Carica mexicana (A.DC.) L.O.Williams
Leucopremna mexicana (A.DC.) Standl.
Pileus mexicanum (A.DC.) I.M.Johnst.
Common Name: Bonete
Jacaratia mexicana is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing from 5 - 12 metres tall, with occasional specimens growing taller[
]. The bole is very thick at the base, tapering upwards and dividing into a few heavy branches[
The edible fruit is sometimes gathered from the wild for local consumption. The plant is also occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit317].
Central America - Nicaragua to Mexico.
Moist or dry lowland forest or scrub, at elevations below 800 metres[
]. Arid hills in El Salvador[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Plants can begin flowering when about 3 metres tall[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. The reddish-yellow flesh has a sweet flavour[
]. They can be eaten in salads, cooked, or can be made into sweetmeats of various kinds[
]. The obovoid fruit is 4 - 15 cm long, or perhaps even longer, and 8 - 10cm wide[
]. The seeds are many and large, often filling the single-celled or falsely 5-celled cavity[
A kind of tortilla is made using the starch of the trunk[
]. It is said that when maize is scarce the Mayas of Yucatan pulverize the pith of the plant and mix it with maize in making tortillas, although this seems unlikely[
The wood is very soft, the trunk comprising mainly pith[
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