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1. Champada (Artocarpus integer Merr.)
2. Chomphu-nam dok mai (Syzygium jambos (L.) Alston)
3. Lang khae (Baccaurea macrophylla Muell. Arg.)
4. Luk-nieng (Archidendron jiringa Nielson)
5. Madan (Garcinia schomburgkiana Pierre)
6. Mafai-farang (Baccaurea motleyana Muell. Arg)
7. Mafai-jean (Clausena lansium Skeels.)
8. Ma-khaam pom (Phyllanthus emblica Linn.)
9. Ma-kiang (Cleistocalyx operculatus var. paniala)
10. Makok-farang (Spondias cytherea Sonn.)
11. Ma-kruut (Citrus hystrix D.C.)
12. Maphuut (Garcinia dulcis Kurz.)
13. Matoom (Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa)
14. Mayom (Phyllanthus acidus (L.) skeels)
15. Ngoh khon san (Nephelium mutabile Blume)
16. Noi nong (Annona reticulata L.)
17. Som-khaek (Garcinia atroviridis Griff.)
18. Som-saa (Citrus medica L. var. limetta)
19. Taling pling (Averrhoe bilimbi L.)

This group includes nineteen species that may have some potential of being developed for home garden use. The prospects for bringing fruits from this category into Thailand's markets may be faced with difficulties. However, they may prove to be valuable genetic resources for future research. In this respect, research on utilization and nutritional value of these fruits should be undertaken in order to select suitable species for cultivation.

1. Champada (Artocarpus integer Merr.)

The synonyms are Artocarpus integrifolia L.f., Artocarpus polyphema Persoon, and Artocarpus champeden (Lour.) Stokes.

Champada belongs to the Moraceae family, the same family as the jackfruit and breadfruit. It is very popular in southern Thailand, particularly at Yor Island (Koh-yor) on Songkhla lake. The appearance is very similar to the jackfruit, but it can be distinguished by the long brown hairs on the leaves and twigs, and the fruits are somewhat smaller.

The champada is widely distributed in southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia. It is also cultivated in Indonesia, especially in the Lingga Archipelago, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, the Moluccas and Irian Jaya as well as in West Java (Jansen, 1991).

1.1 Vernacular names

Chempedak (English); chempedak, campedak (Malay), baroh (Lingga) (Indonesia); chempedak (cultivated), bankong (wild), baroh (Johor) (Malaysia); sonekadat (Myanmar); and champada (Thailand) (Jansen, 1991).

1.2 General description

Champada is an evergreen monoecious tree. It can grow up to 20 m tall, and is seldom buttressed. The bark is greyish brown with bumps on the trunk and main limbs where leafy twigs are produced, which bear the fruits. Brown wiry hairs 3 mm long cover twigs, stipules and leaves. Twigs are 2.5-4.0 mm thick with annulate stipular scars. The stipules are ovate up to 9 cm long. Leaves are obovate to elliptic, 5-25 × 2.5-12 cm in size, and the base is cuneate to rounded, with entire margin, and acuminated apex. The lateral veins are in 6-10 pairs, curving forward, with 1-3 cm long petiole. The inflorescences are solitary and borne on the axillary position of short leafy shoots. Male heads are cylindrical, 3-5.5 × 1 cm in size, and are whitish-yellow in colour with 3-6 cm long peduncle. The female heads occur with simple filiform styles exserted to 1.5 mm. The fruit is a syncarp, cylindrical to almost globose, and 20-35 × 10-15 cm in size. It is yellowish, brownish, or orange-green, and smells strongly at maturity. Pericarps, including the seeds, are ellipsoid to oblong about 3 × 2 cm in size. Cotyledons are unequal, thick and fleshy. Germination is epigeal.

1.3 Ecology

Champada is a common tree in secondary forests and locally abundant in primary lowland rainforest in its area of natural occurrence. It is a long living sub-canopy tree and can grow at altitudes of up to 500 m in Thailand, often on wet hillsides. It is strictly tropical and always restricted to regions without a distinct dry season. The tree thrives on fertile well drained soils, but prefers a fairly high water table. It can survive periodic flooding even with acid swamp water.

1.4 Propagation

The tree is usually grown from seed derived from nearby trees with desirable qualities. It can be propagated vegetatively by budding or suckle-grafting on seedling rootstocks of champada or other Artocarpus species, including jackfruit. The rootstock should be 8-11 months old at the time of budding, which may be done at any time of the year.

1.5 Harvesting

Harvesting is simple because the fruits are produced on the trunk and the main branches. In southern Thailand, the fruit is often bagged on the tree or enclosed in a loose basket of bamboo. The function of this basket is not clear. It is said that the bags protect the fruit against rodents, bats and fruit flies and attract ants that keep other insects away. There are no yield records, but champada is a prolific bearer and yields may be similar to those of jackfruit trees.

1.6 Uses

The fleshy perianths, which surround the seeds, are eaten fresh or cooked. The flesh, typically yellow or orange, sometimes white to pinkish, is soft and mushy with a strong and very characteristic odour. The flavour is sweet, resembling durian and mango. The seeds are eaten roasted or boiled in salty water for 30 minutes, and have a nutty flavour. Young fruits are cooked in coconut milk and eaten as a curried vegetable or in soup.

The dark yellow to brown wood is strong and durable and is used for building construction, furniture and boats. The bark can be used to make rope and the latex for the preparation of lime.

The total fruit weight varies from 600-3,500 g and is generally smaller than the jackfruit. The total edible portion (perianths + seeds) is 25-50 percent of fresh fruit weight. The total weight of all perianths of a fresh fruit varies from 100-1200 g. The composition of the flesh on dry weight basis per 100 g edible portion is approximately: protein 3.5-7.0 g, fat 0.5-2 g, carbohydrates 84-87 g, fibre 5-6 g, and ash 2-4 g. Water content (fresh weight basis) is 58-85 percent.

The composition of seeds, also based on dry weight, is approximately: protein 10-13 percent, fat 0.5-1.5 percent, carbohydrates 77-81 percent, fibre 4-6 percent and ash 3-4 percent. Water content (fresh weight basis) is 46-78 percent. The number of seeds per fruit varies from 14 to 131. Total seed weight per fruit varies from 65-880 g, and weight per seed from 1-12 g.

1.7 Prospects

Champada is one of the smelliest fruits, second only to durian. The smell and taste of the fruit are rather overwhelming and for the uninitiated it is easier to appreciate dishes made of the seeds. The crop is restricted to wet parts such as southern Thailand where it is generally more popular than the jackfruit. Thus, it is not so widespread and the demand for the fruit in the whole Thailand is still small. At present, it is regarded as a locally orientated fruit. Unless markets can be found, champada is regarded as having no potential for development at a commercial scale in Thailand.

2. Chomphu-nam dok mai (Syzygium jambos (L.) Alston)

Rose apple or "Chomphu-nam dok mai" as it is known in Thailand is also in the Myrtaceae family. It is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia and Malaysia and South Thailand may be its centre of origin (van Lingen, 1991). Some literature claims that it was introduced from India (Morton, 1987) and the East Indies (Kennard and Winters, 1960). The tree has been grown throughout the tropics and has become naturalized in many tropical countries.

2.1 Vernacular names

Rose apple, malabar plum (English); pome rose, jambosier (France); jambu air mawar, jambu mawar, jambu kraton (Indonesia); jambu kelampol, jambu mawer (Malaysia); tampoy (Tagalog), bunlaun (Bisaya), yambo (Philippines); châm-puu (Cambodia); chièng, kieng (Laos); chomphu-nam dok mai (Central), manom hom (North), yamu-panawa (Malay-Yala) (Thailand); lý bô dào, roi (Viet Nam).

2.2 General description

Chomphu-nam dok mai is an evergreen tree, which can grow up to 10 m tall with a 50 cm trunk diameter. The tree is low branching and often found as a dense crown of wide-spreading branches. The stem is twisted at the base with brown, furrowed, smooth bark. The leaves are about 926 × 1.5-6 cm in size, shiny and pink when young then fading to pale green on the upper side and lighter green and obscurely glandular punctate on the lower side. They are narrow and gradually tapered to the base with 6-13 mm long petiole. Inflorescences are short terminal or axillary corymbs, with 4-10 flowers. The flowers are large and showy, white to pale green, sweetly scented, and about 5-10 cm wide. Fruit is a drupe, globose to ovoid and about 2.5-5 cm in diameter. The fruits are crowned by persistent calyx and style. When ripe they may be greenish, or dull yellow flushed with pink. The fruit skin is dull, the flesh is whitish, firm and rose scented. The fruit ripens in about 3 months after bloom. The rose-water smell of the fruit is a distinct character of this species.

2.3 Propagation

Chomphu-nam dok mai is normally propagated from seeds. The seeds have no dormancy and germinate well. A single seed often gives rise to 3-8 seedlings and most of them are true to type. Asexual propagation such as marcotting, budding and grafting can be done, but marcotting seems to be most common. Initial planting should be shaded. The juvenile phase lasts 4-5 years, and the marcotted plants can bear fruit within 4 years. Little husbandry is required after planting.

