Papaya

PapayaCarica papaya (Caricaceae) Characteristics Trees or shrubs 6-10 m tall. Stem (20 cm diameter) with leaf scars helically arranged, bark green to brown. Leaf blade 20-60 cm. Berries hanging from trunk near summit, green to orange. Edible. Distribution Papayas are grown throughout the tropics of the world, chiefly at low elevations, and tend to become…

Common Mango

Common MangoMangifera indica (Anacardiaceae) Characteristics Trees, 10-40 m tall. Leaves 10-30 cm long, 2-7cm wide, leathery, margin entire. Juicy, large and edible stone fruits (drupes). Depending on the cultivar, mango fruits vary in size, shape, sweetness, skin color and flesh color which may be pale yellow, gold or orange Distribution Although “Common Mango” is a…

Kava (Kava Kava)

Kava (Fijian: Yaqona)Piper methysticum (Piperaceae)   Characteristics A clumping shrub with growth up to 2.5 meters tall, Kava thrives In loose well drained soils where plenty of air reaches the roots, needing high rainfall and humidity, It Is an understory plant, sensitive to sunlight and not salt tolerant. It cannot reproduce sexually with female flowers…

Jungle Flame

Jungle Flame Ixora coccinea (Rubiaceae) Characteristics Dense, multi-branched, evergreen shrub, mostly 1-2 m tall. Leathery leaves, about 10 cm long, opposite, margins entire. Tubular flowers in dense rounded clusters, produced almost all year long. Distribution Native to Southern India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Today widespread as famous ornamental plant in many tropical and subtropical gardens.…

Passion fruit

Passion fruit Passiflora edulis (Passifloraceae) Characteristics Perennial vine. Fast-growing (up to 7m per year). Short-lived (max. 7 years). Flowers 5-8 cm wide, at each node of the climbing plant. 5 green sepals and 5 white/purple petals. Fruit (botanically a berry) entirely fleshy, outside colour from dark-purple with fine white specks to light yellow, 4-8 cm…

Star fruit

Star fruitAverrhoa carambola (Oxalidaceae) Characteristics Small deciduous tree, up to 10 m tall, short trunk with many branches. Leaves 15-25 cm long (5-10 ovate leaflets). Small lilac flowers. Orange-yellow fruit with a thin, waxy pericarp. Yellow flesh with juice when ripe. Fruit 5-15cm long. The entire fruit is edible (careful if you have kidney problems.…

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…