An encyclopedia of 556 edible fruits of the world.



KODALI_Aporosa cardiosperma

By parmarch09/06/20200

(Aporosa cardiosperma)


A tree of kodali

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Synonyms: Aporosa affinis, Croton cardiospermus

English name: Lindley’s aporosa

Other names: Eachil, ponvetti

Kodiali is a fruit from tropical region, mostly occurring in semi-evergreen and ever green forests. It is endemic to South West Sri Lanka. In India, it is mostly found in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra. Description: Evergreen trees, up to 20 m high, bark 6-8 mm thick, greyish-brown, vertical striations shallow, brittle; blaze light pink, striated; branchlets terete, glabrous. Leaves simple, attenuate, bifarious, stipulate; stipules lateral, lanceolate, cauducous; petiole 10-20 mm long, stout, grooved above, glabrous; lamina 7.5-18 x 3-8 cm, elliptic-oblong,  or ovate-oblong, base acute, obtuse or round, apex acuminate or obtusely acuminate, margin entire, glabrous, coriaceous; lateral nerves 7-10 pairs, pinnate, prominent, intercostae reticulate, faint.


Foliage of kodali

          Flowers unisexual, dioecious, generally white, green and yellow; male flowers: yellow, solitary or clustered in axillary catkin of 1-3.5 cm long; bracts ovate, ciliate, flowers 1-3 in each bract; tepals 4, ovate, ciliate; stamens 2-3, from the centre of the flower; filaments free; anthers didymous; female flowers, pale green, 3-8 together, in densely tomentose small racemes; pedicellate; bracts concave, ciliate, imbricate; tepals 4, larger than males; ovary superior, flask-shaped, thinly hispid; 2-celled, ovules 2 in each cell; styles 2-3, connate into a column; stigmas 2, small, plumose, spreading, recurved.


Flowers of kodali

     Fruits globose or ovoid, pointed with the persistent style, 10-14 mm across, thin-walled, smooth, fruiting pedicels 5- 6 mm long.

          Seeds suborbicular seeds, 2-4.

Utilization: Kodali fruits are eaten by local people. Edible portion is transparent aril enclosing the seeds. It is yellow in colour and tastes little sweet and sour. Chemical analysis of edible portion revealed that it contained, moisture (%): 92.43, protein (%): 0.02, fat (%): 1.16, reducing sugars (%): 4.91, non-reducing sugars (%): 1.06, total sugars (%): 5.98, vitamin C: traces, iron (mg/100g): 3.71, sodium (mg/100g): 11.6, potassium (mg/100g): 346.09.


Ripe fruits of kodali

          Kodali is a valuable medicinal tree.  Several parts of plant such as leaves, roots and stems are utilized in ethno medicine against several health ailments including fever, skin diseases, diabetes, infertility and hepatic diseases. Fresh root decoction is given to drink with a piece of jaggery to cure headaches. Cultivation: Kodali trees grow wild only and have not brought under cultivation yet. A tree or two is sometimes planted as specimen in gardens.


Vikrant Patyal
Department of Fruit Science
Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry
Nauni, Solan, HP, 173220, India
82191 68838; vikrantpatiyal992@gmail.com

PEPINO_Solanum muricatum

By parmarch07/06/20200

PEPINO (Solanum muricatum)   

A plant of pepino

Family: Solanaceae

Other Names: Dulce Pepino, Melon Pear, Sweet Cucumber, Pepino Melon, Tree Melon, Melon Shrub

Pepino is basically a native to temperate Andean region of South America. It is now commercially cultivated nearly all over the world. Pepino fruits are eaten fresh and also put to a few other uses.


A small, erect or ascending, herbaceous plant with a woody base, can grow to a height of 1-1.5 m and can have a spread of approximately 1 m.

Leaves  brightly green, simple to lobed or divided into leaflets, up to 15 cm long and finely hairy.

Pepino flowers

Flowers aresmall, purplish to white with central purple markings which develop in cymose inflorescence clusters; Most of the cultivated plants develop parthenocarpic fruits. However, self- and cross-pollination can also take place in this plant. Flowering occurs from May to September in Indian conditions.

