Forest EcologyGeneral SilviculturePlant Taxonomy

Limonia acidissima L.

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Limonia acidissima L. Family


Limonia acidissima L. English Name

Wood-apple and Elephant-apple

Limonia acidissima L. Local Name

Kaith bel

Limonia acidissima L.

Limonia acidissima L. Description

This plant is a large tree growing to up to 9m tall, with spiny and rough bark. The leaves are pinnate, with 5-7 leaflets; each leaflet is about 25-35mm long and 10-20mm wide, with a citrus smell when crushed. The flowers are whitish and have 5 petals. The fruit is a berry of about 5-9cm diameter and may be sweet and sour. It has a very hard rind which can be difficult to crack and open. It has greenish brown colour from outside and contains sticky brown pulp and small white seeds. It contains considerable amount of protein, carbohydrate, iron, fat, calcium, Vitamin B, C etc. 100g of ripe fruit pulp contains up to 49 KCal.

Limonia acidissima L.

Limonia acidissima L. Distribution

It is native to sub-continent including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It can be found in dry plains, up to an elevation of 450m in the Himalayas.  It develops best in areas where the mean annual temperatures are within the range 20-30 0C, and the mean annual rainfall is in the range 800-1200mm, preferring a monsoon climate. It favours a deep, well-drained but wet loamy soil in full sun to grow.

Limonia acidissima L.

Limonia acidissima L. Uses

Bark is used as a medication for biliousness. Leaf is considered to be carminative. And it has been used in treating epilepsy. Leaves are dried and made into a powder and used to cure oedema, sores, and other diseases. Fruit is considered to be stomachic; and it is used in making medicine for neutralizing poisons, tonics, and high fevers. Roots are used in medicines to induce sweating. Paste made from root can be used to treat female related disorders. Paste with salt used for tired sore muscles.

(Kerkar et al., 2020; Morton, 1987)

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