Monday, 6 July 2009

life is a bowl of lovi-lovi

The lovi-lovi (aka rukam, batoka plum, koorkup, lori-lori or Flacourtia inermis to give its 'proper name'), is a smallish tree native to tropical Asia. It has attractive leaves and the cherry sized fruit grow from short stalks along the branches. It flowers and fruits for most of the year, though with marked seasons. The fruits bear an uncanny resemblance to cherries and follow the colour pattern from a yellow green to deep damson. They have a double layer of small grape sized seeds in a 5 pointed star pattern. The lovi-lovi is rather acidic but adds a wonderful colour and tartness. I've used it with Cas and with Carambola, and who knows what else will enjoy its company.


  1. Ancel, I grow the lovi-lovi too though mine is yet to fruit. I got it from my mom's garden where it yields a heavy harvest every year.
    What do you make with it? I've heard of people making wine with it though I love it straight off the tree.
    Did you know there is a sweet (or rather sweeter) variety too?

  2. Sunita, your blog is delicious! So wonderful to see others getting excited about anthuriums and jackfruit.

    I didn't know about the wine, I'll have to give that a try, I imagine it would be an incredible colour. So far I've combined it with Cas and with Carambola to make two different jams. I've also made a fruit leather with it, adding yogurt and sugar, tart but good.

    Yes, the harvest is heavy, does your mum's fruit all year round? You'll have to post pictures of your tree when she does fruit.

    So glad you stopped by!

  3. That looks like the Barbados Cherry to me, I have one in season now. It is acid and makes a delicious juice. I also add the pulp to jams and sauces.

  4. Hi islandgirl,

    yeah they do look similar, the Barbados cherry though is a more glossy red and the leaves are smaller. We don't have it growing on the farm. Its otanical name is Malpighia punicifolia, and that for the Lovi-lovi is Flacourtia inermis. The lovi-lovi is native to the Phillipines. Want to trade seeds?

  5. I know another flacourtia that is very sweet. You have to roll the fruit in your palms before eating. It has a very sweet pulp and a few seeds. I have been trying to grow it and had no luck. They make delicious jams and wines. Sure I would love to trade seeds. Let me know what you have and what you are looking for.

  6. Ooh great! What do you have, and what are you looking for? And do you know the name of that other flacourtia?

  7. Flacourtia is also known as govenor's plum. It has thorns and the fruit is delicious. I may be able get the seeds from someone with a tree. You probably have a wider variety than I do since Barbados is not a fruit island. I have pommerac or malay apple which you probably have. I can't think of anything you might not have at the moment. When I do I will let you know.

  8. Oh yes, we have Governor's plum, yes it is very good. Our season starts in September October. What do you have? That way I can be thinking of what you might like. I could send you governor's plum - you know there are male and female plants? Maybe that's why you've had no fruit?


thanks for sharing!