Egg Tree

Egg Tree

Nama saintifik: Garcinia xanthochymus
Nama keluarga: Clusiaceae (Guttiferae)

Egg trees in Taman Tugu
The Egg tree is an indigenous rainforest tree that are amongst the 4,100 trees added to the Taman Tugu site, selected in collaboration with Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (“FRIM”) and Malaysian Nature Society (“MNS”).

Physical Features
The Egg tree is an evergreen tree growing up to 12m tall at slow rate. The leaves are large and leathery and are oblong to lance shaped. The small flowers are born in a dense cluster of 4-10 flowers and are greenish white in color. The flowers are unisexual meaning that the ovule and pollen producing structures are borne on separate flowers and are borne on different trees. The pollen producing flowers have five petals and many stamens on which the pollen is produced and are arranged in bundles each containing five stamens. The ovule producing flowers also have stamens but they are non-functional or sterile therefore they produce no pollen. The bright yellow-orange fruit is almost round. The fleshy fruit usually contains 5 seeds that are surrounded by a yellow pulp that is edible.

Usage
The edible fruit is tasty but is a bit sour. The fruits can be eaten fresh out of hand and is often used in making jams. The fruit can be used as a substitute for tamarind in cooking. It is cultivated extensively in Southeast Asia where the fruit is made into preserves, jams, and curries. The fruit juice and bark extract are used as dyes. The dried fruit sap is called gamboge and provides a dye that is used in watercolor paints. The gamboge, is a gum-resin is commonly harvested from several species in this genus and traded internationally.  An extract of the bark was found to stimulate the growth of neurons or nerve tissues in culture studies. Additionally, it Is believed the leaves have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Habitat
These trees are native from India and southern China and Japan through Indochina to Peninsular Malaysia.