Ambelania cucumerina Spruce ex Miers
Ambelania sagotii Müll.Arg.
Ambelania tenuiflora Müll.Arg.
Bentheca odorata Raf.
Willughbeia acida (Aubl.) Oken
Common Name: Pepino Do Mato
Pepino do mato is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing from 3 - 8 metres tall[
]. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 15 - 20cm in diameter[
]. A latex is produced in all parts of the plant[
The tree is commonly harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of wood. It is occasionally cultivated for its fruit[
S. America - Brazil, Peru and the Guyanas.
Dry forests of the lower Amazon[
]. Found in lowland tropical rainforest also dense forest of the Guyanas and the Amazon. Both in primary forest and old secondary forests[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of the lowland moist tropics, where it is found at elevations from 200 - 400 metres[
]. It grows best in areas where the temperate ranges between 22 - 30°c, tolerating a range from 20 - 32°c[
]. It can succeed with a mean annual rainfall of 1,000 - 3,000mm, but grows best at 1,500 - 2,500mm, with either no dry season or a short dry season[
Succeeds in full sun and in light shade[
]. Grows best with some shade[
].Requires a well-drained soil[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 7, tolerating 4.5 - 7.5[
Fruit - raw or cooked like a vegetable[
]. The fruits have a firm, semi-sweet, tasty pulp with few seeds[
]. The fruits need to be scored, peeled and left in water for a short while in order to expel a latex[
]. The fruit is a yellowy-brown, oblong, ellipsoid berry 10 - 12cm long and 6cm wide containing many seeds[
The latex obtained from the stems and incised trunk is astringent[
]. It is licked from the plant as a treatment for diarrhoea[
The latex is used externally for treating cataracts of the eye and to accelerate healing of sores[
A decoction of the bark is used as a treatment for dysentery and diarrhoea[
The fruit is mildly purgative[
]. It is eaten as a remedy for diarrhoea, whilst a jam made from the skinned fruit is used to treat dysentery[
A latex exudes from all parts of the plant[
The wood is fine-textured; straight-grained; moderately heavy, with moderate mechanical properties and moderately durable. It is only used for fuel and to make charcoal[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. A low germination rate can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 30 - 50 days[
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