CASANA
(Cyphomandra casana)

 

 

A tree of casana

 

Family: Solanaceae

Synonyms:  Cyphomandra cajanumensis

Casana is a fruit of South America.  It is believed to be a native of Ecuador.  It grows in large number in the rain forests and highlands of that country.  It has now been taken to other parts of the world too.  It is becoming popular in New Zealand.

Bearing in casana

            Casana has some useful genetic traits.  It is resistant to nematodes and root rot.  It is attractive fruits with a pleasant fragrance, flavour.  It is also a heavy yielder.  Some plant breeders have suggested the utilization of these traits in fruit breeding.

Description:

A small evergreen tree, upto 2 m high.

Casana leaves

Leaves large, furry, having a pungent smell.

Flowers hermaphrodite, fragrant.

Casana flowers

Fruits oval, golden yellow when ripe, ssweet, juicy, mildly flavoured.

Utilization:

Casana fruits are tasty and are fondly eaten.  Their flavour is like a blend of peach and tomato.   These are eaten raw.  The fruits are also cooked, in a pudding, crumble or as a sauce/chutney

Ripe fruits of casana

Cultivation:

Casana is a quite fast growing tree.  Its leaves make it an interesting ornamental. So it is suitable for planting equally in home gardens or public parks.

            New plants can be raised from seed.  The plants grow at a very fast rate and start bearing after two years.  It is also a heavy yielder.  The negative point with this otherwise nice tree is its short life.  The tree has to be replaced after eight years.

            Casana tree has a shallow root system.  So it is easily damaged by wind.  So while planting a casana tree, windy locations should be avoided.

            This plant is also frost sensitive and is easily damaged if the temperature goes below -1.5 C.  Therefore it should be planted in a warm sheltered place, but not in full shade.

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