2.4 Uses

The fruits, if meant to be consumed fresh, should be handled with care after harvest and marketed as quickly as possible. The fruits bruise easily and rapidly lose their crispness. Besides fresh consumption, the fruit is also cooked or preserved in various ways for home use. It can be distilled to yield a rose-water which is said to be equal to the best obtained from rose petals. A yellow coloured essential oil, important in the perfume industry, is derived from the leaves by distillation. The heartwood is heavy and hard, and is suitable for use in construction. However, the wood is very susceptible to termite attack and not durable in the soil. The bark contains 7 percent tannin on a dry weight basis and is used by local villagers for tanning and dyeing purposes. Several parts of the tree are used medicinally as a tonic or a diuretic.

The nutritional value per 100 g edible portion of the fruit comprises: 84-89 g water, 0.5-0.8 g protein, 0.2-0.3 g fat, 9.7-14.2 g carbohydrates, 1-2 g fibre, 0.3-0.4 g ash, 123-235 IU carotene, 0.55-1.01 mg Vitamin B complex and 3-37 vitamin C. The energy value is 234 kJ/100 g. The pulp has high pectin content and it is suitable for use as a settling agent.

2.5 Prospects

The prospect of developing Chomphu-nam dok mai production at commercial scale is slim. This is mainly due to lack of market demand. Low yield, susceptible to bruising and short shelf-life are the disadvantages of the crop. Thus, at present Chomphu-nam dok mai is expected to remain as a home garden tree, and is appreciated for its ornamental value as much as for its fruit.

3. Lang khae (Baccaurea macrophylla Muell. Arg.)

The scientific name of this fruit tree is Baccaurea macrophylla Muell. Arg. Sometimes it is also known as Baccaurea malayana King. The synonym of this species is Cheilosa malayana (Hook. f.) Corner ex Airy Shaw.

The tree belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. Plants in this family love a humid and high rainfall climate. Lang-khae is a native of South Thailand and Malaysia, and is found distributed in Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, and Sumatra. It is occasionally cultivated in these areas.

3.1 Vernacular names

There is no English name recorded for this fruit tree. Gurak gatuk (Kalimantan), bua tampoi (Sumatra) (Indonesia); tampoi, tampul, tempuni (Peninsular Malaysia); lang-khae (Thailand in general), however, there are other local names such as lam-khae (Pattani), and luk pui (Phang-nga).

3.2 General description

Lang-khae is a medium sized tree that can grow up to 25 m tall. The leaves are elliptic-oblong, and about 25 ´ 10 cm in size. Flowers are borne on the main stem and big branches. The spike-like panicles are slender and 8 cm long. They occur solitary or fascicled on the branches. The fruiting racemes are short. About 5-6 fruits occur in a panicle. The fruit is an ellipsoid capsule and is about 4-5 cm in diameter. The fruit is dehiscent, pale green when young and becomes yellowish brown when mature. The pericarp is thick covering white flesh (pulp). There are 4-6 pulps in a fruit. The flesh is sweet. In Thailand, the harvesting time of lang-khae is from June-July.

3.3 Propagation

In the old days lang-khae was propagated by seeds. However, there is an increasing tendency for growers to vegetatively propagate the tree, as seedling plants gave rise to more male than the female trees. Budding and grafting of the desired scions on seedling rootstock are more preferable. The grafted tree can produce fruits within 4-5 years, which is quicker compared to that of the seedling tree.

3.4 Uses

The fruit is eaten as fresh fruit. The taste of the flesh is sweet with some sourness, which can attract a wide range of consumers. During the harvesting season, one can find lang-khae fruits in supermarkets of big cities in Thailand as well as in local markets in some southern provinces such as Phang-nga, Phuket and Hat Yai (Songkhla province). It is also popular among the Chinese, Malaysians and Indonesians.

3.5 Prospects

This fruit tree has a good future in Thailand. At present, it is cultivated in many orchards in southern Thailand such as in Phang-nga and Phuket provinces. There is an indication for increasing the plantation of lang-khae in the near future. One of the reasons for this is the demand for the fruit. In 1986 the price per kilogram of the fruit was only 3-4 baht, but this rose to 20-30 baht 10 years later. Another reason is its good yield. It was observed that one lang-khae tree yields up to 300 kg, and if the price of the fruit is 20 baht/kg, this means that one tree can give an income of 6,000 baht, which is quite good as the tree does not require much care in the management of pests, diseases, fertilizers etc. Therefore, lang-khae could be developed into an economic fruit tree of Thailand in the future.

4. Luk-nieng (Archidendron jiringa Nielson)

The synonyms are Pithecollobium lobatum Benth, Abarema jiringa Kosterm, and Pithecellobium jiringa Plain.

Luk-nieng is one of the common fruit trees of southern Thailand. It may be eaten raw as a vegetable or cooked as a fruit. In Malaysia and Indonesia, this plant is called 'jering', and it is eaten in a similar way to that of the people of South Thailand. Luk-nieng belongs to the Leguminoceae family, sub-family Mimosaceae. It is believed to have originated and is widely distribution in Indonesia, Malaysia and South Thailand.

4.1 General description

Luk-nieng is a tree about 18-24 m tall with a spreading crown. It has a grey stem and one pair of glabrous leaves. The leaf is oblong, stiff and papery with 3-5 flowers, which are borne in a panicle. The calyx is sessile with a white corolla. The filament tube is shorter than the corolla. The pods or fruits are 20-50 cm long, 4-5 cm wide, horseshoe-shaped or twisted, deep purple, deeply lobed along the lower suture, and easily broken by hand. There are 3-6 seeds per pod. The seed is 3-5 cm across with yellow testa when young, which turns brown at maturity. The seed is edible with a strong odour (Figure 3).

The natural habitat of luk-nieng trees is in the forests of humid and mountainous areas, as well as along river banks of southern Thailand. Flowering time of luk-nieng is observed to vary with latitude. In the upper parts of southern Thailand, it is harvested during June and July, whereas in the lower parts, such as Yala and Narathiwat provinces, the fruits can be seen in the local markets during February and March (Bamroongrugsa and Yaacob, 1990). In general it takes about 5 months from flowering to fruit maturity.

4.2 Uses

In southern Thailand, luk-nieng is used either as a vegetable or as a fruit. It is always eaten with curry or with any hot food. Young seeds normally taste better than the mature ones. Some people prefer to eat germinating mature seeds. Such seeds are starchy, odourous and crispy, which satisfies many people.

It was reported that djenkolic acid, an amino acid derivative, was found in luk-nieng. Ingestion of this seed causes djenkolism, a symptom that could be developed by the formation of sharp needle-like crystals of djenkolic acid in the kidney or urinary tract. In severe cases, crystals of djenkolic acid have been found in urine (Hijiman and Veen, 1936). Indeed people who are suffering from djenkolism show similar symptoms to those suffering from kidney or urinary stones for which it has been frequently mistaken.

To use luk-nieng as a dessert fruit, a special method for cooking is advised. Djenkolic acid, a toxic substance, is extracted a few times in a mixture of water, wood ash, bamboo leaves and pieces of steel or nails. Local people have used this method for centuries, although it is difficult to explain the function of each substance. The maturing seeds are boiled and the extracts are discarded several times. The seeds are then free from djenkolic acid and can be eaten. The taste of luk-nieng after this extraction is similar to that of beans and it has a high nutritive value. A mixture of fresh coconut endosperm and sugar is added to the cooked luk-nieng for consumption. Cooked luk-nieng in a solution of coconut milk and sugar is also popular in southern Thailand.

It has been reported by the Thai Department of Health that 100 g of edible seed contains: moisture 76.3 g, calorie 92 units, fat 0.2 g; carbohydrate 16.9 g, fibre 1.3 g, protein 6.2 g, calcium 23 mg, phosphorous 38 mg, iron 0.7 mg, vitamin A 658 IU, vitamin B1 0.14 mg, vitamin B2 0.01 mg, niacin 0.4 mg, and vitamin C 8.0 mg.

4.3 Prospects

Luk-nieng is known and consumed only by the people of southern Thailand, thus it may not have any prospects for being developed commercially due to little demand. Also the toxic effect due to djenkolic acid makes people unfamiliar with luk-nieng reluctant to purchase the fruits. It was observed that young luk-nieng seeds contain less djenkolic acid than the mature ones. Thus, these seem more suitable for consumption. The toxic effects caused by luk-nieng tend to vary among individuals. Research, therefore, should look into the effects by age, sex and genetic background of the consumers. Selection of clones that have low djenkolic acid is worth investigating. At present, people in southern Thailand also use luk-nieng as a medicinal herb. They believe that it is also able to relieve the symptoms of diabetes.

5. Madan (Garcinia schomburgkiana Pierre)

This fruit tree belongs to the Guttiferae family, the same family as the mangosteen. The tree is small to medium in size, but can grow up to 5-10 m under its natural habitat. Madan is considered to be native to the Southeast Asian region. In Thailand it is commonly found growing wild near rivers, streams and swamps in dry evergreen forest, as the tree likes humid conditions and wet soils. It is grown for home uses and no commercial plantation has ever been recorded.

