Coffee Plum
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Coffee Plum
ative Photo: Thingnam Sophia
Common name: Coffee Plum, Indian cherry, Indian plum, rukam, runeala plum • Hindi: Talispatri, पनियाला Paniala, पानी आमला Pani amla • Manipuri: ꯍꯩ ꯇꯔꯣꯤ হৈত্ৰোঈ Heitroi • Marathi: Champeran • Tamil: Vaiyyankarai • Malayalam: Vayyamkaitha • Telugu: Kuragayi • Kannada: ಚಂಚಲಿ Chanchali, ಚಂಕಲಿ Chankali, ಗೊರಜಿ Goraji, ಚರಿಚಲಿ Charichali, ಚರಿಜಲಿ Charijali • Bengali: Paniala • Oriya: Baincha • Konkani: Jagam • Assamese: পনিযাল Ponial • Gujarati: Talispatra • Sanskrit: Sruvavrkash, Vikankatah • Mizo: Sakhi-thei
Botanical name: Flacourtia jangomas    Family: Salicaceae (Willow family)
Synonyms: Stigmarota jangomas, Flacourtia cataphrata

Coffee Plum is small, deciduous tree, growing to 6-10 m tall. Trunk and branches are commonly thornless in old trees, but densely beset with simple or branched, woody thorns when younger. Bark is light-brown to copper-red or pinkish-buff, flaky. Young branches white-dotted by numerous circular lenticels. Leaves narrow-ovate to ovate-oblong, rarely ovate-lancelike, long-obtuse-acuminate, base broadly wedge-shped to rounded. Leaves are smooth, shining above, mostly dull beneath, somewhat toothed, 7-10 X 3-4 cm. Leaf stalk is 6-8 mm long. Flowers arise in few flowered clusters in leaf axils. Flowers smell of honey, and looks like small yellowish-white balls of stamens. Male and female flowers are different and are on different trees. Coffee plum is a rounded red to dark purple fruit, that is about an inch wide. It is edible, and is relatively juicy. It can be eaten raw, or transformed into juice or marmalades. Flowering: April-May.
Medicinal uses: The fruits and leaves are used against diarrhea. Dried leaves are used for bronchitis. Roots against toothache.

Identification credit: Thingnam Sophia Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.

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