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Garcinia.

Major entries:
Garcinia indica Choisy. Cocum. Kokum.
Garcinia mangostana Linn. Mongosteen.
Garcinia xanthochymus Hook. f.

Garcinia cambogia Desr. Guttiferae.

East Indies. In the East Indies, the fruit is eaten at meals as an appetizer. It is about two inches in diameter, with a thin, smooth, yellowish rind and a yellow, succulent, sweet pulp. The fruit is of an exceedingly sharp but pleasant acid and the aril, or pulp, is by far the most palatable part.

Garcinia cochinchinensis Choisy.

China. The fruit is about the size of a plum, of a reddish color when ripe and has a juicy, acid pulp. The leaves are used in Amboina as a condiment for fish.

Garcinia cornea Linn.

East Indies. The fruit resembles that of the mangosteen but is sometimes larger.

Garcinia cowa Roxb. Cowa. Cowa-Mangosteen

East Indies. The fruit is eatable but not palatable. The cowa or cowa-mangosteen, bears a ribbed and russet apricot-colored fruit of the size of an orange and, were it not a trifling degree too acid, would be accounted most delicious. It makes, however, a remarkably fine preserve. In Burma, the fruit is eaten.

Garcinia dulcis Kurz.

Moluccas. The berry is the size of an apple, of a roundish-oval figure and bright yellow hue when ripe. The seeds are enveloped in edible pulp of a darker color than the skin and have a pleasant taste.

Garcinia indica Choisy. Cocum. Kokum.

East Indies. This is a large tree of the coast region of western India known by the natives as the conca. The fruit is the size of a small apple and contains an acid, purple pulp. Garcia d'Orta, 1563, says that it has a pleasant, though sour, taste and that the fruit serves to make a vinegar. The oil from the seeds has been used to adulterate butter. About Bombay, it is called kokum, and the fruit is eaten, and oil is obtained from the seeds. It is called brindas by the Portuguese at Goa, where cocum oil is used for adulterating ghee or butter.

Garcinia lanceaefolia Roxb.

Himalayas. The plant yields an edible fruit in India.

Garcinia livingstonei T. Anders. African Mongosteen.

Tropical Africa. It is grown as a fruit tree in the Public Gardens cf Jamaica.

Garcinia mangostana Linn. Mongosteen.

A fruit of the equatorial portion of the Malayan Archipelago and considered by many the most delicious of all fruits. Capt. Cook, in 1770, found it at Batavia and says "it is about the size of a crab apple and of a deep red wine-color; on the top of it are the figures of five or six small triangles found in a circle and at the bottom several hollow, green leaves, which are remains of the blossom. When they are to be eaten, the skin, or rather flesh, must be taken off, under which are found six or seven white kernels placed in a circular order and the pulp with which these are enveloped is the fruit, than which nothing can be more delicious: it is a happy mixture of the tart and the sweet, which is no less wholesome than pleasant." Bayard Taylor says "beautiful to sight, smell and taste, it hangs among its glossy leaves, the prince of fruits. Cut through the shaded green and purple of the rind, and lift the upper half as if it were the cover of a dish, and the pulp of half-transparent, creamy whiteness stands in segments like an orange, but rimmed with darkest crimson where the rind was cut. It looks too beautiful to eat; but how the rarest, sweetest essence of the tropics seems to dwell in it as it melts to your delighted taste." The tree was fruited in English greenhouses in 1855. It is cultivated in the southern and eastern parts of India but does not there attain the same perfection as it does in the Malay Archipelago. Neither does it do well in the West Indies, but Morris says it is cultivated for its fruit in the Public Gardens of Jamaica. In Burma, it is called men-gu.

Garcinia morella Desr. Gamboge.

East Indies and Malay; a small tree common in Siam and Cambodia. The fruit is a pulpy drupe, about two inches in diameter, of a yellow color and is esteemed as a dessert fruit. The plant furnishes the gamboge, the orange-red gum-resin of commerce. It is called cochin goraka and is cultivated in the Public Gardens of Jamaica.

Garcinia ovalifolia Oliver.

African tropics. It yields edible fruit.

Garcinia paniculata Roxb.

Himalayan region. The fruit is edible. The fruit of this species raised in Calcutta is represented as about the size of a cherry, that of native specimens received from Silhet about twice as large.

Garcinia pedunculata Roxb.

Himalayan region. The fleshy part of the fruit which covers the seeds and their juicy envelope, or aril, is in large quantity, of a firm texture and of a very sharp, pleasant, acid taste. It is used by the natives in their curries and for acidulating water.

Garcinia xanthochymus Hook. f.

East Indies and Malay. The plant bears a round, smooth apple of medium size, which, when ripe, is of a beautiful, yellow color. The seeds are from one to four, large, oblong and immersed in pulp. The fruit is very handsome and in taste is little inferior to many of our apples. Firminger says the fruit is intolerably acid. Drury says that its orange-like fruit is eaten; Unger, that it is pleasant-tasted.


Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.



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