Plant Name: Cordia dichotoma G.Forst
Hindi: Dela, Gunda
English: Indian cherry
Interesting facts and history
The larvae of the butterfly Arhopala micale feed on leaves of C. dichotoma.
Cordia dichotoma is a small to moderate-sized deciduous tree with a short bole and spreading crown.
The stem bark is greyish brown, smooth or longitudinally wrinkled.
Flowers are short-stalked, bisexual and white in colour. With a unique property, that flowers open only at night.
The fruit is a yellow or pinkish-yellow shining globose which turns black on ripening and the pulp gets viscid.
Habit / Habitat
It is a tree and found in a variety of forests ranging from the dry deciduous forests, moist deciduous forests and also in tidal forests.
1) Availability of the plant species in India: Deciduous forests of Rajasthan and Maharashtra
2) Global distribution: Being a native to China (Fujian, Guangdong Guangxi, Guizhou, southeast Xizang, and Yunnan), it is found in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Philippines Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Australia (Northern Territory and Queensland) and New Caledonia.
World wide use Fruits
Used by tribal community in Jawhar Fruits
Method of consumption
Raw fruits are pickled while riped fruits are directly consumed.
Lahsyade (Himachali’s cuisine)
Fruits of Cordia dichtoma, imli, onion & garlic paste, turmeric, sugar, salt, red chilli powder, salt, coriander powder and mustard oil.
Prepare imli water and simultaneously, deseed and boil the fruits and put it in the water to avoid them turning black. Keep on dipping your fingers in imli water to avoid the stickiness of fruits
1 and 1/2 cup of mustard oil in cast iron kadai/wok preferably in an iron kadai.
Almost 2 and 1/2 cups of onions and garlic paste and put it in oil and allow it to cook till it turns golden brown in color. Add dhania powder (5 tbs), turmeric powder (2 Tbs) and chilli powder (3 tbs), mix well and add deseeded and boiled fruits to the mixture.
Add salt to taste, imli paste and little sugar to it.
Let it cook till it leaves the oil.
Nutritional and medicinal information
- The pulp of the fruit contains per 100 g: water 6 g, protein 35 g, fat 37 g and carbohydrate 18 g.5.
- The seed contains per 100 g: water 32 g, fat 46 g; the principal fatty acids are: palmitic acid, stearic acid, arachidic acid, behenic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid (Srivastava SK et al.,1979) .5
- The extraction of fruits of Cordia dichotoma Forst. f. was carried out using ethanol. This extract was further fractionated using petroleum ether (40-60%), solvent ether, ethyl acetate, butanol and butanone in succession. These fractions were screened for wound healing activity using three different models, viz. excision, incision and dead space wound models on either sex of albino rats of Wistar strain. All the fractions showed significant (P<0.001) activity on the chosen models.
- The bark of Cordia dichotoma has traditionally being used in the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC) and colic pain. Apigenin, phytoconstituent, was isolated from the methanolic extract of the bark. This phytoconstituent have significant healing power and reduction of inflammatory enzymes when screened for ulcerative colitis (UC).
Harvesting and preserving
Fruits can be directly harvested from wild.
Raw fruits are stored in the form of pickles.
Propagation and Storage
Season of collection
Flowering: March to May. Fruits are formed soon after flowering, develop quickly and ripen from June to August
How to grow it?
Propagation is through seed which should be sown direct into containers, beds or trays and pricked out when the first pair of true leaves have formed. Sowing is done in June-July at a depth of 2 cm in lines spaced about 20 cm apart.
Method of storage: Ripe fruits are collected from the trees and rubbed to remove the flesh. The healthy stones are dried in the shade and kept in tin containers. The stones can be stored for 1 year in airtight containers kept in a dry place to avoid insect attack.
- The leaves are used to wrap food before cooking, and also as plates and cigar wrappers
- A glue can be made from the mucilaginous fruit
- Tree is also used as fuel wood in sub-Himalayan tract
1 "Taxon: Cordia dichotoma G. Forst.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2001-04-24. Retrieved 2011-04-18.