Garcinia quaesita

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Local names:
English (red mango,Indian tamarind,brindleberry), Sinhala (kana goraka,honda goraka), Thai (korakkaipuli)

Garcinia quaesita is a medium to large evergreen lactiferous tree to 20 m high and up to 60 cm dbh. The crown is round with drooping branches. The bark is blackish and rough, cracked and peeling to exude dark-yellow latex.

Leaves dark green, 5-12.5 by 2.5-7.5 cm, oblanceolate to subovate

Flowers white, on axil of upper leaves; male flowers clustered and female solitary.

Fruit a small yellow, purple or reddish globose, with 7-13 very deep vertical grooves. Flesh is mild to distinctly acid  and is acclaimed to be exquisitely luscious and delicious.

Seeds 6-8, ovoid-oblong, 2.5 cm long and 1.6 cm wide, clinging to the flesh

The generic name is after L. Garcin (1683-1751), a naturalist and a correspondent of Linnaeus.


It is found in wet and intermediate evergreen forests and home-gardens in hot and wet tropical climates.

Native range
India, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka

Tree management

Planting is done at a spacing of 10-12 m at the beginning of the rainy season, enriched with organic matter and topsoil and left to weather. The young tree is put in place very carefully to avoid root injury and given a heavy watering. Partial shading should be maintained for 3-5 years. Where a moist planting site is not available, irrigation ditches should be dug to make it possible to maintain an adequate water supply. The trees are irrigated almost daily during the dry season. Small inner branches should be pruned from  the old unproductive trees to stimulate bearing

The seed storage behaviour is recalcitrant. Seeds should be stored in their fruit at room temperature or in moist peat moss

It is found in wet and intermediate evergreen forests and home-gardens in hot and wet tropical climates.

G. quaesita is usually propagated by seeds and vegetatively by grafting. This species spreads in the natural forests by natural regeneration. Germination in the nursery is very poor. Freshly harvested seeds require about 13 months to germinate. Seed pretreatment by coat removal (decoating) or application of giberellic acid (GA3) before sowing increases the germination rate and time

In India, vegetative propagation through grafting on to G. tinctoria rootstocks (originally grown from seeds) have been carried out. It was observed that the success rate increased with increasing age of the rootstock. There is greater seedling survival if seeds are planted directly into the nursery row than if first grown in containers and then transplanted to the nursery. The young plants take 2 years or more to reach a height of 30 cm, at which time they can be transplanted into the field.

Erosion control: When intercropped with other crops home-gardens, it holds together soil thus controlling soil erosion

 The edible fruits have a distinctive sweet acid taste. Dried fruits of are widely used as a spice in the preparation of fish curries. The dried rind is a condiment especially in Sri Lanka, India and Malabar. It is used as a metabolic regulator (against obesity).

Timber: The grey, close-grained wood produces a non-durable of low quality (600-700 kg/m3). The heartwood is distinctly hard and durable in old trees. The wood is used for posts, matchboxes and splits while the timber is used in cheap boxes

Shade or shelter: It can be a good shade plant

Lipids: The seeds have very high oil content. They contain up to about 31% of edible fat, rich in oleic acid

Medicine: The fruit rind and extracts of Garcinia are used in traditional medicinal recipes especially in the Ayurvedic system. Leaves are astringent and anti-pyretic. A decoction of the fruit rind is taken for rheumatism and bowel complaints. It is used as a decoction for washing ulcers and a gargle in weak and spongy gums. Internally, it acts as a stomachic and is used in anorexia and chronic dyspepsia. In veterinary medicine, it has been used as a rinse for diseases of the mouth in cattle

Gum or resin: The tree yields a translucent yellow resin, which does not form an emulsion with water. The latex is soluble in turpentine and gives a yellow varnish, used in painting and dyeing

Ornamental: It is a good ornamental tree when planted along road avenues

Latex or rubber: The dried rind used for polishing gold and silver, is a substitute for acetic and formic acids in the coagulation of rubber latex