Tropical and Subtropical Fruii
The Popular Series of publications of the Department of Botany
is designed to give brief, non-technical accounts of various features of
plant life, especially with reference to the botanical exhibits of Chicago
Natural History Museum, and of the local flora of the Chicago region.
BOTANICAL PUBLICATIONS, POPULAR SERIES,
ISSUED TO DATE
No. 1. Figs $ .10
No. 2. The Coco Palm 10
No. 3. Wheat 10
No. 4. Cacao 10
No. 5. A Fossil Flower .10
No. 6. The Cannon-ball Tree 10
No. 7. Spring Wild Flowers 25
No. 8. Spring and Early Summer Wild Flowers . . . .25
No. 9. Summer Wild Flowers 25
No. 10. Autumn Flowers and Fruits 25
No. 11. Common Trees (second edition) .25
No. 12. Poison Ivy (second edition) 15
No. 13. Sugar and Sugar-making 25
No. 14. Indian Corn .25
No. 15. Spices and Condiments (second edition) ... .25
No. 16. Fifty Common Plant Galls of the Chicago Area .25
No. 17. Common Weeds .25
No. 18. Common Mushrooms .50
No. 19. Old-Fashioned Garden Flowers 25
No. 20. House Plants 35
No. 21. Tea 25
No. 22. Coffee 25
No. 23. Carnivorous Plants and "The Man-Eating
No. 24. Mistletoe and Holly 25
No. 25. The Story of Food Plants 25
No. 26. Tropical and Subtropical Fruits .50
CLIFFORD C. GREGG, Director
CHICAGO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
PEACH PALM FRUIT
Tropical and Subtropical Fruits
B. E. DAHLGREN
CURATOR EMERITUS, DEPARTMENT OF BOTANY
Drawings by Albert Frey
CHICAGO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
BOTANY, NUMBER 26
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
BY CHICAGO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM PRESS
Copyright 1947 by Chicago Natural History Museum
Frontispiece Facing Title Page
Old World Fruits 1-28
New World Fruits 31-67
The larger cultivated fruits of the northern temperate
zone, apples, pears, quinces, plums, peaches and their
allies, are all of Old World origin, natives of Asia or of
Europe where they were thoroughly established long
before their introduction into North America. The same
is true of most of the smaller fruits. Though some of
them are represented in the American flora by identical
or corresponding species, it is with few notable exceptions
the Old World stock that has been propagated and now
yields the bulk of our standard cultivated fruits in their
None of them are included in the present publication,
which deals with the principal edible fruits of the tropics
and of the bordering regions intermediate between the
tropical and temperate zones. A large part of these fruits
also are of Old World origin. Among their number are
some that are native in or about the eastern Mediterranean
or have been cultivated there since early historic time or
before. Such are the fig, the date, the pomegranate, the
common spiny jujube, and perhaps also the lime, identified
from seeds that were found in Sumerian excavations in
Mesopotamia and indicate its early presence there.
Scarcely known in northern Europe and not capable of
being cultivated there, these did not reach North America
by the northern route, but at an early date directly by
way of the Spanish peninsula, together with the oranges,
lemons and limes that had been brought to the Mediter-
ranean by Arab traders and become well established there
before the time of the great navigators.
The interesting history of the introduction of some of
the citrus fruits is summarized in a recent publication by
Webber and Batchelor (see p. 70). Columbus on his
second voyage brought plants and seeds as well as useful
animals from Spain and the Canary Islands to the New
World. Included among them were the then recently-
arrived sweet orange for which people of wealth were
building orangeries in southern Europe, the sour orange
which had been grown in Italy and Spain for several
hundred years, the lemon, citron, and lime, as well as
melons, figs and pomegranates, all of which were planted
and tended in the settlement which Columbus established
in the island of Hispaniola, now occupied by the repub-
lics of Haiti and Santo Domingo.
From there these fruits soon reached other islands of
the larger Antilles and were also carried by Spanish
explorers, settlers and missionaries to Mexico, Central
America, and Panama, as well as to northern and north-
western South America. The eastern part of the South
American continent, which is now Brazil, was supplied
by the Portuguese who, after taking possession, promptly
introduced seeds and plants from many distinct parts of
the world that they were the first to reach.
The east coast of the North American mainland was
visited early in the 16th century by Spaniards from the
islands who called the southern peninsula Florida and
planted citrus and other fruits that flourished and multi-
plied long after the Spanish settlements had been aban-
doned. Two hundred years later Bartram in his travels
described wild or abandoned groves of such trees on St.
John's River (1774). While these consisted mostly of
Seville or sour orange, there were also trees of sweet
orange, limes and rough lemon growing among the native
bay trees, live oaks, and magnolias. Traces of such
ancient plantings were once numerous. Their descend-
ants may be seen today in occasional wild sour orange and
rough lemon trees in Florida hammocks. Many of these
have furnished stock used in the establishment of citrus
groves which have multiplied since the peninsula became
part of the United States in 1821. The grapefruit, which
is considered to have originated from the pummelo
brought from the East Indies to Barbados by a Captain
Shaddock, was first planted in Florida by a Spanish
settler in 1809.
On the west coast Spanish missionaries arriving by
way of Mexico planted citrus and other subtropical
fruits in lower and later in southern California. Some of
the earliest groves were started with trees obtained directly
from the missions. With the influx of settlers after the
acquisition of California by the United States in 1848, cit-
rus groves multiplied. Recent large scale development of
citrus culture in this country has been made possible
chiefly by improved practices and standards, and a con-
stantly expanding market for the fruit.
Of other exotic fruits brought from Mediterranean
countries the principal ones were figs and dates. Though
introduced repeatedly in various places in the United
States, it is only recently that they can be said to have
been well established. The first figs grown in California
were black mission figs brought by Franciscans from Spain
or Portugal. The successful cultivation of the Smyrna fig
had to await the introduction of the fig wasp and a proper
understanding of the importance of the so-called capri-
fication of the fig, practised for thousands of years in
countries of the eastern Mediterranean. An account of
the introduction, culture, varieties, and literature of the
fig is found in Eisen's treatise cited in the bibliography
(p. 68). The introduction of many kinds of figs from
various sources, as well as of many other fruits of foreign
countries, is to be credited to many private individuals
and growers, as well as to government agencies.
Date palms have been planted in many places in the
warmer parts of this country but the successful production
of dates in the southwestern states is a recent achievement
following the studies of their culture and pollination,
especially in the region about the Persian Gulf, and the
introduction of selected varieties by Swingle and associates
of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Like the peach among temperate fruits, that came
originally from China by the overland route to Persia
before it reached Europe and became established there
and finally in North America, some of the tropical fruits
have had a history of extensive wanderings. The
banana, the most important of all tropical fruits, made its
first New World appearance in Hispaniola as did the citrus
fruits somewhat earlier. Originally from the tropics of
southeastern Asia, it was transported from India to
Africa by Arab traders, and in the course of time, from
Arabian settlements or trading posts on the east coast of
that continent across the width of Africa to Guinea. Its
African name banana was doubtless acquired during the
traverse. From the Guinea coast it was only a step to
the islands off the African continent. From the Canaries
it was brought to Santo Domingo in the 16th century by
a Spanish priest. From there it soon spread to other West
Indian islands and to Central America which has become
one of the main banana producing regions of the world.
