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Thursday, 1 August 2013

Otaheite gooseberry or Malay gooseberry or Acidus Phyllanthus

Otaheite gooseberry or Malay gooseberry or Acidus Phyllanthus fruit is the fruit produced by  a tropical and sub-tropical plant which has the same name, this plant believed to originate from Madagascar or India. This tree is classified into shrubs,  maximum high can be 9 up to 10 m.

This taste of this fruit is very sour, in some southeast Asian tropical countries, although not  really popular, the fruit used as fresher  food, eaten fresh or processed into a similar kind of sweets and spicy salad.

So far there is no large-scale cultivation of the fruit is. This tree just planted as a shade plant in the yard or garden. In addition to fruit in Indonesia and Malaysia the leaves of this tree is also used as fresh vegetables even if only used on a limited basis.

Characteristics of the tree:
Shrubs or small trees with a height of up to 9-10 m, branching low and tenuous,  grow well at altitudes up to 1000 asl, many branching, and thick bark. 

Single leaf, short-stemmed, arranged in a series such as leaf sprigs forming compound,  leaf form blade oval to ellipse and end  pointed, base obtuse to rounded, flat edge,  smooth hairless, length of 2 cm to 7 cm, width 1.5 cm to 4 cm. Light green color. Single leaf, 2-7 cm long, arranged in such branches pinnate compound leaves.

Flowers unisexual or double, red in color, arranged in panicles up to 12 cm, when autumn leaf stalk will leave a mark on the real branch.  A flower cluster formation length of 1.5 cm to 12 cm, out along the branch, petal star shape, and pink crown. There are male and female flowers in one bunch, Otaheite gooseberry closely related with Phyllanthus emblica and P. niruri, both of which are medicinal plants.

This plant now spread to many tropical regions such as Southeast Asia (southern Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and northern Malaya), the Mauritius islands, Réunion and Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean, as well as in Guam, Hawaii and several other islands in the Pacific Ocean . In 1793, this plant was brought to Jamaica from Timor, and spread throughout the islands of the Caribbean, followed by entry into Central and South America.

The fruit:
Stone fruit, round with 6-8 ribs, whitish yellow to resemble candles, up to 2.5 cm in diameter, hung alone or in strands. Whitish pulp, sour and lots of watery, in the middle there is a hard core grains with 4-6 seeds.  It tasted really sour, used as various tidbit of food or a kind of spicy salads, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Food Value Per 100 g of Edible Portion* ): 
Moisture 91.9 g
Protein 0.155 g
Fat 0.52 g
Fiber 0.8 g
Ash 0.51 g
Calcium 5.4 mg
Phosphorus 17.9 mg
Iron 3.25 mg
Carotene 0.019 mg
Thiamine 0.025 mg
Riboflavin 0.013 mg
Niacin 0.292 mg
Ascorbic Acid 4.6 mg
*According to analyses made in El Salvador.

Scientific classification:
  • Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
  •       Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (Vascular Plants)
  •           Super Division: Spermatophyta (Produces seeds)
  •               Division: Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)
  •                   Class: Magnoliopsida (dashed two / dicots)
  •                       Sub Class: Rosidae
  •                           Order: Euphorbiales
  •                               Family: Euphorbiaceae
  •                                   Genus: Phyllanthus
  •                                       Species: Phyllanthus acidus