Rheedia edulis Triana & Planch
Excerpt from Bakupari Rheedia brasiliensis Planch. & Triana
The mameyito, R. edulis Triana & Planch. (syn. Calophyllum edule
Seem.), is also known as arrayan and palo de frutilla in Guatemala;
waiki plum in Belize; chaparrón in El Salvador; caimito or
caimito de montaña in Honduras; jorco in Costa Rica; sastra in
Panama; berba in the Philippines.
The elegant, erect tree,
ranging up to 100 ft (30 m), has copious gummy, yellow latex and
opposite, short-petioled, thick, leathery, elliptic-oblong or
elliptic-lanceolate leaves, 3 3/16 to 6 in (8-15 cm) long, 3/4 to 2 in
(2-5 cm) wide, or much larger, with numerous lateral veins conspicuous
on both surfaces; dark-green above, pale or brownish on the underside.
foliage is reddish. The small, greenish-white or ivory flowers, densely
clustered below the leaves, are 4-petalled, the male with 25 to 30
stamens, the perfect with 10 to 12. The fruit is oval or oblong, 3/4 to
1 1/4 in (2-3.2 cm) long, smooth, orange or yellow, the thin, soft skin
easily peeled. There is a little flesh, sweet or acid, adhering to the
1 or 2 seeds.
The tree is native and common in humid forests on
both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of Central America, from southern
Mexico to Panama, up to an elevation of 4,000 ft (1,200 m). It is often
planted in Central America as a shade or ornamental tree. It has been
grown in the Philippines, Puerto Rico and California. The fruits mature
from late January to March in Costa Rica.
The heartwood is
rose-yellow, hard, medium-heavy, coarse-textured, with numerous gum
ducts, but tough, strong, easy to work, fairly durable, and valued for
construction because it is nearly immune to insects. It is also used
for tool handles, fenceposts, and temporary railroad ties. The bark is
rich in tannin.