Volume 15 No. 3 - Lesser known edible tree species
Featured in this issue of RISE are three edible, lesser-known and indigenous species. These are binucao (Garcinia binucao), lipote(Syzgium polycephaloides (C.B. rox) Merr. and libas (Spondias pinnata).
Binucao commonly called batuan in the Visayas is a native tree that produces a sour fruit, a favorite and popular souring ingredient for Visayan dishes. To increase its production, the ECG Farm owned by businessman Eduardo Cojuangco in Negros Oriental has developed 10-ha plantation for this minor crop. While waiting for the tree to bear fruit, they intercrop it with bananas.
Libas is the known souring agent, in the Bicol Region. The young leaves are dried and used in the preparation of laing, a very popular Bicolano dish. When fresh, it is used as filling for fish cooked in coconut milk called sinanglay.
Lipote, on the other hand, was reported to have medicinal properties that lower high blood pressure and high level of cholesterol. It also has a anti-oxidant action.
These edible tree species are profitable crops because they do not require much inputs. You need not spray chemical insecticides or fungicides or apply fertilizer. They are seldom attacked by pests and diseases.
We hope the information in this issue will guide you in propagating and utilizing these indigenous species for health reasons and biodiversity conservation.