KAUKI (Manilkara kauki)
Family: Sapotaceae Synonyms: Mimusops kauki
Other names: Cauqui, sawo chak, wongi.
Kauki is a fruit from Tropical Asia. It occurs in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua and New Guinea and even in Northern Queensland of Australia. The tree is mostly found in regions with relatively dry climate, often at banks of small seasonal streams and on coral beaches. It seems to have a preference for sandy loam soils
The fruits taste like sapota but these are less sweet. The pulp of kauki is also more firm than that of sapota fruits. Another difference is that unlike sapota, kauki pulp is free of grit.
A medium-sized, evergreen tree with a dense, almost ovoid crown, that can grow up to 25 – 30 metres tall, though is more likely to be around 15 metre, often with a gnarled and low-branched bole.
Leaf blades about 6.5-12.5 x 4-6 cm, petioles about 1-3 cm long, grooved on theupper surface. Petioles and twigs produce a milky exudate when cut or broken. Lateral veins about 10-12 on each side of the midrib, anastomosing just inside the blade margin +/- forming an intramarginal vein.
Flowers borne on pedicels, about 10-20 mm long, in the leaf axils on the twigs among the leaves; sepals about 3-4 x 2.5-3 mm, outer surface clothed in short brown hairs; corolla united at the base but with six distinct lobes at the apex; lobes about 1.5-2 x 0.5-1 mm each with two appendages of similar size and shape to the corolla lobes, stamens six, attached to the corolla. Anther filaments about 1.5 mm long, anthers triangular, about 1.5 x 0.5 mm, staminodes six, alternating with the stamen: ovary borne on a raised disk, style glabrous, about 1 mm long.
Fruits about 25 x 23 mm, calyx persistent at the base; seeds about 20 x 19 mm, testa shiny, thick and hard with a conspicuous hilum extending about 3/4 of the way along the edge of the seed; cotyledons thin, ovate, about 11 x 8 mm, radicle about 3 x 2 mm.
Kauki fruits are edible and gathered from wild.. These are however not so tasty and taste like sweet potatoes. Sometimes these are also made into syrup.
The timber is used for construction and particularly for furniture and carving; it is also used for turnery and mills.
Seedlings of kauki are used as a rootstock for sapota.
Trees of kauki are sometimes planted in gardens, near the temples and orchard but it is not cultivated on commercial scale.
New plants are mostly raised from seed which do not require any presowing treatment. But it has been noticed that if seeds are soaked in water for 24 hours before sowing, there is a significant improvement in germination.
Kauki can be propagated asexually by cuttings.