HIMALAYAN AMBARELLA

(Spondias axillaris)

 

Foliage of Himalayan ambarella

 

Family: Anacardiaceae

Synonyms: Choerospondias axilaris, Spondias acuminata

Other names: Caja-do-himalaia

 

Himalayan ambarella is believed to be a native of Eastern Himalayas.  It is commonly met with from Nepal to Assam growing upto an altitude of 1500 m.

 

            This fruit is also reported to be grown in Brazil.

 

Description:

 

Himalayan ambarella is a large evergreen tree, 30 m high  and 2.1 m in girth.  Bark greenish brown.

 

            Leaves pinnate, 30-45 cm long; leaflets 7-14, ovate, lanceolate or oblong lanceolate.

 

            Inflorescence in small panicles, terminal, flowers greenish white.

 

            Fruit a drupe, oblong, yellow when ripe, 3 cm long and 2 cm wide, skin thin and smooth;  pulp succulent.

 

            Seeds with oily cotyledons.

 

Utilization:

 

The fruit is eaten.  The ripe fruits are yellow and the pulp is fibrous.  The unripe fruits are white and very sour. 

 

            The wood is used for making tea boxes and fuel.  The finer bark is chewed by local people as a substitute for betel nut.

 

 

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