Fruit is a fleshy berry, 5-10 cm in diameter and with a considerable diversity in their shapes. They can be oblong, pear-shaped, heart-shaped, egg-shaped or even round in shape. The parthenocarpic fruits are seedless. The fruit colour varies from purple to solid green or green with purple stripes or cream coloured with or without purple stripes. The fruits take 50-90 days for maturation. The flesh turns yellowish-orange during the ripening and develops a peculiar aroma and flavour.


Ripe fruits of pepino

Fruits are fleshy with a sweet aromatic flavour. The unripe fruits taste like cucumbers while the ripe ones have melon-like aroma and sweetish honeydew flavour.  The ripe fruits contain 92% water and 7% carbohydrates. The glucose and fructose represent 28% and 18% respectively of the total sugar content in the fruits. The characteristic melon-like aroma in the fruits is due to the presence of volatile components such as 3-methyl-2-buten-1-ol (prenol), 3-methyl-3-buten-1-ol and their acetates. The cucumber-like aroma is due to the presence of nonanol, (Z)-6-nonenol, (Z)-6-nonenal, 2-nonanone, nonyl acetate and (Z)-6-nonen-1-yl acetate


Cut fruits of pepino


Pepinos are highly adaptive to the various agro-climatic regions of the world. However, a temperature range of 15-25°C (they can tolerate a temperature of up to – 3°C) is best for its optimal growth. They perform better in a fertile, well drained and neutral soil.  They prefer sunny or semi-shaded and frost-free locations. Only light watering is required when grown in pots. The heavily fruited plants require a support. Some reports indicate that a yield of 40-60 tonnes per hectare can be been achieved in this crop.

Pepino is mostly propagated vegetatively through stem cuttings.  The terminal, 7-15 cm cuttings with 3-5 leaves at the upper end can be rooted in sand mixture during any favourable season of the year without any treatment. Seeds, produced by the pollinated fruits, can also be sown in the early spring to raise seedlings.  Plants transplanted during the spring or early summer bear good quality fruits.

Input from:

Dr. Anil Kumar Thakur Associate Professor (Botany) Department of Higher Education, Government of Himachal Pradesh. anilkthakur2001@yahoo.co.in

KAUKI_Manilkara kauki

By parmarch07/06/20200

KAUKI (Manilkara kauki)

A tree of 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.

Foliage & flowers of Kauki

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 of kauki

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.

Edible pulp of kauki

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.

BER (Indian)_Zizyphus spp.

By parmarch28/12/20180

 BER (Indian)
(Zizyphus spp.)

A tree of Indian ber


Family:  Rhamnaceae

Other names:  Jujube, Chinese date, Chinese fig,

Ber is an important minor fruit of India. It is the most hardy fruit-tree cultivated all over India and is often called the poor man’s fruit. Most trees in India growing isolated are of seedling origin and therefore bear poor quality and their fruit sells cheap.  

            However, during the last few decades, regular commercial plantations of budded trees have now come up all over India, and fetch quite good price.

            These India varieties are not as rich in sugar and vitamin C as the good Chinese varieties. However, they contain 50 to 150mg of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) per 100 mg of fruit and 12 to 18.7 per cent sugar. This is even better than the vitamin C content of the juice of sweet oranges. The candied ber also makes an excellent product. These superior varieties of ber are no longer the poor man’s fruit.

            Ber tree is also used in India for rearing the insect Tachardia laccad, which yields lac (or shellac). The industry, however, received a setback after the gramophone industry started using discs of plastic instead of those made of lac.


About the botanical identity of the India ber, there has been some confusion in the past. It belongs to the genus Ziziphus of the family, Rhamnaceae, which is very close to the Family of the grape, Vitaceae. Several species grow wild in India. These include Ziziphus oenoplia, Z. rogosa, Z. xylocarnus and Z. rotundifolia. The last one grows as a small shrub in wastelands in Rajasthan and many other States. It also grows as a weed in newly-reclaimed soils. Its fruits are very small and acrid and its leaves are fed to goats and sheep after drying. The cultivated Indian ber is very distinct from the Chinese ber, which belongs to the species Z. jujube.


