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Tree Description: A small tree, 5-6 m tall, with a straight, dark brown trunk with yellow latex. Leaves opposite, stiff, 7.6-13 cm long and 2.5-5 cm wide. Flowers whitish and small, perfect, produced in axillary groups of 1-15 at branch nodes. Fruits are round, about 2.5 cm in diameter, with a thin orange to reddish peel, pulp, which is aril, whitish, with an aromatic sweet sour taste. Seeds, 1-2.
Scientific Name: Garcinia intermedia
Common Name: lemon drop mangosteen, mameyito, monkey fruit
Relatives: Imbe, cherapu, madrono, bakupari, mangosteen; Brunei cherry; cherry mangosteen ; gamboge; gourka; seaside mangosteen
Origin: Central America
Distribution: This species is native to southern Mexico and Central America and possibly to northwestern South America. It requires a humid tropical climate. The tree is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental or fruit tree in Asia and Africa. It is cultivated on a small scale in many countries like Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama etc.
Importance: Lemon drop mangosteen is primarily consumed fresh. Aril forms the edible part. It can also be used to make juices, jams and jellies. The heartwood is rose-yellow, hard, medium-heavy, coarse-textured, with numerous gum ducts, but tough, strong, easy to work, fairly durable, and valued for construction because it is nearly immune to insects. It is also used for tool handles, fenceposts, and temporary railroad ties. The bark is rich in tannin.