Bael (Aegle marmelos), also known as Bengal quince, golden apple, stone apple, wood apple, bili, is a species of tree native to India. It is present throughout Southeast Asia as a naturalized species. The tree is considered to be sacred by Hindus. Its fruits are used in traditional medicine and as a food throughout its range.
Bael is the only member of the monotypic genus Aegle. It is a mid-sized, slender, aromatic, armed, gum-bearing tree growing up to 18 meters tall. It has a leaf with three leaflets.
The bael fruit has a smooth, woody shell with a green, gray, or yellow peel. It takes about 11 months to ripen on the tree and can reach the size of a large grapefruit or pomelo, and some are even larger. The shell is so hard it must be cracked with a hammer or machete. The fibrous yellow pulp is very aromatic. It has been described as tasting of marmalade and smelling of roses. Numerous hairy seeds are encapsulated in a slimy mucilage.
The fruit is eaten fresh or dried. If fresh, the juice is strained and sweetened to make a drink similar to lemonade. It can be made into sharbat (Hindi) or Bela pana pana - a refreshing drink made of the pulp with water, sugar, and lime juice, mixed, left to stand a few hours, strained, and put on ice. One large bael fruit may yield five or six liters of sharbat. (SOURCE: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Aegle
Species - Marmelos
Common name - Indian Bael
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 9 - 11
Height - 9-18 m
Spread - 3-6 m
Plant type - Tropicals and Tender Perennial, tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun
Soil PH - 5-10 (mildly acidic - alkaline)
Soil type - Tolerant to poor and dry
Water requirements - Average water needs. Water regularly, no overwatering
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, edible fruits
Germination rate - 91%
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Cream/Tan
|Germination||Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours.|
Stratification not required.
Germination: sow seed 3/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed.
Expect germination in 10-30 days @ 70-85 degrees F, it will take longer if cooler.