Garcinia gummigutta (L.)  N. Robson

Garcinia gummigutta (L.)  N. Robson (GUTTIFERAE)
Common names
 Malabar Camboge.
Kannada: Manthu huli, Uppagi mara.
Malayalam: Kodapuli, Gorakkapuli.

Description: Trees, up to 20 m tall with round canopy; bark grey or dark brown, rugose, exudes yellow gum; branchlets horizontal or drooping.  Leaves Trees, up to 20 m tall with round canopy; bark grey or dark brown, rugose, exudes yellow gum; branchlets horizontal or drooping.  Leavesoblong, elliptic or lanceloate, 7-15x2-7 cm, cuneate at base, acute to obtusely short acuminate at apex, entire, glossy, dark green; lateral veins indefinite, slender, prominent, oblique; petioles up to 2 cm long, channeled. Male flowers 3-5 in short axillary fascicles, white or pale green. Sepals 4, ovate or obovate, unequal. Petals 4, obovate or oblong.  Stamens 12-20 or more inserted on a prominent receptacle; anthers bilocular, basifixed. Rudimentary pistil absent or minute. Bisexual flowers 1-3 in terminal and axillary fascicles, larger than male flowers. Sepals and petals similar to those of male flowers. Stamen 10-20, connate at base in a ring round the ovary or grouped in unequal bundles; anthers bilocular, fertile or often a few sterile. Ovary 8-11- sulcate.   Fruit a berry, globose, up to 7 cm across, 6-8 grooved, yellow when ripe,.  Seeds 6-8, ovoid, ca 3 cm across, compressed, pale brown, surrounded by a succulent, white or red aril. 
Flowering & Fruiting: January - September.
Distribution: India: Common in evergreen and semi-evergreen forests and also in shola forests of Western Ghats up to 1830 m.  Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Endemic.

Uses: The fruits are acidic and eaten raw or pickled.  The rind is used as a condiment for flavouring curries and as a substitute for tamarind and lime. Wood is suitable for matchboxes, splints and posts.The gum from the fruit makes a good varnish.  The ‘gummi-gutta’ or ‘gamboge’ is principally used as a pigment is miniature painting and water colours. The rind of the fruit is used for polishing gold and silver ornaments and as a substitute for acetic and formic acids for coagulation of rubber latex.  Fruit is antiseptic; decoction of rind given in rheumatism, bowel complaints; resin used as purgative. Decoction of rind used as mouth wash in cattle.