Genipa americana (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Genipa americana L.

Family: Rubiaceae

Vernacular names

  • Genipap (En)
  • Génipa (Fr)
  • Indonesia: genipa.


Origin in tropical Central and South America. Cultivated there and occasionally in South-East Asia (Java, Peninsular Malaysia, the Philippines).


Overripe fruits are eaten raw or prepared into drinks, compotes, jams, etc. The juice of the fruit is used as a dye. The bark is used in tanning and its fibre is used in making rough clothing. The leaves are used as forage. The wood is not durable but used for indoor constructions. Various parts are used medicinally (bark against diarrhoea, fruit as vermifuge and diuretic).


  • Erect tree, up to 30 m tall.
  • Fruit an ellipsoid to ovoid berry, 9-15 cm × 7-9 cm, yellow-brown, weighing 200-400 g; flesh whitish, filled with numerous flat yellow-brown seeds.

In humid hot lowland tropics, on deep, rich, loamy soil. Propagation mainly by seed, planting distance 10-15 m × 10-15 m, much closer if used for reforestation.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink, R.C., 1963 1968. Flora of Java. 3 Volumes. Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands.
  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. 2nd ed. 2 Volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2444 pp.
  • Mansfeld, R. & Schultze Motel, J., 1986. Verzeichnis landwirtschaftlicher und gärtnerischer Kuturpflanzen. 2nd ed. 4 Volumes. Springer Verlag, Berlin. 1998 pp.
  • Morton, J.F., 1987. Fruits of warm climates. Creative Resource Systems Inc., Winterville, N.C., USA. 503 pp.


P.C.M. Jansen, J. Jukema, L.P.A. Oyen, T.G. van Lingen