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Useful Tropical Plants

Vasconcellea x heilbornii

(V.M.Badillo) V.M.Badillo

Caricaceae

+ Synonyms

Carica chrysopetala Heilborn

Carica pentagona Heilborn

Carica x heilbornii V.M.Badillo

Common Name: Babaco

Vasconcellea x heilbornii
Fruiting branch
Photograph by: Tim Waters
Creative Commons License
Vasconcellea x heilbornii Vasconcellea x heilbornii Vasconcellea x heilbornii Vasconcellea x heilbornii Vasconcellea x heilbornii Vasconcellea x heilbornii

General Information

Babaco is a small, short-lived, evergreen tree usually growing to about 2 metres tall with few or no side branches[
196
Title
Lost Crops of the Incas
Publication
 
Author
Popenoe. H. et al
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
1990
ISBN
0-309-04264-X
Description
An excellent book. Very readable, with lots of information and good pictures of some lesser known food plants of S. America.
].
The fruit is highly appreciated and is often sold in local markets. The plant is often cultivated for its fruit, its cultivation having spread from S. America to subtropical areas around the world[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
670
Title
Study of the Cultivation Potential of Native Fruit Species in Loja Province, Ecuador
Publication
 
Author
Scheldeman X.
Website
http://www.tropicallab.ugent.be/start.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A partial study, published on the Internet, of the family Caricaceae, with some very good photographs. Also, some notes on the Cherimoya.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

S. America - Andes.

Habitat

Not known

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height2.00 m
PollinatorsSelf
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusCultivated

Cultivation Details

A plant of the highland tropics, where it is usually found at elevations of 1,400 - 2,50 metres[
196
Title
Lost Crops of the Incas
Publication
 
Author
Popenoe. H. et al
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
1990
ISBN
0-309-04264-X
Description
An excellent book. Very readable, with lots of information and good pictures of some lesser known food plants of S. America.
]. It can also be grown at lower elevations in subtropical and warm, essentially frost-free temperate areas.

Yields of over 100 tonnes per hectare are possible[
196
Title
Lost Crops of the Incas
Publication
 
Author
Popenoe. H. et al
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
1990
ISBN
0-309-04264-X
Description
An excellent book. Very readable, with lots of information and good pictures of some lesser known food plants of S. America.
].
There are several named varieties[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].
The plant coppices well[
196
Title
Lost Crops of the Incas
Publication
 
Author
Popenoe. H. et al
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
1990
ISBN
0-309-04264-X
Description
An excellent book. Very readable, with lots of information and good pictures of some lesser known food plants of S. America.
].
Although this species is dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants), fruits are usually produced parthenocarpically, without the need of pollen for fertilisation[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
670
Title
Study of the Cultivation Potential of Native Fruit Species in Loja Province, Ecuador
Publication
 
Author
Scheldeman X.
Website
http://www.tropicallab.ugent.be/start.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A partial study, published on the Internet, of the family Caricaceae, with some very good photographs. Also, some notes on the Cherimoya.
]. A few viable seeds will often be produced, however, if the flower is pollinated[
670
Title
Study of the Cultivation Potential of Native Fruit Species in Loja Province, Ecuador
Publication
 
Author
Scheldeman X.
Website
http://www.tropicallab.ugent.be/start.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A partial study, published on the Internet, of the family Caricaceae, with some very good photographs. Also, some notes on the Cherimoya.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw or cooked[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. Fragrant and flavourful[
196
Title
Lost Crops of the Incas
Publication
 
Author
Popenoe. H. et al
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
1990
ISBN
0-309-04264-X
Description
An excellent book. Very readable, with lots of information and good pictures of some lesser known food plants of S. America.
]. The flavour has been likened to the taste of strawberry, with a hint of pineapple[
196
Title
Lost Crops of the Incas
Publication
 
Author
Popenoe. H. et al
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
1990
ISBN
0-309-04264-X
Description
An excellent book. Very readable, with lots of information and good pictures of some lesser known food plants of S. America.
]. The fruit is usually seedless and can weigh 2 kilos[
196
Title
Lost Crops of the Incas
Publication
 
Author
Popenoe. H. et al
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
1990
ISBN
0-309-04264-X
Description
An excellent book. Very readable, with lots of information and good pictures of some lesser known food plants of S. America.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - unlikely to breed true since this is a hybrid species. Seeds are sometimes produced when the flowers are fertilized, these can be used to propagate the plant. Sow the seed in individual containers or in a nursery seedbed in light shade. Germination can be slow and difficult, taking about 30 days[
670
Title
Study of the Cultivation Potential of Native Fruit Species in Loja Province, Ecuador
Publication
 
Author
Scheldeman X.
Website
http://www.tropicallab.ugent.be/start.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A partial study, published on the Internet, of the family Caricaceae, with some very good photographs. Also, some notes on the Cherimoya.
]. Seedlings can be planted out when 4 - 6 months old[
670
Title
Study of the Cultivation Potential of Native Fruit Species in Loja Province, Ecuador
Publication
 
Author
Scheldeman X.
Website
http://www.tropicallab.ugent.be/start.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A partial study, published on the Internet, of the family Caricaceae, with some very good photographs. Also, some notes on the Cherimoya.
].
Cuttings work fairly well and maintain female lines that do not need pollination in order to produce fruit..

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