AENGUE MISHITO
(Anthopterus wardii)

 

A plant of aengue mishito

  

Family: Ericaceae

Synonym: Thibaudia wardii

Other names: Neotropcal blueberry 2

 

Aengue mishito is fruit from the tropical regions of Central and South America—the New World tropics, or Neotropics, hence this fruit is also called neo tropical blueberry.   The shrubs of this fruit can be seen growing in swamps and premontane areas in Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador from sea level to 1600 m asl.  The plant bears blue coloured small which have earned the title “superfruit” because of very high content of anti-oxidants which is two to four times than that contained North American blueberry.  So now this fruit is being called neotropical blueberry.  It is turning out to be a severe competitor to the North American blueberries sold in the stores in USA and Canada.

Aengue mishito fruits

            Aengue mishito fruits are mostly collected from wild. Though at some places the bushes are planted but still the cultivation of this fruit at orchard scale has not been yet initiated yet.

Description:

An epiphytic, scandent shrub with branches to 10 m long or sometimes terrestrial with arching branches;  stem terete to subterete, striate, glabrate;  twigs terete to bluntly angled, striate, puberulous. 

           Leaves alternate, elliptic to ovate-elliptic, 4-10 x 1.5-3.5 cm, base cuneate and obtuse or rounded to subcordate, apex acuminate, puberulous proximally along the midrib above, glabrous elsewhere, margin entire and slightly revolute, usually drying brown;  3-5(-7)-plinerved from near the base, midrib and lateral nerves impressed above and prominently raised beneath, reticulate veinlets plane to impressed above and raised beneath;  petiole subterete, flattened above, 3-5 mm long, puberulent. 

Leaves of an aengue mishito plant

           Inflorescence axillary, racemose with usually 2-10 flowers, thin and delicate in appearance;  rachis subterete to bluntly angled, 1.2-4 cm long, pale green, glabrous but with scattered glandular fimbriae along length;  floral bract oblong-lanceolate, long-acuminate, ca. 3 mm long, pale green, glabrous but with scattered glandular fimbriae along margin;  pedicel subterete, striate, 10-15 mm long, orange to reddish-orange, glabrous but with scattered glandular fimbriae; bracteoles similar to floral bract but ca. 2 mm long. 

           Flowers glabrous with calyx 8-10 mm long, orange to reddish-orange, with scattered glandular fimbriae;  hypanthium obprismatic, ca. 5-6 mm long, the wings ca. 2-2.5 mm wide, conspicuously veined;  limb subspreading, 5-6 mm long;  lobes triangular-ovate, sharply acute, ca. 2 mm long, conspicuously veined;  sinuses obtuse;  corolla membranous when dry, somewhat obovate-urceolate with the wings widest above the middle, ca. 10-13 mm long and 10-12 mm in diam. at the widest point, narrowing towards the base and conspicuouly contracted at the throat, the semi-ovate wings 2-5 mm wide, bearing scattered glandular fimbriae, orange to reddish-orange to the throat where turning green, the lobes ovate, obtuse, 1-2 mm long, white;  stamen shorter than corolla, 7-10 mm long;  filaments essentially distinct but lightly connate for about 1/2 their length, somewhat sigmoid, ca. 4 mm long, with eddish, clavate, glandular hairs dorsally towards the apex;  anthers 4-6 mm long;  thecae mucronate at base where also seemingly lightly coherent, 2-3.5 mm long;  tubules about equalling the thecae, 2-3 mm long, dehiscing by introrse clefts about 1/2 or more the length of the tubule;  stigma truncate. 

Aengue mishito flowers

           Fruit a berry, blue.

Utlization:

The fruits are edible and are very good to eat.  In fact, the local people consider Aengue mishito fruits a treat during summer season.  The fruits are rich not only in common nutrients but are also a super source of anti oxidants containing uto four times of these than common blueberries.

Cultivation:

New plants of aengue mishito can be raised from seed as well as cuttings.  The seedlings can be planted 1.5m apart in rows around 2 m apart.  The plants do not require any special care.

 

Home Index of fruits Submit article News/Announcements