(Garcinia edulis)

A tree of lemon drop mangosteen

Family: Clusiaceae (Formerly Guttiferae)

Synonyms: Rheedia intermedia, Calophyllum edule, Garcinia intermedia

Other names: Achachairu mameyito, sastra, monkey fruit, cherry mangosteen, Charichuelo

Lemon drop mangosteen is a fruit from Southern Mexico and Central America.  It is cultivated on small scale in many countries like Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama etc.


A small tree, 5-6  m tall, with a straight, dark brown trunk with yellow latex.

            Leaves opposite, stiff, 7.6-13 cm long and 2.5-5 cm wide.

            Flowers whitish and small, perfect, produced in axillary groups of 1-15 at branch nodes.

Flowers of lemon drop mangosteen

            Fruits are round, about 2.5 cm in diameter, with a thin orange to reddish peel, pulp, which is aril, whitish, with an

            aromatic sweet sour taste

            Seeds, 1-2.


Lemon drop mangosteen is primarily consumed fresh.  Aril forms the edible part.  It can also be used to make juices, jams and jellies.

Lemon drop mangosteen fruits on tree

            The wood is resistant to termites, and is used to make posts and tool handles.

            The tree is an attractive ornamental, especially when in fruit.


Lemon drop mangosteen is usually propagated by seed, which loses viability rapidly if allowed to dry out.  The seeds germinate easily and the tree is precocious, flowering and fruiting in 2-3 years.  It can be grown and will fruit in a large pot.

Lemon drop mangosteen fruits

            The tree is very adaptable, growing well in different soils and environments from sea level to 1,200 m elevation.  It grows well in full sun or shade, but fruits better in full sun.

            Lemon drop mangosteen flowers and fruits sporadically throughout the year, but in Puerto Rico the principal fruiting season is from June through August.