Flowering in Indian ber

            The Indian ber has a spreading tree, vine-like branches, leaves which are dark green on the upper surface and densely felted on the lower surface, it flowers in autumn, bears fruits at the end of winter; if it sheds the leaves it does so in the hot weather after fruiting and does not like a cold climate. These characters are not found in the Chinese species. The India species is Z. mauritiana.

Flowers of ber

            The Chinese species is difficult to propagate and is generally propagated by grafting, but the improved varieties of ber in India are easily propagated by ring-budding or by shield-budding in April to June. The root-stocks are generally grown directly in the field, since the ber has a top-root, which is broken or twisted in transplanting. The hard stone around the seed is cracked, treated with concentrated sulphuric acid or stratified in moist sand at ordinary temperature for 60 days before sowing in order to facilitate germination. About 10 days after budding if the buds are green, the root-stock is cut off 10 cm above the bud-union. The buds sprout after three weeks. When the new shoot arising from the bud is 15 cm long, its tip is pinched off to encourage the growth of the laterals for building a proper frame-work of the tree. Trees from which the budwood is to be obtained should be pruned in February or March. Stout new shoot with good budwood are ready after about 60 days. Seedling trees of Z. mauritiana are generally used as root-stock, but seedlings of Z. rotundifolia (Malha, Jharberi or Chanibor) can also be used. Old inferior varieties of ber can also be successfully top worked. The trees are severely headed back in February and a few of the new shoots are budded after about 60 days. The trees are often planted 6 to 7 metres apart, but the distance should be increased to double this length.  


The ber can grow in almost any soil even under conditions of neglect. Even under these conditions, some of the seedling trees attain a height of over 20 metres. It can also grow in slightly alkaline or water-logged soils. 

Indian ber fruit large

            Although ber is a very hardy tree, it does respond to good care. The commercial ber orchardists of India give 20 to 30 kg of farmyard manure to each tree.  

            Irrigation of the young trees during the hot weather, especially of the root-stock before budding, is very desirable. It hastens growth and makes budding easier and surer. No regular tillage is, however, given to plantation of ber.

            Training of the young trees to give them a strong framework with the main branches well spaced and arising not too high is important. Some annual pruning of the old trees is necessary. It encourages the growth of new shoots to increase bearing. Weak branches are removed. Some authorities recommended pruning every other year. The pruning is done after harvesting the fruit. Another light pruning can be given pruning can be given shortly before flowering. Trees on Z. rotundifolia root-stock are pruned severely and are cut back close of the bud-union. 

Indian ber of a round fruited variety

            In India, the fruit is harvested from November to March depending upon the region. The yield of the superior varieties varies from 40 to 90 kg per tree.


There are many varieties in different parts of India. Narma and Karaka are famous varieties of Varanasi in U.P. Umran or Umri is a large-fruited variety with a good yield and a good keeping quality cultivated around Delhi. Gola is very early, round-fruited variety of excellent quality exclusive to Delhi. Unfortunately, it does not have a good transport or keeping quality. DandanKheera and Chonchal are other good varieties of this area.

            Kotho or Katha are from Alwar, Rajasthan and Meherun ber is from Jalgaon in Maharshta.  Mehrun is said to be resistant to fruit flies which otherwise is a serious pest of ber. A seedless variety for ber was found in Poona, but it has not spread, probably due to the small size of the fruits.

Pest and diseases:

Birds attack the fruits of ber and are not easy to control. During the fruiting season, the ber trees are covered with fishing, nets in some places to protect them from birds.

            The biggest menace to ber cultivation all over India, However, is the attack of fruit-flies, Carpomyia vesuviana. It makes the fruit unfit for sale. The flies may ruin upto over 90 percent of fruit. The attack on different varieties may vary form 2 to 100 per cent. The early varieties with large sweet fruits are attacked more. Burying the infested fruits, ploughing the soil under the trees and application of Chlorpyriphos dust (1.5%) followed by spraying 0.1 per cent Chlordane after October every year is able to check the attack.

            The fruit-borer, Meridarchis scyrode, found in South India can be checked with DDT. This treatment can also control Porthomologa paraclina, which damages the leaves. Other insect found in India are Thiacidas postica, Tarucus Theophrastus, Myllocerrus transmarinus and Xanthochelus supercilious.

