Fruits & Vegetables

Peach palm

Botanical Name: Bactris gasipaes
Family: Arecaceae
Order: Arecales
Genus: Bactris
Species: B. gasipaes

*Bactris ciliata (Ruiz & Pav.) Mart.
*Bactris insignis (Mart.) Baill.
*Bactris speciosa (Mart.) H.Karst.
*Bactris utilis (Oerst.) Benth. & Hook.f. ex Hemsl.
*Guilelma chontaduro Triana
*Guilelma ciliata (Ruiz & Pav.) H.Wendl.
*Guilelma gasipaes (Kunth) L.H.Bailey
*Guilelma insignis Mart.
*Guilelma speciosa Mart.
*Guilelma utilis Oerst.
*Martinezia ciliata Ruiz & Pav.

Common names:Peach palm in English and Chontaduro in Spanish.
Vernacular Names:
*chonta or chontaduro (Ecuador)
*chontaduro (Colombia)
*pejibaye (Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic)
*manaco (Guatemala)
*pijibay (Nicaragua)
*pijuayo (Peru)
*pijiguao (Venezuela)
*tembé (Bolivia)
*pivá/pifá (Panama)
*peewah (Trinidad & Tobago)
*pupunha (Brazil)
*pixbae (Panama)

Habitat: Peach palm is native to Central and northern S. America. The plants are found in disturbed natural ecosystems, principally along riverbeds and primary forest gaps.

Bactris gasipaes is an evergreen Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 7 m (23ft) at a fast rate.
The flowers are pollinated by Insects, wind. Peach palm, like most sea-island palms, grows erect, with a single slender stem or, more often, several stems that are up to eight inches (20 cm) thick, in a cluster; generally armed with stiff, black spines in circular rows from the base to the summit. There are occasional specimens with only a few spines. It can typically grow to 20 metres (66 ft) or taller . The leaves are pinnate, 3 metres (9.8 ft) long on a 1 metre (3.3 ft) long petiole. The fruit is a drupe with edible pulp surrounding the single seed, 4–6 cm long and 3–5 cm broad. The rind (epicarp) of the fruit can be red, yellow, or orange when the fruit is ripe, depending on the variety of the palm……...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Plants succeed in moist tropical climates with heavy rainfall and poor soils. They grow in lowland areas below 800 metres, where temperatures never fall below 10°c, the average annual rainfall is 1,500mm or more and the driest month has 25mm or more rain. They can withstand relatively hot dry seasons of 3 – 4 months. Requires a fertile, moist, but well-drained soil, a humid atmosphere and some protection from strong sun. Seedlings develop very slowly under forest shade conditions, and mature plants require full sunlight for optimal production of flowers, fruits and offshoots. Plants are most productive when grown on relatively deep, fertile, well-drained soils, clay soils, and highly eroded laterites with 50% aluminium-saturated, acid soil

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Edible Uses:…….CLICK & SEE
Edible portion: Fruit, Flower shoots, Cabbage, Palm heart, Vegetable. Fruit – cooked. An acquired taste, mealy and nutty in flavour. The flavour is variable, ranging from bland to strong. Inedible raw, it is boiled in salt water for 30 – 60 minutes, when it becomes floury-textured, oily and pleasant tasting with good nutritious qualities. The fruit is always cooked, because of the presence of an alkaloid, pupunhadine. The fruit is highly nutritious, being very rich in carbohydrate and protein. The fruits are also ground into a flour for baking bread, cakes etc. The ovoid fruit is about 6cm long. The fruit palm is an energy-rich source of carbohydrates and oil; the pulp contains all the essential amino acids and is an excellent source of quality protein. The mesocarp is rich in beta-carotene. It is regarded as probably the most nutritionally balanced of tropical fruits; has twice the protein content of the banana and can produce more carbohydrate per ha than maize. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. It is called oil of macanilla. The mesocarp oil has a relatively high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, notably oleic acid, and contains no cholesterol. It is used for cooking. Seed – eaten raw or made into a meal to flavour drinks. Consumed as nuts. A salt substitute is made by cooking the spadix. The cooked male flowers are used as a condiment. The apical bud is cooked and eaten as a vegetable. A delicacy, in some areas it is eaten as a salad. Fresh, dried and canned palmito is being marketed for use in salads, soups and fillings and as roasted chips. Eating the bud effectively kills the trunk since it is unable to produce side shoots. Some plants in this species form multi-trunks and so harvesting the apical bud will only kill one stem, not the plant. An important food in South America.

Medicinal Uses:
The oil from the seeds is used as a rub to ease rheumatic pains. The fruit are high in Vitamin A. The red variety has 2.76 mg of carotene while the yellow variety has 0.835 mg.

