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Mimusops elengi - L.

Common Name Spanish Cherry, Bakul
Family Sapotaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The sawdust is irritating to nose and throat[299 ].
Habitats Humid lowland forests[307 ]. Fairly common near the sea, but may also be found in rocky locations and inland forest at elevations up to 600 metres[299 ].
Range E. Asia - India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, northern Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Mimusops elengi Spanish Cherry, Bakul

Mimusops elengi Spanish Cherry, Bakul


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Red Condo or Spanish Cherry (Mimusops elengi) a medium-sized, evergreen, tropical tree growing about 15 - 30 m in height. It has a dense, rounded, spreading crown and short bole of up to 100 cm in diameter. The bark is cracked. The leaves are, oval, glossy, dark green, simple and alternate arranged. The star-shaped, cream, and hairy flowers form into clusters in the leaf axils. The fruits are orange-red when ripe and oval. Medicinally use for diarrhea, dysentery, toothache and gm inflammation, gonorrhea, snake bites, fevers, wounds, scabies, eczema, headache, sore eyes, and constipation. Edible parts are the fruits (raw, cooked, or processed) and seed oil (used for cooking). The seed oil is also used to make paint and for lighting. The essential oil from the bark is also in perfumery.The flowers are aromatic and used as fillings in pillows, and for decorations and aesthetics. The seeds are used for making necklaces. The wood is very hard, heavy, and highly durable. It is resistant to attack of marine borer and dry-wood termites.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Mimusops elengi is an evergreen Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 16 m (52ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10 and is frost tender. The flowers are pollinated by Wind. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Imbricaria perroudii Montrouz. Kaukenia elengi (L.) Kuntze Kaukenia javensis (Burck) Kuntze Kaukenia

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Oil
Edible Uses: Oil

The fruit can be eaten raw, preserved or pickled[301 ]. Yellow when ripe, they have a sweet flavour[301 ]. The pulp is starchy with a floury texture[200 , 299 ]. The fruit is insipid and/or astringent[299 , 307 ]. They are said to taste like dates but to be more dry[299 ]. The ovoid to oblong fruit is up to 35mm long and 16mm wide[200 ]. An oil is obtained from the seed[301 ]. Used for cooking[307 ]. The seed kernel contains about 22% oil. The fatty acid composition of the refined oil is: oleic acid 64%, linoleic acid 14.5%, palmitic acid 11%, stearic acid 10% and behenic acid 0.5%. The nutritional quality of the refined oil is considered to be comparable with that of groundnut oil[299 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antidiarrhoeal  Astringent  Bitter  Dysentery  Eczema  Febrifuge  Laxative  Mouthwash  
Odontalgic  Ophthalmic  Skin  Stings  Tonic

The bark is astringent, bitter and tonic. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery[287 , 307 ]. A decoction of the bark, sometimes mixed with the flowers, is used as a gargle to treat gum inflammation, toothache etc[287 ]. It is also used to treat gonorrhoea, snakebites, fevers, wounds, scabies and eczema[299 , 307 ]. It is often combined with tamarind bark (Tamarindus indica) then used as a lotion on skin complaints[299 ]. The leaves are used to treat headache, toothache, wounds and sore eyes, and are smoked to cure infections of the nose and mouth[299 ]. The flowers have been used as a remedy against diarrhoea[299 ]. The young fruits have been employed in a gargle for treating sprue[299 ]. The pounded seeds are used to cure obstinate constipation[299 ]. Several triterpenes have been isolated from the plant, as well as steroidal glycosides[299 ]. The major chemical compounds in the flowers are aromatic alcohols and esters[299 ]. The ethyl-acetate-soluble fraction of an alcoholic extract of the bark showed anti-ulcer activity against experimental gastric ulcers; this activity was attributed to a decrease in gastric acid secretory activity along with strengthening of mucosal defensive mechanisms[299 ]. A methanolic extract caused hypotensive activity; it may possess calcium-blocking activity[299 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Beads  Dye  Essential  Fuel  Furniture  Insecticide  Lighting  Oil  Paint  Soap  Stuffing  Tannin  Teeth  Wood