Introductions of bananas directly from the oriental
tropics have of course been made since, both by Pacific
and Atlantic routes.
English horticulturists have always excelled in growing
exotic plants under glass. The most authentic and com-
plete collection of cultivated figs, comprising sixty-six
varieties, was obtained from England for introduction in
California. Many new plants were first described from
such cultivated specimens. The strawberry guava is an
interesting instance. It was obtained from an English
grower who had received it from China. It was grown
under glass and fruited in England, where it was described
and named Cattley guava. It is now recognized as a well-
known fruit of eastern Brazil where it is native; but, early
carried to Asia by some Portuguese mariner, it now bears
the name of the English horticulturist.
Since the establishment of the office of Foreign Seed
and Plant Introduction in the Bureau of Plant Industry,
many valuable additions have been made to the fruits
capable of being grown in the United States, including
superior varieties of those already in cultivation. Vol-
umes of descriptive lists of seeds and plants brought from
many parts of the world testify to the activity of the office.
Among the most important of its many introductions of
edible fruits is that of the avocado in its various forms
from the West Indies, Mexico and Central America. The
credit for this belongs to David Fairchild, veteran ex-chief
of the Office of Plant Introduction, and Wilson Popenoe,
botanical explorer. Many types of mangoes, persimmons,
jujubes, and numerous other fruits of foreign lands have
been introduced, and others are constantly being added to
the experiment gardens of the Bureau of Plant Industry
from which they are eventually released to plant breeders
Unfortunately the area within our boundaries suitable
for cultivation of plants requiring tropical or near-tropical
conditions is very limited. The banana can be seen grow-
ing in scattered clumps in many places in Florida, but for
an adequate supply of it we shall doubtless continue to
depend on its cultivation in West Indian islands and
Central American countries where superior conditions
exist for its production. The same is true of pineapples
and may be expected to apply also to papayas and various
other more or less tropical fruits that are likely to be
much in demand once they become well enough known
and readily obtainable.
Many products of the tropics are already familiar to a
considerable part of the American public. With in-
crease in foreign travel they will become more widely
known. With airplane transportation of perishable
products under way, it may be confidently predicted
that tropical flowers and fruits will make their regular
appearance in our markets.
In the following pages the fruits are divided into two
groups, those of Old World origin and those of the New
World; and the most important in each group are placed
first. The others are arranged rather with regard to
botanical relationship and usual systematic sequence than
in order of importance or excellence. Beyond a certain
point it appears quite impracticable to attempt to classify-
according to their relative value the many fruits in-
cluded, for there can be no general agreement about
the quality and popularity of many of them. Anyone
who has sampled only a poor mango can scarcely imagine
that very superior ones exist. One who has tasted only
an unripe persimmon would be likely to rate all persim-
mons very low. A few of the fruits included might be
considered fourth class in a well supplied metropolitan
market, but have appreciable merit where the choice is
more limited. Some might perhaps have been omitted,
and others could have been added.
The scientific names — in italics under each illustration
in the following pages — are for the most part old and well
established. Where recent changes have been made the
old names are placed in parentheses below or after the new.
The foreign or vernacular names cited at the end of
each description will be of interest to travelers and resi-
dents in other countries of this hemisphere.
Almost all of the tropical and subtropical fruits
described and illustrated in the following pages are repre-
sented in the botanical exhibits of Chicago Natural His-
The illustrations are from pen and ink drawings by
Mr. Albert Frey. Some of them have appeared in a
manual edited and printed by the Navy Medical Service
during the last year of the second world war. The illus-
tration of Barbados cherry on page 46 is adapted from a
drawing in DeCandolle Herbarium, Geneva, Switzerland,
of a Sesse" & Mocino plate or collection (F. M. neg. 30564).
TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL FRUITS
OF OLD WORLD ORIGIN
Musa paradisiaca subsp. sapientium
The cultivated banana is doubtless the most important and most
widely grown of all tropical fruits. It is a conspicuous example
of a cultivated plant which has definitely lost its ability to produce
seed and must be propagated by shoots from its underground stem.
It was originally a native of the oriental tropics. There are two
main types, the common banana and the dwarf Chinese or Cavendish
banana, each with numerous varieties, especially the former. The
variety generally grown in Central America and the West Indies for
the U.S. market is known as Gros-Michel.
Figue-Banane (Fr.), Banana (Sp. & P.), Cambur (Venez.), Bacove (Guianas).
The plantain, M. paradisiaca, is a more robust plant pro-
ducing larger fruit which requires cooking.
Pisang (Malay), Meel Banaan (D.), Banane a cuir (Fr.), Pldlano (Sp.),
Banana da terra, Pacova (Braz.).
Typified by the oranges and lemons, these form a distinctive
group of tropical and subtropical fruits. They are mostly natives
of southeastern Asia, but were brought to the Mediterranean by the
Arabs, and to the New World first by Columbus.
The most important citrus fruits are the sweet orange, the sour
or Seville orange, the lime, the citron, the lemon, the mandarin
orange, the pummelo or shaddock with its American offspring the
grapefruit, and the small ornamental kumquats. There are many
varieties of all these and hybrids. Valencias and Washington navel
oranges are the chief varieties of the sweet orange. Tangerines,
including Satsumas, are varieties of the mandarin. Of the citrons,
grown for their thick rind, there are varieties fingered citron and
Etrog, the latter used by the Jews in the Feast of the Tabernacles.
All of these have a substantial rind, dotted with oil glands. The
pulp of the segments consists of a mass of thickened, elongate cells
filled with fragrant juice. Rue family.
Dates are the fruit of a feather-leaved palm of the arid region
of southwestern Asia, especially the neighborhood of the Persian
Gulf, and westward through Arabia, Egypt, and northern Africa.
There are hundreds of named varieties. Some are strictly local,
but a general distinction is made between dry and sweet dates.
The former constitute the daily bread of the nomadic Arabs, while
softer sweet dates are preferred by other peoples and are packed for
export. Some of the best varieties have been introduced into this
country and now grow well under irrigation in hot and arid parts
of the southwest.
Datte (Ft.), Ddtil (Sp.), Tdmara (P.), Dadel (D.).
A native of India and East Indies, this is the most widely planted
of large tropical fruit trees. The numerous varieties now found in
all warm countries differ considerably in quality as well as in color,
size, and shape of fruit. The soft pulp of the ripe fruit is juicy, sweet,
and aromatic, usually with a more or less distinct suggestion of
turpentine-like flavor. A mass of fine fibers connects the pulp firmly
to the large, hard pit; but the fruit is readily eaten out of hand after
slitting the thick skin at the apex and peeling it back toward the
base. Usually eaten fresh, it is also made into jam, or cooked with
spices and pickled while green as in mango chutney. Sumac family.
