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Mimusops elengi
Spanish cherry.jpg
Scientific classification
Maulsari (Mimusops elengi) ripe fruit in Kolkata W IMG 2833
The ripe fruit has many traditional uses.

Mimusops elengi is a medium-sized evergreen tree found in tropical forests in South Asia, Southeast Asia and northern Australia. In Tamilnadu, India it is called as 'Magizhampoo'. English common names include Spanish cherry, medlar, and bullet wood. Its timber is valuable, the fruit is edible, and it is used in traditional medicine. As the trees give thick shade and flowers emit fragrance, it is a prized collection of gardens.

Its flower is the provincial flower of Yala Province, Thailand, as well as the city flower of Ampang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Tree description

Maulsari (Mimusops elengi) in Hyderabad W IMG 7161
Flowers in Hyderabad, India
Mimusops elengi, making garland
Flowers are made into garlands
Mimusops elengi bark

Bullet wood is an evergreen tree reaching a height of about 16 m (52 ft). It flowers in April, and fruiting occurs in June. Leaves are glossy, dark green, oval-shaped, 5–14 cm (2.0–5.5 in) long, and 2.5–6 cm (0.98–2.36 in) wide. Flowers are cream, hairy, and scented. The bark of the tree is thick and appears dark brownish black or grayish black in colour, with striations and a few cracks on the surface. The tree may reach up to a height of 9–18 m (30–59 ft) with about 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in circumference.

Ayurvedic uses

The bark, flowers, fruits, and seeds of Bakula are used in Ayurvedic medicine in which it is purported to be astringent, cooling, anthelmintic, tonic, and febrifuge. It is mainly used for dental ailments such as bleeding gums, pyorrhea, dental caries, and loose teeth.

Other uses

  • The flowers are sun dried and used to make floral infusions and as an addition to green tea in Thailand.
  • The edible fruit is softly hairy becoming smooth, ovoid, bright red-orange when ripe.
  • The wood is a luxurious wood that is extremely hard, strong and tough, and rich deep red in color. The heartwood is sharply defined from the sapwood. It works easily and takes a beautiful polish. Density is 1008 kg per cubic meter.
  • Brock, J., Top End Native Plants, 1988. ISBN: 0-7316-0859-3
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