Mimusops elengi L. Common Name: Tanjong Tree, Bunga Tanjung, Red Coondoo, Tanjong, Spanish Cherry, Medlar, Bullet Wood, Bunga Mengkula, Mengkulah, Mengkulang. This is a small, bushy tree with a conical shaped crown when young, and a dense, bushy, rounded crown when mature. Landscaping Use: The Tanjong Tree is commonly planted along roadsides in Singapore, especially in residential estates, as its compact size makes it highly suitable for narrower planting verges, and it also has the added attraction of bearing fragrant flowers.Ethnobotanical Use: The flowers are used for adornment and to distill scented water in India. The leaves, flowers, bark and seeds are variously used in local medicines in the Malay Archipelago.
Mimusops elengi is a medium-sized evergreen tree found in tropical forests in South Asia, Southeast Asia and northern Australia. English common names include Spanish cherry, medlar, and bullet wood. Its timber is valuable, the fruit is edible, and it is used in traditional medicine. As the trees give thick shade and flowers emit fragrance, it is a prized collection of gardens.
Its flower is the provincial flower of Yala Province, Thailand, as well as the city flower of Ampang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Bullet wood is an evergreen tree reaching a height of about 16 m (52 ft). It flowers in April, and fruiting occurs between June and October. The leaves are glossy, dark green, oval-shaped, 5–14 cm (2.0–5.5 in) long, and 2.5–6 cm (0.98–2.36 in) wide. The flowers are cream, hairy, and scented. The fruits are fleshy, range in color between yellow and brown, and contain a large brown seed. The pulp has a yellow color and it is edible. The bark of the tree is thick and appears dark brownish black or grayish black in colour, with striations and a few cracks on the surface. The tree may reach up to a height of 9–18 m (30–59 ft) with about 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in circumference.
The plant is native to South and Southeast Asia, particularly the coastal areas of the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Myanmar, as well as Northern Australia. It was introduced in China in the 20th century, and it is now cultivated in its south, as well as in Taiwan.
The bark, flowers, fruits, and seeds of Bakula are used in Ayurvedic medicine in which it is purported to be astringent, cooling, anthelmintic, tonic, and febrifuge. It is mainly used for dental ailments such as bleeding gums, pyorrhea, dental caries, and loose teeth.
The flowers are sun dried and used to make floral infusions and as an addition to green tea in Thailand.
The edible fruit is softly hairy becoming smooth, ovoid, bright red-orange when ripe.
The wood is a luxurious wood that is extremely hard, strong and tough, and rich deep red in color. The heartwood is sharply defined from the sapwood. It works easily and takes a beautiful polish. Density is 1008 kg per cubic meter.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Medicinal ( In Malaysia the bark is used to treat fever, pimples and diarrhoea; and the leaves for headache. The Indonesians smoke the leaves to get relief from asthma and apply the bark to treat itch, rheumatism and gonorrhea. Extract of flowers used against heart diseases, leucorrhoea, menorrhagia and act as antiduretic in polyuria and antitoxin. )
Cultural / Religious
Heritage Tree: There are currently 2 individuals of Mimusops elengi listed as Heritage Tree in Singapore. One can be found on Sentosa while the other in Hougang.