Common name: Wood Apple • Hindi: Kaith कैठ • Gujarati: Kotha • Telugu: Velaga • Bengali: Katbel • Kannada: Belavu • Marathi: Kovit • Sanskrit: Kapitha
Botanical name: Limonia acidissima Family: Rutaceae (citrus family)
Synonyms: Feronia elephantum, Feronia limonia, Schinus limonia
Wood apple is an erect, slow-growing tree with a few upward-reaching branches
bending outward near the summit where they are subdivided into slender
branchlets drooping at the tips. The bark is ridged, fissured and scaly and
there are sharp spines 3/4 to 2 in long on some of the zigzag twigs.
The deciduous, alternate leaves, 3 to 5 in long, dark-green,
leathery, often minutely toothed, blunt or notched at the apex, are dotted
with oil glands and slightly lemon-scented when crushed. Yellowish green
flowers, tinged with red, 1/2 in across, are borne in small, loose, terminal
or lateral panicles. The tree is mostly known for its hard woody fruit, size of
a tennis ball, round to oval in shape. The
pulp is brown, mealy, odorous, resinous, astringent, acid or sweetish, with
numerous small, white seeds scattered through it.
|Photographed in Delhi and Bangalore.|