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Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Lanzones or lansones are a great favorite with the Filipinos. Lansones is planted for its desirable fruit in Luzon, particularly in Quezon and Laguna Provinces, and occurs wild in Mindanao and Basilan. The fruit is whitish-yellow and occurs in bunches which resemble those of grapes, except that they occur on a single stem instead of a branched stem. The outer skin is fairly thin but is tough and contains a milky juice, which exudes abundantly. This juice deters many foreigners from eating lanzones. If the fruit is peeled, then iced, and eaten within a reasonable time, its flavor is not impaired. The edible part of the fruit is a translucent pulp, which occurs in five sections, one of which usually contains a well-developed seed. The pulp is succulent and delicious, and may be preserved in syrup or candied. The fruit skins are often dried and, when burned, give an aromatic smell, which drives away mosquitoes and makes a pleasant inhalant in a sick room. The seeds are very bitter. The tree grows from 4 to 15 meters in height. The leaves are alternate, 20 to 40 centimeters long, with 5 to 7 leaflets, which are oblong or elliptic-oblong, 7 to 18 centimeters in length, and pointed at both ends. The flowers are small, yellow, and borne on spikes, which are solitary or fascicled on the trunk and larger branches. The fruit is hairy, oblong-ovate or ellipsoid, 3 to 5 centimeters long, and contains seeds, which are surrounded by pulp (arillus). One or two seeds usually develop and the rest abort.

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