Manja (D.G.), Mangue (F.G.), Manga (P.), Mango, Manga (Sp.)-
The cultivated fig is a large-leaved shrub or low spreading tree
of the eastern Mediterranean region. It is probably descended from
the wild caprifig native in southern Arabia. Figs were known in
ancient Egypt and have been cultivated since antiquity in Greece,
Asia Minor, Syria, Persia and North Africa. They are grown also in
Italy, Portugal and southern France. There are many varieties
differing in color of fruit and in other respects. Dried figs, especially
the well-known Smyrnas (variety Lop Ingir), remarkable for their
size and sugar content, are an important article of export from the
Levant. Cultivated figs are now grown in many warmer parts of the
world where the climate is not too humid in the fruiting season. In
the tropics of both hemispheres numerous species of wild figs bear
edible fruit of inferior quality. Mulberry family.
Vijg (D.), Figut (Fr.), Higo (Sp.), Figo (P.).
(A. incisa, A. commit
Breadfruit trees were introduced in-
to the American tropics from the Pacific
islands. There are two kinds, those
having fruits with and those without
seeds The fruit of the former is prickly, and only the somewhat
immature seeds are eaten, boiled in saltwater or roasted like chest-
nuts. The seedless breadfruit illustrated here is eaten baked, boiled,
or sliced and roasted, or even fried. Boiled and mashed it may be
prepared and seasoned like macaroni. A part of the dramatic story
of the introduction of the tree is familiar to readers of The Mutiny on
the Bounty by Nordhoff and Hall. Mulberry family.
Broodvrucht (D.G.), Arbre a pain (F.G.), Fruta de pan, Pan de pobre (Sp.),
Fruta pao (Braz.).
Artocarpus heterophylla (A. integrifolia)
A large and handsome tree of India, long grown in the Malayan
region, the jackfruit was introduced in the American tropics,
especially Jamaica and Brazil. It has simple, dark green shiny
leaves and rough or prickly compound fruits of the size of water-
melons, which grow on short stalks directly from the stem or old
branches. The large brown seeds are edible when roasted. The
fleshy sweetish yellow pulp about the seeds is boiled, and is esteemed
by those who are not deterred by its heavy musky odor. Mulberry
Jak from the Portuguese Jaca, "Tsjaka" (Brit. Malaya), Jacca (D.), Jacque
(F.), Jaca, Jaca da Bala (Braz.).
This oval fruit, as large as a small plum, has a soft yellow skin,
white to yellowish flesh, and several black seeds. It is the product of
a tree of the rose family and has a refreshing sweet-acid flavor
reminiscent of apples or pears. Originally from central eastern
China, it is now grown in many warm countries. It is well known
in the Mediterranean region, where it is called Japanese medlar.
All parts of the tree including the fruit are covered with a white or
gray down. Improved varieties exist. Rose family.
Bibace, Bibace du Japon (Fr.) f Nispola del Japon (Sp.), Ameixa amarella,
Ameixa do Japao, Nispera (P.).
This is the fruit of a large leguminous tree of India, now estab-
lished in all tropical countries. It is recognized by its delicate
feathery foliage and curved brown pods which remain hanging for a
long time on the tree. The smooth seeds are imbedded in a brown
pulp of agreeable sweet-acid flavor and are said to contain more
acid and more sugar than any other fruit. The pulp serves for the
preparation of a refreshing drink and is used sometimes to add bulk
and flavor to guava jelly. Bean family.
Tamarinde (D.G.), Tamarin (F.G.), Tamarindo (Sp. & P.).
This fruit of a sumach-like tree of the sorrel or Oxalis family, is a
native of the Moluccas, but is now cultivated in many places in the
moist tropics of both hemispheres. The dark red flowers and fruit
grow in clusters from the trunk and the older branches. The
gherkin-like fruits are very acid, but pleasant when candied or
cooked with sugar as a preserve. There is said to be a form with
sweet fruit. Wood-Sorrel family.
Souri (Br.G.), Birambi (D.G.), Groselha China (Sp.).
A five-winged yellow fleshy fruit of a small Indo-Chinese tree
introduced in the West Indies and South America. The fruit is
usually very sour and is edible only when cooked with sugar, though
an agreeably sweet variety is said to exist. It is of botanical interest
as one of the few large fruits of the Wood-Sorrel family.
Five fingers (B.G.), Fransche birambi (D.G.), Carambole (Ft.), Carambola
This tall-growing tropical tree of the Chinaberry, or Mahogany,
family is restricted chiefly to the Malaysian region, Siam, and Indo-
China. Its ovoid to globose velvety fruits of the size of pigeon's eggs,
grow in grape-like clusters from the larger branches. The fruit has a
thick, bitter, rather leathery, inedible skin, which encloses from one to
three segments of a white translucent pulp, and usually only one
seed. The pulp is juicy, subacid, aromatic, and when ripe is sweet
and of excellent flavor. A cultivated variety named duku (Doekoe)
has larger and more desirable fruit in small clusters.
This small tree, introduced from India or the East Indies, with
small, apparently pinnate leaves on slender twigs at the tips of the
branches, bears an abundance of small fruit in clusters on the stems.
The fruits, of the size of cherries, are pale green and smooth but
ribbed, yellow when ripe, with crisp flesh and a single seed. Even
when fully ripe they are too acid to eat raw but excellent when cooked
with sugar. Spurge family.
Otaheite Gooseberry (B.W.I. ), Cerise de Vlnde (F.), Cerezo, Cerezo comun,
Cerezo agrio, Grosella (Sp.), Groselha (Braz.).
This cultivated tree is recognized by its compound leaves with
numerous leaflets and by its fruit in mango-lfke clusters. The fruits
are smaller than mangoes, dull yellow-orange in color, and often
mottled with rusty brown. The firm skin encloses yellow fibrous
pulp, juicy, acid, aromatic and somewhat resinous in taste. The
golden apple is inferior to a good mango but is eaten fresh, or cooked
and sweetened, or used as flavoring for sherbets and cool drinks.
Otaheite apple (B.G.), Fransi Mope (D.G.), Pomme de Cythere (F.G.), Cajd
The Yellow Mombin grows wild in many places from the Baha-
mas to Brazil. It is similar to the above, with much smaller,
yellow sub-acid fruit, aromatic and of good flavor but fibrous and
somewhat astringent. Sumac family.
Hog-plum (B.W.I. ), Mompe, Mope (D.G.), Jobo (Sp.), Cajd, Cajd mirim,
This tree of west African origin is planted in the West Indies and
South America for its handsome foliage and showy clusters of peculiar
fruit. The latter, about the size of large lemons, turn yellow and
bright red as they ripen; at maturity they split lengthwise into three
parts and display three large black seeds. Each seed projects from a
glistening white, or ivory-colored mass of edible tissue. This "aril"
is a good vegetable with a nutty flavor when stewed and browned in
butter; but it must be taken at exactly the right stage, since it is
poisonous when immature and when over-ripe. The seeds and any
pink or purple-tinged parts near the seed should be discarded as
dangerous; it is safest to leave the Akee alone. Soapberry family.
This fruit of tropical Asia, closely related to the Litchi and with
the same general characters, is usually much larger with a more
brittle rind or shell, beset with long soft spines. The single seed, an
inch or more in length, is covered as in the Litchi with a whitish,
semi-transparent, juicy pulp, sweet-acid in taste and of very agree-
A very similar fruit covered with large blunt-pointed tubercles
instead of soft spines is the Malayan Kapulasan or Palasau, called
Bulala in the Philippines. Soapberry family.
