~ENGKALAK~ Butter-Fruit Tree Litsea garciae LIVE RARE BORNEO PLANT Plug Seedling

Litsea garciae

Litsea garciae

Local Borneo names: Kangkala, Medang, Pangalaban, Ta'ang.

Common names: Wuru Lilin, Tebulus

aka Butter-Fruit

Native to the Sarawak and Sabah regions of Borneo, in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Distribution: Taiwan, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo (throughout the island), Philippines, Celebes.

Litsea garciae

You are bidding on * live seedlings with vigorous root systems * inches tall with * leaves born and growing in a peat plug for ease of transplant.

Litsea garciae


Small fruit, only 1-1.5" across, with pink to purple skin. Kangkala, Medang, Pangalaban, Ta'ang., Litsea garcia

Description: Tropical tree which loves water and is often found growing near rivers and streams.

Uses: Fruits are edible. Eaten fresh or used to prepare foods. The fruit has excellent delicate, avocado-like flavor. Fruits can be used in the same way as the avocado.

Litsea seeds contain fats that are used in the production of soaps and candles. The wood is used. Lightly burned bark used to cure caterpillar stings. Oil is extracted from the seeds.

Sub-canopy tree up to 26 m tall and 49 cm m tall and 49 cm dbh. Stipules absent. Leaves alternate, simple, penni-veined, silvery shiny when young, glabrous. Flowers ca. 15 mm diameter, white-yellow, placed in racemes. Fruits ca. 24 mm diameter, white-yellow, fleshy drupes placed on enlarged flower base (cupule).

On disturbed, open sites in mixed dipterocarp forests up to 200 m altitude. Often along rivers or on hillsides with sandy to clay soils. Also commonly cultivated.

Taiwan, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo (throughout the island), Philippines, Celebes.
Litsea garciae

Engkalak fruit is known by other names such as Tebulus and Penglaban depending on the term used by the various ethnic groups in Sarawak. Nonetheless, it refers to the same fruit called Engkalak, as is called among the local Malays.

 Scientifically known as Litsea garciae, it is a jungle plant from the Avocado family which is easily available in Sarawak especially in Sibu, Mukah, Oya, Igan and other areas. Some of its characteristics include seasonal fruiting similar to durian season, wide green-colored leaves, rounded fruits which are green when unripe and reddish color when ripens.

The stem is easily broken and it grows naturally on the riverbanks or in the jungle. They are also planted in farms or in the backyards. The tree grows easily especially in peat soil and it does not require any special care. During the fruit season, Engkalak is easily available at the farmers markets in Kuching, Sri Aman, Sibu and Mukah.

Unlike other fruits, Engkalak cannot be eaten immediately once plucked due to its rancid taste and slight itchiness which can cause discomfort to the tongue.

How to cook it? Well, engkalak does not need ‘heavy’ cooking. Just wash them clean, take off the petal (the green cap), then soak them in warm water until they turn soft. (The pink ripe fruit is a bit soft already). Rub a bit of salt on the white flesh then gently hit them with a fork (top and side) and it’s ready to be eaten in 15mins.

Litsea garciae

Engkalak fruit has been one of the traditional foods among the Malay, Iban, Bidayuh, Melanau and other ethnics since ages. Unlike other fruits, Engkalak has to be immersed in warm water for a few minutes until soften. Before it is eaten, the fruit is mixed with salt to heighten its taste. The flesh is quite sweet and tasty. Young and unripe Engkalak can be preserved or made into pickles. However, it has to be immersed in water for a few days to eliminate the rancid taste and itchiness besides softening the flesh. Then, it is preserved with salt and water. This preserve is usually eaten with pickled water and chilli.
Litsea garciae

Engkala is believed to have originated in the Philippines though some botanists are of the opinion that it is a natïve of Borneo. It grows wild in forests there in low and medium altitudes.