            The only noteworthy disease of ber in India is the powdery mildew caused by a species of Oidiopsis. It has been reported from western U.P. and can cause shedding of fruits. It can be controlled with lime sulphur wash or 0.1% Karathane spray. Other fungal diseases noticed in India are Mitterellia ziziphina and a species of Cercospora.

Most information drawn from an article by:

Ranjit Singh and S.K. Saxena

WAG-‘n-BIETJIE TREE_Zizyphus mucronata

By parmarch28/12/20180

(Zizyphus mucronata)

 Wag n bietjie tree

Family: Rhamnaceae

English name: Buffalo thorn.

Common names: umPhafa, umLahlankosi, isiLahla), umPhafa, umLahlabantu, mokgalo, mutshetshete, mphasamhala, mokgalô, moonaona.

Wag-‘n-bietjie tree represents life as we know it. The young twigs are zigzag, indicating that life is not always straightforward. Two thorns at the nodes are also significant; one facing backward represents where we come from and one facing forward, represents where we are going.

            This plant is distributed throughout the summer rainfall areas of sub-Saharan Africa, extending from South Africa northwards to Ethiopia and Arabia.


Wag-‘n-bietjie tree is a small to medium-sized tree, 3–10(–20) m high; with a spreading canopy. The main stem is green and hairy when young; year old branches often zigzag; the bark is reddish brown or roughly mottled grey, cracked into small rectangular blocks, revealing a red and stringy under-surface. Young stems are reddish brown. Leaves are simple, alternate; ovate or broadly ovate; vary enormously in size from tree to tree, 30–90 x 20–50 mm, tapering or often mucronate apex, base strongly asymmetrical, cordate to rounded on one side; margin finely serrated, often badly eaten by insects, glossy green above, slightly hairy and paler below; 3- to 5-veined from the base; veins covered with fine hairs when young; petiole up to 20 mm long; stipules, when present, take the form of small thorns at the nodes, one straight and one hooked. Leaves turn golden yellow in autumn.

            Flowers are borne in dense clusters in leaf axils; green to yellow; ± 4mm in diameter; inconspicuous (October–February).

 Flowers of wag n bietjie tree

The fruit is a smooth, shiny, leathery, spherical drupe, 12–20 mm in diameter, reddish-brown or deep red when ripe, slightly sweet, the pulp is dry.

            The fruit sometimes stays on the plant long after the leaves have fallen (March–August). The seeds are usually solitary, elliptic and compressed.


The fruits are edible.   These were used by residents in the former Transvaal in making porridge or as a coffee substitute. The fruit can also make a beer if fermented properly. During the Anglo-Boer war, the seeds were ground and used as a coffee substitute

Wag n bietjie developing fruits on tree

             A decoction of the glutinous roots is commonly administered as a painkiller for all sorts of pains as well as dysentery. A concoction of the bark and the leaves is used for respiratory ailments and other septic swellings of the skin. Pastes of the root and leaves can be applied to treat boils, swollen glands, wounds and sores. Steam baths from the bark are used to purify and improve the complexion. In East Africa, roots are used for treating snake bites. All of the above can be attributed to the peptide alkaloids and antifungal properties isolated from the bark and leaves.

            . Africans have many beliefs and superstitions attached to this tree. Zulus and Swazis use the buffalo thorn in connection with burial rites. It was once customary that when a Zulu chief died, the tree was planted on his grave as a reminder or symbol of where the chief lies. Hence the name umLahlankosi— that which buries the chief. A twig from the tree was and is still used to attract and carry the spirit of the deceased from the place of death to the new resting place. When a stock owner died, and was buried according to custom, within the cattle or goat kraal, some branches were placed on the grave so that the animals nibbled on leaves and twigs, and so understood that their master had died. In other parts, Africans drag a branch round the village to protect it from evil spirits, as it is believed to keep evil spirits away.

 Ripe fruits of wag n bietjie tree

            In Botswana as well as most parts of South Africa, the residents believed the buffalo thorn to be immune against lightning, anyone standing under one in a storm would be safe. It is also believed that if it is felled in summer, a drought, hail or lightning will certainly follow.

