|Number of plants found: 10|
The flowers are produced on 5–10 cm long pendulous racemes; each flower is small, white, subtended by a purple bract. White honeysuckle flowers are held in drooping clusters of deep red bracts, later followed by showy purple-black edible berries. The fruit is a soft purple-black berry 1 cm diameter, eaten by birds which disperse the seeds.
This medium to large size tree has a lush crown. Huge, oblong leaves are particularly handsome. They emerge purple and turn deep green, with metallic green underneath. It is one of the most renowned tropical species for its fragrant blooms that are unsurpassed in beauty and originality. Like festive decorations, these curious flowers dangle on long, sturdy cords, which are actually modified twigs. They abort if flower is not fertilized, or thicken and become woody if it is. The flowers are heavily waxy. Somewhat reminiscent of an orchid, the arching, yellowing calyx lobes are crisply frilled, margins edged and splotched with deep red, while the petals are paler with purplish red spots. Flowers evolve into large, woody syncarp fruit that is filled with aromatic pulp. The large, pungent seeds embedded within are used like nutmeg to flavor food, or are roasted, ground, and applied to heal wounds or to the forehead to relief headaches. Root is chewed to relieve toothaches. Beetle pollinated.
Trees or shrubs, sometimes climbing or scrambling.
Nutmeg is a tropical evergreen tree that reaches about 65 feet tall. The nutmeg fruit is similar in appearance to an apricot. When fully mature it splits in two, exposing a crimson-colored edible pulp surrounding a single seed, the nutmeg. The nutmegs are dried gradually in the sun and turned twice daily over a period of six to eight weeks. During this time the nutmeg shrinks away from its hard seed coat. The shell is then broken and the nutmegs are picked out. Dried nutmegs are grayish-brown ovals with furrowed surfaces about 1-1.5 inches long. The spice consisting of the seed has a characteristic, pleasant fragrance and slightly warm taste; it is used to flavor many kinds of baked goods, meats, sausages, sauces, vegetables, and such beverages as eggnog.
The common name nutmeg is also applied in different countries to other fruits or seeds: the Jamaica, or calabash, nutmeg derived from Monodora myristica; the Brazilian nutmeg from Cryptocarya moschata; the Peruvian nutmeg from Laurelia aromatica; the Madagaskar, or clove, nutmeg from Ravensara aromatica; and the California, or stinking, nutmeg from Torreya californica.
Nigella is an annual flowering plant with finely divided, linear leaves. The flowers are delicate, and usually colored pale blue and white, with 5–10 petals. The fruit is a large and inflated capsule composed of 3–7 united follicles, each containing numerous seeds. The seeds of N. sativa, known as Black Cumin, onion seed or just nigella are used both as a condiment in bread and cakes and various confections and like pepper or combined with pepper such as cayenne in sauces. According to an Arab Proverb it is said that, 'in the black seed is the medicine for every disease except death.'
Nigella damascena has been grown in English cottage gardens since Elizabethan times, commonly called Love-in-a-mist.
The Black Sapote, often called 'chocolate pudding fruit', is closely related to Persimmon. It originates from Mexico and lowlands of Central America. The plant was carried by the Spaniards to the Philippines before 1692, and eventually reached Malacca, Mauritius, Hawaii, Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. In 1916-19 seeds and cuttings from Mexico and other countries of Central America were sent to the Bureau of Plant Industry of the United States Department of Agriculture. Numerous seedlings have been grown in southern California but all have been killed by low temperatures.
This rather slow growing, medium size handsome tree has deciduous, shiny, dark green leaves. The flowers, borne in the leaf axils, are tubular, white, with persistent green calyx. Some have both male and female organs, and are faintly fragrant; others are solely male and have a pronounced gardenia-like scent. The fruit is nearly round, bright-green and shiny at first. On ripening, the smooth, thin skin becomes olive-green. The pulp is glossy, dark-brown, almost black, jelly-like, soft, and very sweet. Its texture and color closely match stewed prunes. In the center, there may be a few seeds, but the fruit is often seedless.
Black Sapote pulp can be served as dessert with a little milk, sour cream or orange juice poured over it. With the addition of lemon or lime juice it can be used as a filling for pies and other pastry. It is also made into ice cream. The pulp can be blended with orange juice or brandy, or with milk and ground nutmeg, or with wine, cinnamon and sugar, and served with or without whipped cream. A foamy, delicious beverage is made by blending the pulp with canned pineapple juice. In Central America, the fermented fruits are made into a liqueur somewhat like brandy.
The plant is subtropical and can tolerate light frost, as well as short periods of flooding. It has a broad adaptability to different types of soil. In Mexico it grows naturally in dry forests or on alluvial clay near streams where it is frequently subject to flooding. It thrives on moist sandy loam, on well-drained sand or even limestone with very little top soil. These qualities makes it a perfect fruit tree for Southern Florida. Black Sapote can be propagated by seed, as well as grafting. Seedlings normally begin to fruit within only 3-4 years.
Like other members of the Myrtaceae, myrtle family, Myrcianthes fragrans has spicy fragrant leaves, the volatile oils reminiscent of nutmeg.