5.1 General description

Dark green leaves are opposite, lanceolate shaped, 9 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. Flowers are borne in clusters. Each cluster contains of 3-6 flowers. Flowers consist of 4 pinkish petals, which are 3 mm wide and 6.5 mm long. Green fruits are ovate to oblong, 5-7 cm long, and 2-3 cm wide. Mature fruits are shiny green.

5.2 Propagation

Madan is found growing wild in the lowland and swampy areas of evergreen forests in Central and Southern Thailand. Villagers in the Central Plain brought them from the forest to grow for home consumption. The trees are propagated from seeds, which are easily germinated. At present, air layering is used as a means of propagation to ensure that a female tree is produced.

5.3 Uses

The young leaf is served as a vegetable accompaniment to many Thai dishes and can be eaten either raw or cooked. The fruit is rich in vitamin A and calcium and is eaten fresh, but has a very sour taste. It can also be used in a sauce of shrimp paste and chilli and eaten with vegetables and fish. When cut into small strips it is included as a side dish in various Thai salads such as salty crab salad. The fruit of madan can be processed to make preserved fruit in syrup, pickled fruit and dried fruit. The fermented fruit is stuffed with minced pork to make a soup, or it can be made into a sweet. The fruit has demulcent properties (Jacquat, 1990). The compositions of madan fruits and young leaves are shown in Table 1 below.

The traditional ethnomedicinal uses of madan's leaves, root and fruit are as an expectorant, treatment of coughs, improvement of menstrual blood quality, treatment of diabetes and as a laxative (Poomipamorn and Kumkong, 1997).

Table 1. Composition of madan fruits and young leaves (Poomipamorn and Kumkong, 1997) (Figures expressed per 100 g of fresh wt)



Young leaves

Carbohydrates (g)



Protein (g)



Fat (g)



Fibres (g)



Calcium (mg)



Phosphorous (mg)



Iron (mg)



Vitamin A (IU) (carotene)



Vitamin B (mg) (thiamine)



Vitamin B2 (mg) (riboflavin)



Vitamin B5 (mg) (niacin)



Vitamin C (mg)



5.4 Prospects

It is difficult to develop madan as an economic fruit crop in Thailand. The fruit has limited use, as it cannot be eaten as fresh fruit due to its sourness. The value of the fruit is more as a vegetable and in cooking. Thus the consumer demand is not big enough for commercial development. However, because of its high nutritive value, attempts should be made to develop ways of processing the fruit such as healthy fruit drink to attract more consumption. At present madan is only regarded as a home garden plant even though it has nutritional and ethnomedical values.

6. Mafai-farang (Baccaurea motleyana Muell. Arg)

This fruit tree belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family, the same family as related fruits like lang-khae and mafai. Mafai-farang is a native of Sumatra, Borneo and Java. It is widely cultivated throughout Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Java and Bali, and has found its way to neighbouring countries like Thailand and the Philippines.

6.1 Vernacular names

The English name of this fruit tree is rambai, which is also the local name for this fruit tree in Indonesia and Malaysia where it originated. In the Philippines, it is known as rambi. In Thailand, it is called mafai-farang (general), ramai, or lam-khae (Pattani), and raa-maa tee-ku (Narathiwat).

6.2 General description

This is a densely leafy and heavy looking tree and can grow up to 15-25 m tall. The crown is 40 cm in diameter. The twigs, petioles and lower side of leaves are velvety. Leaves are obovate-lanceolate to elliptical shaped and 20-35 × 8-17 cm in size. Petioles are 3-10 cm long with lanceolate stipules. The inflorescences are ramiflorous, and the male racemes are 13-20 cm long. The yellow flowers contain 2-5 fascicles, 4-5 sepals, and 4-8 stamens. The female racemes are 25-60 cm long, and female flowers are often borne in clusters. The flower has 4-6 sepals. The fruit is 2-4 cm in diameter, usually slightly longer than wide, and is smooth, thinly puberulous and buff-coloured. The fruits hang in communal strings (racemes) from the twigs, main branches and, to a lesser extent, from the upper part of the trunk (Figure 4). A variable number of seeds occur within each fruit enclosed in a translucent white pulp. The pulp varies considerably in its quality, ranging from rather acid to sweet and palatable. The mafia-farang season generally occurs around July-August.

6.3 Propagation

Seed propagation was generally used in the old days. However, as mafia-farang has both male and female trees, air-layering of female tree is recommended to make sure that propagated trees will bear fruit. Budding and grafting on mafia-farang rootstocks are also possible.

6.4 Uses

Mafai-farang is primarily grown for its fruit. The clone that produces sweet and palatable pulp is desirable and selected for propagation. The flesh usually adheres to the seed and both the flesh and seed are often swallowed when eaten. Sweet varieties make a refreshing nibble or table fruit. The juice of any variety may be used to make drinks by sweetening and diluting according to taste and served over ice. Alternatively the fruit may be pickled to serve with curries as is done in Indonesia. The fruit has a low vitamin content of 55 mg vitamin C per 100 g edible portion, low vitamin B1 (thiamine = 0.03 mg) and vitamin B2 (riboflavin = 0.09 mg). The fruit also contains 2 mg calcium and 20 mg phosphorous (Anon, 1992). To extract the pulp, the fruit is broken open with the fingers or a small knife. It is then eaten directly after the ejecting seeds (some people often swallow them). Juice is extracted by crushing the pulp in a sieve.

6.5 Prospects

There is little prospect for mafia-farang to become a major fruit tree in Thailand. Although the tree bears fruit abundantly the fresh fruit cannot be eaten in quantity, as this would upset the stomach. Unless a strong demand for the processed products can be generated, there is little chance of mafia-farang being developed commercially.

7. Mafai-jean (Clausena lansium Skeels.)

The synonyms are Quinaria lansium Lour., Clausena wampi (Blanco) Oliv., Clausena punctata (Sonn.) Rehder & Wilson, Cookia punctata sonn., and Cookia wampi Blanco.

7.1 Vernacular names

Wampee (English); vampi (French); wampi, wang-pei (Malaysia); wampi, huampit (Philippines); wampoi, wang-pei (Singapore); kantrop (Cambodia); somz mafai (Laos); mafia-jean, som-mafai (Thailand); and hoàng bi, giôr (Viet Nam).

7.2 Origin and distribution

Mafai-jean is native and commonly cultivated in Southern China and North to Central Viet Nam. The tree has been introduced to Southeast Asia, i.e. Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Outside this region it is occasionally grown in India, Sri Lanka, Australia (Queensland), the United States (Hawaii and Florida) and in Central America (de Bruijn, 1991).

7.3 General description

Mafai-jean is in the Rutaceae family. The tree is fairly fast growing. It is a quite attractive looking evergreen tree, which can grown up to 6-12 m tall. It has long, upward-slanting, flexible branches, and a grey-brown bark, which is rough to the touch. Its spirally arranged resinous leaves are 10-30 cm long, pinnate, with 7 to 15 alternate, elliptic or elliptic-ovate leaflets. The leaflets are 7-10 cm long, oblique at the base, wavy margined and with a shallowly toothed edge. They are thin, with minute hairs on the veins of the upper side and with a prominent yellow, warty midrib on the underside. The petiole is also warty and hairy. The sweet scented, whitish to yellow-green flower is subsessile, having 5 sepals about 1.25 cm wide and is borne in slender, hairy panicles 10-50 cm long. The fruit is a subglobose berry that occurs in loose clusters of several strands. It is hung in a showy stalk 0.6-1.25 cm long. The mafia-jean fruit may be round, or conical-oblong, 2.1 cm long with 5 faint, pale ridges extending a short distance down from the apex. The thin, pliable but tough rind is light brownish-yellow, minutely hairy and dotted with tiny, raised, brown oil glands. The rind is easily peeled but is too resinous to be eaten. The flesh, faintly divided into 5 segments, is yellowish-white or colourless, grapelike, mucilaginous, juicy, pleasantly sweet, and subacid or sour depending on the variety. Within a fruit, there may be 1-5 oblong, thickish seeds 1.25-1.6 cm long. The seeds are bright green with one brown tip.

7.4 Ecology

Mafai-jean needs a sub-tropical to tropical climate. It survives short slight frosts (-2°C) but trees have been killed at temperatures of -6°C and lower (Morton, 1987). They seem to tolerate a range of soils including the deep sand and oolitic limestone derived soils, but thrive best in rich loams. It requires watering in dry periods, though good drainage is essential. In general mafia-jean requires conditions similar to those for citrus trees.

7.5 Propagation and cultivation

Mafai-jean can be propagated by seed or vegetatively propagated by softwood cuttings, or air layering and can be veneer-grafted on mafia-jean seedlings. Germination occurs in a few days. Most propagation by softwood cuttings has been successful. Desirable clones can be grafted on mafia-jean seedlings at any time of the year. Grafting trials on various citrus rootstocks in Florida have shown various degrees of incompatibility and few, if any, can be said to have been really successful in the long run.

