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Useful Tropical Plants

Garcinia morella

(Gaertn.) Desr.

Clusiaceae

+ Synonyms

Garcinia cambogioides (Murray) Royle

Garcinia gutta Wight

Hebradendron cambogioides Graham

Mangostana morella Gaertn.

Stalagmitis cambogioides Murray

Common Name: Indian Gamboge Tree

Garcinia morella
Drawing of a fruiting branch
Photograph by: Chaumeton, F.P., Flore m├ędicale, vol. 4: t. 192 (1830)
Creative Commons License
Garcinia morella Garcinia morella

General Information

Garcinia morella is an evergreen tree with a dense, pyramidal crown and spreading branches; it usually grows around 10 - 15 metres tall[
464
Title
A Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon
Publication
 
Author
Trimen H.; continued by Hooker J.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Dulau and Co; London.
Year
1898
ISBN
 
Description
Very dated, but still a useful work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The tree supplies an edible fruit, oil and gum. 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. The tree is sometimes used as a rootstock for the mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) and has been proposed for cultivation for its resin[
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

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
464
Title
A Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon
Publication
 
Author
Trimen H.; continued by Hooker J.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Dulau and Co; London.
Year
1898
ISBN
 
Description
Very dated, but still a useful work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

E. Asia - India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh

Habitat

An understorey tree in evergreen forests at elevations up to 1,200 metres.

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height15.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details



Plants resent root disturbance[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
A dioecious species, both male and female plants 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. The small yellow fruit is esteemed as a dessert fruit[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The ripe fruits are eaten raw, but are very acidic, they are also made into pickles and chutney and can be dried for later use[
1804
Title
Garcinia morella (Gaertn.) Desr.
Publication
[online] India Biodiversity Portal,Species Page :Garcinia morella (Gaertn.) Desr.
Author
 
Website
https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/12281
Publisher
 
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
Accessed 25/04/2020
]. The sundried slices are added to black green pulses to make a slightly acidic curry which is popular in parts of India[
1804
Title
Garcinia morella (Gaertn.) Desr.
Publication
[online] India Biodiversity Portal,Species Page :Garcinia morella (Gaertn.) Desr.
Author
 
Website
https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/12281
Publisher
 
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
Accessed 25/04/2020
]. The immature fruits are cooked as an acidic vegetable. The cherry-shaped fruit is about 20 - 30mm in diameter, containing around 4 large seeds[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
1804
Title
Garcinia morella (Gaertn.) Desr.
Publication
[online] India Biodiversity Portal,Species Page :Garcinia morella (Gaertn.) Desr.
Author
 
Website
https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/12281
Publisher
 
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
Accessed 25/04/2020
].

A yellow fat obtained from the seed is used in cooking and confectionery[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. It is also used as a substitute for ghee[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

The source of gamboge, a gum-resin that is used in food, medicines etc[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

Gamboge, a gum-resin obtained from the bark, branches and fruits, is anthelmintic and purgative[
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.
,
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.
]. It is used in the treatment of dropsical affections, amenorrhoea, obstinate constipation and as a vermifuge[
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.
].
The gum-resin is used topically as an ointment[
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.
].

The dried fruit slices are considered a beneficial treatment for dysentery[
1804
Title
Garcinia morella (Gaertn.) Desr.
Publication
[online] India Biodiversity Portal,Species Page :Garcinia morella (Gaertn.) Desr.
Author
 
Website
https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/12281
Publisher
 
Year
2020
ISBN
 
Description
Accessed 25/04/2020
].

Other Uses

Gamboge, a gum-resin that is freely obtained from the bark stems and fruit, is used as a yellow dye, as an illuminant and in varnishes, water colours etc[
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.
,
464
Title
A Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon
Publication
 
Author
Trimen H.; continued by Hooker J.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Dulau and Co; London.
Year
1898
ISBN
 
Description
Very dated, but still a useful work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is traditionally collected by cutting a thin slice off the bark of the tree about the size of the palm of the hand - the resin collects there and is scraped off when sufficiently dried[
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.
].
Gamboge is a gum-resin which is obtained from the bark, branches and fruits of several species in the genus Garcinia. It contains around 70 - 80% resin with 15 - 25% gum and is used primarily as a pigment, being used to dye cloth (the yellow silken robes of Buddhist monks are often dyed with it), as well as supplying a golden-yellow colouring to varnishes, lacquers, paints, ink, water colours etc[
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.
,
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
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 plant is sometimes used as a rootstock 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 yellow wood is hard, mottled with numerous, wavy, concentric bands of a soft texture[
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. 2023-10-04. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Garcinia+morella>

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