Cherapu, Button Mangosteen
Origin: Thailand, Borneo
small tree 10-20 ft, full sun, regular water, pink flowers,
Small tropical fruit tree with glossy leaves and very fragrant
reddish-pink flowers. Deep within the verdant rainforests of Borneo,
Cherapu Garcinia prainiana plants begin a most ancient of rituals.
Amidst the dense foliage, small red flowers emerge like jewels from
the deep green branch tips, effusing their sweet aroma in hopes of
seducing tiny insects. Beneath the tropical sun, the insects flitter
playfully among the male and female blooms, unwittingly pollinating
their thankful hosts. Brilliant orange fruits have very pleasant
taste, with unusual sweet-sour flavored pulp. The fruits are smaller
than the mangosteen. Button mangosteens are excellent plants for
container growth. The trees are very slow growing but long-lived and
can fruit when only a few feet tall.
Garcinia prainiana, known as the button mangosteen or cherapu is a
species of Garcinia. It has a flavor similar to, but distinct from,
its cousin, the purple mangosteen, with an interesting taste some
have compared to a tangerine, but unlike its cousin, it has a
tissue-thin skin rather than a hard rind, making it much easier to
eat out-of-hand. Also unlike the purple mangosteen, it can be grown
in a container. The fruit is cultivated in Southeast Asia, by a few
backyard growers in South Florida, and at the Whitman Rare Fruit
Pavilion of Florida's Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.