An encyclopedia of 556 edible fruits of the world.



GREEN SAPOTE_Pouteria viridis

By parmarch07/10/20180

(Pouteria viridis)


A tree of green sapote


Family: Sapotace

Synonyms:  Achradelpha viridis,Calocarpum viride

Other names: Red faisan

Green sapote is a native of Central America, most probably to Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica at elevations between 3,000 and 7,000 ft (900-2,100 in).  It is a close relative of mamey sapote which is relatively more popularly grown fruit.  The green sapote is, however slightly smaller in size, with green-yellow or brownish skin and an orange-red pulp much like its cousin. Strangely, this fruit is not known much outside of Central America, although many experts rate it superior in flavor to the mamey sapote.

            The fruits are commonly sold in local markets.


medium to large-sized tree, 13 to 25 m tall. .

A medium to large erect tree, 12-24 m high; young branches densely brown-hairy. It possesses an abundance of white, gummy latex.

            Leaves clustered at the tips of flowering branches and irregularly alternate along non-fruiting limbs; oblanceolate, pointed, 10-25 cm long, 5-7 cm wide; hairy on the upper midrib and downy-white beneath.

            Flowers, borne in groups of 2 to 5 in the leaf axils and massed along leafless branches, tubular, 5-lobed, pinkish or ivory and silky-hairy

            Fruit nearly round to ovoid, pointed at the apex and sometimes at the base; 9-12.5 cm long and 6.25-7.5 cm in diameter, with thin, olive-green or yellow-green skin dotted with red-brown and clinging tightly to the flesh; flesh light-russet, of fine texture, melting, fairly juicy and sweet; of better flavor than the sapote.

Green sapote fruits

            Seeds 1 or 2, dark-brown, shiny, elliptic or ovate seeds to 5 cm long, with a large, dull, grayish hilum on one surface


The fruits are usually eaten fresh out of hand, but the pulp is also used in making desserts and preserves. The pulp is softer than the mamey sapote.

Table: Food value of green sapte fruits per 100 gm edible pulp


68.1-69.5 g


0.152-0.283 g


0.24-0.28 g


1.2-1.6 g


0.69-1.38 g


18.6-35.7 mg


22.1-23.6 mg


0.57-0.74 mg


0.031-0.069 mg


0.009-0.011 mg


0.027 mg


1.88-1.189 mg

Ascorbic Acid

49.9-62.3 mg

            The seeds are also edible and are often roasted.

            The latex (chicle) from green sapote trees is also collected on commercial scale and marketed like that from the sapodilla for use in chewing gum.

            The wood is reddish, fine-grained, compact, strong, durable; occasionally used in construction, carpentry, turnery, and for furniture and paneling in Guatemala.


This plant has been observed to be hardier than mamey sapote.  Propagation is mostly by seed but plants can also be raised by grafting on mamey sapote seedlings.  The grafted plants start bearing much earlier than the seedlings which may take even upto 7-8 years.

            There is not much information available on the cultural practices for this fruit, but it seems to prefer full sun and also required regular irrigation.  The fruits develop slowly and take 9-10 months from flowering to ripening.

            Fruit is mature with first color break, can be picked hard, and will ripen off the tree.

BELIMBING HUTAN_Elaeocarpus oppositifolium

By parmarch07/10/20180

(Elaeocarpus oppositifolium)

A tree of belimbing hutan


Synonym: Acertatum oppositifolium

Family: Elaeocarpaceae.

Other names: Kariala

Belimbing hutan is a native of South East Asia.  It mostly grows wild but is occasionally cultivated in Java.

            This plant is mostly found in river valleys.  Most plants are seen isolated anfd not growing in groups.


Belimbing hutan is a shrub or tree, 6-10 m in height; flowers borne in pendulous racemes and are pale yellow in colour.

            Fruit a drupe, oblongoid in shape, 2-5 cm wide, 2-3.5 cm long, 3-5 angular, red.


Fruits are eaten raw.  These are sometimes also cooked as a vegetable.  A sour relish is also made from them.

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SOMBRA-DE-TOURO_Acanthosyris spinescens

By parmarch07/10/20180

(Acanthosyris spinescens)

A tree of sombra-de-touro

Family: Santalaceae

Synonyms: Acanthosyris platensis, Osyris spinescens.

