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Calophyllum antillanum

(Alexandrian Laurel)


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The leaves were once used as a diuretic in Grenada, but it is said in Dominica to be poisonous (Politi, 1996). Famous hard wood . Very long lasting hut construction.

Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Catalan, Valencian:


Common Names in English:

Alexandrian Laurel, Antilles Calophyllum, Beauty Leaf, Calaba, Calaba Tree, Galba, Mast Wood, Santa Maria, Santa Maria-Tree, West Indian-Laurel

Common Names in French:

Bois De Charromage


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Genus Calophyllum

Trees or shrubs , with clear [or milky or yellow] latex. Apical buds rarely abortive ; buds lacking (or with) scales . Leaves opposite, petiolate [or rarely sessile], leathery, usually glabrous ; secondary veins many, almost perpendicular to midvein , ± prominent above; tertiary venation absent; translucent glandular canals present between veins. Inflorescence cymose or thyrsiform, terminal or axillary . Flowers bisexual [or rarely unisexual ]. Sepals and petals together 4-12 (usually 4 + 4 in Chinese species), 2- or 3-whorled, not always differentiated, outer (sepals) decussate, inner (petals) imbricate. Stamens many, not obviously fascicled; filaments scarcely united or all free , slender; anthers erect , basifixed ; fasciclodes absent. Ovary 1-loculed, glabrous [tomentose ], with a single erect ovule; style elongate , slender; stigma often peltate. Drupelike berry with thin exocarp ("skin"), thin fleshy mesocarp and thin endocarp sometimes adherent to seed. Seed 1, large, with thin [or thick] testa ("stone") ; embryo with broad fleshy cotyledons.

About 187 species: tropical regions , mainly in Asia, but also in E Africa, tropical America, Madagascar, the Mascarenes, and Australasia; four species in China.[1]

Physical Description

Habit: Tree , Shrub

Flowers: Flower Color: near white, white


Size: 6-8' tall.


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Duration: Perennial


Soil: Minimum pH: 5.6 • Maximum pH: 8.5

Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full Sun .

Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 9b, 10a, 10b, 11. (map)


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Calophyllum brasiliense var. antillanum Standl. • Calophyllum brasiliense auct. non Camb. • Calophyllum brasiliense var. antillanum (Britt.) Standl. • Calophyllum calaba Jacq.


Publishing author : Britton Publication : Sci. Surv. Porto Rico & Virgin Islands 5: 584 1924

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Calophyllum

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 4 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

C. antillanum (Alexandrian Laurel) · C. cholobtaches (Calophyllum) · C. inophyllum (Alexandrian Laurel) · C. inophyllum 'Albo Variegata' (Asian Beautyleaf)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 12, 2007:



  1. Xi-wen Li, Jie Li & Peter Stevens "Calophyllum". in Flora of China Vol. 13 Page 1, 38. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
Last Revised: 2015-01-30