If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Garcinia cowa

Roxb. ex Choisy

Clusiaceae

+ Synonyms

Cambogia crassifolia Blanco

Garcinia cambogia Roxb.

Garcinia cornea Roxb. ex Sm.

Garcinia dioica Sm.

Garcinia roxburghii Wight

Garcinia umbellifera Wall.

Garcinia wallichii Choisy

Oxycarpus gangetica Buch.-Ham.

Stalagmitis cowa G.Don

Stalagmitis kydiana G.Don

Common Name:

Garcinia cowa
Drawing of the leaves, flowers and fruit
Photograph by: Roxburgh, W., Plants of the coast of Coromandel, vol. 3: t. 298 (1819) [n.a.]
Creative Commons License
Garcinia cowa Garcinia cowa Garcinia cowa Garcinia cowa Garcinia cowa

General Information

Garcinia cowa is an evergreen tree growing 8 - 15 metres tall. The bole can be 15 - 20cm in diameter[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. The tree is also cultivated for its fruit, mainly in some areas of its native range, and is also sometimes used as a rootstock[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

E. Asia - southwest China, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia.

Habitat

Humid mixed forests on hills or in valleys; usually at elevations from 400 - 900 metres, occasionally descending to 100 metres or ascending to 1,300 metres[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height10.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details



A dioecious species, both male and female forms usually need to be grown if fruit and seed are required. At least some dioecious Garcinia species, however, are able to produce fertile seed even in the absence of fertilization (asexual reproduction). Such seeds would be expected to be genetically identical to the parent[
1798
Title
Taxonomic Revision of Garcinia Section Garcinia (Clusiaceae)
Publication
Phytotaxa 373 (1): 001-052
Author
Nazre M., Newman M.F., Pennington R.T. & Middleton D.J.
Website
https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.373.1.1
Publisher
 
Year
2018
ISBN
1179-3155
Description
 
]

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. The fruit has an acidic flavour, it is used as a tamarind-like flavouring in curries etc and is also used for making pickles. It can be sliced and dried in the sun for future use[
1800
Title
Garcinia cowa Roxb. ex DC.
Publication
[online] India Biodiversity Portal,Species Page :Garcinia cowa Roxb. ex DC.
Author
 
Website
https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/249814
Publisher
 
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
Accessed 24/04/2020 One of two different pages for the same species
]. The mature, ovoid-globose, yellow-brown fruit can be 5 - 6cm long and 4 - 5cm in diameter[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The soft aril surrounding the seeds has a juicy pulp[
1800
Title
Garcinia cowa Roxb. ex DC.
Publication
[online] India Biodiversity Portal,Species Page :Garcinia cowa Roxb. ex DC.
Author
 
Website
https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/249814
Publisher
 
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
Accessed 24/04/2020 One of two different pages for the same species
]..

Leaves - cooked[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. Eaten as a vegetable[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
,
1800
Title
Garcinia cowa Roxb. ex DC.
Publication
[online] India Biodiversity Portal,Species Page :Garcinia cowa Roxb. ex DC.
Author
 
Website
https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/249814
Publisher
 
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
Accessed 24/04/2020 One of two different pages for the same species
].

Medicinal

The fruit is acidic and astringent. It is used in the treatment of dysentery[
1800
Title
Garcinia cowa Roxb. ex DC.
Publication
[online] India Biodiversity Portal,Species Page :Garcinia cowa Roxb. ex DC.
Author
 
Website
https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/249814
Publisher
 
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
Accessed 24/04/2020 One of two different pages for the same species
].

The seeds are used in preparation of medicines applied externally[
1801
Title
Garcinia cowa Roxb.
Publication
[online] India Biodiversity Portal,Species Page :Garcinia cowa Roxb.
Author
 
Website
https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/280086
Publisher
 
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
Accessed 25/04/2020 One of two different pages for the same species
].

Camboge, a gum-resin obtained from the bark, branches and fruits, is used medicinally[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
].
Gamboge has been employed in western medicine as a hydragogue-cathartic, but is little used now[
64
Title
Vegetable Gums and Resins.
Publication
 
Author
Howes. F. N.
Publisher
Faber
Year
 
ISBN
81-88818-17-8
Description
A very good book dealing with the subject in a readable way.
].

Other Uses

The plant is sometimes grown, especially in the Philippines, as a grafting stock for the mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana)[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

The tree yields a yellow gum, insoluble in water, but soluble in spirits. It is, therefore, likely to prove useful as a varnish, but not as a pigment[
387
Title
Economic Products of India. Volume 1.
Publication
 
Author
Watt. G.
Publisher
Government of India: Calcutta.
Year
1883
ISBN
 
Description
Although over 100 years old, it still contains a wealth of information on useful plants. Many of the botanical names have been changed since then, so you have to check for up to date names. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The yield of gum is low[
1800
Title
Garcinia cowa Roxb. ex DC.
Publication
[online] India Biodiversity Portal,Species Page :Garcinia cowa Roxb. ex DC.
Author
 
Website
https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/249814
Publisher
 
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
Accessed 24/04/2020 One of two different pages for the same species
].
The stem yields a gum resin that can be used to prepare a yellow varnish[
1801
Title
Garcinia cowa Roxb.
Publication
[online] India Biodiversity Portal,Species Page :Garcinia cowa Roxb.
Author
 
Website
https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/280086
Publisher
 
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
Accessed 25/04/2020 One of two different pages for the same species
].
The fruit yields a gum resin that can be used to prepare a yellow varnish[
1800
Title
Garcinia cowa Roxb. ex DC.
Publication
[online] India Biodiversity Portal,Species Page :Garcinia cowa Roxb. ex DC.
Author
 
Website
https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/249814
Publisher
 
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
Accessed 24/04/2020 One of two different pages for the same species
].

The seeds yield around 9% oil[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

The greyish-white wood is moderately hard with many wavy, fine, concentric bands of soft tissue. It is not used[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
].

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.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2022-11-27. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Garcinia+cowa>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.