Garcinia hombroniana (Clusiaceae) 



Common Names 

English: seashore mangosteen

Spanish: mangostán de playa

Malaysia: beruas, manggis hutan 

Thailand: waa

Brunei Darussalam: luli


Origin and Distribution 

Native to Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.  Cultivated sporadically throughout the tropics.


Botanical Synonyms 




Seashore mangosteen is a small tree, reaching a height of 15-20 feet (4.6-6 m).  It has a straight trunk and is densely branched.  Young twigs are smooth and green, but older bark is dark brown and rough.  With white latex.  Leaves are opposite, bright green, 6-10 inches (15-25 cm) long and 2-5 inches (5-13 cm) wide.  Flowers are whitish, and occur terminally in clusters of 1-3.  Trees are dioecious.  The fruit is smooth, spherical and beaked, with a pinkish red peel.  The interior is segmented, like the mangosteen, but the pulp is yellowish, thin and sour, although it has a good flavor.  Most segments contain one flat seed.


Seashore mangosteen (Garcinia hombroniana) fruit.

Seashore mangosteen (Garcinia hombroniana) fruit.


Propagation and Culture

Seashore mangosteen is propagated by seeds, which germinate in 3-4 weeks.  It may be used as a rootstock for mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) (mangosteen grafting).  It is very tolerant adverse soil and climatic conditions, being adapted to growing in sandy and rocky soils near the beach in its native habitat.  It also grows well in acid clay soils, and tolerates drought as well as high rainfall.  Grows and fruits from sea level to over 1,500 feet (457 m) elevation.

In Puerto Rico, seashore mangosteen flowers from February to April, and fruits from June to August.  A mature tree can produce 300-500 or more fruits per year. 


Cultivars and Related Species

There are no named cultivars of seashore mangosteen. 

There are over 100 Garcinia species, mostly from southeast Asia.  Garcinia species from the Americas were once classified as Rheedia, but now all are considered GarciniaGarcinia hombroniana is one of the closest species to the mangosteen, and is thought to be one of its progenitors. 



The fruit of seashore mangosteen is aromatic but with thin, sour flesh.  It could probably be used to make juices and jellies.  The tree is an attractive ornamental.  The roots and leaves are used medicinally to relieve itching. 






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