Bignay (Antidesma bunius)

Bignay berriesBignay (also known as bugnay, bignai, and currant tree) is a shrub or small tree, 3 to 12 meters (10 to 40 feet) tall, with shiny, oval shaped, pointed, leathery leaves about 15 centimeters (6 inches) long and 2 inches wide.  The leaves are attached to the tree with short twigs creating a dense canopy.  Its flowers are small, clustered, and green and give off an unpleasant scent. It has fleshy, dark red or black fruit and a single seed. The fruit is about 1 centimeter (1/2 inch) in diameter.  The fruit is white when immature and gradually turns red, then black (fruits in a bunch are all different colors).

Where to Find: This plant is found in rain forests and semievergreen seasonal forests in the tropics. It is found in open places and in secondary forests. It grows wild from the Himalayas to Sri Lanka and eastward through Indonesia to northern Australia. However, it may be found anywhere in the tropics in cultivated forms.

Bignay treeEdible Parts: The fruit is edible raw. The fruit has a sour taste when white and tart but sweet taste when ripe.  Do not eat any other parts of the tree. In Africa, the roots are toxic. Other parts of the plant may be poisonous.

Note: Eaten in large quantities, the fruit may have a laxative effect



Bignay tree

Bignay tree leaf drawing

Bignay tree branch with fruit drawing

Drawing of Bignay tree stem with leaves and fruit

Bignay tree fruit

Bignay tree green fruit

Bignay tree (full view)

Bignay tree with new fruit bud