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Karonda fruit
The Karonda (Devanagari: करोंदा, Carissa carandas), also Karau(n)da or Karanda, is a shrub which produces berry-sized fruits photo and is commonly used as a condiment or additive to Indian pickles and spices. It is a very hardy, drought-tolerant plant that thrives well in a wide range of soils.

The supposed varieties congesta and paucinervia actually refer to the related Conkerberry (C. spinarum).

Distribution

It grows naturally in the Himalayasmarker at elevations of 300 to 1800 meters, in the Siwalik Hills (part of India), and in Nepalmarker and Afghanistanmarker. It flourishes well on lands with high temperatures. At present it is grown on a limited scale in Rajasthanmarker, Gujaratmarker and Uttar Pradeshmarker.

Propagation

The plant is propagated through seed in August and September. Inarching and budding can also be practised for vegetative propagation. Cuttings may also succeed. Planting is done with the first shower of monsoon at a distance of 1.5 m. Plants raised from seed come into bearing two years after planting. Flowering starts in March and the fruit ripens from July to September in North India.

Uses

The karonda fruit is a rich source of iron and contains a fair amount of Vitamin C. It is antiscorbutic and very useful for cure of anaemia. Mature fruit contains high amount of pectin and, therefore, besides being used for making pickle, it can be exploited for making jelly, jam, squash, syrup and chutney.

The roots of the plant are heavily branched and make it suitable for stabilising eroding slopes.

References

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