Limonia acidissima L.
Synonym : Feronia limonia (L.) Swingle
Family : Rutaceae
Local Names : Vilankai, Vilavu, Elephant apple, Wood apple
Flowering and fruiting period: December – June
Habitat: Dry deciduous forests, also grown in homesteads
IUCN status: Data Deficient
Uses: Fruits, leaves edible. The pulp and powdered rind of the fruit is applied as a poultice for insect bites and stings; the unripe fruit is used in the treatment of gum diseases, sore throat, coughs, dysentery and diarrhoea. The powdered fruit is mixed with honey and used to treat dysentery in children. The fruits can be eaten raw, or made into preserves and drinks, and the young leaves are sometimes eaten as a salad. The sticky layer of pulp that surrounds the seeds in the unripe fruit can be used as glue; when mixed with lime, it can also be used as a household sealant to cement walls and waterproof wells. The leaves and fruits are used as elephant feed in India.
Key Characters: Deciduous trees, to 20 m high, bark dark-grey or black, deeply cracked longitudinally; thorns straight. Leaves imparipinnate, alternate; lamina obovate. Flowers polygamous, dull red in axillary cymes; calyx small, flat, 5-toothed; petals 5, free, spreading; stamens 10-12, inserted round the disc; ovary superior, oblong, 5-6-celled, ovules many; stigma oblong. Fruit a berry, globose, whitish-brown, rind hard and woody; seeds many.