Araza is a tropical shrub or small tree that can reach a height of up to 15 feet with drooping branches and fine foliage. It blooms in the summer with large, showy white flowers that are followed by 2 inch wide, bright-yellow fruits which have an excellent sour-acid flavor and are very fragrant. Fruit are very juicy, with a strong fruity aroma, usually ripening by Fall. Fruit are soft, fragile and don't ship well, so the only way to enjoy them is to grow your own plant. These fruits contain a high amount of vitamin C, much more than the average orange. They can be eaten raw, although their acidic taste means they are more commonly used to flavor ice cream, sweets and beverages.
Araza is known to be quite sensitive to the cold and this is reflected in the USDA Zones where it can be grown. It does its best in Zones 9 to 11, where a warm and humid environment will guarantee healthy growth and a hefty crop of tart, juicy fruit. Moderate watering is required to avoid root and leaf problems, with full sun to semi-shade being the optimal conditions for fruitful production.
As well as its culinary uses, Araza possesses incredible medical benefits. Compounds isolated from its fruits are known to possess antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumorensic properties.
Araza is quite a rare plant in cultivation, and its soft and fragile fruits pose a problem when it comes to shipping. The best way to experience this beautiful and unusual fruit is to grow your own.