Canarium schwienfuthii (African Olive) Seeds
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Canarium schwienfuthii (African Olive) Seeds

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Canarium schwienfuthii (African Olive).  

Canarium schweinfurthii

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African canarium
C. schweinfurthii.jpg
Leaves of Canarium schweinfurthii
Scientific classificationedit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Burseraceae
Genus: Canarium
C. schweinfurthii
Binomial name
Canarium schweinfurthii

Canarium schweinfurthii (commonly known as the bush candle, African olive,[2] African elemi, or canarium), is a species of large tree native to tropical Africa.[3] Names in many African languages are variations of mupafu.[4]


Because of similarities in their fruit and leaves, African elemi may be confused with Dacryodes edulis.[5]

Fruit, pulpe et noyau du Canarium schweinfurthii

Distribution and habitat[edit]

African elemi is found from the coast of Nigeria, Angola to Uganda.[5]


The African elemi tree is one of several sources of the economically useful oleoresin known elemi. In West Africa this resin is traditionally burned for fumigating dwellings and mixed with oil for body paint.[6] African elemi bears edible fruit with a thick, dense, hard shell.[5]

Cooked Canarium schweinfurthii for sale

The hard stones of its fruit are used for traditional divination among Plateau speakers in the Middle Belt of central Nigeria.[2]