A tree of beruas
Other names: Luli, seashore mangosteen.
Beruas is a lesser known fruit native to the Peninsular Malaysia. There are over 100 species in the genus Garcinia. Garcinia hombroniana is considered nearest to mangosteen.
This tree is usually grown for ornamental purposes but the small fruits it bears have an excellent taste. Unlike mangosteen, it has a red rind. Some botanists believe that this species is one of the two naturally hybridizing parents of mangosteen. This fruit can be naturally seen in the coastal regions, from the lowland forests near the sea to the lower mountain forests and the highlands
A small dioecious tree, reaching a height of 4.5-6 m; trunk straight, densely branched, young twigs smooth and green, but older bark dark brown and rough; with white latex.
Foliage and fruits of beruas
Leaves opposite, bright green, 15-25 cm long and 5-13 cm wide.
A flower of beruas
Flowers whitish, occurring terminally in clusters of 1-3.
Fruit smooth, spherical and beaked, with a pinkish red peel; interior segmented, like the mangosteen, but the pulp is yellowish, thin and sour, although it has a good flavour.
Most segments contain one flat seed.
Beruas fruits are eaten fresh. These have an excellent flavour. However, the pulp is thin and also tastes somewhat sour. These are made into juice and jellies.
The roots and leaves are used medicinally to relieve itching. These are also used as protective medicine after child birth.
Beruas is sometimes also used as a roostock for mangosteen.
Fruits of beruas being sold at roadside in Malaysia
Beruas trees are not cultivated for their fruits but are planted for ornamental purposes. This is a very hardy plant, tolerant to adverse soil and climatic conditions, being adapted to growing in sandy and rocky soils near the beach in its native habitat. It also grows well in acid clay soils, and tolerates drought as well as high rainfall.
New plants are mostly raised from seed.