Dillenia Indica

Dillenia Indica

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  1. Botanical Name: Dillenia indica
  2. Synonyms: Dillenia indica Linn.
  3. Common Name: Elephant apple, (pickle fruit), Indian catmon
  4. Seeds collection period: May-June
  5. Seeds longevity: 1-2 years 

It is an evergreen large shrub or small to medium-sized tree growing to 15 m tall. The leaves are 15-36 cm long, with a conspicuously corrugated surface with impressed veins. Its branches are used to make good firewood. The flowers are large, 15-20 cm diameter, with five white petals and numerous yellow stamens. Its characteristic round fruits are large, greenish yellow, have many seeds and are edible. The fruit is a 5-12 cm diameter aggregate of 15 carpels, each carpel containing five seeds embedded in an edible but fibrous pulp. 


The fruit pulp is bitter-sour and used in Indian cuisine in curries, jam (ouu khatta), and jellies. It is often mixed with coconut and spices to make chutneys. It is extensively used in Dal and in fish preparations in Assam.