Mimusops elengi L.

Last updated: 24 July 2015

Scientific Name

Mimusops elengi L.


Imbricaria perroudii Montrouz., Kaukenia elengi (L.) Kuntze, Kaukenia javensis (Burck) Kuntze, Kaukenia timorensis (Burck) Kuntze, Magnolia xerophila P. Parm., Manilkara parvifolia (R. Br.) Dubard, Mimusops elengi var. parvifolia (R.Br.) Dubard, Mimusops erythroxylon Llanos ex Fern.-Vill. [Illegitimate], Mimusops javensis Burck, Mimusops latericia Elmer, Mimusops lucida Poir., Mimusops parvifolia R. Br., Mimusops timorensis Burck. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Bunga tanjung, pokok tanjung, pekola batu, kekula [2], elengi; bitis (General, trade name); mengkula (Peninsular); nyatoh batu (Peninsular, Sabah) [3]
English Asian bulletwood, bukal, tanjung [3], medlar, Spanish cherry [4]
India Bakoli, bakool, bakul, bakula’ bakulah, baukalaraung, baula, blok-chip-rip, bokul, bolasiri, elanni, elengi, ilanni, maulsari, morsali, pogadahettu [4]
Indonesia Tanjung (General, trade name); karikis (North Sulawesi); tanjung laut (Moluccas) [3]
Laos 'Sa koun, phi koun [3]
Myanmar Kaya [3]
Philippines Betis (General, trade name); bansalagin (General); kabiki (Tagalog) [3]
Thailand Kun (Peninsular); kaeo (Northern); phikun (Central) [3]; pigul [2]
Vietnam C[aa]y vi[eef]t, s[eef]n c[as]t [3]
Nepal Bhalsari [4]
France Bukal, tanjung [3]

Geographical Distributions

Mimusops comprises about 40 species, 20 of which occur in Africa, some 15 in Madagascar, five in the Mascarenes and Seychelles and one, which is Mimusops elengi L. occurs in Asia and the Pacific. M. elengi is probably native to India, Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, Thailand and the Andaman Islands, but is commonly planted throughout Malesia towards the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and northern Australia, and many other tropical countries. [3]

M. elengi is fairly common near the sea, but may also be found in rocky locations and inland forests, up to 600 m altitude. [3]

Botanical Description

M. elengi is a member of the Sapotaceae family. It is an evergreen, monoecious, small to medium-sized tree that can reach up to 30(-40) m tall. [3]

The bole is often short and divided into several large main branches but sometimes branchless for up to 15(-20) m, and measuring up to 100 cm in diametre while the buttresses are absent or up to 2 m high. The surface of the bark becomes deeply fissured and sometimes peels off in thin scales, grey, brown or dark red to blackish. The inner bark is fibrous, pink or reddish, and with scanty watery or white sticky latex. The crown is dense, rounded, spreading and glossy dark green. [3]

The leaves are arranged alternately or distantly spiral, simple, with wavy and upcurled margins. The stipules are minute and caducous. [3]

The flowers are bisexual or functionally male or functionally female, solitary or fasciculate in leaf axils. The sepals are in 2 whorls of 4. The petal is white, fragrant, with a short tube and 8 lobes where each is divided into three. There are 8 stamens that alternate with 8 staminodes and are inserted on the petal tube. The ovary is superior, (6-)8-locular with 1 ovule in each cell and with 1 style. [3]

The fruit is a 1-2-seeded and ovoid to ellipsoid berry, orange and turning red when ripens. Seedling is with epigeal germination. The cotyledons are emergent and leafy while the hypocotyl is elongated. All leaves are arranged alternate-spiral. The taproot is strongly developed. [3]


M. elengi is thrives in areas with perhumid or slightly seasonal rainfall, and is usually found in seasonally dry habitats but can withstand waterlogging for up to 2 months. It requires a fertile soil. [3]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing



Figure 1: The line drawing of M. elengi [3]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1 Mimusops elengi L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 26; cited 2015 Jul 24]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-128461
  2. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p. 144.
  3. Mimusops elengi L. In: Sosef MSM, Hong LT, Prawirohatmodjo S, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5(3): Timber trees: Lesser-known timbers. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 1998.
  4. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 163.