Scientific name: Aegle marmelos (L.) Corr., Trans. Linn.

Synonym: Crataeva marmelos L.

Bangla/local name: বেল (Bael/Bel)

Taxonomic Position According to Cronquist (1988)

Kingdom: Plantae

Phyllum: Magnoliophyta

Class: Magnoliopsia

Order: Sapindales

Family: Rutaceae

Genus: Aegle

Species:  A. marmelos

Botanical Description of Bael

Habit: A medium-sized deciduous tree, up to 15 m tall. Older branches spiny, spines solitary or paired, 1-2 cm long, straight, sharp.

Wood apple fruit tree

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K1600_DSC017171 (2)

Figure: Stem anatomy of Bael


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Figure: Leaf Anatomy of Bael

Leaves: Leaves alternate, usually 3-foliolate, occasionally 5-foliolate, petiolate, petioles 2-4 cm long, glabrous or puberulous when young, lateral leaflets ovate-elliptic, up to 7.0 x 4.2 cm, terminal one obovate, up to 13 cmx 4.8 cm, densely minutely glandular-punctate, lateral petiolules up to 3 mm long, terminal petiolules up to 15 mm long.

K1600_Bael leaf dorsal

Figure: Adaxial side of leaf

K1600_Bael ventral site

Figure: Abaxial Side of Leaf

Inflorescence: Inflorescence axillary racemes, 4-5 cm long, clustered.

Flowers: Flowers honey-scented, 4-5 merous.Sepals broadly deltoid, 1.5 mm long.Petals oblong-obovate, 14 x 8 mm, greenish-white.

woodapple flower

Figure: Flower and young fruit of Bael

Wood apple fruit branch

Stem: Stamens 35-45, filaments 4-7 mm long, glandular, glabrous, anthers linear-oblong, ate, c 8 mm long.

Ovary: Ovary ovoid-oblong, 3.5-5.0 mm long, faintly ridged, glabrous, greenish, 8-20 locular, styles very short, glabrous, stigmas cylindric or bluntly conical, light greenish, usually sticky, locules with many biseriate ovules.

Fruits: Fruit a subglobose berry, 5.0-12.5 cm in diameter, with a hard woody shell of 8-20 segments, grey or yellowish, many-seeded.

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Wood apple

Figure Mature fruit of Bael


Seeds: Seeds oblong, flattened, woolly-pubescent enclosed in a sac of adhesive mucilage pulp, testa white.

Chromosome number: 2n=18, 36 (Kumar and Subramaniam)

Economic Importance: The pulp of ripe fruit is sweet and nutritious. It is eaten fresh and also prepared as sherbet, syrup, marmalade and fruit nectar. Ripe fruit is digestive,astringent, stomachic, cooling and laxative, Unripe or half ripe fruit is astringent, stomachic,digestive, antiscorbutic and is a good.

Table 1. Bael variety released by BARI and BAU

Sl. No.Name of VarietyDeveloped byYearPlanting TimeYield
1BARI Bael-1


HRC, BARI2016July-September34 kg/plant


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