Sombra de touro is a very little fruit from Brazil. This is not cultivated.  But it quite commonly grows in grassland forests and gallery forests of Western Rio Grande de Sul. In Brazil. The fruits are eaten by local people.

            Sombra-de-touro trees flower in October November in Brazil.

            This fruit does not seem to have moved out of Brazil yet.


A deciduous tree, thorny, 3-6 m tall with straight axillary 8-15 mm long thorns.

Leaves of a sombra-de-touro tree

            Leaves alternate or in fascicles on brachyblasts, chartaceous, glabrous with a prominent principal nerve, 3-6 cm long.

Sombra-de-touro flowers

            Flowers androgynous, solitary or in pairs, axillary, yellowish in colour, with 7-10 mm long peduncle.

            Fruit a globose drupe, with a thin skin, a very succulent pulp and a sweet, pleasant flavour.


Sombra de touro fruits ripen during the months of February March in Brazil.  They taste sweet and are eaten by the local people.  However, these are not appreciated like other Brazilian fruits.

Fruits of sombra-de-touro


Sombra de touro fruits are collected from wild growing trees only.  This fruit has not been brought under cultivation yet.

GROUND SOP_Annona stenophylla

By parmarch07/10/20180

(Annona stenophylla)

A tree of ground sop

Family: Annonaceae

Synonyms: Annona nana

Other names: Dwarf custard apple, muroro, ububese

Ground sop is native of Africa.  It is found northern Botswana, northern Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.  As the plant is quite dwarf sized, so the fruit appear literally on ground.  That is the reason of its being called a “ground sop”.

A fruit of ground sop

            The fruits of ground sop are rated as more tastier than then those of African custard apple.


An evergreen small shrub growing upto 60 cm.

Leaves oblong to obovate, bluish-green, variously pubescent, particularly below; venation conspicuous, main veins reddish-purple.

Flowers mostly solitary, axillary;  petals greenish outside, creamy yellow within, fleshy, hairy.

Ground sop foliage

Fruits large, yellow or reddish, pulp pumpkin coloured, sweet.


Ground sop fruits are edible.  These are quite tasty.  Local people eat them raw, cooked, or preserved.  This fruit is very much eaten by the people living in semi-arid northern areas of Botswana and Namibia.  Rather this fruit becomes more or less the staple food of people in that area during the season.

A developing fruit of ground sop


Ground sop is seen in nature most commonly growing frequently burnt grasslands and open woodlands.  Most of the plants are wild growing.

            New plants of this fruit can be raised from seed.


By parmarch29/09/20181

(Dovyalis abysinnica)

Fruits and leaves of Abyssinian gooseberry

Synonym: Aberia abyssinnica, Dovyalis engleri

Local name(s) Aihada, ankakute, koshim, ongolatz.

Abyssinian gooseberry is a small spiny tree native and common in forests of East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda) at elevations between 6,000 and 8,000 ft (1,800-2,400 m).  It bears maroon-purple fruit with acid pulp tasking like gooseberries.  The fruits are eaten by local people.  These are, however, not sold in the markets.


An evergreen spiny shrub or tree, upto 8 m tall and with a rounded crown; bark grey with spines up to 4cm long; branchlets with very clear dotted breathing pores (lenticles); leaves shiny,  dark green, oval to 5cm diameter with a blunt tip and unevenly rounded edge; the flowers are green sepals. Female flowers are single but the male flowers are in clusters with many stamens.

Fruits are round berries, 2 cm in diameter, surrounded by the calyx, green and hairy at first and then smooth orange-yellow flesh around the seeds.

Fruits are edible having a sweet sour taste. These are collected and eaten raw. In normal times mostly children enjoy the sweet-sour taste with a tingling sensation on the teeth of the fruits. In food shortage periods, everybody is consuming the fruit when available. Fruits are said to be excellent for making jam and for souring porridge.


Abyssinian gooseberry grows in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia Tanzania and Malawi. In Ethiopia,  the species is usually found along river courses in humid lower highland forests of moist and wet Mimusops forest in moist and wet midland (1,600 – 2,200m).


This plant is multiplied by seed.

Other uses:

The plant is sometimes used for fencing and as fodder for goats and sheep.

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