Pruning is recommended to avoid overcrowding of the branches. On limestone soils, mafia-jean is subject to chlorosis, which can be overcome by the application of manganese, zinc, manure and mulch. Well-developed mature trees can produce up to 45 kg of fruit per season.

In Thailand mafia-jean fruits mature from May-July, and can be only seen in some local markets.

7.6 Uses

A fully ripe, peeled mafia-jean of the sweet or subacid type can be eaten fresh after discarding the large seed or seeds. The seeded pulp can be added to fruit cups, gelations or other desserts, or made into pie or jam. Jelly can only be made from the acid types when under ripe. The Chinese serve the seeded fruits with meat dishes.

In Viet Nam, fermenting the fruit with sugar and straining off the juice makes a bottled, carbonated beverage resembling champagne. The fruit is reported to contain 28.8-29.2 mg ascorbic acid per g of edible portion.

7.7 Traditional medicines

The fruit is said to have stomachine and cooling effects and to act as a vermifuge. The Chinese say that if one has eaten too many lychees, eating mafia-jean will counteract the bad effects.

The halved, sun dried, immature fruit is a Viet Namese and Chinese remedy for bronchitis. Thin slices of the dried roots are sold in oriental pharmacies for the same purpose. The leaf decoction is used as a hair wash to remove dandruff and preserve the colour of the hair.

7.8 Prospects

Mafai-jean is easy to propagate and grow. Few disease problems have been encountered so far and the yield is fair. It is only known and grown on a very small-scale or as home garden fruit in Nan province, northern Thailand. However, the agricultural importance and the possibilities for canning the fruits as well as the plant's pharmaceutical properties are worthy of further study.

8. Ma-khaam pom (Phyllanthus emblica Linn.)

The synonym of this species is Emblica officinalis Gaertner.

Ma-khaam pom belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. It is indigenous to tropical Southeast Asia, including Thailand. It is commonly cultivated in home gardens in India, Malaysia, Singapore and southern China. In India, and to a lesser extent in Thailand and Malaysia, ma-khaam pom fruit is important and esteemed, fresh as well as preserved, and it is prominent in traditional medicine. Fruits are gathered for home use and for market (Figure 5).

8.1 Vernacular names

Emblic myrabolan, Malacca tree and Indian gooseberry (English); kan-tot, kam lam or kam lam ko (Cambodia); melaka, asam melaka or amlaka (Malaysia); mak-kham-pom (Laos); bong-ngot, chu-me (Viet Nam); nelli (Philippines); ma-khaam pom (Thailand in general), kan-tot (Chanthaburi), kam-thuat (Ratchaburi), mang-luu and san-yaa-saa (Karen-Mae Hong Son).

8.2 General description

The ma-khaam pom tree is hardy, normally reaching a height of 18 m, and in some instances up to 30 m. The tree is many-branched with leaves that are distichously arranged on the slender branchlets so as to resemble pinnate leaves. Its fairly smooth bark is a pale greyish-brown and peels off in thin flakes like that of the guava. While actually deciduous, shedding its branchlets as well as its leaves, it is seldom entirely bare and is therefore often cited as an evergreen. The miniature leaf is linear-oblong, about 3 mm wide and 1.25-2.0 cm long. It is distichously disposed on very slender branchlets, which gives a misleading impression of finely pinnate foliage. The yellow flower is small with a short pedicel and occurs in fascicles, which are borne from the axils of the lower end of a growing branchlet, with the female flowers above them. But occasionally the trees are dioecious. The flower consists of 5-6 sepals, 3 stamens and connated filaments. The nearly stemless fruit is round or oblate, indented at the base, and smooth, although 6 to 8 pale lines, sometimes faintly evident as ridges extending from the base to the apex, give it the appearance of being divided into segments or lobes. The fruit is light green at first and becomes whitish or a dull, greenish-yellow or, more rarely, brick-red as its matures. It is hard and unyielding to the touch. The fruit skin is thin, translucent and adherent to the very crisp, juicy, concolorous flesh. A slightly hexagonal stone containing 6 small seeds is tightly embedded in the centre of the flesh.

8.3 Ecology

Ma-khaam pom can be regarded as a sub-tropical rather than a strictly tropical plant. In Thailand it flourishes from sea level up to an altitude of 1,500 m. The trees were planted at the Royal Ang Khang Station at an elevation of 1,400 m, and gave a good yield after 10 years. They showed a remarkable ability to tolerate cold winter months. Ma-khaam pom is also found growing wild in mixed forests in Central and South Thailand.

Ma-khamm pom seems to grow equally well under both arid and humid conditions (Morton, 1987). It is rather tolerant and can be grown in a wide range of soils, including alkaline soil. Ma-khamm pom is reported to thrive in regions too dry and on soil too poor for most other fruit crops (Morton, 1987). For maximum productivity, the tree requires deep soil ranging from sandy loam to clay, light or heavy, and slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. In a highly alkaline soil (pH 8.0) nutritional deficiencies are evident. Good drainage is essential for good growth.

8.4 Propagation

Ma-khaam pom is often propagated by seeds taken from over-ripe fruits, which are sun dried to facilitate removal of the stone, or cut in half right through the stone. The extracted seeds are given the float test and 100 percent of those that sink will germinate. In 4 months, seedlings will have a stem diameter of 8 mm and can be budded or grafted. The Forkert and patch graft gave 85-100 percent success. Chip-budding, using seedlings 1½ years old as rootstock, is easier and was 60-80 percent successful (Morton, 1987). Inarching is sometimes practiced in India but survival rate may be only 25 to 30 percent after separation from the stock and further losses may occur in the field (Ghosh, 1997).

Seedling trees normally take about 10 years to bearing, whereas budded and grafted plants start to bear after 6-7 years. A full grown tree of 10-15 years was reported to yield about 200 kg of fruit per year (Ghosh, 1997).

8.5 Cultural practices

No research work is reported on the cultural practices of ma-khaam pom in Thailand, as the plant does not have economic value. However, a report from India recommended that the trees be spaced 9-12 m apart and planted in well-prepared holes enriched with a composted manure and soil mixture and well-watered (Morton, 1987). Thereafter, watering is done only in the dry season.

There are no standard practices for fertilizer application in ma-khaam pom, but 28-42 g of nitrogen per tree for each year of its age up to 10 years has been suggested in India. After 10 years the nitrogen is increased and potash and superphosphate are added. Half of the fertilizer should be given after fruit set and the other half 4 months later. Ma-khaam pom branches are brittle and judicious pruning to develop a strong framework is advocated to avoid branch breakage from heavy loads of fruit.

Generally, harvesting is done by shaking the branches allowing the fruits that are ready to fall so that they may be gathered from the ground. The fruits stand handling well. The yield varies a great deal as many young fruits are shed throughout the period of fruit development, and there is considerable difference in the productivity of seedlings and cultivars.

8.6 Uses

i. Food uses. Ma-khaam pom fruit is one of the richest sources of natural ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). The fruit is widely used by local Thais to quench the thirst when walking in the forest. In China, phyllanthus drink prepared from fruit extract is commonly known, and wine made from fruit extract is seen in the market. Many Hindus regard ma-khaam pom as sacred and the Hindu religion prescribes that ripe fruit be eaten for 40 days after a fast in order to restore health and vitality. It is a common practice for Indian housewives to cook the fruits with sugar and saffron and give one or two to a child every morning

Fresh fruits are baked in tarts, added to other foods as seasoning during cooking and the juice is used to flavour vinegar. Both ripe and half-ripe fruits are candied whole and also made into jam and other preserves, pickles and relishes. They are combined with other fruits in making chutney. In Indonesia, fresh ma-khaam pom is added to import acidity to many dishes, and is often used as a substitute for tamarind.

ii. Nutritional value. The food value per 100 g of edible portion of ma-khaam pom fruit as reported by the Finlay Institute Laboratory, Havana, consisted of moisture 77.1 g, protein 0.07 g, fat 0.2 g, carbohydrates 21.8 g, fibre 1.9 g, ash 0.5 g, calcium 12.5 mg, phosphorous 26.0 mg, iron 0.48 mg, carotene 0.01 mg, thiamine 0.03 mg, riboflavin 0.05 mg, niacin 0.18 mg, tryptophan 3.0 mg, methionine 2.0 mg, lysine 17.0 mg and ascorbic acid 625 mg.

The ascorbic acid in ma-khaam pom fruit is considered highly stable, apparently protected by tannins (or leucoanthocyanins), which retard oxidation. Biochemical studies at the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India, show 13 tannins plus 3 or 4 colloidal complexes. In juice extracted from fresh fruits, the ascorbic acid was found to be stable for at least a week. Fresh juice stored at 2°C loses only 14 percent ascorbic acid after 458 days. Only 30 percent was lost to evaporation over an open flame at 65°C, but the product loses 40 percent during a week in a refrigerator and 100 percent after 20 days (Morton, 1987).

iii. Other uses.

