Spondias Species
Dwarf Ambarella (Spondias dulcis) one year old seedling
Fig. 1
Dwarf Ambarella (Spondias dulcis) one year old seedling

Picture shows the fruit of Spondias dulcis with its characteristic fibrous pit (The fruit is not Spondias mombin which lacks these radial fibers).
Fig. 2
Picture shows the fruit of Spondias dulcis with its characteristic fibrous pit (The fruit is not Spondias mombin which lacks these radial fibers)

Preserved ma-kok (Thai), sweet and sour with chili.
Fig. 3
Preserved ma-kok (Thai), sweet and sour with chili.

Yellow mombin
Fig. 17
Yellow Mombin

Bai makok (Thai) is the leaf of the Spondias mombin, a relative of the cashew.
Fig. 18
Young leaves of yellow mombin
 Bai makok (Thai) is the leaf of the Spondias mombin, a relative of the cashew. Taste is sour and slightly bitter.

The edible fruit of Spondias mombin as sold on streets in Santo Domingo, Domincican Republic. The fruit is called Jobo here.
Fig. 19
The edible fruit of Spondias mombin as sold on streets in Santo Domingo, Domincican Republic. The fruit is called Jobo here.

Yellow mombin mature tree
Fig. 20
Yellow mombin mature tree

Spondias purpurea
Fig. 30
Spondias purpurea, unripe red mombin

Flower
Fig. 31
Spondias purpurea L.

Red Mombin
Fig. 32
Spondias purpurea L.

Red Mombins
Fig. 33
Red mombins

Red mombin flower and pollinator
Fig. 43
Marimbondo, nome cientifico: Polistes canadensisus em uma flor de Seriguela (Spondias purpurea)

Ambarella, Golden apple - Spondias dulcis Forst.


Flowers Inflorescense Cóc Tahiti (Vietnamese) inflorescense
Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6
FruitFruit ripeningUnripe fruitRipe fruit
Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10
Ripe ambarella with the skin peeled to reveal the fleshAmbarella seedSeeds of Spondias dulcis
Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13
Spondias dulcis (leaves) Tree habit Trunk
Fig. 14 Fig. 15 Fig. 16

Common name
Otaheite apple, Tahitian quince, Polynesian plum, Jew plum and golden apple. In Malaya it is called great hog plum or kedondong; in Indonesia, kedongdong; in Thailand, ma-kok-farang; in Cambodia, mokak; in Vietnam, coc, pomme cythere or Pommier de cythere. In Costa Rica, it is known as juplón; in Colombia, hobo de racimos; in Venezuela, jobo de la India, jobo de Indio, or mango jobo; in Ecuador, manzana de oro; in Brazil, caja-manga. 8
Synonyms
Spondias cytherea Sonn.
Relatives
Spondias tuberosa, S. pinnata, S. acida, S. novoguineensis, and S. borbonica, cashew (Anacardium occidentale), mango (Mangifera indica), and pistachio (Pistacia vera)
Family
Anacardiacae
Origin
Society Islands of the South Pacific
Height
40-50ft (12-15m)
Spread
Open spreading canopy; 40-50ft (12-15m)
Plant habit
Erect, stately usually stiff in appearance; symmetrical
Growth rate
Fast
Trunk/bark/branches
light grey-brown bark: graceful, rounded branches
Leafves
Deciduous; large, glossy, 8-12in (20-30cm); pinnately compound; 10-18 leaflets; 2.5-3in (6-8cm)
Flowers
Whitish, small, inconspicuous; large, loose terminal panicles, 8-12in. (20-30cm); bisexual and self-fertile; March-April
Fruit
Orange-yellow; clusters of 3-20; globular to ovoid; drupe; tough skin; yellow pulp, fibrous; single large seed; 2-3in. (5-8cm)
Season
November through May
Light requirement
Full sun
Soil tolerances
All types of soil, including oolitic limestone in Florida, as long as they are well-drained
PH preference
5.5-7.5
Drought tolerance
Mature trees are drought tolerant
Flood tolerance
Not tolerant
Salt tolerance
Poor
Cold tolerance
30°F (-1°C)
Plant spacing
50-60ft (15-18m) unless provisions are made to control tree size
Roots
Potable water can be derived from the roots in emergency
Pest resistance
Few pests; nutritional problems on highly alkaline soils
Invasice Potential *
None reported
Known hazard
The fruit may present a choking hazard if the core and fibers are not properly removed. Contact with foliage and sap may cause dermatitis in some individuals. 10

