Vasconcellea x heilbornii
Carica chrysopetala Heilborn
Carica pentagona Heilborn
Carica x heilbornii V.M.Badillo
Common Name: Babaco
Babaco is a small, short-lived, evergreen tree usually growing to about 2 metres tall with few or no side branches[
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[
S. America - Andes.
A plant of the highland tropics, where it is usually found at elevations of 1,400 - 2,50 metres[
]. 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[
There are several named varieties[
The plant coppices well[
Although this species is dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants), fruits are usually produced parthenocarpically, without the need of pollen for fertilisation[
]. A few viable seeds will often be produced, however, if the flower is pollinated[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. Fragrant and flavourful[
]. The flavour has been likened to the taste of strawberry, with a hint of pineapple[
]. The fruit is usually seedless and can weigh 2 kilos[
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[
]. Seedlings can be planted out when 4 - 6 months old[
Cuttings work fairly well and maintain female lines that do not need pollination in order to produce fruit..
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