C. cauliflora leaves
|Naming and discovery|
Cynometra cauliflora (Nam-Nam) is a species of flowering plant in the Fabaceae family. It is a cultivated plant grown mainly in Malaysia and Singapore. It is cultivated easily in kampongs and villages.
It is a small evergreen tree reaching up to 50 ft (15 m) in height with grayish-brown bark. Each leaf is made of two leaflets, which may appear to be two separate leaves.
The leaflets are asymmetrical in shape, growing between 5-15 cm long, and 2½-7½ cm wide. They are shiny and smooth, dark green above and paler green below. Hairs on the leaves are sometimes present.
Flowers and fruit
The flowers are cauliflorous and in compact clusters. They have white-colored petals and pinkish-white colored sepals that are curved back and may resemble petals.
The flowers mature into a kidney-shaped pod fruit that measures 5-10 cm long, and 5 cm wide. The pod is not split readily, but a line is visible on it that divides the fruit in two. The fruit is greenish-yellow to brown in color and has a rough and wrinkled surface. The flesh is juicy and yellow in color. It produces a strange smell and tastes sour. Inside the fruit are large seeds.
The fruit of the tree is edible, and is remarked for its sour taste when ripe. When unripe, the fruits can be picked and can be pickled or stewed with sugar.
It is commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant or for its fruit. It is more commonly propagated by seed, but can also propogate via budding, grafting, and other methods.