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Useful Tropical Plants

Garcinia humilis

(Vahl) C.D.Adams

Clusiaceae


Garcinia humilis is native to Guyana and the Caribbean according to most reports. Plants from Bolivia with a native name of Achachairu are being grown as a commercial fruit crop in Australia under the name of Garcinia humilis. We have been unable to determine for certain if the plant in Australia is truly Garcinia humilis, but are inclined to believe that it is not, and that the plant is more likely to be Garcinia brasilensis or Garcinia gardneriana (which might itself be no more than a synonym for Garcinia brasilensis). The confusion seems to be based on two synonyms - Rheedia lateriflora (an earlier name for Garcinia humilis) and Rheedia laterifolia (an illegitimate name applied to Garcinia gardneriana)[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Missouri Botanical Garden state that material from Bolivia identified as Rheedia latiflora (= Garcinia humilis) was wrongly identified - Tropicos.org. Missouri Botanical Garden. 17 Jan 2017 - http://www.tropicos.org/Name/7800760
There is disagreement between botanists over the correct placing of this species, with some recognising the genus Rheedia and placing this species in that genus as Rheedia lateriflora (treated here as a synonym)[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Mammea humilis Vahl

Rheedia lateriflora L.

Rheedia sessiliflora Planch. ex Vesque

Rheedia sieberi Choisy

Common Name:

Garcinia humilis
Fruits and seed
Photograph by: Not known
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

General Information

Garcinia humilis is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing from 2 - 10 metres tall[
426
Title
Flowering Plants of Jamaica
Publication
 
Author
Adams. C.D.
Publisher
University of the West Indies; Jamaica.
Year
1972
ISBN
 
Description
A terse treatment of the flowering plants of Jamaica, with a botanical description of each plant, notes on habitat etc.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. There is a report that this species is cultivated in northern Australia as a commercial fruit crop - this is likely to be a misidentification - see notes above on taxonomy.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

426
Title
Flowering Plants of Jamaica
Publication
 
Author
Adams. C.D.
Publisher
University of the West Indies; Jamaica.
Year
1972
ISBN
 
Description
A terse treatment of the flowering plants of Jamaica, with a botanical description of each plant, notes on habitat etc.

Range

Northern S. America - Guyana; C. America - Panama, Caribbean - Trinidad to Haiti and Jamaica.

Habitat

Sheltered aspects of woodland, often on limestone, at elevations of 150 - 900 metres[
426
Title
Flowering Plants of Jamaica
Publication
 
Author
Adams. C.D.
Publisher
University of the West Indies; Jamaica.
Year
1972
ISBN
 
Description
A terse treatment of the flowering plants of Jamaica, with a botanical description of each plant, notes on habitat etc.
]. Wet forests near the coast of Panama[
759
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 67
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden; Missouri.
Year
1980
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, it contains part of the Flora of Panama. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height6.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Not known

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw[
787
Title
Flora of Dominica, Part 2: Dicotyledoneae
Publication
Smithsonian Contributions to Botany No. 77
Author
Nicolson D.H.; et al
Website
http://www.sil.si.edu/smithsoniancontributions/Botany/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute Press; Washington
Year
1991
ISBN
90-10415
Description
A terse but very useful flora with a somewhat limited botanical description plus range, habitat and some uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Eaten by children[
787
Title
Flora of Dominica, Part 2: Dicotyledoneae
Publication
Smithsonian Contributions to Botany No. 77
Author
Nicolson D.H.; et al
Website
http://www.sil.si.edu/smithsoniancontributions/Botany/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute Press; Washington
Year
1991
ISBN
90-10415
Description
A terse but very useful flora with a somewhat limited botanical description plus range, habitat and some uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The yellow, ellipsoid fruit is around 30 - 40mm long[
759
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 67
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden; Missouri.
Year
1980
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, it contains part of the Flora of Panama. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The skin is thin, inside there are 2 - 3 large, fleshy seeds surrounded by a sweet and succulent edible pulp[
549
Title
Flore Forestiere Du Globe
Publication
 
Author
Chnacerel L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Gauthier-Villars et Co.; Paris.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
Written in French, a very detailed work on the timbers of the world. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is used for making drinks and preserves[
549
Title
Flore Forestiere Du Globe
Publication
 
Author
Chnacerel L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Gauthier-Villars et Co.; Paris.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
Written in French, a very detailed work on the timbers of the world. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
There is a report that the tree is cultivated on a commercial basis for its fruit in northern Australia, where the fruit skin is also used to make a refreshing drink. We are not sure if this report properly belongs to this species or is more correctly applied to another species - see notes above on taxonomy[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

The sap is applied to the skin for its healing properties[
787
Title
Flora of Dominica, Part 2: Dicotyledoneae
Publication
Smithsonian Contributions to Botany No. 77
Author
Nicolson D.H.; et al
Website
http://www.sil.si.edu/smithsoniancontributions/Botany/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute Press; Washington
Year
1991
ISBN
90-10415
Description
A terse but very useful flora with a somewhat limited botanical description plus range, habitat and some uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Other Uses

The tree is a source of a hard wax[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].
A kind of waxy resin exudes from nodes on the branches. It has a pleasant aroma and is used as the fuel in making torches[
549
Title
Flore Forestiere Du Globe
Publication
 
Author
Chnacerel L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Gauthier-Villars et Co.; Paris.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
Written in French, a very detailed work on the timbers of the world. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The reddish wood is used for common joinery etc[
549
Title
Flore Forestiere Du Globe
Publication
 
Author
Chnacerel L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Gauthier-Villars et Co.; Paris.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
Written in French, a very detailed work on the timbers of the world. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed - we have no specific information on this species, but the seed of most members of the genus can be slow to germinate, even if sown fresh, often taking 6 months or more[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

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