Medicinal uses. Ma-khaam pom is of great importance in traditional Asiatic medicine, not only as an antiscorbutic, but also in the treatment of diverse ailments, especially those associated with the digestive organs. In Thailand ma-khaam pom fruits are traditionally used as an expectorant, antipyretic, diuretic, antidiarrhoeal and antiscurvy (Saralamp, 1992).

Wood. The hard but flexible red wood, though highly subject to warping and splitting, is used for minor construction, furniture, implements, gunstocks, hookahs and ordinary pipes. Durable when submerged and believed to clarify water, it is utilized for crude aqueducts and inner braces for wells. Branches and chips of the wood are thrown into muddy streams for clarification and to give a pleasant flavour. The wood is also used as fuel and as a source of charcoal by villagers.

Leaves and bark. The foliage can be used as fodder for cattle and branches are lopped for green manure. They are said to correct excessively alkaline soils. The tannin-rich bark, as well as the fruit and leaves, are highly valued and widely employed in conjunction with other so-called myrobalans, especially fruits of various species of Terminalia. The twig bark is particularly esteemed for tanning leather and is often used with leaves of Carissa spinarum A.DC. and Anogeissus latifolia Wall.

8.7 Prospects

Ma-khaam pom can be utilized in many ways, yet the future prospects for this fruit tree in Thailand are not bright. No established orchard of ma-khaam pom is known nor is there any germplasm collection for good fruit characteristics. The study of this fruit tree in Thailand will only be attractive when its overseas market value is known. At present it is still regarded as a neglected fruit crop and can only be found in its natural habitat of mixed forests throughout the country.

9. Ma-kiang (Cleistocalyx operculatus var. paniala)

Ma-kiang is a perennial tree belonging to the Myrtaceae family. Its original habitat is unknown, and the tree was introduced into Thailand long time ago. At present, it is found growing in scatter locations in some villages of the northern provinces of Thailand such as Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son. The synonym is Eugenia paniala Roxb. (Smitinand, 1980), which was used in some old texts. However following the report of Chantaranothai (1989), ma-kiang is classified in the genus Cleistocalyx and is the only species that is cultivated in Thailand. The other two related species found in Thailand are Cleistocalyx khaoyaiensis and Cleistocalyx phengklaii (Chantaranothai and Parnel, 1990).

9.1 General description

Ma-kiang is a medium to large tree, which can attain the height of 20 m. However, the average tree is 10-15 m high, with 8-12 m canopy diameter. It has many branches, with grey or brownish grey bark. The trunk is rather smooth with a thin bark, which is easily stripped. Simple leaves are opposite, elliptic-cordate to obovate-oblong, and 8-10 ´ 20-25 cm in size. The upper side is shiny, and dark green in colour. The veins are clearly seen and within each leaf there are 10-13 pairs of veins. The purplish-red petiole is 2-3 cm long. The pale yellow inflorescence is a compound cyme, and is born on the lateral branch. The inflorescence is 10-13 cm long with a 8-10 cm stalk. In each inflorescence there are an average of 30-40 flowers, and the flower stalk is 3-4 cm long. The flower is perfect, having a diameter of 0.7-0.8 cm with 4 yellow petals about 4.0-4.5 mm at full bloom with 1.0-1.2 cm diameter. There are numerous stamens (about 200-250) and 1 pistil 6.0-7.5 mm long. The fruit is a fleshy berry, white fleshed and juicy, and bruises easily. It is ellipsoid, 1.5-1.8 cm long and 0.9-1.2 cm in diameter (Figure 6). The young fruit is green in colour and its flesh is sour and astringent. At ripening, the fruit skin becomes red to purplish red, is still sour, but the astringency disappears. It has a strong odour. Very ripe fruit is purplish black. The fruit weighs about 1.4-2.4 g. The seed is rather big compared to the size of the fruit. It has an oval shape of 0.7-0.8 cm diameter and is 0.8-1.0 cm long. The fully ripe fruit contains a seed weighing 0.4-0.5 g. The seed loses viability quickly, and should be germinated soon after harvesting.

In Thailand ma-kiang flowers from February-March and the fruits ripen from July-August.

9.2 Uses

Ma-kiang fruit is sour and slightly astringent with scant smell. Local Thais consume it as fresh and prickled fruit. At present there is no cultivation at orchard scale, an it is only found growing in some villages. Currently, it has value in making fruit drink, wine, jam and nectar. These products may become better known in Thai market in the future, as ma-kiang fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals necessary for health.

The nutritional value per 100 g of edible portion of ma-kiang is reported as: moisture 78-92.5 percent; protein 0.56-1.73 percent; fat 0.15-0.71 percent; fibre 2.30-8.24 percent; ash 0.33-1.15 percent; carbohydrates 4.77-14.75 percent; total sugar 0.09-7.32 percent; energy 23.7-64.5 kilocalories; calcium 22.2-135.1 mg; magnesium 4.89-25.4 mg; iron 0.16-1.11 mg; zinc 0.10-0.90 mg; vitamin B1 15.6 mg; vitamin B2 33.3 mg; vitamin C 14.6 mg; â-carotene 34.3-2115.1 IU. Apart from the above nutritional values, the following amino acids have been analysed from 100 g of edible flesh.

Aspartic acid















Glutamic acid











































































9.3 Prospects

The prospect of cultivating ma-kiang for consumption as fresh fruit is negligible. The only chance of growing ma-kiang is for processing either as a fruit juice or for making wine. Consumer promotion of this highly nutritious fruit is needed to create demand together with research on cultivation and clonal selection. Otherwise this fruit tree will be left growing wild in remote villages as is seen at the present time.

10. Makok-farang (Spondias cytherea Sonn.)

Makok-farang belongs to the Anacardiaceae family, the same family as the mangoes. The plant is native throughout South and Southeast Asia and has spread throughout the tropics. Makok-farang is also an important fruit tree in some Pacific Island countries such as Samoa. It is fairly common in Thailand and found growing mainly as individual trees in rural areas and home gardens.

10.1 Vernacular names

Great hog plum, otaheite apple, ambarella (English); kedondong manis (Indonesia); kedondong (Malaysia); hevi (Philippines); gway (Myanmar); mokak (Cambodia); kook hvaan (Laos); makok-farang (Thailand); and cóc (Viet Nam).

10.2 General description

Makok-farang is a fast growing tree, which can grow up to a height of 10-20 m. It can bear fruit within 4 years from seed, and fruits all the year round. In the humid tropics like Thailand, the tree produces more or less continuously, following flushing and flowering of individual twigs. In a monsoon climate, flowering is concentrated in the dry season while the trees are more or less leafless. The fruit matures 6-8 months after flowering. The flowers are perfect, and are tiny and greenish white in colour. They are grouped together as a panicle. The fruits are bright green and turn yellowish with a lot of greyish brown freckles when ripe. Each fruit is about 7.5-10 cm long by 2.5-3.7 wide (Figure 7). It is eaten fresh or pickled. The flesh is white and crunchy when immature and becomes fibrous on ripening. Inside each fruit is a large fibrous seed.

Makok-farang grows well in the tropics, but it can also be grown in warm sub-tropical areas. The tree is slightly less hardy than the mango. In the tropics it is commonly found growing in areas from sea level up to 700 m altitude. To be productive, the tree requires much light, as shaded trees produce little or no fruits. Sheltered locations are advised as the brittle branches can break easily. The trees are drought-tolerant, and under stress they may briefly lose their leaves. Makok-farang can grow on limestone derived soils as well as on acid sands, but the soil should be well drained.

10.3 Propagation

In Thailand, makok-farang is commonly propagated from seed. The seed germinates within one month. However, clonal propagation of superior trees is beginning to gain more recognition and the method is not difficult. It is reported that large stumps are stuck in the ground to obtain live fence posts, and cuttings as well as air layers root easily. Grafting or shield budding on Spondias rootstocks is also possible, however seedling trees are more vigorous than budded or grafted trees.

10.4 Properties and uses

Fruit of the best forms is eaten raw. When green the fruit is crisp and subacid. As the fruit ripens to a yellow colour, the flesh softens; the flavour changes and the fibres become more noticeable. The fruit flesh is a good source of vitamin C and iron. When unripe it contains about 10 percent pectin. One hundred g of fresh fruit contains 0.8 g protein, 11.1 g carbohydrate, 1.2 g or crude fibre and 0.6 g ash. The nutritional value is 20 mg calcium, 2 mg phosphorous and 1.2 g of iron as well as 1382 IU of vitamin A, 70 mg vitamin C, 0.4 mg niacin, 0.02 mg riboflavin and 0.06 mg thiamine (Anon, 1992).

Most ripe fruit is stewed and used for jams, jellies and juices. Boiled and dried fruit can be kept for several months. Young steamed leaves are eaten as a vegetable. The wood is light brown and buoyant, and has no value for timber. There are diverse medicinal uses of fruits, leaves and bark in different parts of the world. The treatment of wounds, sores and burns is reported from several countries.

