Madrono, Bumpy Lemon - Garcinia madruno (Kunth) Hammel
Garcinia madruno (kunth) Hammel
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Garcinia madruno (kunth) Hammel

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Garcinia madruno (kunth) Hammel, leaf

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Male flowers buds
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Male flower buds

Male flowers
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Male flowers

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Cross section
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Dry seeds

Garcinia madruno trunk
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Garcinia madruno trunk

Yellow latex seeping from the cut surface of the wood
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Yellow latex seeping from the cut surface of the wood

Tree habit in Hawaii
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Garcinia madruno (kunth) Hammel tree habit in Hawaii

Tree habit Costa Rica
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Garcinia madruno (kunth) Hammel tree habit in Costa Rica

Scientific name
Garcinia madruno (Kunth) Hammel
Common names
Machari or fruta de mono in Panama; cerillo in Costa Rica; cozoiba in Venezuela; kamururu in Bolivia 5
French: madruno, German: Marienbalsam; Spanish: charichuelo, cozoiba, madroño, naranjita, ocoró, satro 6

Calophyllum madruno Kunth ; Chloromyron verticillatum Pers.; Rheedia acuminata (Ruiz & Pav.) Planch. & Triana; R. kappleri Eyma; R. madruno (Kunth) Planch. & Triana; R. madruno subsp. bituberculata Pittier; R. madruno subsp. ovata Pittier; Verticillaria acuminata Ruiz & Pav. 7
Clusiaceae (formely Guttiferae)
Southern America
USDA hardiness zones
10a, 10b and 11
Fruit; landscape specimen
14-30 ft (4.267-9.144 m)
Pyramidal or nearly round crown 5
Plant habit
The tree is erect, lush, compact; has much gummy yellow latex 5
New branches have a somewhat angular growth 2
Evergreen; opposite, simple, dark green and leathery
Creamy-white, unisexual borne singly or in fascicles on young branches
White, juicy, acid-sweet pulp; looks like a droopy lemon with similar rind; pulp coats and tightly adheres to 1-3 seeds 3–4 in.
Mid summer
Light requirement
Full sun or light shade
Soil tolerances
Adapted to a wide range of soils; well-drained soils
PH preference
Drought tolerance
Aerosol salt tolerance
Soil salt tolerance
Cold tolerance
Tolerates average winter conditions but hard freezes may damage leaves/twigs 3
Invasive potential *
None reported
Pest resistance
Few if any pest problems

Reading Material

Madrono from Julia Morton's book Fruits of Warm Climates
The Madrono from the University of Florida Palm Beach Extension Service

There are over 240 Garcinia species, mostly from southeast Asia. Garcinia species from the Americas were once classified as Rheedia, but now all are considered Garcinia.

Sorting Garcinia Names from theMultilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database, University of Melbourne, Australia ext. link


Brazil: Brazil - Acre, - Amazonas, - Bahia, - Mato Grosso, - Para, - Tocantins
Central America: Costa Rica; Nicaragua; Panama
Northern South America: French Guiana; Guyana; Suriname; Venezuela
Western South America: Bolivia - Beni, - La Paz, - Santa Cruz; Colombia; Ecuador - Carchi, - Esmeraldas, - Napo, - Pastaza; Peru 6

Garcinia madruno is a fruit tree occasionally cultivated in the Amazon region and easily found in its natural habitat, the Eastern Amazon, in dry forests with generally sandy soils.  It is and evergreen with a dense crown, new growth branches are somewhat angular. It is 6-12 m
tall. 2 

Leaf habitLeaf habit
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The opposite leaves are elliptic to oblong, wedge-shaped at the base, rounded or pointed at the apex, 2 3/8 to 8 in (6-20 cm) long, 3/4 to 3 in (2-7.5 cm) wide; dark green above, paler beneath, with numerous veins conspicuous on both surfaces and merging into a thick marginal vein. 5

Garcinia madruno (kunth) HammelPetioleLeaf
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The fragrant male and female flowers are borne on separate trees in clusters of up to 14 in the leaf axils; have 4 reflexed, pale-yellow petals; the male, 25 to 30 light-yellow stamens. 5

Male flower cluster
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Fig. 9. Male flower cluster

The fruit is round or ellipsoidal, sometimes with a prominent nipple at each end; 2 to 3 in (5-7.5 cm) long, with thick, leathery, warty, greenish-yellow rind containing a deep-yellow, resinous latex. The white, translucent, juicy, sweet-acid, aromatic pulp adheres tightly to the 1 to 3 ovate or oblong seeds which are about 3/4 in (2 cm) long. 5
The fruit looks like a shriveled droopy lemon, and has a similar rind. The interior is soft white pulp and has a popular, slightly citrusy taste people have compared to a sweet santol fruit or lemony cotton candy. The species was formerly included in the genus Rheedia, which has since been absorbed into Garcinia, as Rheedias species are now known as "new world mangosteens." 1
One word of caution, though: do not pick fruits prior to maturity. If picked prior to maturity, fruits are generally very acid, and once picked no further ripening occurs in the fruit. 3

Garcinia madruno (kunth) HammelGarcinia madruno (kunth) HammelGarcinia madruno (kunth) Hammel fruiting habit
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Skin removedGarcinia madruno (kunth) Hammel
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Fig. 14 . Garcinia madruno (kunth) Hammel fruiting habit

A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a semi-shaded position in a nursery seedbed. Germination rates in excess of 70% are usually achieved, with the seed sprouting within 60 - 70 days. 4

Garcinia madruno is well adapted to a wide variety of soils, tolerating even poor soils or heavy clay. It is a slow grower and takes about 5 to 7 years to fruit. When young, it must be protected from frosts and it will not fruit in cold areas. The fruit is not very well known outside of South America and a few backyard growers in South Florida. 1

Food Uses
In addition to being eaten as a fresh fruit it makes an excellent jam. 3

Other Uses
The yellow latex of the tree is used in Panama to treat ulcers and other sores. The wood is pinkish and hard but not commonly used. 5

List of Growers and Vendors

1 "Garcinia madruno." N.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

2 Lorenzi, Harri, Bacher, Luis, Lacerda, Marco and Sartori, Sergio. "Brazillian Fruits & Cultivated Exotics (for consuming in natura)." Brazil. Instituto Plantarum de Estudos da Flora LTDA. 2006. Print.

3 Joyner, Gene. "The Madrono." Palm Beach County Extension Service. Web. 3 May 2015

4 Lorenzi. H. "Brazilian Trees. Volume 3." Brazil. Instituto Plantarum de Estudos da Flora LTDA. 2008. Print.
5 Morton, J. "Bakupari." Fruits of warm climates, p. 309-310. 1987. Web. 11 Jan. 2015.
6 "Garcinia madruno (Kunth) Hammel." USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Web. 7Jan. 2017.
7 "Garcinia madruno (Kunth) Hammel synonyms." The Plant List (2010). Version 1. Web. 7 Dec. 2017.


Fig. 1,2,4,5,6,12,13,14,1619,21 Aguilar, Reinaldo. Garcinia madruno (kunth) Hammel. 2011. Vascular Plants of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).  Web. 7 Jan. 2017.

Fig. 3,7,8,10,11,12,15 Steve Paton. Garcinia madruno. N.d. Environmental Sciences Program, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Web. 25 Jan. 2014.

Fig. 18,20,22,23 Starr, Forest and Kim. Garcinia madruno. 2009. Kahanu Gardens NTBG Kaeleku Hana, Maui. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.

UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas

Published 12 Apr. 2014 LR. Last update 8 Jan. 2017 LR
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