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Spondias is a genus of flowering plants in the cashew family, Anacardiaceae. The genus consists of 17 described species, 7 of which are native to the Neotropics and about 10 are native to tropical Asia. They are commonly named hog plums, Spanish plums, libas in Bikol and in some cases golden apples for their brightly colored fruit which resemble an apple or large plum at a casual glance. They are only distantly related to apple and plum trees, however. A more unequivocal common name is mombins.

Spondias dulcis, fruit, section and seed

They are deciduous or semi-evergreen trees growing to 25 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, pinnate, rarely bipinnate or simple. The fruit is a drupe similar to a small mango (in the related genus Mangifera), 4–10 cm long, ripening yellow or orange. It has a single seed.

About 10 species of Spondias bear edible fruits and have been domesticated for fruit production. These fruits are also consumed by herbivorous mammals such as deer. In the Western Ghats of Karnataka Flower buds and tender spondias are used in pickle preparation.

A theory regarding the name of the city of Bangkok, Thailand is that the name is derived from makok (มะกอก), the Thai name for the fruit of Spondias dulcis.[2] Spondias pinnata is called Pulicha kaai in the Tamil language, which means "sour fruit." It is also called as "Amate Kaai" in [Kannada language] Ambade in Tulu and Konkani. In Sri Lanka it is called Amberella.

The Malesian species of Spondias were revised by Ding Hou in 1978.[3] The most recently recognized species, Spondias testudinis, was described in 1998.[4]

Preserved ma-kok, sweet and sour with chili
Selected species


  1. ^ "Spondias L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  2. ^ "ชั้นและตำบลที่ตั้งวัด",, accessed March 29, 2011.
  3. ^ Flora Malesiana series 1, 8(3):395-577.
  4. ^ John D. Mitchell and Douglas C. Daly. 1998. "The "tortoise's cajá" - a new species of Spondias (Anacardiaceae) from southwestern Amazonia" Brittonia 50( ):447-451.


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