10.5 Prospects

In Thailand, makok-farang has a little chance of being developed on a commercial scale. This is due to very limited demand for the fruit. Being subacid in taste, the fruit does not agree with Asian taste, which prefers rather sweet and juicy fruits. Unless the other forms of processed makok-farang fruits are developed to suit the market, this fruit tree only has value as a home garden plant.

11. Ma-kruut (Citrus hystrix D.C.)

Ma-kruut belongs to the Rutaceae family. It is very common in every Thai household as an ingredient for many Thai dishes. In fact, the famous dish "Tom Yum Kung" dish derives its strong flavour from ma-kruut leaves and peel.

The origin of ma-kruut is not known, but it is widely naturalized in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Interestingly, people in these countries are mainly Buddhists; hence there might be some traditional link between the uses of ma-kruut and the cultures of these people.

11.1 Vernacular names

Mauritius papeda, leech lime (English); citron combera (French); jeruk purut, limo purut (Indonesia); limau purut (Malaysia); kabuyau, kulubut (Tagalog), kolobot (Bisaya), (Philippines); shouk-pote (Myanmar); krauch soeuch (Cambodia); khi-hout (Laos); ma-kruut (Thailand); and trúc (Viet Nam).

11.2 General description

Ma-kruut is a small tree about 1-2 m high, but can grow up to 12 m tall if left unattended. The tree has a crooked trunk and short stiff spines. The leaves are broadly ovate to ovate-oblong 3-15 × 2-6 cm in size. The white flowers are small with good fragrance. The fruit is an ovoid to ellipsoidal berry, 5-7 cm in diameter, and is green to yellow in colour (Figure 8). The shape of the fruit is irregular and the skin is very bumpy with 10-12 segments.

11.3 Uses

Ma-kruut leaves and fruit skin are used in many Thai dishes. The juice of the fruit is used for seasoning and to prepare drinks. Extracts from the skin as well as juice are used as an insecticide for washing the head and treating the feet to kill land leeches. Leaves are commonly used to season food in Thailand and other neighbouring countries.

11.4 Prospects

Ma-kruut has many roles in Thai everyday life, but its commercial plantation has not developed. At present the trees are grown in home gardens for home use. In some districts, they are found growing in mixed orchards as a minor plant. Ma-kruut is easily grown and does not seem to have any problem in production, so there are has been no research on this plant. It may take a long time for ma-kruut to be brought into orchard plantation unless processing factories are developed that use ma-kruut as raw material.

12. Maphuut (Garcinia dulcis Kurz.)

Maphuut is in the Guttiferae family. It is believed to be a native plant of the Philippines and Indonesia (Jansen, 1991). Maphuut is also found cultivated as a home garden plant in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. The fruit is occasionally sold in the local markets of Thailand, but no commercial plantation is known.

12.1 Vernacular names

No English name is known for this tree. Mundu (Indonesia and Malaysia); baniti (Tagalog), bagalot (Bisaya) and buneg (Ilokano), (Philippines); and maphuut (Thailand).

12.2 General description

Maphuut is a medium sized tree 5-20 m high. The tree has a short trunk and brown bark with white latex. On exposure to air the latex turns pale brown. The latex in the fruit is yellow, the same as that of mangosteen. The leaves are opposite, lanceolate shaped, 10-30 cm long and 3-15 cm wide. The leaf is pale green when young and becomes dark green and shiny on the upper surface at maturity. The lower leaf surface is often hairy. The midrib is prominent with numerous veinlets arranged in parallel. The thick petiole is short being only 2 cm long. Flowers are borne in the axil. They are yellowish white with a sour smell. Male flowers are very small, about 6 mm. wide. They are borne in small clusters. Female flowers are larger, 12 mm wide, and with a 1.5-3.0 cm long pedicel. The stigma is 5-lobed. Fruits are globose, 5-8 cm wide with slightly pointed ends, often rather compressed and crowned by the persistent stigma. The fruit is soft with a thin skin and has a light yellow colour, which turns to orange when ripe (Figure 9). The seeds are enveloped in an edible pulp of a darker colour than the skin and have a pleasant taste. One fruit contains 1-5 brown seeds about 2.5 cm long.

12.3 Propagation

Seed germination is commonly used as a propagating means at the present time. Other means of vegetative propagation may be introduced when this fruit tree becomes more economically recognized.

12.4 Uses

The fruits can be eaten fresh, but they are sour and can be made into an excellent jam. The fruits contain high phosphorous and carbohydrate as shown in Table 2.

Table 2. Composition of Maphuut fruits (data expressed per 100 g. fresh weight) (Poomipamorn and Kumkong, 1997)

Carbohydrates (g)


Protein (g)


Fat (g)


Fibres (g)


Calcium (mg)


Phosphorous (mg)


Iron (mg)


Vitamin A (carotene) (IU)


Vitamin B (thiamine) (mg)


Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) (mg)


Vitamin B5 (niacin) (mg)


Vitamin C (mg)


The traditional ethnomedical uses of maphuut in Thailand are as follows. The crushed extract of maphuut's fruit is used as a relief expectorant, for coughs, and scurvy. The crushed extract from the root is used for the relief of fever, and to reduce poisoning and detoxification. The crushed extract from the bark is used for cleaning wounds (Subchareon, 1997). In Java and Singapore pounded seeds are applied to cure swellings. In Java the bark is used to dye mats.

12.5 Prospects

It is very difficult to develop maphuut for economic purposes. The fresh fruit is not delicious, and methods of processing the fruit require research. At present the only value of maphuut may be for ethnomedicinal uses.

13. Matoom (Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa)

Matoom belongs to the Rutaceae family. It is believed to have originated in the Indian Peninsula, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh (Sunarto, 1991). Matoom is a tree that is related to religion and it is particularly found in temple grounds in India. The species has spread to Indo-China and Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand and northern Malaysia. In Thailand, it is commonly found growing in many Buddhist temples as its dried, sliced fruit is boiled with water and used as a popular drink for monks.

13.1 Vernacular names

The English names are bael or bel fruit. Bel indien (French); maja, maja batu (Indonesia); bilak bila, bel (Malaysia); bael (Philippines); opesheet, okshit (Myanmar); bnau (Cambodia); toam (Laos); matoom, tom, ma pin (Thailand); and trai man (Viet Nam).

13.2 General description

Matoom is a small to medium deciduous tree and can grow up to 10-15 m in height with a 25-50 cm in diameter trunk. Old branches and stems are covered with sharp spines. The spines occur in singly or in pairs and are 1-2 cm long. The bark is greyish brown. Leaves are alternately arranged in a trifoliate pattern with 2-4 cm long petioles. The lateral petioles are up to 15 mm long. The lateral leaflets are ovate to elliptic, and up to 7 × 4.2 cm in size. The terminal leaflets are obovate, and up to 7.5 × 4.8 cm in size. The inflorescences are 4-5 cm long, are borne on the axillary racemes, and occur in clusters. The 1.5 mm long sepals are broadly deltoid. The greenish to white petals are oblong-obovate, and 14 × 8 mm in size. The white stamens occur in a group of 35-45, with 4-7 mm long filaments. The ovary is 8 × 4 mm in size with very short style. The fruit is a subglobose berry 5-12.5 cm in diameter with a hard woody shell. Inside the fruit, there are 8-16 (-20) segments, with 6-0 seeds in a clear, sticky, edible yellow pulp. At ripening the pulp contains scented mucilage, which has a sweet taste. The seeds are woolly-pubescent and are enclosed in a sac of adhesive mucilage, which solidifies on drying. The testa is white. In Thailand matoom trees flower from December-March.

13.3 Ecology and husbandry

Matoom is a hardy, deciduous tree of the tropics and sub-tropics. It can grow under harsh conditions, including extremes of temperature in India. In Thailand, it only flowers and fruits well where there is a prominent dry season. The tree can tolerate alkaline soil.

Matoom is usually propagated by seeds. It can be propagated vegetatively by root suckers, or through budding on seedling stocks. Vegetatively propagated plants bear fruit after 5 years and full bearing can be attained in about 15 years. The fruit ripens in the dry season when most leaves have been shed in anticipation of bloom for the next crop. Harvesting is done by picking individual fruits, which should not be allowed to drop. The fruit is packed in baskets, gunny bags or wooden boxes. Cracked fruit is rejected, as it is susceptible to fungal infection.

The matoom tree does not need special care in cultivation. No fertilizer recommendation is reported, as the tree can tolerate even poor soil. Also no serious pests and diseases have been reported.

13.4 Uses

The yellow or orange pulp is soft, very fragrant and pleasantly flavoured. The edible portion, i.e. the pulp, comprises 56-77 percent of the fruit and its composition per 100 g includes: water 61.5 g, protein 1.8 g, fat 0.39 g, carbohydrates 31.8 g, ash 1.7 g, carotene 55 mg, thiamine 0.13 mg, riboflavin 1.19 mg, niacin 1.1 mg and vitamin C 8 mg. The fruit rind is rich in tannin. Marmelosine (C13H12O3), volatile oil, limonene, alkaloids, coumarines and steroids are also present in different parts of the tree

Ripe fruit is eaten fresh and is also prepared as sherbet, syrup, marmalade and fruit nectar. The mucilage around unripe seeds is used as an adhesive and household glue. Ripe fruit extract is used against rectum inflammation. The rind of unripe fruit can be used as a yellow dye and as a tanning agent.

