Garcinia indica (Thouars) Choisy

Garcinia indica (Thouars) Choisy (GUTTIFERAE)
Common names
 Mangoseteen, Red mango,  Kokam butter tree.
Kannada: Murgal Punarpuli.

Description: Tree, up to 15 m tall with conical crown; usually buttressed at base; bark light brown, very thin, smooth; branchlets often drooping.  Leaves lanceolate or obovate - oblong, 6.5 -11x1.5 - 5 cm, contracted into petiole at base, acute or acuminate at apex, margin membranous, shiny; lateral veins 7-18, slender, prominent; petioles 5-12 mm long; young leaves red. Male flowers 4-8 in axillary or terminal fascicles, small, white; bracts scale-like, caducous. Sepals 4, decussate, ovate-rotundate, fleshy, yellowish to pinkish orange. Petals 4. Stamens inserted on a hemispheric subquadrate torus; anthers bilocular. Rudimentary pistil absent or if present as long as stamens. Female flowers  usually solitary, terminal. Sepals and petals similar to those of male flowers. Ovary 4-8 loculed.  Fruit a berry, spherical, ca 3 cm across, purple, orange; pink or wine brown, surrounded at base by persistent sepals; pulp red, acidic, fleshy.  Seeds 5-8, compressed.
Flowering & Fruiting: November - August 
Distribution: In tropical evergreen forests of the Western Ghats. Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and  Kerala.Endemic. A threatened species.

Uses: The fruit is edible. The dried outer fruit rind is used (as Kokam in Konkan area of Maharshtra) as a garnish to give an acid flavour to  curries and also for preparing cooling syrups during hot months. The seeds yield valuable fat known as ‘Kokum butter’ which is used as an edible fat, for adulterating ghee and in the manufacture of soaps and candles. The wood is well suited for paper-pulp.The oil-cake left after the extraction of oil is used as manure. Fruit antiscorbutic, cholagogue, antibilious; fruit and bark astringent; oil from seed astringent, demulcent, emolltient and soothing  in cutaneous affections, used in pulmonary affections; leaf and oil antidysenteric.  Root, bark, fruit and oil are used in piles, sprue, abdominal disorders, cardiac diseases, worm infection and thirst.