Cananga odorata   

Cananga odorata (Lam.) Hook. f. & Thoms.

Family : Annonaceae

Common Name : പച്ച ചെമ്പകം (Mal)

 : ylang-ylang (Eng)

IUCN Status : Least concern (LC)

Ylang-ylang (pronounced ee-lang ee-lang) is a large tree, to 10-15 m tall, which produces highly fragrant flowers. It is native to Indo-Malaysia. Leaves are dark green, up to 20 cm (8 in) in length, alternate, simple, entire, elliptic-oblong, slightly pubescent, and with a prominent midrib and drip tip. It flowers throughout the year in axillary, umbellate hanging clusters of 4–12 flowers.The flower has three sepals and six petals up to 8 cm long. The petals are twisted when young, then limp and drooping when mature. Flowers are very fragrant, greenish yellow at first, then turning a deep yellow/yellow brown when mature. 

Trees, 15-20 m tall; bole straight, bark greyish-white, blaze creamy yellow, branches spreading, minutely puberulous with greyish, crispate, mostly fascicled hairs when young, glabrate with age. Leaves simple, alternate, distichous, 9-21 x 4-9 cm, oblong, elliptic, ovate or elliptic-lanceolate; base obtuse or oblique; apex acuminate or acute; margin entire, undulate, glabrous, coriaceous; lateral nerves 8-11 pairs, pinnate, prominent; intercostae scalariform, obscure; petiole 10-20 mm long, slender, grooved above, minutely puberulous. Flowers bisexual, yellowish-green, fragrant, to 6 cm across, several in peduncled, axillary cymes; bracts subulate, 1-2 mm long, puberulous on both sides, cauducous; pedicel 2-5 cm long, slender. Sepals 3, 4-6 mm long, ovate, pubescent, reflexed, shortly connate at base. Petals 6 (3 + 3), 3.5-5 x 0.5-1.5 cm, green, turning yellow, linear or lanceolate, valvate, puberulous; inner ones smaller, subequal; torus some what convex. Stamens many, closely arranged, to 3.5 mm, connectives broadly appendaged, acute, concealing anthers. Carpels many, glabrous at the very base, ovules many attached to the suture; style slender, terminated by a club-shaped stigma. Fruit aggregate of berry, 3-15 in a cluster, 1-15 x 0.5-1 cm, globose, glabrous, pulpy, black; seeds 2-12, transversely compressed, yellowish-brown.

Use: Cananga Oil obtained by distilling the flowers is used in fragrant soap manufacturing.

Distribution : Myanmar to Australia and New Zealand, through Malesia

Flowering & Fruiting : December-May