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Elephant Apple
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Elephant Apple
ative Photo: Shaista Ahmad
Common name: Elephant Apple, Indian catmon, Hondapara Tree, Ma-tad • Hindi: चलता Chalta, Karambel • Kannada: ಕಲ್ತೇಗ Kaltega, ಮುಚ್ಚಿಲು Mucchilu, ಗನಗಲು Ganagalu • Manipuri: ꯃꯩꯒꯔꯤ Heigri • Mizo: Kawrthindeng • Nepali: पाँच फल Panch Phal, रामफल Raamphaal, चल्ता Chaltaa, पाँच कुले Paanch Kule, ठुलो तातरी Thulo Taataree • Sanskrit: Avartaki
Botanical name: Dillenia indica    Family: Dilleniaceae (Karmal family)

Elephant Apple is an evergreen large shrub or small to medium-sized tree growing to 15 m tall. It is native to southeastern Asia, from India and Sri Lanka east to southwestern China and Vietnam, and south through Thailand to Malaysia and Indonesia. The leaves are 15-36 cm long, with a conspicuously corrugated surface with impressed veins, like potato chips. The flowers are large, up to 5 inches across, with five white petals and numerous yellow stamens. Flowers arise solitary at the ends of the twigs, facing downward. The sepals are rounded and yellowish green. The fruit is a 5-12 cm diameter aggregate of 15 carpels, each carpel containing five seeds embedded in an edible pulp. The fruit pulp is used in Indian Cuisine in curries, jam, and jellies.

Identification credit: Navendu Pāgé Photographed in Bangalore & Jijamata Udyan, Mumbai.

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