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Garcinia nervosa


Garcinia nervosa Miq.

Family Name: Clusiaceae (Guttiferae)
Synonyms: Garcinia spectabilis, Garcinia andersonii
Common Name: Pear Mangosteen, Pokok Lapan Taun, Kandis Gajah, Asem Kandis, Mundu, Asam Garam


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Conical, Open, Irregular
Maximum Height 30 m


Native Distribution Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Borneo
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Riverine, Secondary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is an evergreen medium-large, mid-canopy rainforest tree, up to 30 m height. Crown conical, relatively open, with tiered horizontal branching. Branches typically restricted to upper parts of crown in wild trees. All parts of plant exude yellowish latex when bruised.
Foliage Its opposite, stoutly stalked leaves have leathery leaf blades that are oblong, with strongly-ribbed abaxial veins, and 22–60 by 9–25.5 cm. Young leaves reddish, maturing to whitish-green, then green.
Stems Strongly 4-ridged.
Flowers Its flowers grow in large clusters, with separate male and female flowers. Each flower is small, with creamy-white fleshy petals, scented like lime or sour milk, opening at dusk, The female flowers more strongly-scented, with sterile stamens and producing lots of honey.
Fruit Its fruits are pear-shaped to round, to 8 cm wide, ripening from green to blotchy or pale yellow and contain up to five red seeds in the white pulp.
Habitat It grows in riverine and seasonally-swampy areas in lowland rainforests, on relatively flat terrain with poorly-drained alluvial soils, sometimes found in coastal forests.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by insects. Its fruits are eaten by birds and small mammals.
Cultivation Withstands shade when young. More tolerant of waterlogged acidic sites than most other Garcinia species, but appears to dislike lateritic soils. Propagate by air-layering and seeds (if available).
Etymology Genus epithet 'Garcinia' named after French botanist, naturalist and plant collector, Laurent Garcin (1685-1752), who travelled extensively across India, where the genus is well-represented. Species epithet 'nervosa' means 'conspicuous veins', a reference to the plant's foliage.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits
Food (Fruit or Vegetable): Pulp edible, soft and sour. (Herb or Spice)
Medicinal: Antioxidant biflavonoids found in fruits and seeds. Leaves pounded into paste, boiled in coconut oil, and rubbed onto body and joints for pain relief.
Timber & Products: Wood pale brown, hard, fairly durable if sheltered from outdoor elements. Branches used to make canoe paddles. Split stems used to construct framework for huts. Wood used for posts, beams and roofing.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It has a sparse crown with extremely large, elongated leathery leaves, making it suitable for large gardens or parks. It is considered the “noblest species of the genus” by the botanist J. D. Hooker. It is a tree suitable for gardens, parks and roadsides.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits, Fragrant (Flowers) (Day)
Landscape Uses General, Suitable for Roadsides, Parks & Gardens, Riverine
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment
Plant & Rootzone Preference or Tolerance Remarks Does not like lateritic soils

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird-Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water, Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Moist Soils
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Grafting, Air-Layering


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery, Raised / Sunken Veins, Thick
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Red
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Typical Foliar Area Macrophyll ( 182.25cm2 - 1640.25 cm2 )

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Bark Colour(s) Grey-brown
Mature Bark Texture Cracked
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers , Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Flower Size - Remarks Small, cauliflorus
Ovary Position Superior / Hypogynous
Flowering Period Rarely
Flowering Opening Time Night (dusk to dawn)
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Berry

Image Repository



Master ID 11598
Species ID 3321
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.