Limonia acidissima

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Limonia acidissima
Wood-apple dec2007.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Subfamily: Aurantioideae
Tribe: Citreae
Genus: Limonia
Species: L. acidissima
Binomial name
Limonia acidissima
  • Schinus limonia L.
  • Ferronia elephantum Corrêa

Limonia acidissima is the only species within the monotypic genus Limonia. It is native in the Indomalaya ecozone to Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and in Indochinese ecoregion east to Java and the Malesia ecoregion. Vernacular names in English include: wood-apple, elephant-apple, monkey fruit, and curd fruit. It is reputed for its medicinal properties.[3]

Vernacular names[edit]

The common names of Limonia acidissima in the languages of its native habitat regions include:

  • English: Wood Apple, Elephant Apple, Monkey Fruit or Curd Fruit
  • Assamese: Bal, Bael (বেল)
  • Bengali: Kotbæl/Kodbæl (কৎবেল/কদবেল)
  • Burmese: Thee Pin, Thee Thee(သီးပင်၊ သီးသီး)
  • Cantonese: Luo Han Guo (罗汉果/ 羅漢果), Monk Fruit, Arhat Fruit, or Buddha Fruit[4]
  • Gujarati: Kothu
  • Hindi: Kaitha (कैथा), Kath Bel or Kabeet
  • Javanese: Kawis or Kawista
  • Khmer: Kvet (ខ្វិត)
  • Kannada: Belada Hannu / Byalada Hannu (ಬೇಲದ ಹಣ್ಣು), balulada hannu (ಬಳೂಲದ ಹಣ್ಣು/ಬಳೂಲಕಾಯಿ/ಬಳೂಲ)
  • Malaysia : Belingai
  • Malayalam: Vilam Kai (വിളാങ്കായ്)
  • Marathi: KavaTH (कवठ).
  • Oriya: Kaitha or Kaintha
  • Sanskrit: Billa, Kapittha (कपित्थ), Dadhistha, Surabhicchada, Kapipriya, Dadhi, Puṣpapahala, Dantasātha, Phalasugandhika, Cirapākī, Karabhithū, Kanṭī, Gandhapatra, Grāhiphala, Kaṣāyāmlaphala.[5]
  • Sinhalese: Divul (දිවුල්)
  • Tamil: Vilam Palam (விளா)
  • Telugu: Vellaga Pandu (వెలగ పండు)
  • Vietnamese: Quách
  • Urdu: Kaitha (کیتھا)


Wood-apple tree in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Limonia acidissima is a large tree growing to 9 metres (30 ft) tall, with rough, spiny bark. The leaves are pinnate, with 5-7 leaflets, each leaflet 25–35 mm long and 10–20 mm broad, with a citrus-scent when crushed. The fruit is a berry 5–9 cm diameter, and may be sweet or sour. It has a very hard rind which can be difficult to crack open, and contains sticky brown pulp and small white seeds. The fruit looks similar in appearance to fruit of Bael (Aegle marmelos).


A number of other species formerly included in the genus are now treated in the related genera Atalantia, Citropsis, Citrus, Glycosmis, Luvunga, Murraya, Microcitrus, Micromelum, Naringi, Pamburus, Pleiospermium, Severinia, Skimmia, Swinglea, and Triphasia.[6]


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  2. ^ B. C. Stone, D. H. Nicolson (November 1978). "Arguments for Limonia acidissima L. (Rutaceae) and against Its Rejection as a nomen ambiguum" 27. Taxon: 551–552. JSTOR 1219924. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  3. ^ Health Benefits of Wood Apple or Bel Fruit
  4. ^ The New Food Lover's Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst - Published by Barron's
  5. ^ S G Joshi, Medicinal Plants, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, 2004, ISBN 81-204-1414-4, p.347
  6. ^ John H. Wiersema (2005-02-22). "Species in GRIN for genus". Retrieved 2011-04-19. 

External links[edit]