Garcinia amboinensis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Garcinia amboinensis Spreng.

Family: Guttiferae

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: kayu asam besar (Indonesian, Ambon), ai lau asin (Ambon), mayurat (Ternate).


Indonesia (Moluccas).


Split pieces of the roots, known locally as "obat saguer", are used to give a more bitter and astringent taste to palm wine. This practice also seems to extend the keeping quality of the wine. The sour leaves can be eaten as a vegetable, for example with fish.


A small tree with stilt roots and a monopodial crown; bark grey; latex yellowish. Leaves opposite, exstipulate; petiole canaliculate; blade ovate-lanceolate, 18-20 cm × 7.5-10 cm, obtuse to emarginate at apex, glabrous, secondary veins many, parallel. Male flowers in umbels; anthers in 4 groups; female flowers axillary; sepals 4, persistent, lanceolate; petals 4, broader than the sepals; ovary superior, many-loculed with 1 ovule per cell, stigma sessile, lobed. Fruit a globose or pear-shaped berry. Seed oblong, compressed. G. amboinensis is found in lowland and montane forest.

Selected sources

30, 53, 61.


M.S.M. Sosef