From the Archives
of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
One of the Best Sapotaceous Fruits
name: Pouteria caimito
One of the exciting new sapotaceous fruits to come from the Amazon
valley in recent years, is the Abiu. This evergreen, pyramidal-shaped
tree, can reach a height of 15 metres under ideal conditions, but is
usually about 8 metres.
The fruit is attractively coloured
bright yellow on maturity, with a smooth and waxy skin about 4mm thick.
It varies from flat round to oval in shape, 50-120 mm in length, and
can weigh up to 750 grams. The aril is translucent white, sweet and
juicy, with up to 80% edible portion in seedless fruit, with as many as
5 seeds per fruit.
The small white flowers are borne on the
branches inside the foliage. Flowering occurs throughout the year on
mature trees, with the main fruit set in early summer, producing a late
summer harvest. Trees fruit in 3 to 5 years, however there is
considerable variation in fruit size and bearing capacity of seedlings,
with fruit quality remaining relatively unchanged.
best in a sunny position and a tropical climate, but are tolerant of
light frosts in sub-tropical areas. The tree is suited to a wide range
of soils, but prefers a mildly acid rich clay loam with good drainage.
is mostly by seedlings, however, superior strains of excellent quality
fruit with few seeds should be selected and vegetatively propagated, by
graft, marcot or cuttings. Commercial production figures are
unavailable, a projection can be made by North Queensland experience of
6-year-old seedlings, of good quality having up to 120 kg of fruit in a
Fruit are attacked by fruit fly when ripe. This can be
overcome by harvesting the fruit on maturity before fly attack with
little loss in quality.
Abius are usually eaten fresh by
either peeling the leathery skin, or sectioning the fruit and spooning
out the pulp. Immature fruit have a sticky latex, especially near the
skin, this can be objectionable after consuming several fruit.
is reported that first coating the lips with butter will alleviate this
problem. The fruit bruise easily, but store well if handled carefully
and kept under refrigeration.
The Abiu has been described as
one of the best sapotaceous fruits. It is attractive and has a good
flavour. The tree will tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, and
fruit arrives in the market at a time when most tropical fruit are out
of season, giving Abiu good commercial potential.