Garcinia morella (Gaertn.) Desr.

Garcinia morella (Gaertn.) Desr.




Garcinia gaudichaudii Planch. & Triana, Garcinia gutta Wight, Garcinia lateriflora Blume.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Kandis (Peninsular).
English Indian gamboge tree.
Philippines Maladambo (Tagalog), ugau (Bikol), kandis (Manobo).

Geographical Distributions

Garcinia morella is distributed from Sri Lanka and India throughout northern Southeast Asia.


G. morella is a tree that can reach up to 20 m tall. Its trunk diametre is 50 cm but usually much smaller and smooth in all parts. The inner bark measures up to 1 cm thick, white to pale yellow, contains plenty of brilliant yellow and with sticky latex.

The leaves are arranged opposite, coriaceous and entire. The petiole measures up to 2 cm long and conspicuous foveola with prominent margins. The blade is obovate to oblance-shaped, measuring 9-24 cm x 5-10 cm, tapered at the base and usually obscurely acuminate at the apex. The lower surface is with 7-8 very parallel prominent pairs and slender lateral veins measure 8-14 mm long.

The flowers are subsessile, axillary and solitary (female) or 2-3 together (male). There are 4 sepals measure 5 mm long. There are 4 white to pink petals which are elliptical, measure 5-8 mm long and fleshy. The stamens in male flowers are in a monadelphous central column with free red anthers while the female flowers are with a sessile peltate stigma. The base of ovary is surrounded by about 15 free staminodes.

The fruit is a spherical berry and measuring up to 3.5 cm in diametre. At the base is surrounded by the persistent sepals while at the apex is crowned by the flat tuberculate stigma, which is smooth and yellowish. The exocarp is thin, pulp edible fruit, acid-sweet and contains 2-3 seeds. The seed is kidney-shaped and laterally compressed.

Ecology / Cultivation

G. morella occurs in dry and humid forests. The trees can be tapped when they are 10 years old by making a spiral incision and collecting the latex in small bamboo containers. In dry zones, the trees are often stunted and the leaves less fleshy.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 14: Vegetable oils and fats.