Spanish Cherry (ഇലഞ്ഞി)

Scientific Name: Mimusops elengi L. 

Synonyms: Imbricaria perroudii Montrouz., Kaukenia elengi (L.Kuntze 

Unique ID: 96

Systematic Position

Class: Dicotyledonae

Sub Class:Gamopetalae                         

Series: Hetermerae

Order: Ebenales

Family: Sapotaceae

Common Names

English – Spanish cherry, Bakul tree

Malayalam – ഇലഞ്ഞി

Tamil –  Magizhamboo

Hindi – Maulsari



Description: Evergreen trees, to 20 m high, bark dark grey, cracked or fissured longitudinally, scaly, rough; lenticels vertical; blaze pink with red streaks; exudation white; young branches brown pubescent. Leaves simple, alternate, spiral, stipulate; stipules lanceolate, caducous; petiole 15-40 mm long, slender, grooved above, pubescent; lamina 4-12 x 3.5-7.5 cm; elliptic or elliptic-oblong, base round or obtuse, apex obtuse to acuminate, margin entire, glabrous, coriaceous; lateral nerves many, slightly raised beneath, parallel, slender, looped near the margin forming intramarginal nerves; intercostae reticulate. Flowers bisexual, white, fragrant, 1-3 in axillary fascicles, pedicel 1 cm long; calyx lobes 8 in 2 series of 4 each, thick, outer lanceolate, valvate, pubescent; petals 9 mm long, lobes with 2 dorsal appendages, corolla 1 cm across; lobes 24, 3 series of 8 each, with hairs on back and margins, acuminate; stamens 8, alternating with pilose staminodes; filaments 1 mm, anthers oblong, cordate, 3 mm, connectives apiculate; staminodes lanceolate, acuminate, fimbricate, pilose; ovary 0.1-0.15 cm long, void, hirsute without, 6-8-celled; 1 ovule in each cell; style columnar, 5 mm; stigma minutely fimbricate. Fruit a berry, yellow, ovoid, 2.5 cm long, 1.5 cm across, fleshy, epicarp thin; seeds usually 1, oblong-ellipsoid, laterally compressed. Flowering: March-July. Fruiting: October-December (Cold season)


Habitat:  Canopy trees in evergreen forests up to 1200 m.

Distribution: Indo-malaysia

Uses:  Ripe fruits are eaten, very astringent. The fruit is considered rich in calcium content and have been used as medicine for toothache.Flowers are generally used for gerlands. The whole plant is used as ornamental and shade provider.