Kokum

 
 

Kokum, or kokam, is native to western India. In its native distribution it reaches a height of 50 feet. The leaves are lustrous, up to 3.5 inches long, red when young. Flowers are small and appear in groups along the branches, male and female on the same tree; the petals do not separate far when the flower opens. Fruits are up to 1.5 inches long, in India they are consumed fresh and in juice, in addition to being used as seasoning and to produce an oil known as kokum or Goa butter. Our tree has been observed with flowers in November and with fruits in June. The generic name honors the French botanist Laurent Garcin (1683-1751). The species name refers to its geographic origin.


The photographed tree is near the entrance to the Buildings and Ground Department nursery, and is the only member of the species in the campus. Apparently it is also the only tree of the species in Puerto Rico.

Garcinia indica (Clusiaceae)