The fruit gets its name due to its hard rind. The Wood apple fruit contains outer shell covering the pulp. The outer shell is hard and tough to break. The pulp is aromatic, sticky, scattered with seeds and tastes bitter when it is maturing and sweet-sour when ripen.
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Fruit is edible and have medicinal value yes it is called kavath in Marathi and a deleicious chatani is made from its pulp esp on Mahashivratari day It is also known as Kaith. I experienced its sharp thorns during my childhood. But also tried to fell few fruits- some ripe and some of them fully ripe.
Enjoyed the taste. And in the bargain got scolding. Scientifically this plant is Feronia limonia. Rutaceae Week - Bangalore - RA - Limonia acidissima - Wood Apple Tree - Kaith: Wood apple is an erect, slow-growing tree with a few upward-reaching branches bending outward near the summit where they are subdivided into slender branchlets drooping at the tips.
The deciduous, alternate leaves, 3 to 5 in long, dark-green, leathery, often minutely toothed, blunt or notched at the apex, are dotted with oil glands and slightly lemon-scented when crushed. The tree is mostly known for its hard woody fruit, size of a tennis ball, round to oval in shape.
The pulp is brown, mealy, odorous, resinous, astringent, acid or sweetish, with numerous small, white seeds scattered through it.
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Limonia acidissima L.