Wood apple (Aegle marmelos), also known as Bengal quince, is a fruit-bearing tree that belongs to the Rutaceae family. It is native to the Indian subcontinent, but is also commonly found in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
The wood apple tree grows up to 10-12 meters in height, and its leaves are large and trifoliate, with a glossy, dark green color. The tree is deciduous, which means that it sheds its leaves annually.
The fruit of the wood apple tree is round, woody and about the size of a small melon, with a hard, inedible outer shell that must be cracked open to reveal the pulp. The pulp is yellowish-orange in color, with a sweet, aromatic flavor that is sometimes compared to a mix of sweet tamarind and grapefruit.
The wood apple tree is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and soil types, but it prefers well-drained soil and full sun exposure. It is propagated through seeds, which should be soaked in water for 24 hours before planting to improve germination rates.
In traditional medicine, various parts of the wood apple tree are used to treat a variety of ailments, including diarrhea, dysentery, respiratory problems, and skin disorders. The leaves and bark of the tree have antimicrobial properties, and the fruit is high in vitamin C and other antioxidants.