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Plant Name        Dillenia pentagyna         

                Common name: Karmal, Dog Teak, Dillenia, Nepali elephant apple

                Marathi:              Motha Karmal/ Karwal  

                Hindi:                   Karmal 

                English:                Dillenia, Nepali elephant apple

                Jawhar:                Motha Karmal  



Identification guide


Dillenia pentagyna is a deciduous tree growing up to 25 metres tall. The bole is usually rather crooked, it can be free of branches for up to 12 metres and up to 100cm in diameter

Trunk, bark

Thick bark, grey surface molted with white, stout branchlets with prominent 'V' shaped leaf scars.



Large, spirally arranged, clustered at the tip of the branchlets.


Bisexual, yellow, fragnant, solitary or clusters in terminal racemes, bracts, Calyx 5 toothed, spreading, enlarged and fleshy in fruit.  Corolla 5 lobed, free stamens, carpels 5-20, borne on a conical receptacle, numerous ovules.


Aggregate of berries, drooping, drooping, subglobose, fleshy, yellow, orange or red, seeds numerous, ovoid, black, glabrous.


Habit / Habitat

 Deciduous tree

Western Ghats , Moist Deciduous Forests and Grasslands           



  1. It vis widely distributed in Asian countries .i.e. from China to Indo-Malaysia


Edible parts

World wide use                                         Flower buds, Fruit

Used by tribal community in Jawhar        Flowers


Method of consumption

                Jawhar tribal      Flowers are steamed and cooked as a vegetable


Nutritional and medicinal information

Nutritive Significance

Literature review: 

Nutrition parameters of flowers 

Nutritive value  3440.36+/- 8.60 kcal/kg

Minerals Composition (mg/kg)

Na  815+/- 27.0

K 33150+/- 110

Ca  13330+/-70

Mn 104+/- 0.03

Fe 162+/-0.04

Cu 38+/-0.02

Zn 168+/-1.7




 Pharmaceutical significance

 Literature review:

A study conducted by Ashish Kumar Singha et al, 2013, suggested that the crude plant extract contain some compounds which have antimicrobial activity, more potent antioxidant activity as well as α-glucosidase inhibitory activity.    


Harvesting and preserving

A plant of the moist, lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 900 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 30 - 42°c, but can tolerate 7 - 47°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 3,000mm, but tolerates 750 - 5,000mm, growing mainly in areas with a distinct dry season.            


Propagation and Storage



Other uses

Dominant tribal communities in Madhya Pradesh, use cook fruits of Dillenia as a vegetable and make 'Chutney'. Root decoction is given to cure body pain whereas, the bark powder is used to cure diabetes, diarrhoea and dysentery. Leaf paste is applied on wounds and cures many other diseases.

The plant is most commonly used as traditional anticancer medicinal plant by the Mizo tribe in Mizoram state, India.



Kingdom:            Plantae

Division:              Spermatophyta

Sub-division:     Angiospermae

Class:                    Dicotyledonae

Sub-class:            Polypetalae

Series:                  Thalamiflorae

Order:                   Ranales

Family:                  Dilleniaceae

Genus:                  Dillenia

Species:               pentagyna




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