Other Uses:
Other uses rating: High (4/5). Other Uses An oil is obtained from the seed. This species may turn out to be a better economic option than most other American oil palms. Oil levels of up to 62% of the dry weight have been reported, and there are reports that a large pot of boiling fruit can produce 2-3 kg of oil. The oil separates easily when the fruits are cooked. As with other palms, it is a potential source of lauric oils. The seed is rich in saturated fatty acids, and could be used to manufacture cosmetics and soap. The leaves yield thatch for houses and basket materials. The spines of the plant are used in tattooing. (Probably as needles.) The leaves provide a green dye for colouring fabrics. The roots provide a vermicide. The whole plant, including the leaf and stem parts, produces a valuable fibre for manufacturing paper. Cellulose may be produced for cellophane paper and rayon. Wood – exceptionally hard and strong, it has many uses. Used in construction. It is a durable material for bows, arrows, fishing poles, harpoons and carvings. The Amerindians use the wood for flooring and panelling their houses and also fashion long spines into needles. In rural Amazonia, the stem is valued for parquet, furniture, carvings and home construction

Known Hazards:
The stems are usually heavily armed with rings of very sharp, black spines about 5 cm long.(Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Fruits & Vegetables

Nonda plum

Botanical Name:Parinari nonda
Family: Chrysobalanaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales
Genus: Parinari
Species:P. nonda

Common Name: Nonda plum, Nonda tree, Nunda plum and Parinari.

Habitat: Nonda plum is native to northern Australia and New Guinea.It grows in Monsoonal areas in open Eucalyptus forest, or dry scrub. Undulating to hilly plateaux of either sandstone or basalt and on alluvial plains. Savannah, open forest, forest on rocky areas in lowlands

Nonda plum is a small tree or a shrub which has its roots in the family Chrysobalanaceae. It bears edible fruit which seeds are surrounded by brown hairs and they are generally harvested in the wild. In general, it occurs in Northern Australia and New Guinea. Nonda Tree, Nunda Plum and Parinari are some of its common names. The fruits are ovoid-globular in shape and are pericap fleshy just about 30-40 x 25-35 mm in size. Having a hard endocarp and bony, they are about 25 x 15 mm, outer surface rough and reticulate.

Nonda plum varies considerably in habit according to its environment. Normally a small to medium-sized tree 6 – 15 metres tall, though exceptional specimens can reach 34 metres in height. On adverse sites, however, it can be reduced to a shrub just 1 – 2 metres tall. The bole is unbuttressed
The tree is harvested from the wild for its edible fruit. It is also exploited for its useful timber, and has been used in land reclamation schemes…....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Preferring sunny position, the tree thrives in deep, well-drained sandy to loamy soil. It can be found up to elevations of 1300 metres. In addition it can tolerate a pH range of 4.5 – 8, and prefers 5.5 – 7. Goes well with a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,100 – 1,600mm, but tolerates 700 – 1,800mm

Propagation: Through seeds.

Edible Uses:
Fruits are eaten. The fruit has a yellow-orange, firm, dry flesh that tastes of baked potatoes. The orange-brown fruit is about 4cm in diameter.

Health Benefits: It has normal health benefits as every fruit has.

Other Uses:
The tree has been tried out in mined-land rehabilitation trials.
The timber has good wearing properties and can be used for building construction material, agricultural implements, joinery, sleepers, poles, and turnery
The wood is a good fuel.

Known Hazards: The wood dust may cause dermatitis, probably because of irritation by silica deposit.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.


Fruits & Vegetables


Botanical Name: Solanum quitoense
Family: Solanaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. quitoense

*Solanum angulatum Ruiz & Pav.
*Solanum macrocarpon Molina (non L.: homonym)
*Solanum macrocarpon Pav. ex Dunal in DC. (nomen nudum, homonym)
*Solanum nollanum Britton
*Solanum quitense Kunth
*Solanum quitoense f. septentrionale (R.E.Schult. & Cuatrec.)
*Solanum quitoense var. septentrionale R.E.Schult. & Cuatrec.

Common Names: Naranjilla, Lulo, Quito-Orange, Obando, Cocona, or Nuqui

Habitat: Naranjilla is native to Andean countries of Columbia and Ecuador.(Western S. America – Ecuador, Colombia, Peru.) Grows in Montane forests.