13.5 Prospects

The prospects of matoom are dependent on the utilization. Since the pulp from ripe fruit turns brown and develops off-putting flavours during extraction and processing, ripe can only be consumed fresh, and green fruit has to be used to make preserves. New processing techniques can preserve the quality of pulp from ripe fruits. As the soluble solids content of the pulp is 28-36 percent, about twice as high as in most other fruits, a wide range of processed products from matoom would be feasible. If the product can find a market, the expansion of cultivation and research into selection and breeding of cultivars of high yielding and good fruit quality would follow.

14. Mayom (Phyllanthus acidus (L.) skeels)

This fruit tree is in the Euphorbiaceae family. It is commonly seen in home gardens throughout Thailand. Its origin may have been Madagascar, but it is now naturalized and cultivated pan tropically in Thailand and some other Southeast Asian countries.

14.1 Vernacular names

The English name is star-gooseberry. Ceremoi, cereme, cerme (Indonesia); chermai (Malaysia); iba (Tagalog), bangkiling (Bisaya), karmay (Ilokano) (Philippines); thinbozihpyoo (Myanmar);.kântûet (Cambodia; nhôm baanz (Laos), mayom (Thailand); and chùm ruôt (Viet Nam).

14.2 General description

Mayom is a small tree or shrub that can grow up to 2-9 m tall. Leaves are ovate, 2-7 cm long, and arranged like a pinnate leaf along the branches. Flowers are borne in clusters composed of male, female or hermaphrodite flowers. The flowers have 4 to numerous rosy petals, arranged in panicles up to 12 cm long. The fruit is a globose drupe with 6-8 lobes and is 1-2.5 cm in diameter. It is yellow-white in colour (Figure 10). The fruit is very sour. There are 4-6 seeds in a fruit. Mayom can be grown in any part of Thailand, but the tree prefers growing in moist sites.

14.3 Propagation

Mayom is usually propagated by seeds. The seedlings grow rapidly and bear fruits within 2-3 years. Budding and stem cutting can be used as another means of vegetative propagation.

14.4 Uses

Due to its sour taste, the fruit is mainly used for cooking, although pickled fruit with sugar and chilli is well known dish for Thais and is sold in local markets. The nutritive values of mayom fruit (per 100 g edible portion) are 28 k cal of energy, 91.7 g moisture, 0.7 g protein, 6.4 g carbohydrate, 0.6 g crude fibre, 5 mg calcium, 23 mg phosphorous, 0.4 mg iron, 0.01 mg thiamin, 0.05 mg riboflavin and 8 mg vitamin C (Anon, 1992).

The traditional ethnomedical uses of mayom are reported as using the extract from the root to cure skin diseases especially relief from itching. Leaves are used as one of the ingredients in Thai medicine to control fever.

14.5 Prospects

There is very little prospect for mayom to be recognized as a commercially economic fruit of Thailand. The demand for the fruit, even in the local market, is small as many villagers in rural areas grow this fruit tree for their own use and consumption.

15. Ngoh khon san (Nephelium mutabile Blume)

The synonym of this species is Nephelium ramboutan-ake (labill.) Leenh.

15.1 General description

The ngoh khon san belongs to the Sapindaceae family, the same family as rambutan, longan and lychee. It is similar to rambutan in tree form and foliage, but the main distinguishing characteristics are: the tree is smaller, 10 to 15 m high, leaflets are narrower, form (branches) is more open and there is less fruit on the panicle. In the fruit the pericarp is thicker, and is usually dull red with spines or tubercles, which are very much shorter (Figure 11). The aril is usually white and the taste is quite sweet. The aril clings to the seed and accounts for around 35 to 45 percent of total fruit weight. The fruit size range is 40 to 70 mm long and 40 to 60 mm in diameter. In Thailand, the fruiting season of ngoh khon san is from late April to May.

Ngoh khon san is a species that closely resembles rambutan (N. lappaceum). The spines on the fruits are usually short and stubby in ngoh khon san whereas in rambutan the spines are long filiform. In southern Thailand and Malaysia, ngoh khon san is found mostly in lowland primary forests, often on river banks but rarely in swamps, and usually on sand or clay soils.

Ngoh khon san is indigenous to Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines and is cultivated in Malaysia. There are some ngoh khon san clones developed in Malaysia such as P6 and P26 with a few good local selections from Sabah (Van Welzen et al., 1988).

15.2 Vernacular names

The English name is pulasan. Kapulasan (Indonesia); pulasan (Peninsular), meritam (Sabah, Sarawak), (Malaysia); bulala (Philippines); and ngoh khon san (Thailand).

15.3 Uses

The fruit of ngoh khon san is sweet and appreciated by the local people of Malaysia, Indonesia and southern Thailand. The edible sarcotesta is thinner and less sweet than the rambutan, and it often adheres tightly to the seed kernel.

The fruit of ngoh khon san contains per 100 g edible portion: water 85 g, protein 0.8 g, fat 0.6 g, carbohydrates 13 g, fibre 0.1 g and ash 0.4 g.

15.4 Prospects

Being overshadow by good rambutan cultivars, ngoh khon san has little prospect of being develop for commercial plantation in Thailand. The tree stands as good genetic sources in breeding and selection within the species or crossing with its relative the rambutan. However, the possibility of using ngoh khon san as rootstock for rambutan has not been investigated.

16. Noi nong (Annona reticulata L.)

Noi Nong is a member of the Annonas group and belongs to the Annonaceae family. In Thailand, it is less popular than its relative, the sugar apple (A. squamosa L.), which is grown commercially. Noi nong is a native of the West Indies and was introduced into Asian countries many centuries ago. It is occasionally found growing in the home gardens in Thailand. It is also found growing in Malaysia and the Philippines.

16.1 Vernacular names

The English names are custard apple and bullock's heart. Coeur de boeuf (French); buah nona (Malay), kanowa (Java), serba rabsa (Aceh), (Indonesia); nona, nona kapri, lonang (Malaysia); sarikaya (Philippines); mo bat, mean bat (Cambodia); khan tua lot (Laos); noi nong (Central), noi nang (South), manong (North), (Thailand); and binh bat, qua nam máng cáu dai (Viet Nam).

16.2 General description

Noi nong is a medium sized tree and is slightly taller than the sugar apple. The tree can grow up to 8-10 m tall and has an erect habit with trunk diameter of 35 cm. The tree sometimes sheds its leaves and behaves like a semi-deciduous tree, especially when it is grown in dry summer areas. Flowers are produced in clusters. The mature fruit is heart shaped and sometimes oval or conical. The fruit of noi nong is slightly larger than that of the sugar apple. The weight of a fruit ranges from 0.1-1.2 kg. It takes longer to mature as compared to that of the sugar apple. The surface of the fruit is smooth with hexagonal lines appearing in a reticulated manner. The colour of the fruit skin is yellow-brown and reddish brown. The cream-white flesh, like the other Annonas, is pulpy and contains numerous brown seeds. The flesh does not taste as good as the others, lacking flavour, so it is not so popular on the local market.

16.3 Ecology

Noi nong needs a tropical climate for good growth, but it can survive in sub-tropical conditions. It is less drought-tolerant than the sugar apple and prefers a humid atmosphere. In Thailand it has been grown as a mixed home garden plants along with big trees like mango, ma-praang, coconut etc. At present, it is normally propagated by seeds, but grafting and budding onto other Annona seedlings are known to be successful.

16.4 Uses

The fruits are eaten fresh or prepared as juices, ice-cream, puddings etc. The leaves are employed in tanning and also yield a blue or black dye. Young twigs provide good fibre. The yellow wood is soft, fibrous but durable, and is used to make utensils. Ethnomedically, the leaves are used internally against worms, and externally to treat abscesses. Unripe fruits and the bark are used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery. The seeds, leaves and young fruits have insecticidal properties. The hard seeds are very toxic, but can be swallowed whole with no ill effects. All non-fruit parts are quite toxic.

16.5 Prospects

At present noi nong has value as a home garden plant, although it is not as popular as sugar apple. However, it may have value as rootstock for superior Annona species such as sugar apple and atemoya, especially under humid conditions. It may also be useful as a genetic resource for hybridization work on Annona species, which needs further research.

17. Som-khaek (Garcinia atroviridis Griff.)

Som-khaek belongs to the Guttiferae family, the same family as the well-known mangosteen. The tree is a native of Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and India (Assam), where it has been cultivated as a home garden plant. It is fairly common in southern Thailand where it is found growing as individual trees in the mixed forest of high rainfall areas.

17.1 Vernacular names

There is no English name specified for this tree; but is generally known as garcinia. In Thailand it is known as som-khaek, ma-khaam khaek, som-ma-won, som-pha-ngum and som-khaai. In Indonesia and Malaysia it is known as asam gelúgor and gelugor.