            Wood from this tree is used for timber; wagon making and fence posts as it yields a yellow, fine-grained, heavy wood which contains 12.2–15.7% tanning matter. The elasticity of the shoots makes it suitable for bows and whip sticks. Some African tribes use the thorny branches to make kraals or hedges. This protects their livestock from lions and other predators.


The species is very easily raised from seed or cuttings, growing in just about any soil type and withstanding heat and cold equally well.

            The seed however has poor keeping properties and should be sown fresh. After cleaning the nut, it can be placed between the jaws of a vice or a normal nutcracker and closed gradually until the nut cracks and seed is released. The seeds can then be covered with hot water, allowed to cool, soaked for two days and sown.

            Seedlings should appear within one to two weeks. Seedlings and small plants need moderate water, full sun and efficient drainage or they will damp off. Even though this plant is said to be one of the most adaptable trees, growing in all types of soil and having the ability to withstand intense heat, cold and drought, the same cannot be said for the seedlings. As with most plants, immunity is acquired with increased stature. Small trees are often available at nurseries selling indigenous plants.

            While slow-growing (0.3 m or less per annum), it makes a pleasant shade tree and gives life to the garden by luring birds and insects such as butterflies, beetles and bees.

Boroi_Ziziphus mauritiana

By parmarch28/12/20180

(Ziziphus mauritiana)

A tree of boroi


English Name: Indian plum

Boroi is a tropical fruit tree species, belonging to the family Rhamnaceae. It is most commonly found in the tropical and sub-tropical regions. Originally native to India it is now widely naturalized in tropical region from Africa to Afghanistan and China, and also through Malaysia and into Australia and in some Pacific regions. It can form dense stands and become invasive in some areas, including Fiji and Australia and has become a serious environmental weed in Northern Australia.


Boroi is a medium sized tree that grows vigorously and has a rapidly developing taproot, a necessary adaptation to drought conditions. The species varies widely in height, from a bushy shrub 1.5 to 2 m tall, to a tree 10 to 12 m tall with a trunk diameter of about 30 cm. The fruit is a soft, juicy, drupe that is 2.5 cm diameter though with sophisticated cultivation the fruit has of size

Interior of the boroi tree

 6.25 cm in length and 4.5 cm in width. The form may be oval, obovate, round or oblong; the skin smooth or rough, glossy, thin but tough. The leaves are about 2.5 to 3.2 cm long and 1.8 to 3.8 cm wide having fine tooth at margin. It is dark-green and glossy on the upper side and pubescent and pale-green to grey-green on the lower side. Depending on the climate, the foliage of the Indian jujube may be evergreen or deciduous.

Spacing and fertilizer requirements

For orchard establishment recommended spacing is 7 x 7 m or 8 x 8 m. The wider spacing is preferred in areas with high rainfall where canopy development is vigorous. Many studies in India recommend the application of both farmyard manure and commercial fertilizers to maximum production.

Boroi foliage

 Season and Harvesting:

In India the trees flower in July to October and fruits are formed soon after. In February-March the fruits are mature. The fruits remaining on the tree are shaken down. Only fully mature fruits are picked directly from the tree.

Boroi fruits

Medicinal Uses:

Common people believed that the fruit has the power reducing stress. The fruit also very soothing to the throat and decoctions of jujube have often been used in pharmacy to treat sore throats.


The fruit is eaten raw or pickled or used in beverages. It is quite nutritious and rich in vitamin C. Ripe fruits are preserved by sun-drying and a powder is prepared for out-of-season purposes. It contains 20 to 30% sugar, up to 2.5% protein and 12.8% carbohydrates. Fruits are also eaten in other forms, such as dried, candied, pickled, as juice, or as ber butter.

 Dried fruits of boroi

 Pests and diseases:

A leaf-eating caterpillar and the green slug caterpillar attack the foliage. Mites forms scale-like galls on twigs retarding growth and reducing the fruit crop. Lesser pests include a small caterpillar, Meridarches scyrodes, which bores into the fruit. In storage, the fruits may be spotted by the fungi. Fruit rots are caused by Fusarium spp., Nigrospora oryzae, Epicoccum nigrum, and Glomerella cingulata.