Plant:..CLICK & SEE
Naranjilla is an erect, spreading herbaceous subtropical perennial plant, 8 ft. (2.5 m) tall with thick stems that become somewhat woody with age; spiny in the wild, spineless in cultivated plants. The plant is intolerant of full sun exposure but favors semi-shade and winds protected areas and does best in well-drained rich organic soil but will also grow on poor, stony soils, calcareous soils and on scarified limestone. It must have good drainage. The stems, leaves and petioles of the plant are covered in short purple hairs.

Plant has thick, lignescent, pubescent (with purple stellate trichomes) stem, prickly in the wild, unarmed in cultivated plant.

Leaves:....CLICK & SEE

Leaves are normally alternate, oblong-ovate, large heartshaped or oval-shaped, to 2 ft. (60 cm) long and 18 in (45 cm) wide, soft and woolly. There may be few or many spines on petioles, midrib and lateral veins, above and below, or the leaves may be totally spineless.

Flowers:…..CLICK & SEE

The flowers are pale violet. It is propagated by seed sowing, cuttings, or grafting.They are fragrant, pentamerous, strongly andromonoecious in short axillary inflorescence of 1–20 flowers. About 1 1/5 in (3 cm) wide have 5 petals, white on the upper surface, purple hairy beneath, and 5 prominent yellow stamens. The unopened buds are likewise covered with purple hairs.

Fruit…...CLICK & SEE
Naranjilla is actually globose, round or round-ovate shaped fruit, 1–4 per inflorescence, 2 1/2 in (6.25 cm) across and contains 4 compartments separated by membranous partitions and filled with translucent green or yellowish, very juicy, slightly acid to acid, pulp of delicious flavor which has been likened to pineapple-and-lemon. Fruit is normally brownish-green while young turning to orange when completely ripe. Skin is normally smooth leathery, thick peel which encloses light yellow-orange flesh and juicy green pulp with small, thin seeds.

Fruit consists of numerous, small, lenticular, flat, minutely pitted, buff-colored seeds, 2.5–3.5 mm in diameter. The fruit has a citrus flavor resemble a cross between a pineapple and a lemon. The juice of the naranjilla is green and is often used as a juice or for a drink called lulada. A brown, hairy coat protects the fruit until it is fully ripe, when the hairs can be easily rubbed off, showing the bright-orange, smooth, leathery, fairly thick peel. It looks like an orange on the outside and a tomato on the inside, the flavor is often termed as more like pineapple, kiwi, lime, or rhubarb.

Plants can be grown from quite low elevations in the tropics up to an elevation of 2,500 metres or more. They do not do well in hot, lowland tropical areas. They appear to be tolerant of temperatures up to about 30°c, but are intolerant of frost. They prefer an annual precipitation of around 1,500mm fairly evenly spread through the year since dry periods can lead to a check in growth.

Edible Uses:
Fruits are eaten – raw or cooked. It is used mainly in sauces and preserves. The tart yet sweet flavour is very refreshing. The pulp is very juicy. The juice, which is rich in protein and minerals, is used in effervescent drinks. The hairs on the skin of the fruit are removed before the fruit is eaten. The fruit is up to 5cm in diameter and is produced in clusters of 3 – 4 fruits.

Health Benefits:
Lulo Fruit or Naranjilla Fruit consists of lots of Vitamins A, C, B also iron, phosphorus, beta-carotene, magnesium, and calcium. Lulo is virtually fat free and very low in calories and is very high in antioxidants. Listed below are some of the health benefits of consuming naranjilla:

  1. Cancer Prevention
    Unique mix of vitamins and antioxidants in Naranjilla mean that it can neutralize the free radicals in the body that mutate healthy cells into cancerous cells. Ongoing researches at a variety of facilities around the world are studying the precise antioxidants and modes of action that give this tangy fruit this anti-carcinogenic ability.
  2. Improves Digestive Health:
    Naranjilla consists of pepsin which is actually a type of fiber and is very beneficial for the digestive tract. Almost all fiber helps promote digestion, and pepsin is one of the best varieties for the health of your gastrointestinal tract. It helps to eliminate constipation, cramping, bloating, and more serious conditions like gastric ulcers. Fiber also helps to regulate the amount of glucose that is released into the bloodstream, making Naranjilla beneficial for people suffering from diabetes, who need to monitor their blood sugar levels very closely.
  3. Cholesterol and Heart Health:
    The combination of dietary fiber help to eliminate dangerous, “bad” cholesterol from the body, and the rich variety of other vitamins and minerals can expressively improve the functioning of the cardiovascular system and lower your chances of developing atherosclerosis, as well as lower your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
  4. Vision Health:
    Naranjilla consists of carotenoids including vitamin A and beta carotene which help to neutralize the free radicals that cause oxidative stress on certain ocular cells, including the macular lutea. This can reduce your chances of macular degeneration, cataracts, and other vision issues.

