Garcinia pictoria (Roxb.) Engl.
Garcinia tinctoria (DC.) W. Wight
Xanthochymus pictorius Roxb.
Xanthochymus tinctorius DC.
Common Name: Mysore Gamboge
Mysore gamboge is an evergreen tree with more or less horizontal branches and a dense pyramidal crown; it can grow 8 - 15 metres tall[
]. It has a short, straight bole[
The tree is harvested from the wild, and is also cultivated and semi-cultivated, for its edible fruit and dyestuff[
]. It is a source of 'gamboge', a gum-resin with a wide range of uses that is commonly harvested from several species in this genus and traded internationally.
E. Asia - southern China, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand to Indo-China.
Dense humid forests of valleys or on hills at elevations of 600 - 1,000 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Semi-cultivated, Wild
A plant of the hot, humid tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 28°c, but can tolerate 16 - 36°c[
]. Plants are tolerant of occasional light frosts[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 1,200 - 2,500mm[
Tolerant of shade[
]. Succeeds in most well-drained soils including poor soils and soils with a high pH[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7.5, tolerating 5.5 - 8[
Seedling trees can commence fruit production when 7 - 8 years old[
Flowering usually occurs after a spell of pronounced dry weather and can occur twice a year[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. The fruit is edible but is rather sour[
]. A pleasant, acid taste, it is mainly used as a breakfast fruit[
]. It can be eaten fresh, used in sherbets, jams, curries and vinegars, or as a flavouring in other foods[
]. The fruit is a rich source of citric acid[
]. The mature berry is yellow, globose or ovoid, sometimes oblique, 3 - 5 cm in diameter[
The seeds yield up to 17% oil[
The juice of the fruit is used as a dye[
Gamboge, a gum-resin obtained from the plant, is used as a yellow dye, as an illuminant and in varnishes, water colours etc[
]. The dye is often used for dyeing the robes of Buddhist priests[
Young plants are used as rootstocks for the mangosteen, Garcinia mangostana[
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[
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