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May Chang
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Magnoliids
Order: Laurales
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Litsea
Species: L. cubeba
Binomial name
Litsea cubeba

May Chang (Litsea cubeba; Aromatic litsea) is an evergreen tree or shrub 5-12 meters high in the Lauraceae family. It is native to China, Indonesia, Taiwan and other parts of Southeast Asia. It is called "mountain pepper" (山胡椒) in Mandarin and maqaw (馬告) by the Atayal aborigines in Taiwan. As a famous spice among Taiwanese aborigines, a proposed National Park at Yilan County is named "Magao" after the spice. It produces a fruit which is processed for its lemony essential oil. The oil can also be extracted from the leaf, but this is considered to be lower in quality. The timber is sometimes used for making furniture and crafts. Plant parts are also used in medicine.

Oil extraction

Essential oil yields from the fruit are 3-5%. The oil's primary isolate is citral, at 70-85% of the oil.[1] It is mainly produced in China from plantations and is marketed as "Litsea cubebea", with production estimates between 500 - 1,500 tonnes of oil per annum. The oil is used as a fragrance (especially in bar soap) and for flavouring in its own right. It is also used as a raw material by the chemical industry for the synthesis of vitamin A and violet-like fragrances.[2]

References

  1. ^ Lawless, J., The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, ISBN 1-85230-661-0
  2. ^ Litsea cubeba FAO essential oil profile[1]

External links


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus:Magnoliids
Ordo: Laurales
Familia: Lauraceae
Genus: Litsea
Species: Litsea cubeba

Name

Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Pers.

References

  • Syn. pl. 2(1):4. 1806
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. [1]

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