OriginNam-nam is a native of Malaysia, grown mainly in northern Peninsular Malaysia and can be more widely cultivated in other states, mainly in kampongs and villages. It is also cultivated in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
DescriptionNam-nam grows as a shrubby, much branched shrub or tree which can grow up to 15m tall, with rough, grey-brown and robust trunk.
Growth HabitatNam-nam grows well in wet tropical low lands, but experience in India suggests that it is more fruitful in monsoon climates with a distinct dry season. It prefers full sun but tolerate shade. An annual rainfall of 1500-2000 mm and daily temperatures of 22-35 C are desirable. The tree resists wind. 
FoliageEach leaf on this tree is made up of two leaflets and they form a dense crown, growing from distinctly zig-zag twigs. Each leaflet is shiny smooth, dark green above and paler below but its new flushes of leaves are bright pink in colour, and they hang from the branch tips like handkerchiefs.
FlowersThe 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.
FruitsThe fruits are kidney-shaped, 5-10cm long and 5cm wide.The pod does not split open readily, but a line is visible along the fruit and divides it into two. The texture of the fruit surface is rough and wrinkled, pale greenish/yellow and dull looking. The flesh is juicy and yellow in colour. and produces a smell and tastes sourish. Inside the fruit are large seeds.
Harvest Seedlings are slow growing and only start fruiting about 6 years old. The fruit is picked when the skin turns yellowish brown.
SoilNam-nam prefers deep, rich soil.
PruningWhen planted in a pot, regular pruning will turn it into a bonsai or ornamental tree for outdoor garden.
PropagationThe tree is always multiplied by seed, although it can be propagated by budding, approach grafting and other methods.
Nam nam fruit contains of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Antioxidant.
Health BenefitsThe young leaves of nam nam fruit can used as anti diarrhea and as traditional herbal for urinate problem, especially bladder stone by boiling the leaves and take the water as tea. The fruits and shoots of this tree is to treat high blood pressure and diabetes. In addition, the leaves can also be dried and used as tea. In India the oil (from seeds) are used to treat skin diseases.
Commercial UsesThe fruit of the tree is edible, and remarked for its sour taste when ripe.
The mature fruit is also cooked with sugar to make sweets (compote). It can also be made into a fruit salad, pickled, or be used to prepare a special ‘sambal’ (a condiment based on pounded chili). The Javanese eat them as flavouring with curry or used the less mature fruit in rojak (fruit salad with savoury peanut sauce). The fruit can also be fried with batter and makes a good fritter. The seeds yield oil which is used in India for the treatment of skin diseases.
Food SuggestionStar Bit Juice

- 1 cup beetroot (in chunks)
- 1 cup starfruit (in chunks)
- ½ cup nam nam (in chunks)
- Honey

1. Blend all the fruit chunks, with enough water in a blender.
2. Add enough honey.
3. Sieve the mixture.
4. Add some ice cubes.


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