Betel tree

Betel tree Areca catechu (Arecaceae)   Characteristics Medium-sized palm tree, growing straight, up to 20m. Trunk 10-15 cm in diameter. Leaves 2m long, pinnate, with numerous, crowded leaflets. Seeds of the fruit is a commercially important seed crop (Areca nut), mainly in India and SE-Asia. They contain intoxicating and slightly addictive alkaloids as well as…

Mandarin Orange, Mandarine

Mandarin Orange, MandarineCitrus reticulata (Rutaceae) Characteristics Tree up to 8m tall. Tree trunk and major branches have thorns. Leaves shiny and green, rather small. Fruits orange, 4-8 cm, edible. Citrus species are usually self-fertile (a bee moves pollen within the same flower) or parthenocarpic (no need of pollination for fruit development, therefore seedless, like the…

Mulberries

MulberriesMorus sp. (Moraceae) Characteristics The genus Morus contains around 15 different species of deciduous trees, growing wild and under cultivation. Fast-growing when young, can grow up to 24 m. Leaves alternate and simple. Fruits white, red or black. Edible. Distribution Native to Southern Asia. Today, widely distributed across Europe, South Africa and the Americas. Natural…

Pygmy date palm

Pygmy date palmPhoenix cf. roebelenii (Arecaceae) Characteristics Slow-growing tree, up to 3 m. Leaves 60-120 cm long, pinnate, with approx. 100 leaflets. Each leaflet 15-25 cm long and 1 cm wide. Flowers small, yellowish, on a 45 cm inflorescence. Fruit is botanically a drupe (1 cm), edible, resembling a small date. Distribution Native to south-eastern…

Avocado

AvocadoPersea americana (Lauraceae) Characteristics Evergreen trees, 10-20 m tall. Alternately arranged leaves, 12-25 cm long. The fruit of the plant (yes, avocado is a fruit!) is botanically a large berry containing a single large seed. Distribution Native probably of Mexico and Central America. Natural Medical Properties Avocados are very nutritious and contain more potassium than…

Pomegranate

PomegranatePunica granatum (Lythraceae) Characteristics Shrubs or small trees, 2-3 m tall, glabrous. Leaves opposite. Flowers bright red, 3 cm. Fruit globose, leathery berries, variable in color, red to yellow-green or red-brown, 5-12 cm. Seeds numerous, covered with pulp. Edible.. Distribution Native to the Middle East between Iran and Northern India, cultivated since ancient times throughout…

Malay Rose Apple (Fijian: Kavika)

Malay Rose Apple (Fijian: Kavika)Syzygium malaccense (Myrtaceae) Characteristics Trees, up to 15m tall. Very dense rounded crown. Large leaves, 20-30 cm long, 8-18 cm wide. Flowers red. Fruit (berry), edible, red, some varieties with white or pink skin. Flesh white, surrounds a large seed. Taste bland but refreshing. Distribution Native to Australia and Malesia (Islands…

Money Tree

Money TreePachira aquatica (Malvaceae) Characteristics Small trees, normally 4-5 m, in the wild up to 18 m. Trunk sometimes buttressed. Bark smooth. Always on moist soil (wetlands). Leaves shiny green, palmate with lanceolate leaflets. Flowers are among the largest tree flowers in the world. Long narrow petals, open like a banana peel and reveal hairlike…

Soursop

SoursopAnnona muricata (Annonaceae) Characteristics Evergreen tree, up to 10 m. Young branches hairy. Broad oval leaves, 5-18 cm long, 2-7 cm wide. Fruits dark green and prickly, can be up to 30 cm long, edible, slightly acidic taste when ripe (“Soursop”). Distribution Exact origin is unknown. Native to the tropical regions of the Americas and…

Lemon

LemonCitrus limon (Rutaceae) Characteristics Small evergreen trees, up to 6 m. Numerous axillary spines, 5-27 mm. Leaves elliptic to oval, 4-12 cm long, 2-6 cm wide. Fruits edible, acid (pH 2.2), 5-10 cm, light yellow (lemon fruit). Distribution Native to Northeastern India, Northern Burma and Southern China. Introduced to the New World by Columbus in…