Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The U.P. Katmon Revisited

Katmon fruit
Tree with lots of fruit
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to point out to the production staff of a local television show where the katmon is growing in the U.P. Diliman campus.  The show had a wonderful idea of exploring lesser known native trees and their choice to feature that week was the underrated katmon tree or Dillenia philippinensis.  They approached me as I have featured katmon in a previous blog at

Open fruit
The Melchor Hall katmon
I knew then that trees would be in fruit, because a a month or so earlier, most katmons I saw were in flower. A katmon tree in flower is a sight to behold,
because of the impressive frisbee-sized white blooms.  But a specimen in fruit is also attractive with the light colored round fruits standing out against the dark green foliage. I was also looking forward to see the big UP specimen in front of Melchor Hall and we found it heavily burdened with fruits in different ripening stages.  The show staff then went on to do the necessary shots of the katmon tree. We also tasted the fruit and found it sour. But it is more pleasntly agreeable than the true elephant apple fruit or Dillenia indica.

Katmon and elephant apple
Cross section of katmon and elephant apple
Sadly the show did not feature the katmon as scheduled. My inquiry regarding its airing remained unanswered (no courtesy reply -SOP for TV shows?). They probably scrapped it because of deadline issues. But I have taken pictures of the tree that afternoon which I hope would do justice to its beauty.  Picked up a couple of the fallen ripe fruits too.  I hope the seeds will germinate as I can't wait to have a specimen of my own in my garden.


Andrea said...

Would you know which katmon tastes sweeter, this species or that one in front of UST? From the area of Capitol Hills Drive, i can see flowering tall trees on that side at the back of Matandang Balara. Sometimes one canopy is fully covered with white flowers, this time one side of another tree is covered with yellow. The view is lovely but i haven't been to that side of UP though.

metscaper said...

probably agreeable is a better term than sweet. Our katmon is sour, the elephant apple I am afraid to taste, but I was told has a certain 'askad' and bitterness. People who tasted said the katmon has a better agreeable taste.

Bom / Plant Chaser said...

Too bad about the show. I wish there were a way to get more people interested in plants and nature in general.

metscaper said...

pano nga ba? Can't even get comments in this blog. hehehe.

dr magsasaka said...

Patrick, very few are interested, that's all.

1784 said...

Surprisingly, a lot of people show genuine interest but few follow through, to the extent, say of driving out of town to see a particular specimen or commenting on a blog, especially if they feel they're not an authority or have little affinity with the blogger.

What I have found interesting is that a lot of people who are rural or suburban know very well about trees, plants, seasons, and nature in general compared to typical urban, internet users.

This blog by itself is a great contribution! And plantchaser's too :)

metscaper said...

Thanks. ButI am hoping to get the insights of these people in the know. as some of the most interestion stories about plants come from common people who experienced them in every day life.

Cali Bernardez said...

i am interested in this plant, I'm a student from UP Los BaƱos, a food technology student. one of my classmates made Katmon the topic for her product development subject, i was one of the sensory judges who sampled the product. the product is Katmon jam, one with the skin and pulp mixed, and the other one using only the pulp. If it wasn't for her, i would not have known what katmon is. the jam was really yummy! it has this sweet taste (jam nga eh) that is neutralized by the fruit's sourness..tangy and sweet at the same time.