Indonesian wild fruits are abundant. We can find them in all forests area in Indonesia. Totongoan (Debregesia longifolia) belongs to the “Urticaceae” family. The ripe fruit is red in color and has a sweet, refreshing taste, at first glance, it tastes like pear (Pyrus sp). Easy to find in areas close to the water and exposed to direct sunlight.
Totongoan fruit is generally known to the public as a source of bird feed. When the fruit is in season, this plant will look attractive because of its bright red fruit color. The fruit is located along the branch of the branch. The higher the elevation, the bigger the fruit size and contains more water. So that it feels more refreshing. Whereas the fruit found at lower elevations are generally small with less water content.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Tracheophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Order: Rosales
- Family: Urticaceae
- Genus : Debregeasia Gaudich.
- Species: Debregeasia longifolia (Burm.fil.) Wedd.
Totongoan, Ki tongo, Totongan, Ki Paray (Sunda), Daramanuk (Java) Langalang (Madura), Noenem (Aceh), Mencoka, Menjugau, Tongo (Ternate), Kayu Kowang (Ujung Pandang), Cepira (Karo)
The Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Southern China, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and Madagascar.
Totongoan is an herbaceous plant with a height of between 3 and 7 meters. Become one of the pioneer plants in damaged areas/lands. Its habitat is mountain forests with an altitude of 500–2,000 masl. Single leaf lanceolate with rounded base of leaves. Leaves length ranges from 6 to 25 cm. And the width of the leaves is between 2 and 8 cm depending on where it grows.
The surface of the leaves is rough and has fine serrations on the edges of the leaves. The upper leaves are dark green, while the underside is grayish-white and has fine hair. The flowers are rounded and are in the axillary of the leaves. The crown is reddish to yellowish in color coiled around the stem. The ripe Totongoan fruit is red. The fruiting season of this Indonesian wild fruits is usually from September to December.
The nutritional content in Debregeasia longifolia fruit is: crude fiber 1.26%, protein 11.99%, carbohydrate 68.15%, and nutritive value 342.15 kcal/100 g, protein 3.01%, fat 2.31%, vitamin C 3.9 mg/100 g, iron 7.3 mg/100 g, sodium 8.5 mg/100 g, potassium 193.5 mg/100 g, and energy 72.51 Kcal content. Some researchers also mention that this plant probably is a prospective resource of natural antioxidants.
Become one of the useful Indonesian wild fruits, the Ethnobotanical details of Debregeasia longifolia from some areas mentions that peoples use fine fiber from the bark and use it as the string to sew clothes. People also use fruits and barks as shampoo. The leaves are used as a vegetable during dysentery, while the crushed leaves paste is used as a poultice for scabies. While some ethnic groups also use ripe fruit to treat arthritis.
The Batak Karo peoples use the leaves of this shrub which combine with 28 other plants for preparing their traditional food as a therapy for digestive disorders. Peoples in the other areas use boiled leaves to treat bone fractures, skin illnesses, indigestion, and sunburn.
Personal Experience With Totongoan
During the traveling and exploration, I only found Totongoan which has red fruit. Until now, I have never seen Totongoan with yellow fruit color. Totongaan fruit tastes sweet and fresh, especially when the humidity is at a high level.
The sensation when you chew it is like eating pears. Have also found this plant in the lowlands, but the fruit size is smaller and the taste is rough. It seems that when the elevation is higher, the size of the fruit will also be bigger with more water content. Meanwhile, the perfect habitat for large and juicy fruit is the wet plains in the highlands.
Once, I have harvested many fruits, and I use the fruit as a topping for a wild edible salad to add a taste sensation to the salad. Totongoan is one of the Indonesian wild fruits with many benefits, not only as a food but also for medicinal purposes.
- Irpan Fahrurozi. 2014. Keanekaragaman Tumbuhan Obat di Taman Nasional Gunung Gede Pangrango Dan di Hutan Terfragmentasi Kebun Raya Ciboda Serta Pemanfaatannya Oleh Masyarakat Lokal. Jurusan Biologi Fakultas Sains dan teknologi, Universitas Islam Negeri Syarif Hidayatullah. Jakarta. Thesis
- Mahmoud. 2019. Debregeasia longifolia: Biochemistry, Functions, and Utilization. Wild Fruits: Composition, Nutritional Value, and Products. pp 371-377
always love to learn from nature. Passionate on studying plants in some aspects: the DNA, Identification, propagation, and their uses