Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Wonder Lipote

Around the start of May, my cousins sent us a box of various fruits. They were harvested from trees planted in their small Silang, Cavite property. The contents included mango, tiesa, buko, pili, etc and an unfamiliar fruit looking like duhat (but i was certain it is not). I opened my Madulid book to get an idea what the fruit was. I found a picture of it there labeled Syzygium polycephalum, or locally called lipote. Since it is Syzygium, it is very much related to duhat and the bigger macopa. (I googled lipote and came out with Syzygium curanii or curranii, whichever is the right spelling, as the more popular associated species name). what made me more interested in it, lipote is endemic to the Philippines.

It turned out my cousins only have a sole tree planted near their gate. The next 3 weeks they sent us literally bagsful of the black berry like fruits. They also gave me few branches to document. They relayed stories they heard from neighbors (who recognized the tree when it bore fruit) that the tree (its fruit and leaves) is a good cure for high blood sugar.

My dad, who likes eating fruits very much, developed the taste for the lipote fruit. He prepares it like duhat, shaking numerous berries in a bowl mixed with a dash of rock salt. After a few days enjoying lipote, his sugar count went down from 119 to 92. This good a news easily went out to geriatric friends who also asked for some berries.

Barely a month after, we were excited to go to Silang and see the lipote tree up close. Since the single tree was planted in between pili trees, the foliage and canopy was a little hard to tell apart from the pili foliage. But it is undeniabable that the tree is tall (about 10 meters in height) and moderately full bodied (7 meters canopy diameter with 6 to 8 inches truck diameter) . My cousins accounted that in the first few weeks the tree was literally covered with the black berries. That day the still thick fruit clusters were confined near the tree top. So the caretakers had to climb up the tree to collect fruits we could take back to wanting recipients.

Naturally I took home fruits for myself and planted the seeds in pots (in my garden). I now have seedlings a foot tall with beautiful reddiosh puckered leaves.


Eduardo Jardim said...

I liked your blog and post on lipote very much!!!

I'm a fruit book writer, and also carry a blog, please be welcome to visit it:

Also visit my website:

Please e-mail me:


Carlos Dreamfrutas said...

Very nice tree. It remind me to our delicious Jaboticaba. I am very interested to trade seeds with you. Please email me at dreamfrutas at yahoo dot com


John L. Dormido said...

I'm John Dormido from Quezon City. I read your blog about lipote with much interest. I've also read in another site that it has medicinal properties against hypertension and high blood cholesterol.
I was just wondering if you could share with me some seeds or seedlings. I'd be very grateful.
My e-mail is

Denise General said...

OMG, I miss that fruit so much! I'm from Bicol and we have that everywhere there, where it's locally known as baligang. One of my frustrations was always that I couldn't find baligang tres or fruit anywhere but in Bicol. We shake it with rock salt before eating it too.

1784 said...

I first came across the tree in Northern Samar during an Easter trip and it was heavy with fruit. I brought home some seeds but also managedto "cheat" since Hortica has some seedlings already. Now, it's lush and around four feet high!

metscaper said...

My own lipote is lush and four feet, from seed.

Rico 92 said...

I've been looking for this fruit for over 20 yrs. I want to plant and grow several of this fruit tree in my lifetime. Pls help me guys find baligang/ lipote/ igot fruit or seedlings. Txt me 09174618181 or email

Diwani said...

Liputi is also known as Malig-ang and Balig-ang in Bikolnon.In Samar-Leyte it is called "Igot" and in Romblon it is known as "Laputi". The liputi berries are very good to fight/prevent cancer cells in the body.I tried liputi as pang batad in lambanog (local vodka) and it has like viagra effects for men. It helps to heal strokes and pasma in the body. I planted lipoti in my garden , it is a wonderful tree given to us (Filipinos ) by God(maykapal).

Diwani said...

lipote is symbol of good health and longevity.

homebuddy said...

ducskenGlad to find this blog. We used to eat a lot of this when I was young, it's a favorite during the summer season in Labo, Camarines Norte. People from Labo always miss this fruit and makes them nostalgic, wherever they are.

Andy said...

hey thanks for this blog. we used to enjoy this fruit when we were kids prepared in the same way that your father does - only with sugar instead of salt. I like the strong sour and tart flavor of the berries. it's been quite a long time now since I last ate this fruit and I wonder if this fruit exists outside our province (Northern Samar)... glad to come across your blog, now I know what's it called in Tagalog and English hehe... I will have to keep looking for the actual fruit!

homebuddy said...

Lady Nyx,

I am interested. Where might I find you?

I would appreciate some seedlings. They are my childhood favorites.


Edilee said...

I have lipote jams sweetened with honey. no sugar added. contact: 0917-8888-439 or email:

Gregorio Babilonia said...

I know a place where so many trees of LIPUTI can be found. You can find it in the Island of Alabat in Quezon Province as we have it in the farm in Tanza, Mainit Norte and also you can find it in the town of Mauban, Quezon, Phils.

Gregorio Babilonia said...

Liputi is also use as flavor in a local wine we call as LAMBANOG (distilled coconut wine. Liputi flavored lambanog has the unique slow but assertive trait of a fine alcoholic beverage. 40% alc/volume. You can buy this in Wakas, Tayabas, Quezon which is manufactured by Capistrano Distillery.