Aberia gardneri Clos.
Aberia hebecarpa (Gardner) Kuntze
Rumea hebecarpa Gardner
Common Name: Ceylon Gooseberry
Drawing of the leaves, flowers and fruit
Photograph by: A hand-book to the flora of Ceylon, 1893 (Plate VII)
Dovyalis hebecarpa is a spiny, evergreen shrub or small tree with a many-branched crown, it can grow around 4 - 7 metres tall[
The edible fruit is often harvested from wild plants for local use. The plant is sometimes cultivated for these fruits in many areas of the humid tropics[
E. Asia - Sri Lanka.
Lowland humid woodland thickets[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Dovyalis hebecarpa is a plant of the hot, humid, lowland tropics[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 28°c, but can tolerate 12 - 35°c[
]. Mature plants can be killed by temperatures of -3°c or lower, but young growth can be severely damaged at -1°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,100 - 1,800mm, but tolerates 800 - 4,000mm[
Prefers a position in full sun, but tolerates light shade[
]. Widely tolerant of soil type, it grows best in a fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 - 7.5, tolerating 5.8 - 8[
Plants begin bearing when about 4 - 5 years old from seed[
]. Two crops per year are usually produced[
Dioecious - both male and female plants must be grown if fruit is required. One male is sufficient for about 30 female plants[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
].The fruit is maroon-purple, velvety with a juicy purple pulp that has a taste similar to gooseberries[
]. The flavour can range from acid to sweet[
]. The sweeter forms are often eaten out of hand[
]. Otherwise, the fruit is used to make jams, jellies, preserves etc[
]. An excellent source of vitamin C[
]. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter[
Seed - best sown in individual pots.
Graft or shield-bud desirable varieties on to seedling rootstocks[
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