Other Names: Keppel, Burahol, Simpel, Kecindul, Turalak
Related To: Sweetsop, Atemoya, Rollinia
Main Uses: Food, Foliage, "Perfume"
Growth Rate: Slow to Moderate. Very slow to germinate.
Mature Height/Spread: To 60' in the tropics. Usually smaller.
Flowering/Pollination: Cauliflorous; small white flowers. Can
flower and fruit more than once a year. Self fertile.
Tolerance: Intolerant of both drought and salt.
Soil/Nutrition: Fertile slightly acidic and well drained.
Light: Part shade to full sun (when older). Juvenile trees prefer
filtered sunlight / dappled shade.
Wind: New foliage is very tender; needs a sheltered location.
Temperature: Seedlings will die if exposed to temperatures below
40 degrees. Generally, the kepel is hardy to just above freezing
when it is a few years old. Always protect from wind when growing in
a marginal climate.
Diseases Prone: Fungus
Bearing Age: 6-10 years from seed
Fruit: Spherical, 2-3 inches in diameter, fragrant, subtle
History/Origin: Indonesia/Java; endangered. In ages past, Sultans
had this tree planted on palace property. Fruits were reserved for
ladies of the Harem, and royalty, used as a breath freshener and an
Species Observations: New foliage emerges a pale red color,
making this a very decorative tree with an attractive growth habit.
It certainly deserves to be more widely planted in the tropics, not
only for it's foliage, but also for it's unique fuit and history..
As the tree matures, it will begin to flower and fruit more than
once a year. If the tree is healthy, it will fruit prolifically,
providing hundreds of fruits right off the trunk.
Propogation: Propagation is typically from seed, and is very
slow. Fresh seeds can be sprouted in a few weeks, but will not begin
leafing out until a year or so after they are planted. Be very
patient with this species. Air layering is usually unsuccessful,
being very slow (more than a year), if at all.
Container Culture: Unknown, though species is slow growing.
Medicinal Uses: The fragrant fruits are used to freshen breath.
If eaten in some quantity, it is reported that the fruits cause all
bodily excretions to smell of violets. The flowers, being higher in
aromatic oils, are also eaten for this purpose. This unique effect
is the primary point of interest for most collectors. Some hobbyists
report no effect of this kind, while others have the opposite
Preparation / Food: Scanty, though aromatic flesh of the fruits
is eaten fresh.