This is the fruit of
a medium-sized tree
which is native in the
humid regions of south-
ern China, where it has
been grown for several
thousand years. The trees are very often prolific, and thousands of
tons of the dried fruit are exported for the use of Chinese living
abroad. In the western world they are known as Chinese Litchi nuts.
They are cultivated in places in the American subtropics.
The ovoid or globose fruit, about an inch in diameter, is produced
in loose bunches of about two to twenty. Its warty shell is thin and
parchment-like, bright red on the tree, light brown when dried. The
fleshy pulp inclosing a single seed is translucent or snow-white and
juicy in the fresh state, with a flavor reminiscent of Tokay grapes; it
is dark-brown when dried and then of an agreeable sweet-acid taste
with a faint flavor of muscat. Soapberry family.
The jujube is the fruit of a small, thorny, slender-branched tree
of the Buckthorn family. It has been well known in the Mediter-
ranean region for at least 2,000 years and may have been brought
originally from India. The fruit is smooth and ovoid, yellowish or
reddish brown at maturity, of the size of an olive, with a thin skin
covering a whitish or yellow sweet pulp and a hard oblong kernel
containing two seeds. It is esteemed as a dessert fruit and eaten
fresh, dried, or boiled in sugar.
The jujube is native in southern Asia and is an important fruit
in China. Superior Chinese varieties, found by the plant explorer
Meyer, have been introduced into the United States for cultivation
in the Southwestern states. Related wild species producing edible
fruit are the Lotus of Libya, the Joazeiro of the arid northeast of
Brazil/and the Chichiboa and Cana of Venezuela. Buckthorn family.
Olijf, Bedera (D.), Jujube (Ft.), Azufaifa (Sp.), Jujuba (P.).
This fruit tree of the Indian archipelago is commonly planted in
the East Indies for its large globose pendulous fruits. These weigh
from five to six pounds and are famous for their combination of deli-
cious flavor and disagreeable odor of decayed onions. The fruit has a
thick fibrous rind beset with coarse pyramidal spines. Internally it
is 4-celled, with from two to six large seeds in each division, covered
with a whitish, buttery, and aromatic flesh or pulp which is the
edible part of the fruit. Silk-cotton family.
This ornamental tree of tropical Asia is cultivated in India,
Ceylon, and the Malay region for its thick foliage, large white
flowers, and remarkable fruits. After flowering the petals drop,
while the persistent calyx again closes and grows to form a thick
protective covering for the developing fruit, till at maturity the whole
reaches the dimensions of a small or medium-sized grapefruit. The
bulk of it then consists of the thick fibrous calyx within which the
true fruit surrounded by brown stamens appears like a pale green
tomato surmounted by the persistent many-rayed stigma. The fruit
is aromatic but very acid and requires cooking. Dillenia family.
Wampara (Ceylon), Simpor (Java).
The mangosteen has long had the reputation of being the most
delicious of tropical fruits. It is produced by a small tree, rarely
over thirty feet high, native in the Malay Peninsula and cultivated
in the warm and humid parts of the Old World tropics. The flowers
are about the size of a wild rose and dull red in color. The rind of the
fruit is thick and tough, dark red to dark purplish outside and pale
violet within, and contains a bitter yellow juice. The edible part is
the snow-white juicy pulp (aril) of exquisite flavor surrounding the
four to six seeds.
Attempts to establish this tree in the American tropics have met
with but scant success. Gamboge family.
This fruit grows wild in eastern Asia and in places forms veritable
woods with wild apples and pears. It was well known to the ancient
Egyptians and was naturalized throughout the eastern Mediter-
ranean region as well as eastward to China and southward to Zanzi-
bar and India. The trees are usually shrublike, with slender branches,
small crowded leaves, and showy flowers. The fruit has a tough,
leathery rind and very many seeds in four two-storied compartments.
Each seed is covered by juicy red pulp (aril), which is the edible
portion of the fruit. Pomegranate family.
Granaatappel (D.), Grenade (Fr.), Granada (Sp.), Roma (Port.) from Ruman
A small garden tree introduced from Indo-China or Java and
grown for the sake of its rose-flavored fruits, one to two inches in
diameter, usually whitish or ivory-colored with crisp thin flesh and
generally hollow with a single large spherical seed, or sometimes two
or three, within the seed cavity. It may be eaten fresh, and makes a
rose-flavored preserve. Myrtle family.
Pommero8e (D.), Pomme-rose, Jamrose (Fr.), Pomarosa, Pomarrosa (Sp.) f
Jambo cheiroso (P.).
This Malayan tree has been introduced into the Hawaiian
Islands, Dutch Guiana, and Brazil, where it drops most of its leaves
at flowering time. The bark of the trunk and naked branches then
becomes covered with clusters of bright red, many-stamened flowers
that last but a short time, then cover the ground under the trees
with a rose-colored litter of fallen petals. In season the pear-
shaped fruits are conspicuous in tropical markets. They are white
or rose-colored, with somewhat dry and insipid white flesh of rose
odor. The fruit may be eaten fresh, but it is used chiefly for desserts
and jellies. Myrtle family.
Pommerak (D.G.), Jambo, Jambo rouge (Fr.G.)
Pomagds (Venez.), Jambo de Malacca (Brazil).
Pommarrosa de Malacca,
This is a small ornamental Malayan tree producing clusters of
pretty rose-pink or purplish-white waxy-looking pear-shaped fruit.
The pulp is pleasantly sour-sweet but is usually too fluffy or pithy
to be agreeable if eaten fresh. Myrtle family.
Jambosa, Wax jambo (B.E.I. ), Macopa (Philipp.).
The Water Rose-apple (S. aquea) is a smaller tree producing
similar but smaller fruit, white or pinkish red, easily distinguished
from the above by its constricted stem and expanded apex.
Jambo ayer (F.), Pommerak (D.G.).
This is a medium sized to large tree of Java, introduced into
many near and remote places, including some in the Western
hemisphere. Its plum-like fruits are produced in clusters from the
wood of the whitish branches. The fruit is variable in size and shape
and ranges in color from a purplish red to deep blackish violet. It
has a thin skin, juicy, acid, slightly tinted flesh, enclosing an oblong
seed. Superior varieties yield fruit of agreeable flavor. Myrtle
Black plum (B.W.I.), Jambolan, Jamelong, Jamblang, etc.
Closely related to our American wild persimmon, the so-called
Japanese persimmon, or Kaki, is a subtropical tree of Chinese origin
that has been cultivated for several hundred years in Japan. In the
East Indies the fruit is known as Chinese plum; when dried it is
called Chinese fig. There are hundreds of varieties, some of which
produce seedless fruit. Some of the best varieties have been intro-
duced into the United States where the fruit for the most part is
still considered exotic. Until perfectly ripened for some time after
picking the persimmon fruit is apt to be very astringent. The black
sapote of Mexico is a related species with blackish sweet pulp. The
persimmons belong to the Ebony family.
Kaki plum, Kaki fig, Keg fig, Chinese date plum.
