1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bael Fruit
BAEL FRUIT (Aegle marmelos). Aegle is a genus of the botanical natural order Rutaceae, containing two species in tropical Asia and one in west tropical Africa. The plants are trees bearing strong spines, with alternate, compound leaves each with three leaflets and panicles of sweet-scented white flowers. Aegle marmelos, the bael- or bel-fruit tree (also known as Bengal quince), is found wild or cultivated throughout India. The tree is valued for its fruit, which is oblong to pyriform in shape, 2-5 in. in diameter, and has a grey or yellow rind and a sweet, thick orange-coloured pulp. The unripe fruit is cut up in slices, sun-dried and used as an astringent; the ripe fruit is described as sweet, aromatic and cooling. The wood is yellowish-white, and hard but not durable. The name Aegle is from one of the Hesperides, in reference to the golden fruit; marmelos is Portuguese for quince.