Clusiaceae, Garcinia livingstonei, Imbe, African mangosteen
Garcinia livingstonei enjoys a wide native range throughout Tropical E. Africa and parts of W. Africa. Outside of its native region the tree is relatively unknown to most, aside from your occasional rare fruit enthusiast.
The fruit is prized for its excellent flavor. The powdered root is used as an aphrodisiac. According to Coates Palgrave (2002) the fruits can be fermented into a pleasant alcoholic beverage. Once established trees require little to no maintenance and are highly resistant to pests and diseases. Thus the species is considered to hold potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.
The small tree can grow up to 18 m with highly sculptural growth habit. The fruit an orange berry, 10-40 mm in diameter, with yellowish orange, sticky juice.
I took these photos in Jalisco, Mexico where the tree seems to be very happy and healthy growing in a mixed species agroforest. Trees are growing steadily but have not yet produced fruit. A male and female are required for pollination and fruit set.
Click the following link for previous posts on species in the Garcinia genus.
Click this link for a few earlier posts on the Clusiaceae family.