Fruit

Fruits at maturity have a yellow to golden-orange skin and an orangery-yellow pulp surrounding a single large spiny seed. Flavour varies from acid to sweet and most people eat this as a fresh fruit; however, it does make excellent preserves, jellies or sauces. 2
The stone, or seed casing, has spines that stick out into the flesh and complicates the use of the fruit. Seeds are produced in 5 small cavities in the stone. Only 1 or 2 of the seeds will be developed. 3
The fruits usually drop off when they turn yellow. I have found that they can be picked green and they will turn yellow in about 5 days at room temperature. The taste is reminiscent of pineapples. The fruit can be used in jams, jellies and sauces when ripe, and when unripe, in pickles or relishes. A very tasty jam can be made. 3

Propagation
Propagation of this tree is very easily accomplished by rooting large hardwood cuttings. Superior varieties can be air-layered also. Seedlings often produce variable fruit, so most people prefer to propagate ambarella by hardwood cuttings or by air-layering. 2
Thomas Firminger says that the seeds do not germinate readily, and that plants "are usually obtained by grafting upon seedlings of S. mangifera." P. J. Wester has found that the species can be shield-budded in the same manner as the avocado; he says, "Use nonpetioled, slender, mature, but green and smooth budwood; cut large buds with ample wood-shield, 1 1/2 to
1 3/4 inches long; insert the buds in the stock at a point of approximately the same age and appearance as the cion." 6

Further Reading
The Ambarella from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
The Ambarella from W. Popenoe's book Manual Of Tropical And Subtropical Fruits
Hog Plum from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
Ambarella from Julia Morton's book Fruits of Warm Climates



Yellow Mombin, hog plum - Spondias mombin Jacq.



Cross section of flower
Inflorescense
Flowers
Flower close-up
Fig. 21 Fig. 22 Fig. 23 Fig. 24
Fruit forming
Leaf
Leaves habit
Spondias mombin tree
Bark
Fig. 25 Fig. 26 Fig. 27 Fig. 28 Fig. 29

Common names
Hog plum in the Caribbean Islands. In Jamaica, it is also known as Spanish plum, or gully plum. In Malaya, it is distinguished as thorny hog plum; in Ghana, it is hog plum or Ashanti plum. Among its Spanish names are caimito, chupandilla, ciruela agria, ciruela amarilla, ciruela de jobo, ciruela del pais, ciruela de monte, ciruela loca, cirueld mango, ciruela obo, cuajo, guama zapotero, hobo de monte, hubu, jobillo, jobito, jobo, jobo arisco, joboban, jobo blanco, jobo de Castilla, Jobo de perro, jobo de puerco, jobo espino, jobo espinoso, jobo gusanero, jobo hembra, jobo jocote, jobo negro, jobo roñoso, jobo vano, jocote, jocote amarillo, jocote de chanche, jocote dejobo, jocote jobo, jocote montanero, jocote montero, jovo, marapa, obo de zopilote, palo de mulato, noma, tobo de montana, obo and uvo. In Portuguese, it is called acaiba, acaimiri, acaja, acajaiba, caja, caja mirim, caja pequeno, cajazeiro, and caja miudo. In French, it is mombin franc, mombin fruits jaunes, mombinier, myrobalane, prune mombin, prune myrobalan, or prunier mombin. Local names in Surinam are hoeboe, mompe, monbe, mopé and moppé. Amazonian Indians call it taperiba or tapiriba (fruit of the tapir). 4
Synonyms
Spondias aurantiaca Schumach. & Thonn.; Spondias dubia A. Rich.; Spondias graveolens Macfad.; Spondias lutea L.; Spondias oghigee G. Don; Spondias pseudomyrobalanus Tussac 12
Family
Anacardiacae
Origin
Tropical America (Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands)
Height
Up to 50ft (15m)
Spread
Open spreading canopy; 50-60ft (15-18m)
Plant habit
Erect; stately
Trunk/bark/branches
Trunk buttressed, thick; fissured bark; lower branches whorled 4
Leaves
Semi-deciduous; pinnately compound;8-12in (20-30cm); 10-18 leaflets; 1-1.5in (2.5-4cm); hairy yellowish petioles 4
Flowers
Small, inconspicuous; large, loose terminal panicles; bisexual and self-fertile
Fruit
Yellow; clusters of 12+; globular to ovoid; drupe; tough skin; yellow pulp, fibrous; single large corky stone
Season
August through November 4
Light requirement
Full sun
Drought tolerance
Mature trees are drought tolerant
Salt tolerance
Not tolerant
Plant spacing
50-60ft (15-18m) unless provisions are made to control tree size
Pest resistance
Fruit commonly infested with fruit-fly larvae
Invasice Potential *
None reported

