From the book
Fruits of Warm Climates
by Julia F. Morton
Rheedia brasiliensis Planch. & Triana
the approximately 45 species of Rheedia (family Guttiferae), several
have edible fruits. Perhaps the best-known is the bakupari, R.
brasiliensis Planch. & Triana, which is also known as bacupary or
bacoropary in Brazil; as guapomo in Bolivia.
The very attractive
tree is pyramidal like that of the bakuri but smaller; is equally rich
in yellow latex. The leaves are short-petioled, ovate, oblong-ovate or
lanceolate, narrowed at the base, blunt or slightly pointed at the
apex, and leathery. The flowers, profuse in axillary clusters, are
polygamous. The fruit, ovate, pointed at the apex, may be 1 1/4 to 1
1/2 in (3.2-4 cm) long, with orange-yellow, pliable, leathery, tough
skin, 1/8 in (3 mm) thick and easily removed. The aril-like pulp is
white, translucent, soft, subacid, of excellent flavor, and encloses 2
The tree grows wild in the state of Rio de
Janeiro in southeastern Brazil and adjacent Paraguay; is rarely
cultivated. It blooms in December and matures its fruit in January and
February. The ripe fruit is mostly used in making sweetmeats or jam.
seeds contain 8 to 9% oil (by weight) which is used in Brazil in
poultices on wounds, whitlows, tumors and, externally, over an enlarged
liver. An infusion of the pulp has a narcotic action with an effect
like that of nicotine. The root bark extract contains rheediaxanthone
and a polyprenylated benzophenone, other lesser constituents, and 3 new
83-b: Peeled mangosteens, in light sirup, canned in Thailand, are
appearing in Asiatic food outlets in the United States. According to
the Wall Street Journal, April 7, 1987, fresh fruits, cut open,
inspected, sealed with tape, and quick-frozen, are exported from
Malaysia to Japan where they sell readily at nearly $4 each. They are
defrosted in boiling water for 2 minutes before eating.
The mameyito, R. edulis Triana & Planch. (syn. Calophyllum edule
Seem.), is also known as arrayan and palo de frutilla in Guatemala;
waiki plum in Belize; chaparrón in El Salvador; caimito or
caimito de montaña in Honduras; jorco in Costa Rica; sastra in
Panama; berba in the Philippines.
The elegant, erect tree,
ranging up to 100 ft (30 m), has copious gummy, yellow latex and
opposite, short-petioled, thick, leathery, elliptic-oblong or
elliptic-lanceolate leaves, 3 3/16 to 6 in (8-15 cm) long, 3/4 to 2 in
(2-5 cm) wide, or much larger, with numerous lateral veins conspicuous
on both surfaces; dark-green above, pale or brownish on the underside.
Young foliage is reddish. The small, greenish-white or ivory flowers,
densely clustered below the leaves, are 4-petalled, the male with 25 to
30 stamens, the perfect with 10 to 12. The fruit is oval or oblong, 3/4
to 1 1/4 in (2-3.2 cm) long, smooth, orange or yellow, the thin, soft
skin easily peeled. There is a little flesh, sweet or acid, adhering to
the 1 or 2 seeds.
The tree is native and common in humid forests
on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of Central America, from
southern Mexico to Panama, up to an elevation of 4,000 ft (1,200 m). It
is often planted in Central America as a shade or ornamental tree. It
has been grown in the Philippines, Puerto Rico and California. The
fruits mature from late January to March in Costa Rica.
heartwood is rose-yellow, hard, medium-heavy, coarse-textured, with
numerous gum ducts, but tough, strong, easy to work, fairly durable,
and valued for construction because it is nearly immune to insects. It
is also used for tool handles, fence posts, and temporary railroad
ties. The bark is rich in tannin.
