In Praise of Lanzones

September is when we have a surfeit of lanzones in Leyte, Philippines. The fruit reminds us of our dear mother, who passed away this month back in 1997–people would offer bunches of the fruit at her interment, and our grief was a bit assuaged knowing that it was the fruit of the gods.Lansium parasiticum (syn. Lansium domesticum), also known as langsat (/ˈlɑːŋsɑːt/) or lanzones,is a species of tree in the Mahogany family. The plant, which originates from western Southeast Asia, bears edible fruit. It is the provincial flower for the Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The tree is average sized, reaching 30 metres (98 ft) in height and 75 centimetres (30 in) in diameter. Seedling trees 30 years old planted at 8 x 8 meter spacing can have a height of 10 meters and diameter of 25 cm. The trunk grows in an irregular manner, with its buttress roots showing above ground. The tree’s bark is a greyish colour, with light and dark spots. Its resin is thick and milk coloured.[2]The pinnately compound leaves are odd numbered, with thin hair, and 6 to 9 buds at intervals. The buds are long and elliptical, approximately 9 to 21 centimetres (3.5 to 8.3 in) by 5 to 10 centimetres (2.0 to 3.9 in) in size. The upper edge shines, and the leaves themselves have pointed bases and tips. The stems of the buds measure 5 to 12 millimetres (0.20 to 0.47 in).[2]The flowers are located in inflorescences that grow and hang from large branches or the trunk; the bunches may number up to 5 in one place. They are often branched at their base, measure 10 to 30 centimetres (3.9 to 11.8 in) in size, and have short fur.[3] The flowers are small, with short stems, and have two genders. The sheathe is shaped like a five lobed cup and is coloured a greenish-yellow. The corona is egg-shaped and hard, measuring 2 to 3 millimetres (0.079 to 0.118 in) by 4 to 5 millimetres (0.16 to 0.20 in). There is one stamen, measuring 2 millimetres (0.079 in) in length. The top of the stamen is round. The pistil is short and thick.[2]

via In Praise of Lanzones.


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