Botanical Name: Garcinia morella
Species: G. morella
*Mangostana morella Gaertn.
*Garcinia elliptica Wall.
*Garcinia gutta Wt.
*Assamese: K?zi Thekera
*English: gamboge (Sri Lanka), gamboge (India)
*Tamil: iravasinni, makki
*Malayalam: iravi, chigiri
*Kannada: ardala, devana huli, jirigehuli, murina huli, ponpuli, ‘dirakala hannu’
*Sinhalese: kokatiya, gokatiya, goraka
*Visayan languages: batuan
Habitat: Batuan trees are native to the south eastern region of Asia and these trees are found copiously in forests that are located in low altitudes, mostly in Vietnam and the Philippines. Grows in India,Sreelanka. Grows in lowland to lower montane forest, sometimes on limestone, at elevations up to 1,500 metres
Garcinia morella is an evergreen tree, grows to a height of 18 m , bark 3-10 mm thick, brownish-grey or brown to dark brown, smooth; blaze dark yellow; exudation dark yellow or orange yellow, sticky; branchlets quadrangular, glabrous. Leaves simple, opposite, decussate, estipulate; petiole 6-15 mm, stout, glabrous, grooved above, thickened, very shortly ligulate at base; lamina 6-16 x 2.5-9 cm, elliptic-obovate or elliptic-oblanceolate, base acute or cuneate, apex obtuse, obtusely acuminate or caudate-acuminate, margin entire, glabrous, coriaceous; lateral nerves 8-16 pairs, pinnate, arched towards the margin forming intramarginal nerve, slender, prominent, intercostae reticulate, faint. Flowers polygamodioecious, reddish, sessile; male flowers: 2-4 in axillary fascicles or on old wood; sepals 4 orbicular, decussate, outer pairs smaller than the inner, glabrous; petals 4, little larger than sepals, orbicular, veined, concave; stamens 10-12, monadelphous, the filaments combined in to a subquadrangular central column, anthers red, orbicular, plurilocular; pistillode absent; female flowers: axillary, solitary, larger than male flowers; staminodes 10-12 in a ring round the ovary, connate at the base; ovary superior, greenish, globose, smooth, 4-celled, ovule one in each cell; stigma peltate, sessile, irregularly lobed, tubercled, persistent, margin dentate. Fruit a berry, 1.5-2.5 cm long, subglobose, or globose, smooth, yellowish or light pink, surrounded at the base by persistent sepals, crowned by flat tuberculate round stigmas, pulp sweet, acidic; seeds 2-4, kidney shaped, laterally compressed, dark brown, testa muriculate.
Seed – the seed of most members of the genus can be slow to germinate, even if sown fresh, often taking 6 months or more.
Ripe fruits can be eaten but they are very acidic. Just like other garcinia varieties such as kokum (which is prevalent in the Indian west coast) or garcinia pedunculata, the fruit can be preserved by slicing into thin pieces and then drying under sun. It can be made into pickles. Bodos cook the unripe fruit as vegetable with fish. A chutney can be made by boiling the fruit. In Assam, dried and preserved slices are added to black green pulses to make a popular slightly acidic curry. In Malnad region of Karnataka, Tirtahalli and Chikkamagalore this is widely used in name of ‘odduli’, especially in fish recipes. Odduli is prepared by boiling the fruit to get a thick black liquid which can be stored for years without adding preservatives.
Medicinal Uses: Dried up fruit slices are valued as a traditional remedy for dysentery. In Ayurveda the fruits are used in the treatment of dysentery, gastritis, etc. and is said to have anti inflammatory properties. When the bark is cut it exudes a yellow resin called gamboge that is used in food, paints and medicines. It can be used as a rootstock for the mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana).
.Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.