Propagation
The tree may be propagated by seeds but it is usually grown from large cuttings which root quickly. 4

Further Reading
Yellow Mombin from Julia Morton's book Fruits of Warm Climates
The Yellow Mombin from W. Popenoe's book Manual Of Tropical And Subtropical Fruits



Red Mombin - Spondias purpurea L



Inflorescense
Leaf
Leaf habit
Ripe fruit
Fig. 34 Fig.  35 Fig. 36 Fig. 37
Immature fruit
Immature and ripe fruit
Assorted red mombins
Fig. 38 Fig. 39 Fig. 40
fungal rot of fruit
Distribution Map
Fig. 41
Fungal rot of fruit
Fig. 42

Common names
English, red mombin, Spanish plum, hog plum, scarlet plum; purple plum in the Virgin Islands; Jamaica plum in Trinidad; Chile plum in Barbados; wild plum in Costa Rica and Panama; red plum, as well as noba and makka pruim in the Netherlands Antilles. Spanish names include: ajuela ciruela; chiabal; cirguelo; ciruela; ciruela agria; ciruela calentana; ciruela campechana; ciruela colorada; ciruela de coyote; ciruela de hueso; ciruela del país; ciruela de Mexico; ciruela morada; ciruela roja; ciruela sanjuanera; hobo; hobo colorado; ismoyo; jobillo; jobito; jobo; jobo colorado; jobo francés; jocote; jocote agrio; jocote amarillo (yellow form); jocote común; jocote de corona; jocote de iguana; jocote iguanero; jocote tronador; jocotillo; pitarillo; sineguelas (Philippines); sismoyo. In Portuguese, it is called ambu; ambuzeiro; ameixa da Espanha; cajá vermelha (yellow form); ciriguela; ciroela; imbu; imbuzeiro; umbu, or umbuzeiro. In French, it is cirouelle, mombin rouge, prune du Chili, prune d'Espagne, prune jaune (yellow form) or prune rouge. 9
Synonyms
Spondias mombin, L.; Spondias myrobalanus L.; Spondias dulcis G. Forster, var. macrocarpa (Engler) Engler; Spondias macrocarpa Engler; Spondias purpurea Linnaeus, var. munita I. M. Johnston; Spondias purpurea Linnaeus, var. venulosa Engler
Family
Anacardiacae
Origin
Tropical America
Height
Up to 25ft (7.5m)
Spread
Open spreading canopy; 25-30ft (7.5-9m)
Plant habit
Shrub; low-branched or spreading tree
Trunk/bark/branches
stout, stiff branches; trunk thick; broad crown
Leaves
deciduous; dark green; pinnately compound, 4.75-10in (12-25cm); 5-19 nearly sessile leaflets; 0.5-1.5in (1-4cm)
Flowers
Tiny, deep red/purple; small, inconspicuous; male, female and bisexual; small unbranched racemes; no fertile pollen; no viable seeds
Fruit
Yellow, red or purple; single or clusters of 2-3; globular to ovoid; drupe; tough skin; yellow pulp, fibrous; single large rough, fibrous seed; some selections have irregular shape
Season
June through October
Light requirement
Full sun
Soil tolerances
Grows over a wide variety of soils; well drained
Drought tolerance
Mature trees are drought tolerant
Salt tolerance
not tolerant
Cold tolerance
Protection from cold winds; 30°F (-1°C)
Wind resistance
Not resistant
Plant spacing
25-30ft (7.5-9m) unless provisions are made to control tree size
Pest/disease resistance
Fruit flies commonly infest the ripe fruits. In Florida, the foliage is subject to spot anthracnose caused by Sphaceloma spondiadis. 9
Invasice Potential *
None reported
Known hazard
In the Philippines, it is said that eating a large quantity of the fruits on an empty stomach may cause stomac hache. 9

Fruit
The fruit may be eaten fresh or may be boiled and dried, in which latter condition it can be kept for several months. When fresh it has a subacid spicy flavor somewhat resembling that of the cashew, but less aromatic. Some varieties are sour, and others have very little flesh; the best are pleasantly flavored and have about the same amount of flesh and seed as a very large olive. 5
Somewhat plumlike, the fruits, borne singly or in groups of 2 or 3, may be purple, dark- or bright-red, orange, yellow, or red-and-yellow. They vary from 1 to 2 in (2.5-5 cm) in length and may be oblong, oval, obovoid or pear-shaped, with small indentations and often a knob at the apex. The skin is glossy and firm; the flesh aromatic, yellow, fibrous, very juicy, with a rich, plum-like, subacid to acid flavor, sometimes a trifle turpentiney; and it adheres to the rough, fibrous, hard, oblong, knobby, thick, pale stone, which is 1/2 to 3/4 in (1.25-2 cm) long and contains up to 5 small seeds. 9

