This fast growing tree provides plenty of shade and can reach heights above 20 ft. It prefers full sun, but will tolerate shade, and needs regular deep watering with mulch and good soil fertility to reach its full potential. To mature, Inga edulis needs between 4-7 years. In regions with colder climates as cooler as the 30s F (but only for a brief amount of time) the tree can remain productive when grown in a pot that is overwintered in a warm, draft-free location. If the size is becoming a problem the tree can be pruned and the clippings used as mulch around other plants.
The fruits of Inga edulis are edible and have fantastic health benefits. They contain up to 25% sugar, 10% protein, 5% fiber, as well as healthy amounts of vitamins C, A and E, and minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and zinc. The protein content is two times higher than that of a banana.
Bean pods are up to 3 ft long which contain sweet, juicy, white pulp that has a soft cotton wool texture and tastes of vanilla ice-cream. "A delectable snack that comes in its own natural wrapper" is loved by children. The pulp can be dried and used as a food additive, or eaten fresh. It can also be fermented to create a special type of beer. A healthy mature tree will produce around 100 fruits in a season, making it an invaluable source of food.