17.2 General description

The tree can grow up to 20 m tall, with drooping twigs and leaves. The bark is smooth, pale grey in colour and has colourless latex. The leaves are narrowly oblong and about 20-30 × 6-7.5 cm in size. Young leaves are bright red and turn to dark green when mature. Several male flowers are borne together on the end of twigs. Female flowers are solitary, 4-5 cm wide, having 4 thick green sepals and 4 fleshy dark red petals with red stigma. The fruits are globose and about 7-10 cm in diameter. A mature fruit can weigh up to 2 kg. The fruit contains 12-16 grooves from top to bottom, with a fruit stalk 3-4 cm long. The bright orange-yellow fruit skin is thin and smooth. The fruit contains several seeds 1.5 cm long, which are flattened and surrounded by bright orange pulp (arillode).

17.3 Propagation

Som-khaek is commonly propagated by germinating seeds. It was observed, but not scientifically proven, that trees grown from seedlings resulted in more male than female trees. Thus, it is suggested that grafting or inarching bud wood of known sex onto seedling trees may produce plants of desired sex which can bear fruits within 4-5 years of grafting.

17.4 Uses

The mature fruits are sour. The fully grown but still green fruits are sliced, dried, and used as seasoning or sour relish. In Thailand the traditional ethnomedical uses of som-khaek are as follows. The dried fruit is used for improving blood circulation, as an expectorant, treatment of coughs and as a laxative (Poomipamorn and Kumkong, 1997). Now it is believed that the fruit extract has efficacies in health promotion such as reducing cholesterol and enlarging the blood vessels, absorbing excess fat and use in diets. At present, the products of som-khaek are becoming popular as health food, and a lot of som-khaek products are sold in the markets in different forms such as som-khaek tea, som-khaek capsules and som-khaek fruit slices.

17.5 Prospects

In Thailand som-khaek has some prospects for development as health food and an increase in production area can be expected. The demand for som-khaek is rather steady, but is slowly increasing. Slices of dry fruit is are sold at 200-300 baht (5-7.5 US dollars) for one kilogram throughout the year. Two kilograms of fruit yields 200 g dry weight. The average price of som-khaek fruit is 20 baht. One advantage in cultivating som-khaek is that the plant is easily grown with almost no pest and disease problems and requires very little care. Thus, it is a promising fruit for use as a health food.

18. Som-saa (Citrus medica L. var. limetta)

Som-saa belongs to the Rutaceae family. It has been known in Thailand for many centuries and it is believed that the tree was introduced into the country from China. In Thailand, it is known as 'som-saa' in the Central Plain, 'ma-kun' in the North and 'som-sah' in the Northeast.

18.1 General description

Som-saa is a small to medium sized tree similar to tangerine in size. Leaves are simple, ovate-elliptic, and dark green with a smooth and shiny surface. There is an oil gland on the leaf, which has a small, narrow wing at the petiole. It has small white flowers. The fruit is about the same size as tangerine when ripe, but the rind is thicker and bumpier than that of tangerine. The juice sac is white like pummelo, with a sourish-sweet taste. In Thailand it is used in cooking.

Propagation is done by seed germination and marcotting.

18.2 Uses

Som-saa has many uses. The fruit rind or skin is chopped into small, thin pieces and placed as side-dish to many Thai dishes such as 'mee krop' and 'pa-naem' to make them smell and taste better. The skin is also used as an anti-flatulent. The juice is used to cure coughing, and leaves are used to treat skin diseases etc.

18.3 Prospects

In Thailand som-saa is only grown for home consumption. It has no potential for development at a commercial scale. However, more research should be done on the use of som-saa as a genetic resource for improving citrus varieties for the future of the citrus industry in Thailand.

19. Taling pling (Averrhoe bilimbi L.)

19.1 General description

Taling pling (Averrhoe bilimbi L.) is related to the carambola (Averrhoe carambola L.) and both species belong to the Oxalidaceae family. Taling pling is native to the Southeast Asian region and is found growing all over the humid tropics. It is a small tree, about 5-12 m high with rusty pubescent young parts and petioles. The taling pling tree can be easily distinguished from the carambola in that it has large leaves with 10-14 leaflets which are paler green than those of the carambola. The pinnate leaves are 20-60 cm long, opposite, and have 10-17 pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are pointed at the tip, 5-10 cm. long and rather narrow. The inflorescences are borne on the trunk, large branches and on short branchlets below the leaves and are 15 cm or less in length. The crimson coloured flowers are about 1.5 cm long and somewhat fragrant, with hairy a calyx. The 5 petals are reddish purple, often marked with white, and measure 1.2-1.9 cm in length. The stamens are all anther bearing. The haploid chromosome number is 12 (Ramirez, 1959). Flowers are produced all year round, especially during the drier part of the year.

The fruits are somewhat cylindrical or slightly pentagonal in shape, vary from 5-10 cm in length and weigh about 18-19 g. They are light green, becoming greenish yellow and translucent when ripe. The ripe fruit is juicy, acidic, and contains few, flattened, non-arillate seeds.

19.2 Vernacular names

The English names of this species are bilimbi and cucumber tree. Cornichonier (French); belimbing asam, blimbing wuluh, blimbing buluk (Indonesia, Malaysia); kamias, iba (Philippines); trâlông töng (Cambodia); taling pling (Thailand); and khê tau (Viet Nam).

19.3 Ecology

Taling pling thrives well on any soil type provided it is well drained (Ochse et al., 1961). However, for best performance, it should be grown in deep, fertile, sandy loam or clay loam soils with plenty of organic matter (Coronel, 1983). The trees are found to grow well at low altitudes from sea level up to 500 m in areas having an even distribution of rainfall throughout the year (Ochse et al., 1961). They are also quite tolerant to dry periods (Manipon, 1972).

19.4 Propagation

Taling pling trees are usually propagated by seeds but they may also be asexually propagated by budding, grafting, marcotting and marching (Galang, 1955; Ochse et al., 1961). Seed propagation is discouraged since great variation occurs among the seedling trees. Outstanding mother trees should be kept for asexual propagation. Shield budding is successfully practised in the Philippines and is recommended for large scale propagation. Marcotting can be done in taling pling trees, but this is not recommended for large scale propagation as it is a laborious and slow process and it takes a long time to root. Inarching can be done with success, but it is a slow process as it takes quite some time before inarches can be separated from the trees. There is no report on the success of stem cutting in taling pling trees. However, root cutting may be possible as it has been observed that severed roots of taling pling trees are able to produce adventitious growths that are able to establish themselves as independent plants (Wester, 1929).

19.5 Uses and food values

The composition of taling pling fruit is shown in Table 3. The fruit is rich in moisture, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and vitamin A, but low in other constituents, including ascorbic acid. The organic acids in the fruits are predominantly citric acid and oxalic acid (Table 4).

The fruit of taling pling is occasionally eaten raw with salt or sliced thin and added to salad. It is used extensively as a souring agent for many native dishes. It may also be processed into candies or made into chutneys, relishes and pickles. Its raw juice is an effective remover of stains or spots on clothes, rust stains on brassware and stubborn food particles on enamelware (Pratt and Del Rosario, 1913).

Table 3. Food composition of taling pling fruit, data per 100 g. edible portion (Intengan, 1968)

Edible portion (%)


Moisture (g)


Food energy (cal)


Protein (g)


Fat (g)


Carbohydrates (g)


Fibre (g)


Ash (g)


Calcium (mg)


Phosphorous (mg)


Iron (mg)


Sodium (mg)


Potassium (mg)


Vitamin A (I.U.)


Thiamine (mg)


Riboflavin (mg)


Niacin (mg)


Ascorbic acid (mg)


Table 4. The organic acid contents of taling pling fruits (after Carangal et al., 1961). Data expressed in meq acid/100 g total solid

Acetic acid

1.6 - 1.9

Citric acid

92.6 - 133.8

Formic acid

0.4 - 0.9

Lactic acid

0.4 - 1.2

Malic acid


Oxalic acid

5.5 - 8.9

The taling pling tree also has some medicinal properties (Coloma, 1972). When applied hot externally the leaves prevent itching. They can also be used to cure syphilis when taken internally fresh or fermented. A decoction of leaves is used to cure inflammation of the rectum and the paste is applied for mumps, rheumatism and pimples. An infusion of the flowers is used for coughs. The fruit is an astringent stomachic and refrigerant and its juice is made into syrup as a cooling drink for reducing fever. It is antiscorbutic and is used in some slight cases of hemorrhage from the bowels as well as the stomach and internal hemorrhage. It is also used to cure beriberi, biliousness and coughs.

The fruits of taling pling tree can be processed in many ways. They can be dried, candied, preserved in syrup or made into jam and pickle.

19.6 Prospects

At present, it is difficult to see the development of established plantations of taling pling trees in Thailand. This is due to the lack of major market demand. Cultivation is confined only to home gardens and the fruits are only utilized for local use.

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