Edible Portion: Fruit, Vegetable, Tea
A shrub or small tree. It grows 5-15 m high. The trunk is crooked and low branched and armed with scattered slender spines. The leaves are alternate, pointed at the base and rounded at the tip. The edges of the leaves toothed with rounded lobes. Leaves are dark green on top and pale green underneath. They are 6-17 cm long and 3-7 cm wide. Male and female trees occur. The flowers are small and white, occur singly or in pairs in the axils of leaves or near the ends of short branches. The fruit are rounded, fleshy, purple or nearly black. They are smooth and about 1 cm across. The flesh is yellowish, juicy and acid. There are 6 to 10 small flattened seeds inside. The fruit are edible.
A tropical plant. It grows in the lowlands. They are found in the Philippines in Cagayan, Isabela, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, Rizal and Mindoro. They thrive in dry shrubby areas at low altitudes. Trees grow in coastal areas and up to 700 m or higher. In Africa it grows from sea level to 2,400 m above sea level. They suit drier areas. In Yunnan it grows between 700-1500 m altitude. It grows in subtropical broadleaved evergreen forest. It can grow in arid places. It also grows on limestone. It grows in Miombo woodland in Africa. It suits hardiness zones 10-12. In XTBG Yunnan.