This plant has fragrant, white flowers that grow in long panicles which occur periodically throughout the year. These flowers then develop into attractive, red berries that are edible. Butterflies and other nectar seeking insects are attracted to the flowers.
The name Simpson's Stopper apparently comes from the use of the berries to treat diarrhea and dysentery, but all evidence as to this use by indigenous people is anecdotal and has not been backed up by ethnobotanical studies.
This plant will tolerate wet soils but is also drought tolerant.
Ground allspice is not a mixture of spices, as some people believe. Rather, it is the dried fruit of the Pimenta dioica plant. This is a slow growing, beautiful little tree with aromatic leaves. It was discovered in Mexico in 16th century by Spanish explorers who called it "pimienta", confusing it with black pepper. The spice made from the dried, unripe fruit of this plant, is a brown powder that smells like cloves, black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg altogether, hence the common name.
Allspice is the only spice whose commercial production is entirely confined to the New World. Nowadays allspice is grown commercially in Mexico, Honduras, Trinidad, Cuba, and especially in Jamaica, which practically has a monopoly and exports about 5,000 tons a year. To protect the Allspice trade, for long time the plant was guarded against export from Jamaica. Many attempts were made at growing the plant from seeds, but all failed. At one time it was thought that the plant would grow nowhere else except in Jamaica where the plant was readily spread by birds. Eventually it was realized that passage through the bird gut, due to the acidity and the elevated temperature, was essential for germinating the seeds.
The fruit is picked when it is green and unripe and, traditionally, dried in the sun. When dry, the fruits are brown and resemble large brown peppercorns. The whole fruits have a longer shelf life than the powdered allspice and produce a more aromatic product when freshly ground before use.
Allspice is one of the most important ingredients of Caribbean cuisine. The leaves are also used in cooking: they are similar in texture to bay leaves, infused during cooking and then removed before serving. Unlike bay leaves, they lose much flavor when dried and stored. The leaves and wood are often used for smoking meats. Allspice is used in pickles, marinades, and to flavor pumpkin pies, cakes and candies. An oil pressed from the fruits is used in perfumes and cosmetics. The liqueurs, Benedictine and Chartreuse, contain allspice flavoring. Allspice can also be found in essential oil form. The principal essential oil is eugenol, the same as found in cloves. Being an antimicrobial agent, it is used as an anesthetic for tooth aches and as a digestive aid.
Pimenta dioica is valued as a specimen tree with attractive peeling bark and fragrant leaves. It needs near-tropical conditions to survive; can be grown outdoors in the tropics and subtropics with normal garden soil and watering. Smaller plants can be killed by frost, although larger plants are more cold tolerant. Mature trees will stand short periods of light frost, to 26F. The plant adapts well to container and makes an excellent plant for indoor or greenhouse culture. It is dioecious, and hence male and female plants must be kept in proximity in order to allow fruits to develop. It may not flower and fruit outside its native range, but the big glossy aromatic leaves are an attraction.
This spreading vine is fast growing and has many uses. Eaten raw in salads or cooked with other greens or dishes, or wrap meats and cook in oven or on stove or grill.
It is used medicinally in Asia. The whole plant is used as expectorant, leaves as carminative in India and South China as well as Indonesia. It is used for feverish diseases, for digestive disorders, and toothache. The extract may be applied externally to treat pain in the bones. When the root is chewed with betel nut, it is said to be helpful for the treatment of coughs and asthma; with nutmeg and ginger it is used to treat pleurisy. The leaves are used as food (food wraps) in Vietnam.
This tree is native to Southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador. During World War II, British pilots and crewmen were under training in the Bahamas, and showed great fondness for this special fruit, they bought all they could find in the market.
The tree is of medium size, generally no more than 25 ft, and slender in habit, with a dense spreading crown. The plant has abundant white, gummy latex. Fragrant, bisexual flowers are solitary or in small clusters, borne in the leaf axils or at leafless nodes.
Canistel is the showiest fruit of the family. Extremely variable in form and size, it may be nearly round, with or without a curved beak, or may be somewhat oval, spindle-shaped, or even heart-shaped. On ripening, the very smooth and glossy skin turns lemon-yellow or pale orange-yellow, Beneath the skin the yellow flesh is relatively firm and mealy. Toward the center of the fruit it is softer and more pasty. It has been often likened in texture to the yolk of a hard-boiled egg. The flavor is sweet, musky, and somewhat like that of a baked sweet potato.
The fruit can be eaten with salt, pepper and lime or lemon juice or mayonnaise, either fresh or after light baking. The pureed flesh may be used in custards or added to ice cream mix just before freezing. A rich milkshake, or "egg-fruit-nog", is made by combining ripe canistel pulp, milk, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg or other seasoning in a blender. Canistel pulp can be used as a spread on a toast, for making pancakes, cupcakes, jam, and marmalade.
Season: September - March. May fruit twice a year. Well adapted to South Florida. Eaten fresh, used in cooking, pies, excellent in ice cream. In a milk shake tastes like egg nog. Very similar in taste to Lucuma from Andean countries. This fruit taste is between Ciku and Camote (yam).