Cananga tree is in fact a massive erect structure of goodness. All that is obtained from the tree, cannot be brought under one single topic for sure. The tree is considered a savior in many backward districts of certain countries.
The cananga tree (Cananga odorata) is of the same botanical family (Annonaceae) as the tree which produces ylang ylang essential oil, Cananga odorata var. genuina; however, sometimes the wrong name is used to describe the different trees and the essential oils produced. Both for botany and aromatherapy purposes, it is important to know the differences and the similarities of the cananga trees.
The cananga tree is a tall, tropical tree which grows up to 98 feet high; it has large, aromatic, yellow flowers, identical to those of the ylang ylang. The cananga tree is native to tropical Asia, particularly –
- The Philippines
- The Molucca islands
Botanically, it is a very close relative of Cananga odorata var. genuina.
Ylang ylang is also a tall, tropical tree, growing up to 65 feet in height; it also has large, aromatic flowers which may be yellow, pink or mauve in color. For the extraction of essential oil, the yellow flowers of ylang ylang are considered superior. Ylang ylang is native to the same tropical regions as the cananga tree.
Both species of the cananga tree produce an essential oil which is used in aromatherapy; to add to the confusion, cananga essential oil is sometimes incorrectly described as ylang ylang essential oil and the latter distillate of ylang ylang is often sold as cananga oil. However, both essential oils have different (yet similar) aromatic properties.
The cananga tree produces a ‘complete’ oil, unlike ylang ylang which produces several distillates; cananga oil is considered of lesser quality than ylang ylang when used in perfumery work, as it is heavier, less delicate and less qualitative than ylang ylang. The first distillate of ylang ylang oil (often known as ylang ylang extra) is the distillate of the highest quality and is valued for its use for perfumery purposes.
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