both surfaces.  Petals 5, elliptic oblong, obtuse, spreading. Stamens 40-50; anthers nearly sessile, connective muticous.  Ovary tomentose.  Fruit a capsule, ovoid-ellipsoid or oblong, ca  4.5 cm long, brown, 3-valved.

Flowering:  January – April.
Fruiting: May – July.

Distribution: India: Evergreen forests of the Western Ghats up to 1300 m. Karnataka Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Endemic.

Uses: The semisolid fat known as “Pinay tallow”, ‘Malabar tallow’, or ‘Dhupa fat’ obtained from the dried kernels of the seeds is used in the manufacture of candles and soaps.  It is used for edible purposes after refining.  It is used in confectionary and as an adulterant of ghee. Wood greyish brown, rough, much in demand in plywood and veneer industry; also used for making tea-chests, trunks, ammunition boxes, flooring and other interior fittings.  It can also be used for railway sleepers.  The heartwood can be used for shuttering, centering and scaffolding and for making oars, masts etc. The gum resin known in trade as ‘Pinay resin’, ‘White dammar’ or ‘Dupa’ is used in varnish industry and for making incense.  It is also used for setting gold ornaments and for caulking boats. Wood considered to be fairly suitable for paper pulp. The oil-cake left after extraction of oil is used as manure especially in coffee plantations. It is extensively planted as an avenue tree. Bark alexipharmic, bechic, used in dysentery, leprosy, hemicrania, tuberculous glands, boils, ringworm, anaemia, ear diseases, urinary discharges, skin eruptions, ulcers, wounds; fruit (fatty oil) and resin used in rheumatism; resin known as “Dammar resin” is considered tonic, carminative, expectorant, used in chronic bronchitis and throat troubles, diarrhoea, piles and amenorrhoea.  It enters into an ointment used for carbuncles and is a good emollient for plasters and ointment bases.