Characteristics of Lobi-Lobi Trees (Flacourtia inermis) in the Wild

Flacourtia inermis
The Lobi-lobi or Lovi-lovi are one of the native Philippine trees but have naturalized in the tropics of Asia and Africa. In Indonesia, this tree is known by many names such as Tome-tome, Lovi-lovi, Lubi-Lubi, Lobi-lobi, and Balakko. Whereas in English-speaking countries it is called Batoko Plum, although this name is intended for Flacourtia indica.

 

Characteristics of Lobi-Lobi Leaf

Flacourtia inermis Leaf
Source: flickr.com/光明 熊

Mature leaves are oval to elliptical and glossy on the top, with toothed margins. About 8-20 cm long and 3-15 cm wide. The young leaves are bright orange to reddish, and turn green as they mature.

 

Characteristics of Lobi-Lobi Flower

Flacourtia inermis Flower
Source: flickr.com/Cerlin Ng

The flowers are small and clusters of 2-8 flowers, each flower 3-5 mm in diameter. The lobi-lobi flowers appear near the base of the leaves and along the branches, but not at the ends. The flowers have greenish-yellow sepals, but they do not have petals.

 

Characteristics of Lobi-Lobi Fruit

Flacourtia inermis Fruit
Source: flickr.com/paul-elly

The fruit appears in clusters and resembles a cherry. The shape is round and the fruit skin is shiny. When young it is light green and turns dark red to purple when ripe. Each fruit is 1-3 cm in diameter, crispy flesh, and sour taste. Ripe lobbies can be eaten fresh, but are generally made as jams and syrups.

 

Characteristics of Lobi-Lobi Tree

Flacourtia inermis Tree
Source: alchetron.com

The lobi-lobi tree is thornless and can grow up to 15 meters tall and is often planted as shade for yards or ornamental trees in gardens due to its attractive orange to pink foliage.

The tree does best in full sun and moist, but the soil is well-drained. It grows poorly in waterlogged soils but can grow in sandy soils.

 

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