Garcinia cowa Roxb. (Guttiferae)
Vernacular name: chamuang
Common name: kowa ganboji (Japanese)
Evergreen tree, up to 20 m tall. Leaves simple, opposite, 6-15 by 2.5-6 cm, oblong, thick and glossy, usually less than 3 times as long as wide with blunt or slightly pointed tips; petiole c 1 cm. Inflorescence a cluster of single to few flowered, axillary, flower unisexual. Male flower without stigma, the stamens in single squarish mass. Female flower with shallowly 4-8 ridged stigma. Fruit subglobose, 2.5-6 cm, green when young, dull orange or yellow at maturity with 5-8 shallow grooves at least near the top. Tip sunken with small black persistent calyx, 4-8 segments. Seed large 3-angled.
This tree is common in most lowland forest types. It is found in low sand dune forest behind the beach, in tropical evergreen forest, or in dry deciduous forest throughout the country.
Young leaves are cooked in famous dish “tom mu chamuang”(pork curry) of the provinces in the southeast. They can also coked with fish dish.
This tree is occasionally grown in backyard garden for its edible young leaves. It is normally propagated by seeds which take at least 3 years before young leaves can be harvested.