Gooseberry Facts

Phyllanthus emblica commonly known as gooseberry is a small to medium-sized, low, deciduous tree, 5–25 m tall. It is also known as “fayberries” because of the ancient belief that fairies used bushes of gooseberry to hide from danger. The bush begins fruiting 2-3 years after plantation. Berries come in many shapes, colors, and taste. They can be round, oval, pear-shaped or elongated, green, white, yellow, purple, red-brown or black color, sweet and tart. Their outer surface can be smooth or fuzzy (hairy) with conspicuous veins. Inside, a berry may hold 15-30 tiny edible seeds. In general, the berries measure 1-2 cm in width and weigh about 4 g to 10 g. One gooseberry bush produces 8 to 10 pounds of fruit per season. Gooseberry can produce fruit and survive at least 20 years in the wild.

Name Gooseberry
Scientific Name Phyllanthus emblica
Native Native to Nepal, India and Sri Lanka, throughout South-East Asia to southern China.
Common/English Name Amla, Emblic, Indian Gooseberry, Malacca Tree, Myrobalan.
Name in Other Languages Nepalese : Amalaa
Vietnamese : Chùm Ruôt Nui
Burmese : Mai Kham
India : Amluki ( Assam )
Russian : Fillantus Emblika
Chinese : An Mo Le
Philippines : Nelli
German : Amalanbaum
Thailand : Ma-Khaam Pom
Indonesia : Kemlaka ( Java )
Malaysia : Kik ( Semang )
Danish : Grå Myrobalan;
Persian : Amla
French : Emblique Officinale
Spanish : Mirobalano
Khmer : Kan Tot
Dutch : Kembaka Mylobalanen Baum
Sri Lanka : Ambula
Arabic : Amlag
Tibetan : Kyou-rhoo-rah
Italian: Uva Spina
Laos : Mak Kham Pom
Flemish: Stekbes
Plant Growth Habit Fast growing, small to medium-sized, low, deciduous tree
Growing Climate Grows in tropical and subtropical regions from near sea-level. It grows equally well in arid and wet or humid conditions. It is light demanding plant, common in grassy areas, brush and village groves.
Soil The species is not fastidious of soil type and grows on a wide range of soil types ranging from sandy loam to clay, light or heavy, and slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. It flourishes in deep, fertile soil. It is moderately drought resistant but some cultivars may be sensitive to drought and frost. It is fi re-resistant and is one of the first trees to recover after a fire.
Plant Size 5–25 m tall
Bark Thin, smooth, grey, peeling in patches, with numerous knobs,
Trunk Trunk often crooked and gnarled, up to 35 cm in diameter;
Branchlets Branchlets are glabrous or finely pubescent, 10–20 cm long, usually deciduous
Leaf Biseriate alternate, thin, simple, light green, sub sessile, closely-set leaves, resembling pinnate leaves with narrowly oblong, 5–25 mm × 1–5 mm lamina, rounded and more or less oblique base, acute or obtuse and mucronate apex and pinnati-nerved
Flower Greenish-yellow, fascicled in axils of leaves or fallen leaves, unisexual. The male flowers are numerous at base of young twigs, the female flowers Solitary and higher up the twig. Male flowers are shortly pedicellate, with six pale green perianth lobes 1.5–2.5 mm long and three entirely connate stamens, six disk glands alternating with the perianth lobes; female flowers sessile, with six somewhat larger perianth lobes, a cup-like six-angular disk, and a superior three celled, glabrous ovary crowned by three styles, connate for more than half of their length and deeply bifid at apex.
Fruit Shape & Size Depressed globose drupe 2–4 cm in diameter, with six vertical striations
Fruit weight About 4 g to 10 g.
Fruit Color Pale green changing to yellow when mature
Fruit Skin Thin, translucent
Taste Sweet, slightly tart taste
Seed Two trigonous, 4–5 mm × 2–3 mm seeds.
Varieties/Types
  • Fredonia
  • Pixwell
  • Downing
  • Poorman
Major Nutrition Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 41.6 mg (46.22%)
Total dietary Fiber 6.4 g (16.84%)
Carbohydrate 15.27 g (11.75%)
Copper, Cu 0.105 mg (11.67%)
Manganese, Mn 0.216 mg (9.39%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.12 mg (9.23%)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.429 mg (8.58%)
Potassium, K 297 mg (6.32%)
Iron, Fe 0.46 mg (5.75%)
Phosphorus, P 40 mg (5.71%)
Health Benefits
  • Cancer
  • Improving Appetite
  • Diarrhea and Dysentery
  • Infection
  • Brain health
  • Heart Disease
  • Digestion
  • Diuretic Activity
  • Diabetes
  • Menstrual Cramps
  • Metabolic Activity
  • Aging
  • Calcium Absorption
  • Eye Care
  • Hair care
Calories in 1 cup (150 gm) 66 K cal