Pouteria multiflora, Broadleaved Lucuma, Chocky Apple, Jacana

Pouteria multiflora

Broadleaved Lucuma, Chocky Apple, Jacana
Family: Sapotaceae
Origin: Antilles
Big tree taller than 20 ftSemi-shadeFull sunRegular waterEdible plant

Grown in USDA zones 9-11, Pouteria multiflora, also known as the Broadleaved Lucuma and Jacana, is a medium to evergreen tree native to the Antilles. It easily grows taller than 20 feet with a wide canopy of big, oval leaves and hard, heavy wood that is widely used for furniture and light posts. The Jacana bears round fruits, similar to canistel but smaller, with sparse, sweetish yellow-orange pulp and a creamy texture. It is believed that pre-Colombian inhabitants brought Pouteria multiflora to the Caribbean, where it grows in very humid, high-altitude zones in the shade of other trees.

Pouteria multiflora has deep, long roots in mature trees, making it resistant to strong winds. If its upper branches are lost, it is able to quickly recover, making it a preferred choice for those living in hurricane-prone areas. The tree starts to flower once its canopy is well developed, which occurs when it reaches maturity. Jacana fruits are in abundance when planted near the Jacana, as they need the presence of other trees for proper pollination. In a more humid habitat, a single tree can bear 200-300 fruits per year, with year-round production if many trees are planted together.

In colder regions, Jacana can also be grown in a pot with regular water and sunlight. It can grow in both full sun and semi-shade, but prefers vivid lighting.

The Jacana's fruits are not only delicious, but also very healthy with vitamins A, B, and C, as well as potassium, calcium, and phosphorous. The fruits can be used in jams and confections, and the seeds are a great source of dietary fiber.

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