From the Manual of
Tropical and Subtropical Fruits
by Wilson Popenoe
The Yellow Mombin
Spondias lutea, L.
This species is generally considered inferior in quality to the red
mombin. Its cultivation is much less extensive, but it occurs
abundantly as a wild tree in many tropical regions. The name hog-plum,
which has been applied to it in the West Indies, has perhaps given it a
lower reputation than it merits, but the term does not, as Cook and
Collins point out, cast any reflection on the character of the fruit,
inasmuch as it refers only to the fact that hogs are extremely fond of
it, and fatten on the fruit which falls to the ground from wild trees
in the forest.
The tree is tall and stately in appearance, and under favorable
conditions it may reach 60 feet in height. The leaves are 8 to 12
inches long, composed of 7 to 17 ovate-lanceolate or
lanceolate-serrulate leaflets, oblique at the base and 2 1/2 to 4
inches in length.
The yellowish white flowers are borne in loose panicles 6 to 12 inches
long. The fruit is ovoid, commonly 1 inch in length, bright yellow,
with thin skin, and an oblong seed of relatively large size. The flesh
is yellow, very soft and juicy, and of subacid, rather pungent flavor.
Many varieties are scarcely pleasant to the taste, others are sweet and
agreeable. The fruit is usually eaten fresh. Its composition, according
to an analysis by Alice R. Thompson of Hawaii, is as follows: Total
solids 11.47per cent, ash 0.65 per cent,acids 0.98 percent, protein
1.37 per cent, total sugars 9.41 per cent, fat 0.56 per cent, and fiber
1.16 per cent.
The species is considered to be cosmopolitan in the tropics. In
Spanish-speaking countries it is called jobo, while in Brazil it is
known as caja. In the French colonies the names mombin jaune and prune
Myrobalan are current. S. Mombin, Jacq.
(not L.) is a botanical synonym of S. lutea, L.
Occasional trees are seen in cultivation throughout tropical America.
Cook and Collins report that it is planted extensively in Porto Rico.
In south Florida it succeeds, but has never become common. In
California no trees of fruiting age are known. The species is rather
susceptible to frost; it is found in the tropics only at low
elevations, and probably will not withstand temperatures much below
freezing point, particularly when young.
The method of propagation is the same as that used for the red mombin
(see above), i.e., by cuttings of mature wood.