A subtropical spiny shrub or small tree with green stems, glossy
foliage, and jasmine-scented white flowers. The oval or elliptical
fruits, one and a half to two inches long, are smooth and thin-skinned
when ripe, with few small seeds and sweet, juicy, pink flesh of cran-
Introduced into the United States about forty years ago, it is
now grown freely in southern Florida. With its long sharp-pointed
spines it makes an effective hedge plant. Oleander family.
TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL FRUITS
OF NEW WORLD ORIGIN
'//f///i . . ■ </''■ '// ,
The pineapple is a native of tropical America. It is now one of
the most important of tropical fruits and is grown in many warm
parts of the world. Botanically it belongs to an exclusively American
family of plants consisting chiefly of air plants. The pineapple pro-
duces a basal rosette of long, stiff, usually spiny leaves and a leafy
stalk bearing an oblong head of flowers. On maturation the central
axis, individual flowerstalks and fruits fuse into one mass, sweet
and juicy and of large size in cultivated varieties. Bromelia family.
Ananas (D.), Ananas (Fr.), Pifla (Sp.), Anands (P.), Abacaxi (Braz.).
This is one of the best and most important of fruits native in the
American tropics from Mexico and the West Indian Islands to
northern South America. Several distinct types, Mexican, Guate-
malan, and West Indian, and many named varieties are cultivated.
These differ in shape of fruit, which may be globose, ovoid, or pear-
shaped, and in thickness and texture of skin. All have large globose
seeds and smooth light-greenish to cream-colored pulp that becomes
soft, bland, buttery and palatable when perfectly ripe. The avocado
is an excellent salad fruit. Mashed and sweetened, the pulp is com-
monly used in Brazil for a frozen "creme de abacate." Laurel
Avocado pear, Alligator pear (B.W.I. ), Advocaat (D.), Avocat (F.), Aguacate
(Sp.), Abacate (Braz.), Palta (Peru).
This large, tree-like but soft-stemmed plant, generally un-
branched, bears a top of palmately lobed, much cut leaves on long
leaf-stalks. Where these join the trunk the flowers and melon-like
fruits are produced, typically one in each leaf-axil, the oldest and
ripest below. The male flowers are in long clusters on separate
plants. The fruit, green to orange-yellow, sweet and juicy, is excel-
lent for dessert. It is very common in the tropics and is appreciated
for its digestive and laxative properties. It is the source of "papain."
The young leaves and flowers of the male plants may be cooked as
"greens." In Dutch Guiana the green fruits, shredded and fer-
mented, serve for the preparation of a sourkraut, "Papaja-zuurkool."
Pawpaw (B.W.I. ), Papaja (D.), Papaye (F.), Papaya (Sp. from Carib
"ababaya"), Fruta bomba (Cuba), Mamdo (Brazil).
t, • '<h
This tall, very slender-stemmed palm usually grows in small
clumps on low wet ground in the Guianas and the northern part of
Brazil. Its flowers and fruit are borne in clusters immediately below
a rather small crown of feathery leaves. The small spherical fruits
are of the size and color of high bush blueberries when ripe. They
contain a single round seed of the size of a large cherry stone. The
soft purplish pulp and fiber are loosened from the pits by mashing or
kneading in water. The result, after straining, is a thick liquid like
blueberry mash, known in Brazil as "assai" or "assahy," and famous
especially in Para where assahy thickened with farinha provides
many a cheap and simple meal.
Manicole (B.G.), Pina-palm, Paraprasa (D.G.), Pinot (F.G.), Palmiche
(Venez.), Assai, Assahy (Braz.).
This tall palm, with spiny foliage and a light-gray stem banded
with black spines, produces moderate-sized clusters of peach-colored
fruits as big as large plums or nectarines; each contains a sizeable
one-seeded pit. The flesh of the fruit is starchy and when boiled
becomes excellent food with a somewhat nutty flavor. The bunches
of fruit are seldom seen in the market except in early morning, when
the few occasionally offered are quickly purchased.
Amana (D.G.), Parepou (F.G.), Macanilla, Pejibaye (Sp.), Popunha (Braz.).
This is a luxuriant climbing aroid of Mexico and Central Amer-
ica, commonly planted in greenhouses and in most tropical countries
for the ornamental appearance of its large incised and perforated
leaves. Its cone-like fruits, eight to ten inches long, appear in the
axils of the leaves. They are edible when ripe and have then a
pleasant pineapple-like flavor; but until perfectly mature they con-
tain minute spine-like crystals of oxalate which may cause very
unpleasant irritation of the throat. Aroid family.
The name is of undetermined origin but appears to be derived from cermana,
a sweet variety of pear in the Iberian peninsula.
This is the excellent and substantial fruit of a small tree native in
the West Indies, Mexico, and northern South America. The name
"Bullock's heart" is suggestive of the shape and general appearance.
When the fruit is very ripe and the skin has begun to discolor or
blacken, its white or cream-colored flesh becomes sweet, aromatic,
soft, and ice-cream-like when chilled, so that it may be eaten with a
spoon. It has numerous large brown seeds. In Cuba this fruit,
"mamon," is commonly misnamed "chirimoya," which is unfair to
the latter. A hybrid of the two has, however, been produced and
is called "atemoya." Annona family.
Bullock's heart (B.W.I.), Kasjoema (D.), Cachiman, Corossol coeur de boeuf
(Fr.), Mamon, corazbn (Sp.), Coracdo de boi (Braz.).
This is the fruit of a rather small tree of the custard apple family,
native in the cool but frost-free mountain valleys of Peru, and now
grown in many places, but nowhere on a large scale. In many
respects the fruit resembles that of the soursop, but is smoother
and of a less cottony and more creamy consistency when ripe, with
fewer seeds. Like the soursop it attains sometimes a large size, weigh-
ing 4 to 8 and even 14 to 16 pounds. It is doubtless the best of the
many fruits of its genus. It was cultivated by the ancient Peruvians
and the name is of Quichua origin. The cherimoyas of Huanuco
are famous in Peru. Annona family.
This small tree with simple oblong leaves has fruits shaped
roughly like large blunt pine-cones with thick, gray-green or yellow
scales. The fruit is easily split or broken when ripe, and is seen to
have numerous dark brown glossy seeds imbedded in the cream-
colored, very sweet pulp. It is always eaten fresh. The tree is
native from southern Florida throughout the Caribbean region, and
common in northern and eastern South America, also in many places
in the Old World tropics where it has been introduced. Annona
Sugar-apple (B.W.I.), Kaneelappel, Boe anona (D.), Pomme candle (Fr.),
Anon (Sp.), Ata, Pinha, Frula de conde (Braz.).
This large West Indian fruit of characteristic spiny appearance is
widely planted in the tropics. It is edible only when thoroughly
ripe and the skin begins to blacken. When the large rough fruit,
which may attain a weight of 8 to 10 pounds, becomes soft and
juicy, it is easily split. The very white, somewhat cottony pulp then
is seen to consist of many equal divisions, each with a large brown
seed. Transferred to a pitcher the aromatic pulp of a ripe soursop
readily parts with its juice, yielding an excellent lemonade-like
beverage. Annona family.
