Scientific name: Garcinia cowa
Family name: Clusiaceae (Guttiferae)
Kandis trees in Taman Tugu
The Kandis 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”).
The Kandis tree is small to medium sized tree growing up to 12m tall. The straight and narrow trunk is cylindrical.
The leaves are oblong with the entire leaf margin between 6-15 cm long and 2.5-6 cm wide. The young foliage is glossy and bright red. The male and female flowers occur on separate individuals (dioecious). In the male flowers, the stamens are united in a cube-like arrangement. The round edible fruits produced are yellow to orange fruits with a pointed beak at the apex and are smooth or slightly ribbed. The orange pulp of the fruit is sour.
The fruits, leaves, and stems are edible and it sometimes used in local cuisine. In Vietnam, the fruits are added to fish and crab soup to make it sour. In Thailand, the young shoots are used for flavouring. Medicinally, consuming the fruits and young leaves have a laxative effect.
These tropical trees occur in tropical evergreen forests, dry deciduous forests, and sand dune forests located behind beaches. These trees are native to northern Malaysia, Bengal through Burma, and Thailand.