Bouea macrophylla (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

1, flowering branch; 2, branch with fruits

Bouea macrophylla Griffith

Protologue: Pl. Cantor in J. As. Soc. Bengal 23: 15 (1854).
Family: Anacardiaceae
Chromosome number: 2n= unknown


  • Bouea gandaria Blume ex Miq. (1859).

Vernacular names

  • Gandaria, plum mango (En)
  • Indonesia: ramania (Malay), gandaria (Java, Sunda), pao gandari (Madura)
  • Malaysia: kundang (general), kundang daun besar, setar (Peninsular), rembunia
  • Thailand: ma prang, ma praang (Pattani), som prang (peninsular).

Origin and geographic distribution

Gandaria is native to north Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia and west Java, and is cultivated widely as a fruit tree in Sumatra, the wetter parts of Java, Borneo and Ambon, as well as Thailand (where it is locally important).


Gandaria is a popular fruit tree with diminutive mango-like fruits. Although generally rather acid even when fully ripe, the fruit is much consumed fresh, cooked in syrup or made into an excellent compote. However, the use of the young fruits is more important; they serve as ingredient of a special kind of "sambal", the chilli-based condiment, and in pickles ("asinan"), the bright purple cotyledons in the big seed adding to the attraction of the concoction. Occasionally the young leaves - which are deep violet, sometimes strikingly white when they emerge - are also consumed fresh, to be eaten with the gandaria-flavoured "sambal".

Gandaria is recommended for planting in transmigration areas in Sumatra because of its abundant fruit production and very dense foliage, making it an excellent shade tree.

Production and international trade

In Jakarta gandaria occasionally equals the best mangoes in price, especially when it is not peak season. A mature tree may produce as much as 200 kg fruit in one season, which fetched US$ 3/kg (about 50 fruits) in 1989.


The composition of a fruit sample from a single tree in Honduras per 100 g edible portion was: water 85 g, protein 112 mg, fat 40 mg, fibre 600 mg, ash 230 mg, calcium 6 mg, phosphorus 10.8 mg, iron 0.31 mg, carotene 0.043 mg, thiamine 0.031 mg, riboflavin 0.025 mg, niacin 0.286 mg and vitamin C 75 mg.


  • Tree, up to 27 m tall, with light brown fissured bark and often with pendulous, glabrous, angular or flattened branchlets.
  • Leaves ovate-oblong to lanceolate or elliptic, (11-)14-30(-45) cm × (4-)5-8(-13) cm, decussate, simple, coriaceous, shining, entire, base acute to cuneate, apex acute to acuminate; petiole 1-2.5 cm long.
  • Inflorescences axillary panicles, 4-12 cm long; flowers mostly tetramerous, small; calyx lobes broadly ovate; petals oblong to obovate, 1.5-2.5 mm × 1 mm, yellowish, soon turning brown.
  • Fruit a drupe, subglobose, 2.5-5 cm diameter, yellow to orange, fleshy juicy consistency, glabrous, sour to sweet with a characteristic faint smell of turpentine.

Gandaria flowers from June-November and fruits from March-June in Indonesia. Based on the taste of the fruit several cultivars are recognized in Kalimantan. "Hintalu" is a very sour cultivar, "Ramania Pipit" and "Ramania Tembaga" are sweet (with deep red flesh).

Fruits of Bouea oppositifolia (Roxb.) Meisner (synonyms B. microphylla Griffith; B. burmanica Griffith) are edible as well, but are smaller and more acid. Possibly the Thai name "ma praang" refers to this species.


Gandaria is a tree of the humid tropics and thrives in light and fertile soil. It occurs naturally in lowland forests below 300 m altitude, but has been successfully cultivated up to elevations of about 850 m.


Gandaria is normally grown from seed but it can also be easily propagated through marcotting or grafting. Seedlings or clonally propagated plants are planted in rows at a spacing of 10 m × 12 m and need shading for several months. Boosting the growth rate in the early years with manure, urea and other fertilizers is recommended to shorten the vegetative period. Normally the first harvest from seedlings can be obtained 8-10 years after planting or after 5-6 years for vegetatively propagated plants.


Gandaria is a decorative shade tree, bearing fruit that can be very sweet, tasty and attractive; in addition to the use of the fruit in pickles and sambal, these properties make it a valuable home-garden tree. Thai firms advertise the fruit for export, suggesting prospects for wider commercialization.


  • Ding Hou, 1978. Anacardiaceae. In: van Steenis, C.G.G.J. (Editor): Flora Malesiana, Series 1. Vol. 8. p. 468.
  • Morton, J., 1988. Fruits for warm climates. Creative Resource Systems Inc., Winterville, USA. pp. 237-239.
  • Taufik, M., 1986. Menanam ramania [Growing gandaria]. Trubus 202: 178-181.
  • Taufik, M. & Setiadi, 1986. Masih banyak yang suka buah gandaria [Many still like the gandaria fruit]. Trubus 202: 180-181.
  • Tohir, K.A., 1978. Bercocok tanam pohon buah-buahan [Fruit tree growing]. Pradnyaparamita, Jakarta. 321 pp.

Sources of illustrations

Original drawing by Iskak Syamsudin.


  • Mien A. Rifai