Zuurzak (D.), Corossol epinaux (Fr.), Guandbana (Sp.), Graviola, Jaca de
This Brazilian fruit is related to the sugar apple and soursop and
bears evident resemblance to the latter, but is usually paler green
or yellowish and has thicker soft projections. It is produced by a
large tree, native of the lower Amazon region, where it is said to have
been brought into cultivation by the Indians. It is now widely
planted in Brazil and is one of the best among fruits of its kind.
There are many related wild fruits in Brazil, some of them more or
less edible, generally known as Araticum. Annona family.
Biribd, Fruta de condessa (Braz.).
This glossy-leaved small shrub grows on sandy seashores from
southern Florida and the West Indies to Brazil. The fruit is about
the size of a plum, dark red to purplish in color and often wrinkled
when ripe, with a large pit. The sparse white pulp is somewhat
cottony in texture and subacid in taste. The fruit is insipid or apt
to be astringent and is generally not much esteemed though it
is sought by children. It makes an excellent conserve.
The coco plum is of botanical interest as a North American
representative of a group of tropical trees of the rose family, several
of which bear large plum-like edible fruits; see Oiti. Rose family.
Cocco Plum, Fat Pork (B.W.I.), Game pruim, Icaco pruim, Katoen pruim
(D.W.I.), Pruine d'anse, Prune-coton, Prune icaque (F.W.I.), Icaco, Hicaco (Sp.),
Several Central and South American fruits of good size, but
mostly of little value, are produced by large trees related to our
plums. They all have a large rough pit with firmly adherent flesh,
relatively small in quantity, covered with a thick skin. The fruit
illustrated here is from northeastern Brazil. Rose family.
These are trees of the Bean family with flowers in small white or
pink tassels, and the once-pinnate leaf usually with a winged midrib.
There are numerous kinds growing wild in the woods of Central
America, the Guianas, and northern Brazil. Some species are
planted for shade on coffee plantations. Several species have pods
of considerable size, with the seeds enveloped in a frothy, sometimes
cottony mass of glistening white pulp that is edible, sweet, and of
agreeable flavor. Inga pods are often found for sale under a variety
of local names in the markets of the American tropics. Bean family.
Monkey Tamarind (B.W.I.), Waikee (B.G.), Sweetie Boonkie, Suiker-erwten
(D.G.), Pois sucre (F.G.), Guabd, Guamo de P.R. (Cuba), Guamo (Venez.), Inga
This is the fruit of a medium-sized spreading tree with pale bark
and palmate leaves, common in the highlands of Mexico and Central
America and planted there and throughout the Caribbean regions.
The yellow-green fruit, of about the size of a small orange, has a
thin skin, and a bright. yellow soft juicy pulp of pleasant taste,
which encloses three to five large seeds. In places the fruit has the
reputation of being injurious to health, and it is therefore called
matasano. It grows well in southern and middle Florida. Rue
This is a shrub or small tree with simple thin shiny leaves in pairs
and small delicate clusters of white or pinkish flowers. The fruit is
cherry-like but three-lobed, with three parchment-like one-seeded
pits. It is thin-skinned, juicy and edible, pleasantly aromatic but
acid in its natural state but improved by cooking with sugar. It is
used also to prepare a lemonade-like drink. Malpighia family.
Geribde kers, Montje-Montje kers, Switie kersie (D.), Cerise des Antilles, Cerise
carree, Lucee (Fr.), Semeruco, Cereza, Cereza de Jamaica (Sp.), Cereja do
Anacardium Occident ale
This low or medium sized tree abounds in wild state in many parts
of Brazil and is planted in many other tropical countries. The fruit
is peculiar. Its soft edible part is greatly thickened and pear-shaped,
pulpy and red or yellow when ripe. This bears at its tip a hard green
kidney-shaped nut, smooth, shiny, green or brown according to its
stage of maturity. The nut encloses one seed, the cashew nut of
commerce, which becomes edible when roasted. Its green hull
contains resinous irritant poison that will blister lips and tongue like
poison ivy. This poison is destroyed by heat when the nuts are
roasted. The pear-shaped fruit is juicy, sweet-acid, and astringent.
It is eaten fresh or made into a preserve. Sumac family.
Cajo (D.), Cajou, Acajou (F.), Maraflon (Sp.), Caju (P.).
This small deciduous fruit tree, native of Mexico, is common
there and in Central America. Its compound leaves have generally
nine leaflets. The reddish flowers and the fruit are borne in small
clusters on the stem or branches below the leaves. The fruits are
plum-like or egg-shaped, variable in size, an inch or two in length,
often yellow, orange-red, or purplish. They are one-seeded with
thin flesh, and are edible fresh or when stewed and sweetened. They
may also be dried after boiling and are said to keep for some months.
Spanish Plum, Jamaica Plum (B.W.I. ), Mombin rouge, Prune rouge
(F.W.I. ), Ciruela roja, Ciruela de hueso (Sp.), Jocote (Mex.), Cajd vermelha
This tall tree, native of northern South America, produces cat-
kins of small greenish flowers and bears fruit the size of plums. The
fruits are green with leathery skin. The soft white-yellowish or
salmon-colored pulp is gelatinous and pleasantly sweet-acid though
somewhat astringent. The large single seeds are edible when roasted
like chestnuts. Soapberry family.
Spanish lime (B.W.I.), Honey-berry, Marmalade-box, Maca (B.G.), Knippa,
Sensiboom (D.G.), Kenep, Queneit (F.G.), Mamon, Mamoncillo (Venez.).
This Amazonian relative of the cacao bears its flowers and pods
on the leafy branches instead of on the trunk. The large pods are of
dark brown color and are more woody than cacao pods. They con-
tain a mass of large seeds, similar to cacao beans for which they are a
good substitute. The fresh seeds are enveloped, as in the cacao,
by a whitish gelatinous sweet-acid pulp which makes an agreeable
flavoring for ice cream and sherbets and may be made into a jelly
of pleasant flavor. Cacao family.
Caryocar, several species
These are large forest trees of the humid
parts of the Guianas and northern Brazil with
characteristic foliage and large globose gray-
green fruits each containing one, two, or three
large seeds. The yellow flesh is smooth and
buttery when cooked; it is eaten as a
vegetable for its flavor with fish or meat. The
seeds, "butter-nuts," have hard shells. Those
of the delicious Souari nut of Guiana are
woody and smoothly warty, while those of several Brazilian species
(Piquia) are smooth when unbroken but composed of dangerously
sharp spicules which must be avoided with extreme care. Souari-nut
Butter-nut, Pekea (B.G.), Butterboom, Sawari root (D.), Arbre a beurre,
Chaouari (F.), Piquid, Amendoas de Brasil, Amrndoas de Chachapoyas (Braz.).
This compact, erect, tall-growing tree with dense, dark green,
glossy foliage is common in door-yards in many places in the West
Indies and northern South America. Its flowers and large globose
brown fruits, four to five inches in diameter, are borne directly on the
branches. The skin of the fruit is thick and rough, grayish-brown
or russet in color; the sweet pulp is dense and firm, of a dark peach-
color or reddish brown, and encloses usually one to four large rough
seeds. This fruit is generally cut up and stewed with sugar. Gam-
Mammee apple (B.W.I. ), Mammi (D.G.), Mammey, Abricot d'Amerique
(Fr.), Mamey (Sp.), Mamey de Santo Domingo (Cuba), Abrico do Para (Braz.).
