Mimusops elengi (Maulsari):

Family: Mimusops elengi belongs to the Sapotaceae family.

Common Name: It is commonly known as Spanish Cherry in English and Maulsari in Hindi.

Flowering period: The tree flowers from March to July and produces fruits from October to December.

Habitat: The Maulsari plant is native to India and suited to subtropical climates.

Uses:  An oil is obtained from the seed which is generally used for cooking. The bark of the tree is used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery and several other ailments such as gonorrhea, snakebites and eczema. The leaves are used to treat headache, toothache, wounds and sore eyes. The flowers are used as filling in pillows and are strung into beautiful garlands that decorate Indian homes. The leaves, bark as well as flowers are also used to produce essential oils and perfumes.

Key features: Maulsari is an evergreen tree that can grow upto 20m high. It has a scaly and rough dark grey coloured bark, which usually has longitudinal cracks or fissures. The bark releases a white exudation as well. Younger branches are pubescent and brown in colour. The tree has alternate spiral stipulate leaves and fragrant white coloured bisexual flowers. It bears a yellow berry-like ovoid fruit which is around 2.5cm long and usually contains one laterally compressed seed.  The fruit can be eaten raw or preserved as a pickle. It has a starchy pulp with a sweet flavour.