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Plant Name        Careya arborea               

                Common name:              

                Marathi:            Kumbha            

                Hindi:                Kumbhi  

                English:             Wild Guava      

                Jawhar:              Kumbha             


Interesting facts and history

Wild Guava is a medium sized deciduous tree, up to 20 m tall, the leaves of which turn red in the cold season. It is the Kumbhi of Sanskrit writers, and appear to have been so named on account of the hollow on the top of the fruit giving it somewhat the appearance of a water-pot.

Wild pigs are very fond of the bark, and that it is used by hunters to attract them. he Tamil name Puta-tanni-maram signifies ”water- bark-tree,” in allusion to the exudation trickling down the bark in dry weather


Identification guide


Small trees, to 12 m high


Rugged, Bark thick, brownish, rough, exfoliations small, more or less triangular


Inflorescences terminal spikes, 8-15 cm long


 sessile or subsessile, yellow or white in colour that become large green berries


ovoid-globose, to 5-6 cm long by c. 5 cm wide, crowned by persistent adpressed sepals


Habit / Habitat

Scattered but locally common in primary or secondary, evergreen or deciduous, slightly seasonal forest, sometimes in more open country and along forest edges. It is absent from perhumid rain forest.         



The tree grows throughout India in forests and grasslands.

Throughout India, Pakistan, Nepal,Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos. Throughout Odisha.


Edible parts

World wide use:              The fruit is edible, but the seeds are reported as slightly poisonous. The fruit is a capsule up to 6cm in diameter with a leathery skin and a fleshy pulp.

Used by tribal community in Jawhar:     Leaves and Flowers


Method of consumption

Other Recipe

Kumbhi fruits are edible.  The ripe fruits are highly aromatic and people like to eat them out of hand.  Sometimes these are also cooked to make other preparations

Medicinal use

The juice of the bark, and the calices of the flowers, are astringent and mucilaginous. They are often used internally in India for treating coughs and colds, and are applied externally as an embrocation.


Nutritional and medicinal information

The fruit is edible, but the seeds are reported as slightly poisonous.

 The fruit is a capsule up to 6cm in diameter with a leathery skin and a fleshy pulp

The fibrous bark has been applied medicinally for relieving body swellings.

An astringent gum exudes from the fruit and stem.

The pulped leaves are used as a poultice.

The bark of the tree and the sepals of the flowers are well-known Indian remedies, and are valued on account of their astringent and mucilaginous properties, being administered internally in coughs and colds and applied externally as an embrocation."  


Harvesting and preserving

Prefers a well-drained, sandy or even rocky soil. Requires a sunny position.

In India the annual diameter increment can be up to 0.5 cm, but growth of coppice is faster, 0.6 - 0.9 cm in diameter for 8-year-old coppice shoots.

The tree is highly fire resistant and coppices well             


Propagation and Storage

New plants of kumbhi are raised from seed which germinate within 4-6 weeks.  This tree is highly fire resistant.  It also coppices well.

In India the annual diameter increment can be up to 0.5 cm, but growth of coppice is faster.      


Other uses

The fibrous bark contains a brown dye.

The bark yields a good fiber that is used locally for coarse cordage. It is also suitable for making brown paper and is used as a slow match to ignite gunpowder.

The bark is a source of tannins.

A gum is obtained from the tree.

The tree yields a medium-weight to heavy hard wood with a density of 770 kg/m cubic to over 1000 kg/m cubic at 15% moisture content. Heartwood pale red to dark red-brown in older trees, sapwood wide, pale reddish-white; grain straight; texture medium and even. Shrinkage of the wood is very high, so it should be seasoned slowly as it easily develops surface checks, end splits, and is very liable to warp and twist It is moderately hard and somewhat difficult to saw, but presents no difficulties when worked with hand and machine tools. It yields a smooth finish and a good polish. The wood is durable, especially under water.

The wood is used, mainly in India and Myanmar, for general construction (house posts, planking), furniture and cabinet work, carts, mouldings, turnery, piling and agricultural implements.        



Kingdom:             Plantae

Division:              Sermatophyta

Sub-division:       Angiospermae

Class:                    Dioctyledonae

Sub-Class:            Polypetalae

Series:                  Calyciflorae

Order:                   Myrtales

Family:                 Myrtaceae

Genus :                  Careya

Species :               arborea



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