Dovyalis hebecarpa

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Dovyalis hebecarpa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Dovyalis
Species: D. hebecarpa
Binomial name
Dovyalis hebecarpa
(Gardner) Warb.
Synonyms[1]
  • Roumea hebecarpa Gardner

Dovyalis hebecarpa, commonly known as Ceylon gooseberry, Kitembilla or Ketembilla, is a plant in the genus Dovyalis, native to Sri Lanka and southern India.

It is a shrub or small tree growing to 6 m tall, with sharp, 3–6 cm long stem spines in the leaf axils. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple broad lanceolate, 5–10 cm long and 1–3 cm broad, with an entire or finely toothed margin.

The flowers are inconspicuous, solitary or clustered, with no petals. It is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants, though some female plants are parthenogenetic.

The fruit is an edible dark purple globose berry 2–3 cm diameter, very juicy with an acidic flavour, and containing several small seeds. Kitembilla fruit, which taste similar to a gooseberry (they are sometimes called "Ceylon Gooseberry"[2]), are often eaten fresh, or made into jam. Some cultivars have been selected for being thornless (making harvesting easier) and larger fruit.

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