Input from:

Sukanta Sarkar
ICFAI UniversityAgartala, Tripura 799001 INDIA

WILD BER – HIMALAYAN_Zizyphus jujuba

By parmarch28/12/20180

(Zizyphus jujuba) 

Fruits of wild Himalayan ber

Synonyms: Zizyphus sativa, Zizyphus vulgaris

Family: Rhamnaceae

Indian names: ber (Himachal Pradesh); pitni, ber, kandika, kandiari, singli, ban ber (Hindi); bari, konkamber, phitni (Kashmir); ranbor, uneb (Maharashtra); amlai, singli, simli, barari (Punjab).

Wild ber is a plant of very common occurrence. It grows wild in forests and also on wastelands throughout the mid-hills up to elevations of 1,400 metres. The small acidic fruits are liked by children as well as by adults.


A small spreading tree, with drooping branches; height, 5 to 8 metres; trunk girth, 85 cm; bark, rough, gray or dull black, irregularly cracked, covered with a thick layer of green moss in the case of older trees and, thus, looking green; branches, bearing at each node two spines, which are modified stipules; one spine is curved and the other is straight.

            Leaves, ovate, petiolate (petiole, 5 mm long), having very fine serration, 3.8 cm long, 2.9 cm broad, dark green and shining from above, white tomentose from beneath; venation, palmate convergent.

            Flowers, bisexual, hermaphrodite, cyclic, yellowish green; inflorescence, an axillary cyme, bearing flowers in a crowded manner; calyx, polysepalous, with 5 sepals, actinomorphic, greenish yellow, 2 mm long; corolla, polypetalous, with 5 petals, actinomorphic, white, 1.5 to 2 cm long; androecium, polyandrous, with 5 stamens, white, 1.5 to 2 cm long; gynoecium with two carpels, which are fused at the base, 1 to 2 mm long.

            Fruits, oblong, 1.3 cm in diameter, 1.45 g in weight, 1.05 ml in volume, colour marsh orange 013/1; pulp, Indian yellow 6/3.

            Seeds, wrinkled, stony, 419 mg in weight; volume, 410 microlitres; 1 seed per fruit.

The flowering and fruiting season

The flowering season was observed to range from the first week of June to the first week of July at Sanwara and in the adjoining areas. Similarly, the fruiting season was observed to be from the first week to the last week of December.


The average yield of this species was recorded to be 9.5 kg per tree.

Chemical composition of the fruit

The fruits contain 68.0 per cent moisture. Their pulp contains, 3.92 per cent acidity, 8.68 per cent total sugars, 6.73 per cent reducing sugars, 1.85 per cent non-reducing sugars, 1.72 per cent pectin, and 1.32 per cent tannins. The vitamin C content of this fruit is 2.56 mg per 100 g of pulp.

            The total mineral content of the fruit pulp, as represented by its ash, is 1.38 per cent. The protein content of the pulp is 2.56 per cent. Some of the mineral elements in the fruit pulp, viz. phosphorus. Potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron are 0.069, 0.583, 0.083, 0.065 and 0.006 per cent respectively.

Medicinal properties

The fruits have emollient and expectorant properties.  They are also considered to be cooling and an anodyne and a tonic. They are employed as an antidote to aconite poisoning and are recommended in nausea and vomiting. They are also prescribed in abdominal pain during pregnancy. They are used externally in poultices and are applied to wounds (Anon., 1976).

            The leaves are laxative and prescribed in scabies and throat troubles (Anon., 1976).

Dessert quality

The small round fruits are acidic and poor in quality. They are, however, eaten by poor people, especially during scarcity.


These fruits are eaten by villagers. The wood of this plant is very hard and durable and is used in making agricultural implements. The leaves of this plant are used as a fodder for sheep and goats.

LARGE SOURPLUM_Ximenia caffra

By parmarch28/12/20180

(Ximenia caffra)

A wild growing tree of large sourplum

Family: Olacaceae

Other names: grootsuurpruim, umThunduluka-obmvu, morokologa.

