Characteristics of Spanish Cherry Tree (Mimusops elengi) in the Wild

Mimusops elengi
The Spanish cherry or Medlar is a medium-sized tree that grows in tropical forests in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and northern Australia.

In Indonesia, the Spanish cherry tree is called by local names such as Tanjung, Tanjong, Tanju, Angkatan, Wilaja, Keupula cangè, Kahekis, Karikis, Kariskis, and Rekes. The Spanish cherry tree entered Indonesia for centuries ago.

The wood of the Spanish cherry tree is valuable, the fruit is edible, and is often used in traditional medicine. Their flowers give off a scent, so the Spanish cherry is a valuable ornamental garden tree.

 

Characteristics of Spanish Cherry Leaf

Mimusops elengi Leaf
Source : flickr.com/Ben Caledonia

The leaves are shiny dark green, oval in shape, about 7-14 cm long and 3-6 cm wide.

 

Characteristics of Spanish Cherry Flower

Mimusops elengi Flower
Source : flickr.com/Alka Khare

The flowers are cream-colored, hairy, hanging, appearing under the armpits of the leaves, and are fragrant. Spanish cherry flowers bloom in April and begin to bear fruit in June.

 

Characteristics of Spanish Cherry Fruit

Mimusops elengi Fruit
Source : flickr.com/Jake Teo

Spanish cherries are oval, 2-3 cm long, fluffy, and red or orange when ripe. Ripe fruit can be eaten fresh.

 

Characteristics of Spanish Cherry Tree

Mimusops elengi Tree
Source : flickr.com/Ben Caledonia

In the wild, the Spanish cherry tree can grow to a height of 20 meters and create a wide canopy so that the area below is cool and shaded during the day.

The tree bark is thick and brownish-black or grayish-black, with a few cracks on the surface.

 
BENEFITS OF SPANISH CHERRY TREE

Almost all parts of the Spanish cherry tree are beneficial, especially in the bark, flowers, fruit, and seeds which are often used in Ayurvedic medicine where it is claimed to be an astringent, anthelmintic, tonic, and febrifuge. Mainly used to treat dental diseases such as bleeding gums, pyorrhea, dental caries, and loose teeth.

In Thailand, the flowers are dried in the sun and used to make green tea additions.

The wood is dark red, of good quality because it is very hard, strong, heavy, and durable.

The boiled water of the bark is used as a tonic and fever medicine.

A decoction of the bark and flowers of Spanish cherry is used to treat fever accompanied by bowels.

The fresh leaves are crushed finely used as a poultice for a headache medicine.

The leaves can also be chopped like tobacco, mixed with a little Secang wood shaving (Caesalpinia sappan), and rolled with banana leaves, then used as a cigarette to treat thrush in the mouth.

The root can be mixed with vinegar and can be used to treat sore throats.

 

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