From the book Fruits of Warm Climates
by Julia F. Morton




Mameyito
Rheedia edulis Triana & Planch

Excerpt from Bakupari Rheedia brasiliensis Planch. & Triana

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.

The 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, fenceposts, and temporary railroad ties. The bark is rich in tannin.

Bibliography

Morton, J. "Bakupari Rheedia brasiliensis Planch. & Triana." hort.purdue.edu. Fruits of Warm Climates, p. 309-310. 1987. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.

Published 12 Jan. 2017 LR
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