The large sourplum is a small tree or shrub from Africa bearing edible fruits having many traditional uses.  This tree is found in woodlands and grasslands and on rocky outcrops and sometimes on termites mounds. It occurs from Tanzania to South Africa.

A fruit of large sourplum


Large sourplum is a deciduous tree up to 6 m tall with an untidy open crown. The bark is dark grey and rough, but pale green or brown on younger branches. Branchlets are spine-tipped. Sapwood is white and heartwood is hard and reddish brown. The root system is non aggressive.

            The leathery, dark green leaves are often in clusters (fascicles) on short spur branchlets. They are simple, 60 x 25 mm.

Leaves and flowers of large sourplum

            The flowers are small, sweet-scented and creamy green and borne from August to October in single stem clusters in the axils of the spines or on the dwarf branchlets.

            Fruit is a drupe, thinly fleshy, oval, attractive, which is 25 mm long, glossy deep red with white spots. These are edible, tart but and are relished by people. The single large seed inside contains Ximenia oil which has several uses.


Fruits have a refreshing sour taste, best eaten when slightly overripe.  These have high vitamin C content and are also is high in potassium and contains protein too. The fruits are also used for making jam, dessert and jelly. They can be added to porridge.

            The seed contains 65% oil. Oil from the seed is used to soften human skins and for softening animal hides. It is also used for lamps. The nuts are also eaten.

Medicinal uses:

            A decoction from the leaves is used as a wash to soothe inflamed eyes. Infusions of the roots are used as a remedy for dysentery and diarrhoea and together with the leaves are taken for abdominal pain and bilharziasis. Powdered roots are applied to sores to speed up healing; used in soup, and in beer as an aphrodisiac. Powdered dried leaves are taken orally for fever and infertility, and extracts of the leaves are used as a gargle for tonsillitis, and as a vermifuge. Porridge is made using a decoction of the roots, and eaten once a day for nausea in pregnancy; the root decoction is also taken for infertility.


Sour plum is not cultivated for its fruits.  It is, however, planted in gardens as a bush clump or as part of a boundary screen.

            Sour plum can easily grown from fresh seed with a mixture of river sand and compost (5:1). The seeds germinate after 14-30 days and transplanting should take place when the seedlings reach the two-leaf stage. This plant is partly parasitic, and will grow better once in the ground where it can make contact with other plant roots. The growth rate is moderate, up to 0.5 m per year, it can withstand moderate frost and it is drought resistant, but needs sun.


Joseph K. Baloyi and Yvonne Reynolds
Pretoria National Botanical Garden,
South Africa

AKAR KUBAL SUSU_Willughbeia sarawakensis

By parmarch28/12/20180

(Willughbeia sarawakensis)

Akar kubal susu fruits

Family: Apocynaceae

Akar kubal susu is believed to be a native of Borneo.  It has very tasty fruits which are also offered foor sale in local markets.  But akar_kubal_susu is known  very little outside Indonesia. Its fruits are very tasty and are very fondly eaten by local people.  These are also offered for sale 

            This is one of those fruits which have potential for development as a viable new orchard crop.


A large, vigorous climber. 


The fruits are very tasty and liked very much by local people.  The famous tropical fruit specialist, William (Bill) Whitman rated this fruit as one of the finest fruits in the world.


New plants of this wild growing fruits can be raised from seed.  Indications from trials carried out so far are that this fruit is not at all difficult to domesticate.

WILLUGHBEIA_Willughbeia elmerii

By parmarch28/12/20180

Willughbeia elmerii)

 A willubheia fruit on tree

Family: Apocynaceae

Willughbeia grows in the rainforests of Borneo.  Though it is not known much outside its native region, yet it has quite unique features.  It bears tasty edible fruits which can at times be as large as 1 kg.


A giant climber climbing trees in the forests.

            Fruits large, upto 1 kg, brown, pulp creamy white, sweet tart, taste very good.


Willughbeia fruits are very delicious and are eaten fresh.  These are very sweet and the taste can be compared to sweet tart candies.

Cut fruits of willughbeia showing rind and the edible pulp

            These are also offered for sale in small town markets of Borneo.


Willughbeia is propagated from seed.  The vines, when grown in field, will certainly require support for growth.

            Willughbeia should be promoted for domestication.

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