Besides Philippines, engkala is cultivated in the mountain region of Java in Indonesia. This fruit is also grown to a smaller extent in Peninsular Malaysia.

A medium to large tree attaining a height from 10-20 m, and a trunk diameter of 40-50 cm.
Leaves ovate-oblong-lanceolate, 12-50 cm long, 15-15 cm broad. Fruit a depressed-globose berry, 2.5-4.5 cm in diameter, pink to purple, edible having an excellent delicate avocado like flavor.

 Engkalak fruit will turn pink when it is ripe.

The fruits are eaten. They taste some what like avocado. The fruit can be used in the same way as the avocado The fruits are also steamA stearic oil extracted from the seeds. This oil was commonly used during earlier days for making soaps and candles. The wood is used for construction.

Engkala fruits are little known outside Indonesia and Philippines. These avocado flavoured fruits are invariably liked by people who happen to eat them for the first time. Engkala, therefore, deserves to be tried outside South East Asia.

Engkala is propagated by seed. It does not require and specialized cultivation technique and is planted and maintained like other tropical trees.


Litsea garciae 


Family: Lauraceae

Synonyms: Listea sebifera
Lepidadenia kawakamii (Hayata) Masam.
Litsea aurea Kosterm.
Litsea kawakamii Hayata
Tetradenia kawakamii (Hayata) Nemoto

Litsea garciae


Engkala is an unusual fruit, looking more like an unripe pink eggplant with its large stem cap. It actually belongs to the Lauraceae, the same family as the avocado and the bay tree.

Engkala fruits seem more than strange. Eating directions for ripe fruits are: beat them with a spoon, soak them in warm water, roll them, then remove the cap and eat the entire fruit, skin and all, with a pinch of salt. They are delicious!

The fruit flesh bears superficial resemblance to the avocado, creamy and nutty, but in addition, it has a slight tang. The fruits are quite perishable if improperly handled, but with care, they could certainly bket commodity for their exquisite taste.

There are two recognized varieties in Borneo. This form, known as Ta'ang on Kalimantan, the island of Borneo, is slightly smaller, more intense pink-fuschia color when ripe and reputed to be tastier.


small tree t full sun, semi-shade, regular water, edible, ultra tropical, min. temp. 55F

Bengali - rare exotic fruit tree. Small fruit, with pink to purple skin and excellent delicate, avocado-like flavor. The fruits are little known, but reputedly well-liked by those who have had the chance to try them. Eaten fresh or used to prepare foods. The fruit can be used in the same way as the avocado. Litsea seeds contain fats that are used in the production of soaps and candles. The tree comes from Sarawak and South-west Sabah where it can be seen growing along riverbanks and scattered near villages. The foliage looks somewhat like that of the avocado, however the leaves are longer and droop more gracefully. There have been attempts to cultivate the engkala in Java. The round fruits (35 to 45 mm in diameter), flattened top and bottom, have thin, edible bright pink skins. Medium to thick flesh surrounds the single, avocado-like seed (1"). It is creamy-white and similar to avocado, but softer with a more delicate flavor. The fruit is prepared by rolling it around a basket, or hitting it with the back of a spoon. The seeds are a source of fat and are used to manufacture candles and soap. The engkala grows rapidly and tolerates high light levels if well watered.

Litsea garciae

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Seller warrants seed to be of the variety and quantity advertised. Safe delivery is guaranteed and seeds lost or damaged during shipment will be replaced at seller's expense. Claims must be made with

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  Seed is a live product which depends on many important related grower skills such as proper planting time, seed depth, type of soil, irrigation, proper use of fertilizers, weed controls, fungicides, insecticides, disease free soil, and reasonable weather conditions during the growing period. Germination is affected by such factors as temperature, moisture content, light intensity and contamination of planting media. These factors are totally out of the seller's control and are the buyer's responsibility and risk. Consequentially, the seller cannot unconditionally guarantee seed to perform properly regardless of conditions or the buyer's methods or mistakes.
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