Characteristics of Asam Gelugur Tree (Garcinia atroviridis) in the Wild

Garcinia atroviridis
Asam gelugur or Asam gelugo (Garcinia atroviridis) is a cut tamarind-producing tree. Cut tamarind is obtained from sliced ​​fruit that is dried by drying in the sun. Cut tamarind is used for cooking spices, beverage flavoring ingredients, basic ingredients for medicine, and basic ingredients for cosmetics.

Some coastal Malay communities process this gelugur sour fruit into sweets or halwa for dishes on holidays.

This tree is native to South and Southeast Asia. Asam gelugur is also said to be a perennial tree because it can survive for hundreds of years, and the older it gets, the more fruit it produces. One asam gelugur tree trunk that is more than 30 years old can produce as much as four hundred kilograms of fruit in a year.

According to the size and nature of the fruit, asam gelugur is divided into two types, namely Asam Batu and Asam Air. Asam Batu fruit is small (7-10 cm in diameter), is heavy like a stone, and the texture of the fruit is dense and tends to be dry. One kilogram of cut tamarind comes from four kilograms of Asam Batu. Meanwhile, the tamarind juice is large (10-14 cm in diameter), not as heavy as the tamarind, and the texture of the fruit is more crunchy, chewy, and juicy. One kilogram of cut tamarind comes from five kilograms of Asam Air.

 

Characteristics of Asam Gelugur Leaf

Garcinia atroviridis Leaf
Source: flickr.com/Cerlin Ng

Single leaf, large, oval, dark green with a shiny upper surface, young reddish shoots turn dark green when mature.

 

Characteristics of Asam Gelugur Flower

Garcinia atroviridis Flower
Source: flickr.com/Cerlin Ng

Female flowers are usually only one flower in one stalk, while male flowers are many in one stalk.

The flowers appear between March and May, with yellowish-red petals protruding from the leaf axils.

 

Characteristics of Asam Gelugur Fruit

Garcinia atroviridis Fruit
Source: flickr.com/Cerlin Ng

The fruit is green when young and yellow when old. Fruit diameter between 7-15 cm, with an average weight of 300 grams per grain. The fruit is round and bladed. The number of blades is equal to the number of seeds in the fruit, although most of the seeds are pseudo seeds. The seeds are in two pieces and coated with a kind of gel.

 

Characteristics of Asam Gelugur Tree

Garcinia atroviridis Tree
Source: flickr.com/Cerlin Ng

The asam gelugur tree is a hardwood tree and has a single house, which means that the male and female trees are in different trees. The tree can grow to a height of 30 meters, with a crown width of 8 meters.

In nature, it is rare to find a purely male tree. Most of them are multiple sexes or hermaphrodites. This hermaphrodite asam gelugur is capable of producing flowers but will fall completely until there is no or very little fruit. Because it does not produce fruit, most people call it a male asam gelugur tree.

This tree can grow at an altitude of 5-1700 m above sea level and ideally is at 400-1200 m asl. No strict soil type requirements are needed. Trees can grow in sandy soil, clay soil, rocky soil, riverbank wet soil, limestone soil, to critical soil on the edge of mountains. However, soil fertility of course still affects fruit production. Asam gelugur bears fruit without knowing the season, every time there is fruit. Sometimes in one tree, there are flowers, pistils, young fruit to fruit that has turned yellow and falls. However, the harvest is usually twice a year, at the end of the rainy season and the end of the dry season.

 

HOW TO CULTIVATE ASAM GELUGUR

Asam gelugur can be propagated through seeds, shoot grafting, and root cuttings. The sex characteristics of the asam gelugur plant are strong, meaning that it cannot be changed by treatment.

Vegetative methods with grafting and milking are commonly used. The advantage of this breeding is that it bears fruit quickly, grows not too high, and is of the same nature as its parent. However, the difficulty of vegetative propagation is the limited number of good ideal branches to develop. Only the apex branches that are vertically upwards can be connected or stretched. If you use another branch that points to the side, the tree crown will stay sideways. Does not want to grow upwards, even though it is well supported or supported. Cutting the connecting branches that have grown does not also succeed in growing shoots that grow upwards.

 

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