White Dammar (വെള്ളപൈൻ)

Scientific Name: Vateria Indica L.

Synonyms: Vateria malabarica Bl.

Unique ID: 143

Systematic Position

Class: Dicotyledonae

Sub Class: Polypetalae                          

Series: Thalamiflorae

Order: Guttiferales

Family: Dipterocarpaceae

Common Names

English – Indian Copal, White Dammar

Malayalam – വെള്ളപൈൻ

Tamil –  Vellai Kungiliyam



Description: Evergreen trees, to 30 m high, bark 10-12 mm, greyish, blotched with white and green, smooth; exudation, sticky, resinous; branchlets puberulus. Leaves simple, alternate; stipule narrow, lateral, deciduous; petiole 25-40 mm, stout, stellate pubescent, swollen tipped; lamina 7-20 x 5-9 cm, oblong, base round, obtuse or cordate, apex acuminate or obtusely acute, margin entire, glabrous, coriaceous, lateral nerves 12-18 pairs, parallel, prominent, intercostae scalariform, prominent. Flowers bisexual, white, 2-3 cm across, fragrant, in terminal panicles, densely stellate puberulus; sepals 5, free, lanceolate, covered with stellate hairs; petals 5, white, obovate, spreading, shortly united at base; stamens many, free; filaments hairy; anthers often slightly hairy at base; connective produced into a filiform appendage; ovary superior, ovoid-oblong, tomentose, 3-celled, 2-ovules in each cell; style filiform, glabrous; stigma small. Fruit a capsule, 11-15 x 5-6 cm, pale brown, Ovoid or oblong-ovoid, lanceolate, tip acuminate; seed one. Flowering and fruiting: March-August


Habitat: Common canopy to emergent trees in low and medium elevation wet evergreen forests, up to 1200 m.

Distribution: Asia: India; India: Western Ghats

Uses:  Wood is extensively used for making partitions, chests, boxes, cabinets etc. Resin which is known as “Malabar fallow”, “dhupa fat”, “piney resin” or “white dammar” used to manufacture candles and soaps. Bark and leaves used in Ayurvedic, Sidha, Unani and folk medicines.

Other:  Critically Endangered (IUCN).