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…

Arabian coffee

Arabian coffeeCoffea arabica (Rubiaceae) Characteristics Small trees or large shrubs, 5-8 m tall. Opposite leaves. The flowers are white, 10-15mm in diameter. The fruit is red (in cultivated forms yellow or purple). Distribution Arabic coffee was first found in Yemen and documented by the 12th century. Today, it is cultivated throughout the tropical areas of…

Custard Apple

Custard Apple Annona reticulata (Annonaceae) Characteristics Small, deciduous fruit tree or shrub, 5-10 m tall. Leaves alternate, oblong, 10-20 cm long and 2-5 cm wide. Fragrant flowers. Fruits 8-16 cm, compound (made of several pollinated flowers, like a pineapple), yellow to brownish when ripe. Distribution Native to Central America, now widespread in the tropics between…

Common Guava

Common GuavaPsidium guajava (Myrtaceae) Characteristics Small trees, up to 13 m tall. Bark brown-gray, smooth, peeling in strips. Leaf blade elliptic, 6-12cm long, leathery. Fruit (berry) 5-10 cm long, light yellow with a pink, granular flesh. Edible. Numerous very hard seeds (3 mm long). Distribution Native to Central and South America. Cultivated throughout the tropics.…

Red Malaysian Guava

Red Malaysian GuavaPsidium guajava ‘Red Malaysian’ (Myrtaceae) Characteristics Guava (Psidium guajava) in general is a small tree, up to 13 m tall. Bark brown-gray, smooth, peeling in strips. Leaf blade elliptic, 6-12cm long, leathery. Fruit (berry) 5-10 cm long, light yellow with a pink, granular flesh. Edible. Numerous very hard seeds (3 mm long). The…