5.Immune System Benefits:
Naranjilla is rich in vitamin C and vitamin A and is a wonderful way to boost your immune system. Vitamin C works as a natural antioxidant to clear out free radicals from your system, and also stimulates white blood cell production, which is the body’s first line of defense against infectious diseases and other pathogens. Additionally, vitamin C is essential for the development of collagen, which supports connective tissue, blood vessels, and organs.

Significant levels of iron that are found in Naranjilla means that your red blood cell count will be increased, thereby boosting the circulation of your blood and increasing oxygenation to vital organ systems and cells. This can also improve the strength, growth rate, and texture of your hair by encouraging the follicle beds. Furthermore, improved cellular healing and regeneration can be achieved by boosting the amount of iron in your body.

7.Detoxify Your Body:
Naranjilla has often been used in traditional medicine as a diuretic substance, meaning that it increases urination. This can cleanse the kidney of excess toxins, relieve stress on the liver, and eliminate excess salts, water, and even fat from the body. Diuretic substances are commonly turned to by people looking to lose weight or detoxify their body and blood of toxins.

8.Bone Strength:
Strong bones are important at all stages of life, so a fruit like Naranjilla, which has a rich diversity of minerals, including calcium, phosphorous, and iron, can considerably improve the density of bone tissue, thus preventing conditions like osteoporosis and even arthritis as we age.

9.Stress Relief and Sleep Disorders
Although research is ongoing in terms of the actual method of action for these health conditions, Naranjilla has been associated with hormonal changes in the body that can improve mood, reduce stress, and even promote sleep for people suffering from insomnia and restless sleep disorders.

Known Hazards:
The fruits are covered in stinging hairs, though these are easily removed. Although providing many well-known foods for people, including the potato, tomato, pepper and aubergine, most plants in the family Solanaceae also contain poisonous alkaloids. Unless there are specific entries with information on edible uses, it would be unwise to ingest any part of this plant.(Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants


Botanical Name:Byrsonima crassifolia
Family: Malpighiaceae
Order: Malpighiales
Genus: Byrsonima
Species: B. crassifolia

Common Names: Nance, Changunga, Muruci, Murici, Nanche, Nancite, Chacunga, Craboo, Kraabu, Savanna serrette (or Savanna serret) and Golden spoon

Habitat: Nance is native and abundant in the wild, sometimes in extensive stands, in open pine forests and grassy savannas, from central Mexico, through Central America, to Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil; it also occurs in Trinidad, Barbados, Curaçao, St. Martin, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and throughout Cuba and the Isle of Pines. The nance is limited to tropical and subtropical climates. In Central and South America, the tree ranges from sea-level to an altitude of 6,000 ft (1,800 m). It is highly drought-tolerant.

Plant:……….CLICK & SEE
Byrsonima crassifolia is the slow growing, large shrub or tree which grows up to 33 feet high. The leaves are opposite, ovate-elliptic or oblong-elliptic; 3.2-17 cm long and 4-7 cm wide. The flowers are 10-20 cm long and 1.25-2 cm wide; yellow or dull orange, red with five petals. Fruit is small ball shaped, round, ovate to globose; 8-12 cm wide and 0.8-1.5 cm in diameter. The fruit has white and juicy flesh, pungent, distinct aroma and thin skin. The fruit include 1 to 3 white seeds which is 0.5-1.2 cm in diameter. The tree has dark brown, fissured and rough bark. The inner bark is pinkish. It has tall or short and straight or crooked trunk.

Edible Uses:
The fruits are eaten raw or cooked as dessert. In rural Panama, the dessert prepared with the addition of sugar and flour, known as pesada de nance, is quite popular. The fruits are also made into dulce de nance, a candy prepared with the fruit cooked in sugar and water. In Nicaragua (where the fruit is called nancite), it is a popular ingredient for several desserts, including raspados (a frozen dessert made from a drink prepared with nancites) and a dessert made by leaving the fruit to ferment with some sugar in a bottle for several months (usually from harvest around August–September until December) — this is sometimes called “nancite in vinegar”.

The fruits are also often used to prepare carbonated beverages, ice cream and juice, in Brazil, flavor mezcal-based liqueurs, or make an oily, acidic, fermented beverage known as chicha, the standard term applied to assorted beer-like drinks made of fruits or maize. Nance is used to distill a rum-like liquor called crema de nance in Costa Rica. Mexico produces a licor de nanche.

