Dovyalis hebecarpa (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Dovyalis hebecarpa (Gardner) Warb.

Family: Flacourtiaceae

Vernacular names

  • Ceylon gooseberry, ketembilla (En)
  • Ketembillier, groseillier de Ceylon (Fr).


Originating from Sri Lanka and India, now cultivated pantropically. In South-East Asia mainly in the Philippines.


The fruits are used for making preserves as they are usually too sour and astringent to be eaten raw.


  • Shrub or small dioecious tree, 4-6 m tall, with spiny branches.
  • Fruit a subglobose berry, up to 2.5 cm in diameter, maroon-purple, velvety pubescent.

Propagation is by seeds, cuttings, budding and grafting. Less hardy than the kei-apple, requiring good supply of water during development of fruits.

Selected sources

  • Mansfeld, R. & Schultze Motel, J., 1986. Verzeichnis landwirtschaftlicher und gärtnerischer Kuturpflanzen. 2nd ed. 4 Volumes. Springer Verlag, Berlin. 1998 pp.
  • Ochse, J.J., Soulé, M.J., Dijkman, M.J. & Wehlburg, C., 1961. Tropical and subtropical agriculture. 2 Volumes. The Macmillan Company, New York. 1446 pp.
  • Page, P.E. (Compiler), 1984. Tropical tree fruits for Australia. Queensland Department for Primary Industries, Brisbane, Australia. 226 pp.


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