Botanical Name: Aleurites fordii
Synonyms: Vernicia fordii
Common Name: Tung oil tree, China wood-oil tree, kalo nut tree
Seed collection period: Sep- Nov.
It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 20 m tall, with a spreading crown. The bark is smooth and thin, and bleeds latex if cut. The leavesare alternate, simple, 4.5–25 cm long and 3.5–22 cm broad, heart-shaped or with three shallow, maple-like lobes, green above and below, red conspicuous glands at the base of the leaf, and with a 5.5–26 cm long petiole. The flowers are 2.5–3.5 cm diameter, with five pale pink to purple petals with streaks of darker red or purple in the throat; it is monoecious with individual flowers either male or female, but produced together in the inflorescences. The flowers appear before or with the leaves in loose, terminal clusters. The fruit is a hard, woody pear-shaped drupe 4–6 cm long and 3–5 cm diameter, containing four or five large, oily seeds; it is green initially, becoming dull brown when ripe in autumn.
The tung tree is valued for tung oil, which is derived from the seeds of the tree. Tung oil, also called China wood oil or nut oil, has traditionally been used in lamps in China. In modern times, it is used as an ingredient in paint, varnish, and caulk. It is also used as a wood finish for furniture and other wooden objects. After processing to remove gums in the oil, it was also used as a motor fuel.