Dovyalis caffra (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Dovyalis caffra (Hook.f. & Harvey) Hook.f.

Family: Flacourtiaceae

Vernacular names

  • Kei apple, umkokolo (En). Pommier-kei (Fr)
  • Philippines: umkolo.


Originating from southern Africa, now cultivated worldwide in the drier parts of the tropics and subtropics. In South-East Asia mainly in the Philippines.


Raw fruits are very acid and only edible with much sugar. Prepared fruits used in jams, jellies, sauces, etc. The plant makes a good hedge.


  • Shrub or small dioecious tree, up to 9 m tall, often with numerous sharp spines.
  • Fruit a subglobose berry, up to 4 cm diameter, golden yellow.

Propagation by seed and by layering. Needs subtropical conditions, is drought-resistant but frost-sensitive. In the Philippines above 800 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • FAO, 1988. Traditional food plants: a resource book for promoting the exploitation and consumption of food plants in arid, semi arid and sub humid lands of East Africa. FAO Food & Nutrition paper 42, Rome. 593 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.
  • 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.


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