Propagation
Trees introduced into Florida are all female trees, and seeds from fruit trees in Florida are not viable and will not grow. This limits propagation strictly to vegetative means - either air-layering or hardwood cuttings. 4
The red mombin is found in increasing numbers throughout South Florida because of the increasing Latin population which is quite familiar with it and has great appreciation for its quality. 4
Cuttings take root so readily that large limbs, cut and inserted in the ground as fenceposts, will often develop into flourishing trees. P. J. Wester recommends that cuttings 20 to 30 inches long, of the previous season's growth (or even older wood) should be set in the ground to a depth of about 12 inches, in the positions which the trees are to occupy permanently. The rainy season is the best time to do this. 5

Pruning
Pruning of the branches to cause numerous shoots to form along the main branches. Pruning can be done every year, since the flowers bud on the current year's branches. The experience of producers in Mexico is that pruning increases the size and weight of the fruit. 11

Further Reading
Red Mombin from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
The Red Mombin from W. Popenoe's book Manual Of Tropical And Subtropical Fruits
Purple Mombin from Julia Morton's book Fruits of Warm Climates
Spanish plum, red mombin from Neglected Crops: 1492 from a Different Perspective



Related Species

The imbu, Spondias tuberosa Arruda, is native to dry areas of Brazil. It has enlarged roots and is extremely resistant to drought. It has been introduced to other areas but is not well-known. The ovoid fruit is 3½-4 cm (1½ in.) in length and greenish-yellow in color when ripe. It is eaten fresh and made into jellies or desserts and is much esteemed in its native areas. It does not grow well in southern Florida, evidently because of poor adaptation to the soil and climate. 1
Of the several fruits belonging to the genus Spondias which are grown in various parts of the tropics, the imbu, although relatively little known, is perhaps the best. It merits cultivation wherever climate and soil are suited to its growth. 7

The Imbu from W. Popenoe's book Manual Of Tropical And Subtropical Fruits

The amra, Spondias pinnata L.F. Kurz (S. mangifera Willd.), native to tropical Asia, grows and fruits well in southern Florida, but is not well-known. It bears ovoid fruit fruit 4-5 cm (1½-2 in.) in length, in terminal clusters of 10-15 fruit. The fruit is extremely sour, even when completely ripe. It is used mostly for cooking although some people like to eat it fresh. 1

Spondias borbonica Baker is native to the islands of Mauritius and Reunion. It makes a large tree with deeply furrowed bark, similar in appearance to the yellow mombin. A few trees have been growing in Florida for many years but have never borne flowers and fruit. 1


Further Reading

Spondias Species from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Spondias in Florida from the University of Florida (Archived) pdf 8 pages
Spondias Species Botanical Art


List of Growers and Vendors

Bibliography

1 Campbell, Carl W. and Sauls, Julian W. "Spondias Species". rfcarchives.org.au. Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia. Florida Cooperative Extension Service/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/University of Florida Fruit Crops Fact Sheet - Spondias in Florida FC-63. [Archived]. May 1994. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.
2 Joyner, Gene. "The Ambarella."  rfcarchives.org.au. Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia. Tropical Fruit News. Volume 30 Number 12, Dec. 1996. Aug. 1997. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.
3 Oram, Ann. "Hog Plum."  rfcarchives.org.au. Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia. RFCA Capricornia Newsletter. May 1987. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.
4 Joyner, Gene. "The Red Mombin."  rfcarchives.org.au. Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia. Tropical Fruit News, Nov. 1993. Mar. 1994. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.
5 Popenoe, Wilson. "The Red Mombin." chestofbooks.com.  Manual of Tropical and Subtropical fruits. 1920. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
6 Popenoe, Wilson. "The Ambarella." chestofbooks.com.  Manual of Tropical and Subtropical fruits. 1920. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
7 Popenoe, Wilson. "The Imbu." chestofbooks.com.  Manual of Tropical and Subtropical fruits. 1920. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
8 Morton, J. "Ambarella." hort.purdue.edu. Fruits of warm climates, p. 199-201. 1987. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
9 Morton, J. "Purple Mombin". hort.purdue.edu. Fruits of warm climates, p. 242-245. 1987. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
10 Boning, Charles. Florida's Best Fruiting Plants: Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs and Vines. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. p. 22. 2006. Print.
11 Cuevas, J. Axayacatl. "Neglected Crops : 1492 from a Different Perspective". hort.purdue.edu. J.E. Hernándo Bermejo and J. León (eds.). Plant Production and Protection Series No. 26. FAO, Rome, Italy. p. 111-115. 1994. Department of Plant Science, Ethnobotanical Unit, UACH, Mexico. Center for New Crops and Plants Products, Purdue University. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.
12 "Spondias mombin." theplantlist.org. The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species. Web. 28 May 2016.

