Abiu

Abiu

Pouteria caimito (Sapotaceae)

Characteristics

Tropical fruit tree, normally around 10 m high (maximal 35 m). Leaves from oblong to elliptical, 10-20 cm long, 3-6 cm wide. Ripe fruits with smooth, bright yellow skin, 1-4 seeds. Fruits edible: sweet, mild taste, strong hint of caramel and vanilla. Often used in ice cream or eaten out of hand.

Distribution

Native to the Amazonian region of South America.

Natural Medical  Properties

The fruits are used to relieve cough, bronchitis and respiratory complaints. Tree sap is believed to help as de-worming medication and heals swollen wounds.

Did you know?

Mature abiu trees produce 100-1000 fruits per year. Abiu is related (same family) to the “miracle fruit” (Synsepalum dulcificum), known for its taste-changing characteristic (from sour to sweet).

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species

Surinam Cherry

Surinam Cherry

Eugenia uniflora (Myrtaceae)

Characteristics

Large shrub growing to 8 meters. When bruised or cut the branches have a spicy resinous fragrance, causing respiratory distress which can be dangerous for some individuals. The leaves are ovate and glossy while new leaves are bronze and a red cherry fruit as pictured. When bruised or cut the branches have a spicy resinous fragrance, causing respiratory distress which can be dangerous for some individuals.

Distribution

Native to tropical South America’s East Coast.

Natural Medical Properties

Used to prevent inflammation. Anti-oxidants in the plant like Anthocyanines seem to boost insulin and to control blood sugar levels.

Did you know?

The essential oil is antihypertensive, antidiabetic, antitumor and analgesic. It has shown significant anti-inflammatory properties and is used in South America against stomach diseases.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species