(Pouteria caimito)


A tree of abiu


Synonyms: Achras caimito, Labatia caimito, Lucuma caimito,

Family: Sapotaceae.

Other names: abiurara, abiurana-acariquava, aimito, caimito amarilla, caimo, cauje, luma,  madura verde, temare, yellow star

            Abiu is a native of Amazonian headwaters.  It is grows wild in that region.  It is also now grown as a back yard tree in Brazil, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador.  It is being introduced in other parts of the world too.

Abiu fruit

            It is a medium to large sized evergreen tree growing from 30-35 ft high but may reach upto 120 ft.  A gummy latex, white or reddish, exudes from wounds in the bark.  The wood is dense and heavy, hard, and valued for construction.

Abiu foliage

Abiu flower

            The fruits of abiu are ovoid, elliptical or round; 1 1/2 to 4 in long, sometimes having a short nipple at the apex.  The skin is smooth, tough, pale-yellow when ripe and fragrant.  The pulp is white, mucilaginous, translucent, mild-flavored and sweet.  Each fruit contains 1 to 4 oblong seeds, which are brown, with a pale hilum on one side. Until fully ripe, the fruit is permeated with latex and is very gummy and astringent.

             Pulp has a creamy jelly like texture and a sweet caramel-like flavour.

A cut fruit of abiu

Abiu seeds

            The fruits are eaten out of hand.  These are also used in ice creams.

            Abiu is strictly a tropical plant and thrives best in a year-around warm and moist climate.  It is propagate from seed.  Fruiting usually starts in three years.

            In Brazil, abiu pulp is also eaten to relieve coughs, bronchitis and other pulmonary complaints. The latex is given as a vermifuge and purge and is applied on abscesses