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Ylang-ylang tree
Flowers of Cananga odorata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Magnoliids
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Annonaceae
Genus: Cananga
Species: C. odorata
Binomial name
Cananga odorata
(Lam.) Hook.f. & Thomson

Ylang-ylang (pronounced /ˈiːlæŋ ˈiːlæŋ/[1] EE-lang- EE-lang), is a common name for the cananga tree, Cananga odorata (also called ilang-ilang, fragrant cananga, Macassar-oil plant or perfume tree),[2] its highly fragrant flowers, or the essential oil derived from them that is used in aromatherapy.

Artabotrys odoratissimus, ylang-ylang vine,[3] and Artabotrys hexapetalus, climbing ylang-ylang,[4] are woody, evergreen climbing plants in the same family; A. odoratissimus is also a source of perfume.[3]

Contents

Description

Cananga odorata is a fast-growing tree of the custard-apple family, Annonaceae, that exceeds 5 m per year and attains an average height of 12 m. It grows in full or partial sun, and prefers the acidic soils of its native rainforest habitat. The evergreen leaves are smooth and glossy, oval, pointed, with wavy margins, and 13–20cm long. The flower is drooping, long-stalked, with six narrow greenish yellow (rarely pink) petals, rather like a sea star in appearance, and yields a highly fragrant essential oil.

Cananga odorata var. fruticosa, dwarf ylang-ylang, grows as small tree or compact shrub with highly scented flowers.

Ylang-ylang has been cultivated in temperate climates under conservatory conditions.

Its clusters of black fruit are an important food item for birds, such as the Collared Imperial-pigeon, Purple-tailed Imperial-pigeon, Zoe's Imperial-pigeon, Superb Fruit-dove, Pink-spotted Fruit-dove, Coroneted Fruit-dove, Orange-bellied Fruit-dove, and Wompoo Fruit-dove (Frith et al. 1976).

Etymology

The name ylang-ylang is derived from Tagalog, either from the word ilang, meaning "wilderness", alluding to its natural habitat, or the word ilang-ilan, meaning "rare", suggestive of its exceptionally delicate scent. A more widely accepted translation is "flower or flowers".[3] The plant is native to the Philippines and Indonesia and is commonly grown in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.

Characteristics

The fragrance of ylang-ylang is rich and deep with notes of rubber and custard, and bright with hints of jasmine and neroli. The essential oil of the flower is obtained through steam distillation of the flowers and separated into different grades (extra; 1; 2; 3) according to when the distillates are obtained. The main aromatic components of ylang-ylang oil are benzyl acetate, linalool, p-cresyl methyl ether, and methyl benzoate, responsible for its characteristic odor.[5]

Cananga odorata Blanco1.221.png

Uses

The essential oil of ylang-ylang is used in aromatherapy. It is believed to relieve high blood pressure, normalize sebum secretion for skin problems, and is considered to be an aphrodisiac. According to Margaret Mead, it was used as such by South Pacific natives such as the Solomons where she did much of her research. The oil from ylang-ylang is widely used in perfumery for oriental or floral themed perfumes (like Chanel No. 5). Ylang-ylang blends well with most floral, fruit and wood smells.

In Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newlywed couples. In the Philippines, its flowers, together with the flowers of the sampaguita, are strung into a necklace (lei) and worn by women and used to adorn religious images.

Ylang-ylang's essential oil makes up 29% of the Comoros' annual export (1998).

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Medicinal uses

Ylang Ylang is a common ingredient in the motion sickness medicine, MotionEaze.

See also

References

  1. ^ OED
  2. ^ [http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Cananga.html University of Melbourne: multilingual plant names database
  3. ^ a b c Britannica.com
  4. ^ Tropicos
  5. ^ Manner, Harley and Craig Elevitch,Traditional Tree Initiative: Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry (2006), Permanent Agricultural Resources, Honolulu, Hi.
  • Elevitch, Craig (editor) (2006): Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands: Their Culture, Environment and Use. Permanent Agricultural Resources Publishers, Honolulu. ISBN 0970254458
  • Frith, H.J.; Rome, F.H.J.C. & Wolfe, T.O. (1976): Food of fruit-pigeons in New Guinea. Emu 76(2): 49-58. HTML abstract
  • Manner, Harley & Elevitch, Craig (2006): Traditional Tree Initiative: Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry. Permanent Agricultural Resources Publishers, Honolulu.
  • Davis, Patricia (2000): "Aromatherapy An A-Z". Vermilion:Ebury Publishing, London.

Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Cananga odorata

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus:Magnoliids
Ordo: Magnoliales
Familia: Annonaceae
Genus: Cananga Species: Cananga odorata

Name

Cananga odorata (DC.) Hook. f. & Thomson

Vernacular name

English: Ylang-ylang
Tagalog: Ilang-ilang
Türkçe: İlan-ilang
中文: 依蘭

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