This large tree of the humid forests of the Guianas and of
northern Brazil has thick shiny leaves, large white flowers, and large
yellow fruits with very thick rind of disagreeable taste. The few
seeds are imbedded in a translucent white pulp which is pleasantly
scented and of very agreeable sweet-acid flavor. It serves to flavor
ices or ice cream, or is*made into a distinctive sub-acid and spicy
jelly or marmalade. The tree is an American relative of the mango-
steen. A similar but much smaller fruit (Rheedia) is called Bacupary
in Brazil and Madrono in Venezuela. Gamboge family.
Pakouri, Maniballi (B.G.), Packoeri (D.G.), Pacouri (F.G.), Bacuri or
Bacury, Pacuri (Braz.).
This large passion-flower vine, native of tropical America, is
grown for its ornamental flowers and for its fruit, which is the largest
of its genus but of less distinctive flavor than those of smaller species.
The word granadilla is of Spanish origin and means "little pome-
granate," the name probably having been applied first to one of the
smaller species. The resemblance to the pomegranate consists in
the numerous seeds, each of which is covered with edible pulp.
Groote markoesa (D.G.), Barbadine (Fr.), Granadilla (Sp.), Parcha granadina
(Venez.), Maracujd-assu, Maracujd mamao (Braz.).
The passion-flower vines are
climbers with large fringed blos-
soms and globose or egg-shaped
fruits, often the size of lemons, or
larger. The pulp (aril) enveloping
each seed is highly juicy, sweet-acid, and aromatic and is excellent
flavoring for drinks and ices.
Besides the purplish fruited species with the shell-like rind and
lobed leaves figured here, there are several common species with
yellow fruits and entire leaves, e.g., the water-lemon or bell-apple
(P. laurifolia) in the West Indies, and the sweet granadilla (P.
ligularis), "granadita" in Mexico and Central America, etc. Pas-
Simitoo (B.G.), Eiervrncht, Markoesa, Lian appel (D.), Pomme liane (Ft.),
Granadilla (Sp.), Parcha (Venez.), Maracujd (Braz.).
Opuntia Tuna and other species
Cereus, several species
TUNA OR PRICKLY PEAR
The spiny cacti of all types — flat-jointed, climbing, erect and
post-like, candelabrum-branched, and tree-like — all produce large
attractive flowers which develop edible fruits, generally yellow
or red in color and usually conspicuous. They furnish food of agree-
able taste but may be dotted with cushions of minute spines which
must be thoroughly removed. A superabundance of seeds detracts
from the edibility of various species. Cactus family.
Figue d'Inde, Figue de Barbarie (Ft.), Indische vijg, Distelpeer (D.), Cardon,
Tuna cardona, Tuna mansa, Pitaya, Duraznillo, Nopal Camuesa (Sp.), Figo da
India, Fruta de bobo (P.).
This is a climbing or trailing shrub or small tree of the cactus
family, with spiny stems, smooth glossy thick leaves, white flowers
in clusters, and juicy, globular fruit.
The fruits are rarely much more than one inch in diameter and are
remarkable because they bear leaves. These, however, drop off as
the fruits ripen and turn yellow. To be palatable the acid fruit
must be cooked with sugar. Cactus family.
Sweet Mary, Bladappel (D.), Groseille de Barbados (Fr.), Grosella de la Florida
(Cuba), Guamacho (Venez.), Quiabento, Ora pronobis (Braz.).
This small fruit tree of Brazil, cultivated and run wild as a shrub
in many tropical and subtropical countries, is easily recognized by
its smooth and pale flaky bark and regularly alternating pairs of
opposite leaves on green, square terminal twigs. The fruits, often
hidden by the foliage, are usually roughly egg-shaped and soft when
ripe, with thick greenish yellow skin, strongly aromatic flesh, and
numerous small seeds. The fruit is eaten fresh by those who
do not object to the musky odor, which disappears in cooking. It is
commonly made into a preserve, jelly, or paste, a standard dessert
in the American tropics. Myrtle family.
Gujave (D.), Goyave (Fr.), Guayaba (Sp.), Goiaba (P.).
This smooth and glossy-leaved guava is wild near the coast in
Brazil and widely planted there and in many other warm countries.
Its smooth globose or pear-shaped fruits are pale yellow to purple
when ripe. The pulp may be white but is often decidedly reddish
and has a strawberry-like flavor, whence the name Strawberry
Guava. The large lemon-colored fruits with white pulp are preferred
to those of the ordinary guava.
Strawberry guava (B.W.I.), Goyave fraise (Fr.G.), Guayaba peruana (Venez.),
Guayabita fresa (Cuba), Guayaba de China (Mex.), Aracd coroa, Aracd de praia
In poor ground along the coast of northeastern South America
there are other wild guavas, some with fruits no larger than a goose-
berry. One of the best is that represented to the left above (Psidium
guineense), from the savannas of the Guianas and northeastern states
of Brazil. Myrtle family.
Wild guava (B.G.), Wilde guave (D.G.), Guayaba sabanera (Venez.),
Aracd de campo, Aracahy (Braz.).
This shrub with slender branches and small simple leaves is
sometimes grown as a hedge plant but more often for its excellent
fruit, characteristically ribbed and orange to dark red or almost
black in color when ripe. The soft juicy sweet-acid pulp is pleasant
in flavor, though with a faint suggestion of turpentine. It encloses a
relatively large pit, usually consisting of several seeds, slightly ribbed
or irregular in shape. The fruit is eaten fresh, or cooked as jam or
preserve. There are several kinds of wild pitangas on the coast of
Brazil. Myrtle family.
Cerise de Cayenne, Cerise du pays, Cerise carree (F.G.), Zoete
Surinaamsche kersh (D.G.), Cereza de Cayena (Sp.), Pitanga (Braz.).
Myrciaria, several species
This distinctly Brazilian fruit is produced by a small tree native
and cultivated in the Atlantic tier of states from Rio and Sao Paulo
northward. The small delicate white flowers and the grape-like
round fruits, dark red to purplish in color, grow on short stalks from
the thin smooth bark of the stem and branches. The fruit, about
the size of marbles or larger, seldom over an inch in diameter, is
glossy, rather thin-skinned, and surprisingly juicy, with a large
round "pit" of one or more seeds. Its agreeable wine-like flavor is
irresistible to small boys and a proverbial cause of their stomach-
aches. Myrtle family.
This is one of the very commonest of tropical American fruits,
originally from the Yucatan region, where the wild trees are tapped
for their white sap which gives chicle for chewing-gum. Cultivated
fruits vary greatly in size and shape. They have a grayish or rusty
brown slightly rough skin, a very sweet brown granular juicy pulp,
and three to six glossy brown seeds radially placed in the pulp.
Sapodillas are eaten fresh only. Sapodilla family.
Dilly, Nasberry, Bully tree (B.W.I.), Chico (Guat.), Sapotille (D.G.),
Sapotille (F.G.), Nispero (Sp.), Sapoti (Braz.).
