TROPICAL PLANT CATALOG

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Spondias tuberosa, Spondias cirouella, Imbuzeiro

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Spondias tuberosa, Spondias cirouella
Family: Anacardiaceae
Imbuzeiro
Origin: Brazil
Small tree 10-20 ftFull sunModerate waterDry conditionsWhite/off-white flowersEdible

Spondias tuberosa Arruda, is a low-branching tree to 13 or 16 ft (4-5 m) high, spreading to a width of 30 ft (9 m). It has a shallow system of soft, tuberous roots called cunca, which store much water. The fruit, borne in great abundance, exhibits minor seedling variations; is usually more or less oval, with greenish-yellow, fairly thick, tough skin and tender, melting pulp, acid unripe, sweet when ripe, and adherent to the single stone.

The tree thrives in very dry soil, gravelly loam, sandy or partly clay, throughout much of subtropical, semi-arid northeastern Brazil. It is rarely cultivated. It is a much-appreciated, bountiful, wild food resource of rural people. The fruits are gathered from the ground and sold in village markets. They are eaten out-of-hand, or the juice is blended with boiled milk and sugar, or made into ice cream or jelly. The roots have been consumed in emergency and they readily yield potable water.


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