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Mangosteen trees reach heights of 9 to 20 m (30 to 65 ft). The simple, alternate, evergreen leaves are thick and leathery, elliptical to oblong, up to 25 cm (10 in) long. The fragrant rose-pink flowers, which occur singly, are around 5 cm (2 in) across, with 4 or 5 sepals and petals, and 8 to many stamens. The smooth round fruit is 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 in) across, dark purple or deep wine red, with sepals persisting on the thick fruit stalk. The fruit contains 5 to 7 triangular sections, each containing a large seed surrounded by fleshy white pulp (the aril) with a sweet-sour flavor.
Mangosteen fruits, which have a high sugar content, are generally eaten fresh or in salads, purees, or sorbets. The seeds can be used for oil (they contain up to 15% oil). Related species of Garcinia produce a yellow resin that is used for medicinal purposes and as a dye, and many of the species are used for timber for construction and furniture-making.
(Bailey et al. 1976, Flora of China 2012, Hedrick 1919, van Wyk 2005.)