Small shade tree. Street tree. Public open space. Civic centre. Screening. Other Uses: The flowers are very aromatic and retain their fragrance for a long time after being dried[307 ]. They are used as a filling in pillows, strung in garlands or necklaces for decoration, or placed in linen-cupboards. An essential oil used in perfumery can be distilled from them[299 , 307 , 317 ]. The leaves contain an essential oil[317 ]. The bark contains an essential oil[317 ]. The seeds are used for making necklaces [299 ]. The saponins from the seeds are effective against the plant pathogens Phytophthora palmivora and Colletotrichum capsici, and field trials in India showed that they can be used for control of these pathogens in betel pepper (Piper betle) plantations[299 ]. An oil obtained from the seeds is used to make paint and for lighting[299 , 307 ]. The bark has been used for tanning, but the tannin content is low[299 ]. A brown dye is obtained from the bark[307 ]. The heartwood is deep red or dark red-brown, often with darker streaks; it is not sharply demarcated from the paler, 5 - 7cm wide band of sapwood. The grain is straight, wavy or slightly interlocked; texture very fine to fine and even, occasionally with watered-silk figure on the tangential face of the sapwood; the taste is bitter and the wood contains saponin and lathers when rubbed with water. The wood is heavy; very hard; very strong and tough; very durable, even when exposed to the weather or in contact with the ground. It is reportedly resistant to marine borer attack and to dry-wood termites. The sapwood is susceptible to Lyctus. It is liable to end-splitting, warping and surface checking if not carefully seasoned. It is generally considered difficult to work, especially in sawing, due to the presence of silica, but is easier to work when still green; stellite-tipped saws are recommended; it finishes very well using sharp tools. The wood is used for heavy general construction, building purposes, boat and shipbuilding, piles, bridges, agricultural implements and oil mills[287 , 299 ]. It is also used for flooring, bearings, doors and framing, poles and piles, foundation sills, railway sleepers, paving blocks, mine timber, furniture and cabinet work, vehicle bodies and wheels, turnery, tool handles, walking sticks, weaving shuttles, toys, sporting goods and musical instruments. A good-quality veneer and plywood can be manufactured from the wood[299 ]. The tree also yields a good fuelwood[299 ]. The energy value of the heartwood is 21,340 kJ/kg, that of the sapwood 21,090 kJ/kg[299 ].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the hot tropical lowlands[335 ]. It thrives in areas with perhumid or slightly seasonal rainfall types, but is most commonly found in seasonally dry habitats[299 ]. It is tolerant of light frosts[299 ]. The tree grows best in a sunny position[200 , 307 ], but is shade tolerant, retaining a full crown and reproducing satisfactorily under fairly dense shade[299 ]. It prefers a deep, rich loam[200 , 299 , 307 ], but plants are adapted to a variety of soils[335 ]. Fairly wind tolerant, trees can be grown in coastal sites[299 ]. It can tolerate inundation of the soil for up to 2 months[299 ]. Seedlings and trees grow slowly, but occasionally trees may reach a height of 34 metres in 20 years, with a bole diameter of 50cm[299 ]. Trees may flower and fruit throughout the year. Infrequent visits of insects and bats have been observed, but pollination is most likely by wind. The stigma is receptive before the pollen is released, stimulating cross-pollination[299 ]. Trees may differ markedly in size depending on their origin, which offers potential for selection and possibly breeding activities[299 ]. Flowering Time: Mid Spring Late Spring/Early Summer. Bloom Color: White/Near White. Spacing: 20-30 ft. (6-9 m) 30-40 ft. (9-12 m).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown in individul containers in a shaded position, it usually germinates within 17 - 82 days, with a success rate of about 70 - 90%. Seedlings can be planted out when 20 - 30cm tall[299 ]. Seed can be stored for about 9 months and needs ‘after-ripening’ during the first month of storage[299 ]. Greenwood cuttings. The rooting success of 10 - 15cm long cuttings with a diameter of 5 - 10mm is 70 - 90%[299 ]. Air layering. Grafting.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Spanish Cherry, Bakul, Maulsari, Bullet Wood, Bakula, Bansalagin, Barsoli, Boal, Bokulo baula, Bolsari, Brazilian milktree, Bukul, Bullet wood, Bunga mengkula, Bunga tanjong, Elengi, Gokul, Ilanji, Ilanni, Indian medlar, Kabiki, Kun, Magadam, Mahilam, Mailsari, Malshree, Mamajen, Maulsari, Moghadum, Ovalli, Pagade, Phi-khuun, Pi kun, Pigul, Pikul, Pogada, Poghada, Pokok tanjong, Sen xanh, Tanjong, Tanjung, Vagulam, milktree, Bukul, Bunga tanjong, Elengi, anangaka, bakal, bakulam, bohl, bolsari, boulo, bullet-woodtree|munamal, chirapushpa, dhanvi, dohala, dohala, iranni, jara, kantha,kantha,karuka, karuka, kesara, keshara, khyiri, lranni, madhupan-surabhi, madhupushpa, magilam, marouc, maulsari, maulsari,maulser, maulser, maulsiri, medlar, molsari, mukula, mukuram, mulsari, nemmi, nunni, okula, pagade, parijatamu, pogado, ranjal, ranji, ravalli, renjee, renjee, simhakesara, sinha, spanish cherry, spanish-cherry, strimukhagandha, strimukhamadhu, tailanga, tanjongtree, vagulam, vakula, vakulamu, varalandha, visharada, yakulamu.

Australia; Bangladesh; Bhutan; India; Indonesia; Malaysia; New Caledonia; Philippines; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Vanuatu, Africa, Asia, Burma, East Africa, East Timor, Fiji, Ghana, Hawaii, India*, Indochina, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia*, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, New Caledonia, North America, Northeastern India, Pacific, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Reunion, SE Asia, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, USA, Vietnam, West Africa,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Links / References

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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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