Characteristics of Hog Plum Tree (Ximenia americana) in the Wild

Ximenia americana
The Hog Plum or Yellow Plum (Ximenia americana) is a small tree species native to the forests of America, Africa, and Asia. It is also sometimes called Tallwood or Tall wood in some areas.

This includes the medicinal plant and its fruit used to treat stomach ailments, and its delicious apricot-like fruit taste. In Asia, the young leaves are cooked as a vegetable. However, the leaves also contain cyanide and need to be cooked well, and should not be consumed in large quantities.

Specifically Ximenia americana var. microphylla is categorized as Least Concern (LC) on the Red List of South African plants. This species is automatically assigned Least Concern status because it has not undergone screening or been highlighted as a potential taxon for conservation concerns. This status is subject to change given the medicinal value.


Characteristics of Plum Hog Leaf

Ximenia americana Leaf

The leaves are oval-shaped, 2-3 cm long, bright green, and have a pungent almond smell.


Characteristics of Hog Plum Flower

Ximenia americana Flower
Source: Heloderma

The flowers are small (2-2.5cm) and pale white or cream.


Characteristics of Hog Plum Fruit

Ximenia americana Fruit
Source: Caledonia

The fruit is yellow or orange. The seeds are oily and the oil is used for cooking in southern India.


Characteristics of Plum Hog Tree

Ximenia americana Tree
Source: DUPONT

The Hog Plum tree is a small shrub that usually grows in coastal forests, up to 10 meters tall with thorny twigs on each axillary of the leaves.

The hard, heavy wood has a pleasant aroma when freshly cut and is therefore sometimes powdered and used as a substitute for sandalwood in India.


This tree is easy to cultivate from seed, ripe fruit can be crushed and seeds are taken for seeding. They will germinate in 2-4 weeks after planting.


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