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Wood Apple

(Feronia Elephantum, Limonia Acidissima)

Other Names: Koht, Elephant apple, Feronia elephantum, Feronia limonia, Monkey fruit or Curd fruit, Kaitha, Divul

Description:
Wood apple is a small tree growing to 9 m tall, with rough, spiny bark. The leaves are pinnate, with 5-7 leaflets, each leaflet 25-35 mm long and 10-20 mm broad, with a citrus-scent when crushed. The fruit is a berry 5-9 cm diameter, and may be sweet or sour. It has a very hard rind which can be difficult to crack open, and contains sticky brown pulp and small white seeds.

Uses:
Wood apple is eaten plain, mixed into a variety of beverages and desserts, or preserved as jam. The rind of the fruit is so thick and hard it can be carved and used as a utensil such as a bowl or ashtray. The bark also produces an edible gum. The tree has hard wood which can be used for woodworking.

Health:
The wood apple is used as a liver and cardiac tonic and when unripe, as an astringent means of halting diarrhoea and dysentery and effective treatment for hiccough, sore throat and diseases of the gums. The pulp is poulticed onto bites and stings of venomous insects, as is the powdered rind.Juice of young leaves is mixed with milk and sugar candy and given as a remedy for biliousness and intestinal troubles of children. The powdered gum, mixed with honey, is given to overcome dysentery and diarrhea in children.Oil derived from the crushed leaves is applied on itch and the leaf decoction is given to children as an aid to digestion. Leaves, bark, roots and fruit pulp are all used against snakebite.

Climate:
The wood apple is similar to the bael fruit. It is a subtropical species. It can grow in climates that vary in temperature from 48C and -6C in the winter. It requires a distinct dry season.

Soil:
Any soil but light soil preferred.

Propagation:
The wood apple is generally grown from seeds though seedlings will not bear fruit until at least 15 years old. Multiplication may also be by root cuttings and air-layering.

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