From the book Fruits of Warm Climates
by Julia F. Morton

R. madruno Planch. & Triana

Excerpt from "Bakupari, Rheedia brasiliensis Planch. & Triana."

The madrono, R. madruno Planch. & Triana, may be called machari or fruta de mono in Panama; cerillo in Costa Rica; cozoiba in Venezuela; kamururu in Bolivia.

The tree is erect, lush, compact, with pyramidal or nearly round crown, 20 to 65 ft (6-20 in) high, and has much gummy yellow latex. The opposite leaves are elliptic to oblong, wedge-shaped at the base, rounded or pointed at the apex, 2 3/8 to 8 in (6-20 cm) long, 3/4 to 3 in (2-7.5 cm) wide; dark green above, paler beneath, with numerous veins conspicuous on both surfaces and merging into a thick marginal vein. The fragrant male and female flowers are borne on separate trees in clusters of up to 14 in the leaf axils; have 4 reflexed, pale-yellow petals; the male, 25 to 30 light-yellow stamens. The fruit is round or ellipsoidal, sometimes with a prominent nipple at each end; 2 to 3 in (5-7.5 cm) long, with thick, leathery, warty, greenish-yellow rind containing a deep-yellow, resinous latex. The white, translucent, juicy, sweet-acid, aromatic pulp adheres tightly to the 1 to 3 ovate or oblong seeds which are about 3/4 in (2 cm) long.

The tree is native to the Golfo Dulce region of Costa Rica, the Atlantic slope of Panama, and northern South America–Colombia and Ecuador through Venezuela to Guyana and Bolivia. It is particularly common in the Cauca Valley of Colombia where the fruits are marketed in quantity. It is limited to elevations below 4,000 ft (1,200 in). Dr. Wilson Popenoe collected seeds for the United States Department of Agriculture near Palmira, Colombia, in 1921 (S.P.I. #52301). The tree was introduced into Puerto Rico in 1923 and into the Philippines at about the same time. A few old trees have been fruiting more or less in southern Florida for many years, in midsummer. In Costa Rica, flowers are borne from December to February and fruits from May to August.

The yellow latex of the tree is used in Panama to treat ulcers and other sores. The wood is pinkish and hard but not commonly used.

Last updated: 3/12/114 by ch

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Morton, J. "Bakupari Rheedia brasiliensis Planch. & Triana." Fruits of warm climates, p. 309-310. 1987. Web. 11 Jan. 2015

Published 11 Jan. 2015 LR
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