Photographs

Fig. 1 Johnson, Ray. "Dwarf Ambarella (Spondias dulcis) one year old seedling. 2009.   rfcarchives.org.au. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 2 Chowdhury, Faizul Latif . Picture shows the fruit of Spondias dulcis with its characteristic fibrous pit (The fruit is not Spondias mombin which lacks these radial fibers). 2009. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 26 May 2016.
Fig. 3 ChildofMidnight at English Wikipedia. Preserved ma-kok, sweet and sour with chili. 2013. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 26 May 2016.
Fig. 4,5,7,15,16 Kwan. "Spondias dulcis (Golden Apple, Great Hog Plum, Kedongdong)." natureloveyou.sg. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 6 Pinus. Cóc Tahiti. 2012. commons.wikmedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 26 May 2016.
Fig. 8 Mattos. Cacho de cajarana. 2014. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 26 May 2016.
Fig. 9 Anagoria. Polynesian-plum (Spondias dulcis). 2014. commons.wikmedia.org. Dong Xuan Center, Berlin, Germany. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 10 Rulkens, Ton. Not common in Mozambique. It is only found in the northern coastal zone of Cabo Delgado province. It produces fruits in a period of the year when few other fruits are produced, which is a definite advantage. 2013. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-SA 2.0). Web. 27 May 2016.
Fig. 11 Luiz Roberto Kozikoski. Cajamanga descascadacommons.wikmedia.org. Web. 27 May 2016.
Fig. 12 Mamun2a. Amra seed. 2006. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-SA 2.5). Web. 26 May 2016.
Fig. 13 Tracey Slotta. Seeds of Spondias dulcis. 2010. flickr.com. USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database. Web. 27 May 2016.
Fig. 14 Forest & Kim Starr. Spondias dulcis (leaves). Maui, Enchanting Floral Gardens of Kula. 2007. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 27 May 2016.
Fig. 17 Schmidt, Marco. Spondias mombin, fruiting. Near Fô, Burkina Faso. 2004. commons.wikmedia.org.  Under (CC BY-SA 2.5). Web. 22 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 18 Takeaway. Bai makok is the leaf of the Spondias mombin, a relative of the cashew. 2011. commons.wikmedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 19 Reith, Martin. "The edible fruit of Spondias mombin as sold on streets in Santo Domingo, Domincican Republic. The fruit is called Jobo here." 2014. commons.wikmedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 4.0). Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 20,21,24 Aiguilar, Reinaldo. Spondias mombin L. 2014. flickr.com. Vascular Plants of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 22,23,25,26,27,29 Leao, Tarciso. Spondias mombin, caja. 2004. flickr.com. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 28 Starr, Forest and Kim. Spondias mombin (Hog plum, jobo, yellow mombin). 2007. starrenvironmental.com. Enchanting Floral Gardens of Kula, Maui. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 30 Denton, Shirley. Spondias purpurea. N.d. plantatlas.usf.edu. Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants. Institute for Systematic Botany, University of South Florida, Tampa. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 31,34,37,40 Spondias purpurea L. N.d. toptropicals.com. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 32 Dios, Eduardo. Ciruela (Spondias purpurea). 2009. flickr.com. La Turumilla, Zarumilla, Perú. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 33 Elveoflight. Jacote. 2014. commons.wikmedia.org. Antigua, Guatemala. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 35,36 Aiguilar, Reinaldo. Spondias mombin L. tree. 2010. flickr.com. Vascular Plants of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 38 Minic, Cristóbal Alvarado. "Ciruelas de huesito (Spondias purpurea L.)." flickr.com. Cagua, Estado Aragua, Venezuela. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 39 Barros, Fabio. "Foto de frutos de Seriguela (Spondias purpurea)." 2009. commons.wikmedia.org. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 41 Nelson, Scot. "Red mombin (Spondias purpurea): Fungal rot of fruits." c. 2007. flickr.com. Near Hilo, Hawaii. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 42 "Species Distribution Map." N.d. plantatlas.usf.edu. Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants. Institute for Systematic Botany, University of South Florida, Tampa. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas
** Information provided is not intended to be used as a guide for treatment of medical conditions.

Published 22 Apr. 2015 LR. Last update 28 May 2016 LR
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