Nutritional value:
The serving size of 112 grams of Nance fruit grants 90.32 g of water, 82 calories, 0.74 g of protein, 1.3 g of fat, 0.64 g of ash, 19.01 g of carbohydrate, 8.4 g of dietary fiber, 9.31 g of total sugars, 4.01 g of glucose and 5.3 g of fructose. It offers 115.11% of Vitamin C, 12.09% of manganese, 11.08% of Vitamin K, 9.33% of Vitamin E, 5.81% of potassium, 5.38% of iron, 5.24% of magnesium, 5.20% of calcium and 5.11% of copper.

Medicinal Uses:
Traditional uses

*The plant helps to cures pulmonary diseases, rashes, wounds and diarrhea.
*The intake of a cup of leaf tea for three times in a day helps to cure the aching bones, anemia, fatigue and rheumatism.
*The bark is used to treat diarrhea.
*This fruit helps to reduce the cholesterol and fats which also prevents from constipation.
*It helps to treat skin wrinkles, hair fall and memory loss.
*The Mixe Indians of Mexico use the bark to cure gastrointestinal disorders and skin infections.
*The infusion made from the bark is useful for diarrhea and enhance menstruation.
*It is effective for the pulmonary complaints, indigestion, leucorrhea and gum disease.
*It is used as an antidote for the snakebite in Belize.
*The bark is used in Guyana as a poultice for wounds.
*Mexicans use the pulverized bark for the ulcers.
*The bark is also used to hide tans, poison fish, treat gastrointestinal, pulmonary diseases as well as skin infections.
*The roots are used as a treatment for illnesses.
*Roots and stems are believed to possess antibacterial properties.
*In Mexico, it is used medicinally to firm up the loose teeth.
*It possesses an antidote, astringent, anti-inflammatory, febrifuge, emmenagogue and purgative activities.
*The external use of bark as a poultice or wash is helpful for skin infections, wounds, ulcers etc.
*The leaves infusion is helpful for the high blood pressure.
*The leaves wash is used to clean and ease ulcers.
*The sap of leaves and bark is used to cure gonorrhea.
*In Central America, the tea made from the leaves is used to eradicate stress, rheumatism, anemia, aching bones and fatigue.

Known Hazards:
*Those who are allergic to Nance fruit should not consume or use it.
*Excessive consumption should be avoided which may cause illness.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Fruits & Vegetables

Mora de Castilla

Botanical Name: Rubus glaucus
Family: Rosaceae
Order: Rosales
Genus: Rubus
Species: R. glaucus

Common Names: Mora de Castilla or Andean raspberry

Habitat: Mora de Castilla is a species of blackberry found in Latin America from Oaxaca to Bolivia, including the northern and central Andes. It is similar to a loganberry in terms of taste and utility.

Mora de Castilla is a perennial semi-erect deciduous climbing shrub, belonging to the rose family. It consists of several round and spiny stems that form the corona of the plant, 1 to 2 cm in diameter, and can grow up to 3 m. The leaves are trifoliate with serrated edges, dark green and white beam beneath. Both stems and leaves are covered by a white powder……..CLICK & SEE

The fruit is an ellipsoid compound drupe of 15 to 25 mm at its widest diameter, weighing 3-5 grams, green when formed, becoming red when ripe and then dark and bright purple. It consists of small drupes attached to the receptacle when ripe and fleshy whitish rich in vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus, bittersweet, and suitable for juices, nectars, jams, jellies, ice cream, pastries and confectionery. Fruit production is continuous with two annual peaks. Plants reach maturity and produce fruit after the first year extending through the rest of the plant’s life which can be 12 to 20 years.

The plant grows best at temperatures between 12 and 19 °C, with relative humidity of 80 to 90%, high sunshine and well distributed rainfall between 800 and 2,500 mm a year. It is native to tropical highlands of northwestern South America and Central America and prefers elevations between 1,500 m and 3,100 m. In countries such as Costa Rica it is found in the upper part of the Cordillera de Talamanca and the Central Volcanic Cordillera.

Plant propagation is done through seeds, however, it requires some stratification, coming to stored seeds, and they need a stratification of one month at about 3°c. They are best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. When the plant is large enough to handle, the seedlings are perforated and grown in a cold frame. During the late spring of the following years, they are planted out into their permanent positions and the month of July, tip layering is done and planted out in autumn. Early spring is best for divisioning or just before leaf-fall in the autumn.

Edible Uses:
Fruits are eaten – raw or cooked. Rich, tart and very juicy, they are superior in flavour and quality to most cultivated blackberries and raspberries. The fruit is up to 3cm long.

Medicinal Uses: The barris have lots of health benefits.

Other Uses:
A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.