- Family name: Sapotaceae
- Japanese name: ARUGANNOKI
- English name: argan tree
- Scientific name: Argania spinosa (A. sideroxylon)
- Country of origin: Morocco (southwest region)
It is a thorny evergreen tree with a height of 2.75–10 m, but in large ones, the height may reach 21 m and trunk circumference may be up to 6 m. The fruit contains 1-3 seeds. The seeds are polyembryonic with multiple sprouts emerging from one seed. Growth is slow. The age is normally 125–250 years, but there are some aged over 400 years. It blooms twice annually (spring and autumn). It is monoecious and is a strongly self-incompatible allogamous tree. It bears fruit from the fifth to sixth year after planting. It is heat tolerant and is native to or can be cultivated in regions with annual rainfall of 100–400 mm. It is not selective with regard to soil; it can be cultivated even in barren soil lands and weakly saline soil, but cannot be cultivated in sand or under flooded conditions. Propagation is performed by seeding or cutting.
1–2 kg of oil can be collected from 100 kg of seed. Approximately 80% of the oil is composed of unsaturated fatty acids (45.2–46.9% oleic acid, 31.8–34.6% linoleic acid), and saturated fatty acids are mainly palmitic acid (13.5–13.9%) and stearic acid (5.6–5.7%). In Morocco, argan oil is sold at twice the price of olive oil. The wood is used as a material for agricultural tools and cooking utensils. In Morocco, the argan tree is used for agroforestry to improve soil fertility, and barley, etc. has been cultivated among the trees. It is also planted for soil preservation and as a windbreak forest.
Seed oil (food, cosmetics, soap), seed residue after oil expression (animal feed), leaf (animal feed), trunk (lumber, fuel wood)
Morton, J.F. and Voss, G.L. 1987. The argan tree (Argania sideroxylon, Sapotaceae), a desert source of edible oil. Economic Botany 41: 221-233.
Nerd, A., Irijimovich, V. and Mizrahi, Y. 1998. Physiology, breeding system
and fruit development of argan [Argania spinosa, Sapotaceae] cultivated in Israel. Economic Botany 52: 161-167.
Nouaim, R., Mangin, G., Breuil, M.C. and Chaussod, R. 2002. The argan tree
(Argania spinosa) in Morocco: Propagation by seeds, cuttings and in-vitro techniques. Agroforestry Systems 54: 71-81.
Wickens, G.E. 1995. Edible nuts. Non-wood forest products 5. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome, Italy. (http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/v8929e/v8929e.pdf)
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