(Dovyalis hebecarpra)

A tree of Ceylon goose berry



Synonyms: Aberia gardnerii, Rumea hebecarpa,.

Other names: Ketimbilla.

Ceylon gooseberry, also known as ketimbilla in America, is believed to be a native of Sri Lanka.  It is cultivated on a very small scale for its fruits.


A shrub or small tree, 4.5-6 m in height but its long, slender, arching, wide-spreading branches may cover 9 m of ground; spines sharp, upto 4 cm long,  more on the trunk and lower branches; leaves alternate, elliptical to ovate, pointed, 7-10 cm long, wavy-margined, gray-green, finely velvety, with pinkish, woolly petioles, and thin in texture.

Ceylon goose berry fruits

            Male, female and hermaphrodite flowers borne on separate trees; flowers petalless, greenish-yellow, nearly1.25 cm wide and clustered in the leaf axils.

            Fruit, globose, 1.25-2.5 cm) wide, initially orange but dark purple on ripening,  coated with short, grayish-green, velvety hairs, pulp is very juicy, extremely acid, purple-red, enclosing 9 to 12 6 mm long hairy seeds.

            Ceylon gooseberry is a very heavy bearer and the fruits are borne in great abundance.  The plant may bear multiple crops throughout the year at certain locations.

 Flowers of Ceylon goose berry



The fruits are consumed fresh, either as a flavoring for beverages, or in preserves. Fruits can also be eaten out of hand but are usually not as the pulp is too acidic.  In Florida, Ceylongooseberry fruits are used primarily for jelly. In Hawaii, these are being used for juice, spiced jelly, ketimbilla-papaya jam, ketimbilla-guava jelly, and ketimbilla-apple butter. In Israel, the fruit is valued mainly as a source of jelly for export

Food Value per 100 g of Edible Portion


Moisture 81.9-83.6 g
Protein 0.174-0.206 g
Fat 0.64-1.02 g
Crude Fiber 1.7-1.9 g
Ash 0.61-0.63 g
Calcium 12.6-13.3 mg
Phosphorus 24.5-26.8 mg
Iron 0.91-1.41 mg
Carotene 0.125-0.356 mg
Thiamine 0.017 mg
Riboflavin 0.033-0.042 mg
Niacin 0.261-0.316 mg
Ascorbic Acid 91.7-102.5 mg

          (Slightly unripe fruits are high in pectin.)


This fruit is propagated by seed.  The plant grows very quickly under ideal conditions. Plants will tolerate dry and wet soils, although lots of moisture is necessary for proper fruit development.