The bacuripari, R. macrophylla Planch. & Triana, is also called bacury-pary in Brazil; charichuela in Peru.
is a pyramidal tree, 26 to 40 ft (8-12 m) tall, with stiff, leathery,
lanceolate-oblong or broad-lanceolate leaves, 12 to 18 in (30-45 cm)
long and 3 to 7 in (8-18 cm) wide, pointed at both ends, with numerous
lateral, nearly horizontal veins. New foliage is maroon. The
4-petalled, male and female flowers are home in small axillary clusters
on separate trees, the male on delicate stalks to 1 1/2 in (4 cm) long
and having numerous stamens, the female on thick, short stalks and
sometimes having a few stamens with sterile anthers.
is rounded-conical, pointed at one or both ends, about 3 3/16 in (8 cm)
wide, with thick yellow rind, usually smooth, sometimes rough,
containing gummy yellow latex. The white, aril-like pulp, agreeably
subacid, encloses 3 to 4 oblong seeds.
The tree is native to
humid forests of Surinam and Brazil to northern Peru. The fruit is not
much esteemed but widely eaten and sold in native markets. The
bacuripari was introduced into Florida in 1962 and planted at the
Agricultural Research and Education Center in Homestead, at Fairchild
Tropical Garden and in several private gardens. One tree fruited in
1970, another in 1972, and the latter has continued to bear. Young
specimens have been killed by drops in temperature to 29º to
30º F (-1.67º--1.11º C). Older trees have been little
harmed by 27º to 28º F (-2.78º--2.22º C). The tree
is accustomed to light-to moderate-shade. Seeds have remained viable
for 2 to 3 weeks but require several weeks to germinate.
Brazil, the tree blooms from August to November and the fruits mature
from December to May. In Florida, flowers appear in April and May and a
second time in August and September, and the fruits are in season from
May to August and again in October and November. Some 15-to 20-year-old
trees have produced 100 to 200 fruits when there have been no adverse
The madroño, R. madruno
Planch. & Triana, may be called machari or fruta de mono in Panama;
cerillo in Costa Rica; cozoiba in Venezuela; kamururu in Bolivia.
tree is erect, lush, compact, with pyramidal or nearly round crown, 20
to 65 ft (6-20 in) high, and has much gummy yellow latex. The opposite
leaves are elliptic to oblong, wedge-shaped at the base, rounded or
pointed at the apex, 2 3/8 to 8 in (6-20 cm) long, 3/4 to 3 in (2-7.5
cm) wide; dark green above, paler beneath, with numerous veins
conspicuous on both surfaces and merging into a thick marginal vein.
The fragrant male and female flowers are borne on separate trees in
clusters of up to 14 in the leaf axils; have 4 reflexed, pale-yellow
petals; the male, 25 to 30 light-yellow stamens. The fruit is round or
ellipsoidal, sometimes with a prominent nipple at each end; 2 to 3 in
(5-7.5 cm) long, with thick, leathery, warty, greenish-yellow rind
containing a deep-yellow, resinous latex. The white, translucent,
juicy, sweet-acid, aromatic pulp adheres tightly to the 1 to 3 ovate or
oblong seeds which are about 3/4 in (2 cm) long.
The tree is
native to the Golfo Dulce region of Costa Rica, the Atlantic slope of
Panama, and northern South America–Colombia and Ecuador through
Venezuela to Guyana and Bolivia. It is particularly common in the Cauca
Valley of Colombia where the fruits are marketed in quantity. It is
limited to elevations below 4,000 ft (1,200 in). Dr. Wilson Popenoe
collected seeds for the United States Department of Agriculture near
Palmira, Colombia, in 1921 (S.P.I. #52301). The tree was introduced
into Puerto Rico in 1923 and into the Philippines at about the same
time. A few old trees have been fruiting more or less in southern
Florida for many years, in midsummer. In Costa Rica, flowers are borne
from December to February and fruits from May to August.
yellow latex of the tree is used in Panama to treat ulcers and other
sores. The wood is pinkish and hard but not commonly used.
Last updated: 1/12/117 by ch