From the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
by Gene Joyner, Tropical Fruit News

Seasons in Australia are opposite to those in the US. Summer is Dec. Jan. Feb. Autumn is Mar. Apr. May. Winter is June July Aug. Spring is Sept. Oct. Nov.

The Ambarella

Spondias cytherea

The ambarella, is a fast­ growing medium-sized tree native to the Society Islands of the South Pacific. In Florida it has been grown for many years and is a favorite fruit of many people.

The large spreading tree can reach heights of forty to fifty feet with an equal width and it has long pinnately-compound leaves which can be from twelve to thirty inches long. The tree does lose its leaves for a brief period during the winter months, usually during January and February.

Clusters of tiny whitish flowers are borne in terminal clusters during March through April, and the large one-and-half to two-and-a-half-inch oval fruit ripen in the fall. Fruits at maturity have a yellow to golden-orange skin and an orangery-yellow pulp surrounding a single large spiny seed. Flavour varies from acid to sweet and most people eat this as a fresh fruit; however, it does make excellent preserves, jellies or sauces. In many cultures, the fruit is also eaten green before full maturity.

These grow well in a wide variety of soil types and can grow as much as four to seven feet in a single growing season.

Propagation of this tree is very easily accomplished by rooting large hardwood cuttings. Superior varieties can be airlayered also. Seedlings often produce variable fruit, so most people prefer to propagate ambarella by hardwood cuttings or by airlayering.

Trees are cold sensitive when small and should be protected from serious frost or freeze at about thirty degrees. Trees do best in full sun, but will produce some fruit in light shade, but should not be planted beneath other larger trees. If you are close to salt water, this tree has poor salt tolerance and should be protected from the effects of salt spray.

There are few pests that affect this tree; however, on highly alkaline soils sometimes, nutritional problems might require regular applications of nutrient sprays of micronutrients.

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Joyner, Gene. "The Ambarella." Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia. Tropical Fruit News. Volume 30 Number 12, Dec. 1996. Aug. 1997. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.

Published 22 Apr. 2015 LR
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