This smooth green and
yellowish fruit is of the size
of a well rounded apple or
tomato, sometimes oblong
or pointed; it is soft-skinned,
with a white or cream-colored gelatinous pulp enclosing two
or three large shiny black seeds. It is produced by a medium
sized forest tree of northern South America on the eastern slopes of
the Andes from Venezuela to Peru. In the latter country it is highly
esteemed, and is said to have been cultivated by the aborigines. In
the upper Amazon the tree is well known for its heavy, dense wood.
It is grown as a fruit tree in the State of Para and in the eastern part
of Brazil, and is called Abiu. The fruits of the cultivated tree are
somewhat variable in shape and quality; the best of them are
esteemed for their sweetness and aroma, and prized as flavoring for
ice cream and sherbets. Sapodilla family.
Caimito (Venez.), AM, Abiu (Braz.), Lucuma, Lucma (Peru).
This is the fruit of a tropical American tree related to the Sapo-
dilla, native of the Caribbean region. The tree is readily recognized
by its glossy leaves, which are intensely green and smooth on the
upper surface, golden-brown and satiny on the lower surface. The
fruit, as large as an average apple, is green or dark purplish with a
thick smooth skin. It contains six to ten dark brown seeds radially
arranged in the star-shaped gelatinous semi-translucent pulp. This
pulp, the edible part of the fruit, is vinous, sub-acid, and of good
flavor. When cut, the rind, like other parts of the tree, exudes a
white sticky juice or latex. The fruit is eaten fresh only. Sapodilla
Apra, Sterappel, Goudblad boom (D.G.), Cainite (F.G.), Caimito (Sp. & P.).
This is a Central American tree cultivated throughout the Carib-
bean region. The leaves, somewhat resembling those of the loquat
but larger, are clustered at the tips of the branches. The large fruit
has some resemblance to the Mammee and is known in some places
as Mamey sapote. It is usually three to six inches long and oval in
outline, russet or brown in color, and has a rough skin, an abundance
of firm sweet reddish flesh of a somewhat spicy flavor. The single
large seed has a characteristic appearance, being smooth and glossy
but with a well defined rough segment. It has the scent of bitter
almonds and is used for flavoring purposes. The fruit is made into a
conserve or eaten fresh with sugar. It is much esteemed as an
ingredient of fruit-salad. Sapodilla family.
Mamey sapote (B.W.I. ), Mamey Colorado (Cuba), Zapote (Mex. to Venez.),
This is a shrub or small tree with several stems, slender willowy
branches, small paired leaves, and jasmin-like flowers. It is remark-
able for its sticky latex, which produces rubber of good quality. The
fruits are the size of large olives, egg-shaped and smooth, with white
flesh and many small seeds. They are spotted or streaked with dark
red at maturity, when they fall at a touch. The fruit should be eaten
only when perfectly ripe; it is often kept a day after picking, since
the immature fruit is considered to be poisonous. This is one of the
most delicious and pleasantly scented of wild fruits. Oleander
This is a third or fourth rate fruit tree
common throughout the West Indies and
northeastern South America. Its dark green
foliage is deciduous, and the bare thick
branches display the crop of brown fruit.
These are about the size of small oranges and edible only when
over-ripe and soft. The brown pulp, with many seeds, has then a
taste of sweet dried or fermenting apples and an aromatic odor
objectionable to most persons. The fruit is improved in flavor when
cooked with sugar. Fermented, it yields a pungent liqueur, esteemed
in the backwoods country of Brazil. The unripe fruits yield an
inky dye used by the South American Indians for body paint.
Lana (B.G.), Tapoeripa (D.G.), Jagua (Cuba), Caruto (Venez.), Genipapo
Les plantes alimentaires chez tous les peuples et a travers les
ages: histoire, utilisation, culture. Vol. 2. Phanerogames
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Cook, O. F., and Collins, G. N.
Economic plants of Porto Rico. Contributions of the U. S. National
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Diccionario das plantas uteis do Brasil e das exoticas cultivadas.
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Dahlgren, B. E., and Standley, Paul C.
Edible and poisonous plants of the Caribbean region. Washington.
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Origin of cultivated plants. New York. 1885.
The fig: its history, culture, and curing. With a descriptive
catalogue of the known varieties of figs. Bulletin of the U. S.
Department of Agriculture, Division of Pomology, No. 9.
Economic plants. An index to economic products of the vegetable
kingdom in Jamaica. Kingston. 1891.
Die nuttige planten van Fransch Guyana in verband met Suriname
beschouwd. Buletin van het Kolonial Museum te Harlem.
De nuttige planten van Nederlandsch-Indie; tevens synthetische
catalogus der versamelingen van het Museum voor Economische
Botanie te Buitenzorg. pts. 1-4. Batavia. 1913-17.
Arvores e plantas uteis (indigenas e acclimadas). Nomes vernaculos
e nomes vulgares, classificacao botanica, habitat, principaes
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Achras Zapota 62
Anacardium occidentale 47
Ananas comosus 31
Annona Cherimola 38
Artocarpus altilis 6
Averrhoa Bilimbi 10
Barbados cherry 46
" gooseberry 57
Blighia sapida 15
Calocarpum mammosum 65
Carica Papaya 33
Carissa grandiflora 28
Caryocar spp 51
Casimiroa edulis 45
Cattley guava 59
Cereus spp 56
Chry8obalanus Icaco 42
Chrysophyllum Cainito 64
Cicca aisticha 13
Citrus fruits 2
Dillenia indica 20
Diospyros Kaki 27
Durio zibethinus 19
Eriobotrya japonica 8
Eugenia aquea 25
Euterpe oleracea 34
Ficus Carica 5
Garcinia Mangostana 21
Genipa americana 67
Gooseberry, Otaheite 13
Granadilla, giant 54
Guava, common 58
Guilielma Gasipaes 35
Hancornia speciosa 66
Inga ingoides 44
Lansium domesticum 12
Licania Salzmannii 43
Litchi chinensis 17
Lucuma Caimito 63
Malpighia punicifolia var.
Mamey sapote 65
Mammea americana 52
Mangifera indica 4
Manilkara Zapotilla 62
Melicocca bijuga 49
Mombin, red 48
Monstera deliciosa 36
Musa paradisiaca 1
subsp. sapientium 1
Myrciaria spp 61
Natal plum 28
Nephelium lappaceum. 16
Opuntia Tuna 56
Otaheite Gooseberry 13
Passiflora edulis 55
Peach palm 35
Pereskia aculeata 57
Persea americana 32
Persimmon, Japanese 27
Phoenix dactylifera 3
Phyllanthus distichus 13
Platonia insignis 53
Prickly pear 56
Pouteria Caimito 63
Psidium Cattleyanum 59
Punica granatum 22
Red Mombin 48
Rheedia sp 53
Rollinia pulchrinervia 41
Rose-apple, Water 25
Satsuma orange 2
Souari nuts 51
Spondias dulcis 14
Surinam cherry 60
Syzygium aquea 25
Tamarindus indica 9
Theobroma grandiflorum 50
Water Rose-apple 25
White Sapote 45
Yellow mombin 14
Zizyphus Jujuba 18