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|Dillenia philippinensis at Wahiawa Botanical Garden|
Dillenia philippinensis (katmon) is a favorite tree among Filipino garden enthusiasts. It is endemic to the Philippines and can be used for urban greening. Its fruit is known as elephant apple. Katmon grows in low to medium altitude forests throughout the Philippines, but does not survive the cold climates of the uplands.
Katmon is a medium-sized evergreen tree that grows as high as 10 to 15 meters. Its trunk is erect and the branches usually start midway of the trunk. The tree is buttress-forming, evergreen, and shade tolerant. The bark is smooth with shallow fissures. The leaves are leathery, shining, ovate, elliptic or oblong-ovate, about 12 to 25 centimeters long, and coarsely toothed at the margins. Its flowers are white, large, showy, and about 15 centimeters in diameter with reddish pistils and stamens. The edible fruits are rounded, about six to eight centimeters in diameter, with large fleshy sepals tightly enclosing the true fruit.
The tree is harvested for its timber and the edible fruits are said to have medicinal value.
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