- Tropical Fruit Guide by Marina Grubic
- Tropical Fruits and Other Edible Plants of the World – An Illustrated Guide
- Agrodoc – Fruit Growing in the Tropics
- Tropical Fruits, Volume 1 (Crop Production Science in Horticulture, Volume 20)
- FH1 Nursery Catalog
Lulo locally called naranjilla (Solanum quitoense) in the nightshade family like tomatoes, sour flavor of the yellow flesh, furry outside with hard skin of orange color. Green furry leaves.
Araza locally called membrio (Eugenia stipitata) – yellow fruit has soft skin and juicy sour flesh, rose yellow seeds. Medium sized tree. Fruits 2-3 times per year.
Soursop locally called guanabana (Annona muricata) – fruit has green skin with soft spikes, juicy sweet sour white flesh and black seeds (toxic seeds).
Rollinia deliciosa locally called cherimoya – 2 years to fruit from seed. Harvest when fruit is turning yellow.
Ice cream bean locally called gauba (Inga Edulis) – leguminous nitrogen fixing, many verities make a sweet fruit and often used for chop and drop in ally cropping between other fruit trees/crops.
Guava locally called goyaba (Psidium guajava) – local verities are usually full of worms, sometimes used in jams.
Sapote (from Nahuatl tzapotl) is a term for a soft, edible fruit. The word is incorporated into the common names of several unrelated fruit-bearing plants native to Mexico, Central America and northern parts of South America.
Mamey Sapote (Pouteria sapota) – tree native to Mexico and Central America. Fruit is orange flesh that resembles boiled sweet potato or pumpkin and thick gray/brown textured skin.
Sapodilla (Manilkara zapota) – also called nispero in some countries. A very sweet fruit, described as brown sugar. Related to mamey.
Black sapote (Diospyros nigra) – a species of persimmon. Common names include chocolate pudding fruit, black soapapple and zapote prieto. The tropical fruit tree is native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia.
Canistel (Pouteria campechiana) – also known as yellow sapote or egg fruit, is creamy sweet flesh with black or brown shiny seeds resembles taste of sweetened egg yolk.
Star fruit (Carambola) – fruit is shaped like a star lengthwise, yellow, juicy sweet-sour with small seeds.
Zapote (Quararibea cordata) – South American sapote or chupa-chupa in Colombia, is a large, semi-deciduous, fruit tree, native to Amazon rainforest vegetation in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. It bears orange-yellow fruit which are soft, juicy, sweet and contain 2-5 seeds and smooth gray/brown outer skin.
Rambutan locally called Achotillo (Nephelium lappaceum) – red furry outside, sweet clear and juicy with white seed in the middle. Medium sized tree.
Iñaku (gustavia mascareniensis) – rare amazon fatty fruit, purple outside round shaped like a fig with hard skin and orange flesh.
Apai (Grias peruviana) – native local fruit tree with large broad dark green leaves, flowers are yellow on the trunk and fruit is oval-round and brown on the trunk of the tree. Pick when fully ripe: check by cutting a small amount to see that it is not green or white, when orange or yellow can be picked to ripen off the tree. Takes about 3-4 days to ripen, remains hard so cut length wise and remove the skin to eat the flesh which surrounds a large white seed.
Abiu locally called Cauje or Caimito or Yaraso (Pouteria caimito) – sweet juicy fruit, green or yellow skin when ripe, latex in the skin, white or translucent flesh with black hard and shiny seeds.
Wild apple locally called manzana silvestre (Bellucia pentamera) – smell and taste similar in tartness to apples with soft flesh and tiny seeds throughout the fruit. Grows wild in the mountain areas and throughout the region.
Strawberry tree or cotton candy tree or Jamaica cherry (mutingia) – textured soft leaves with jagged edges, white flower resembles strawberry flowers, fruit is small, round and red skin when ripe, white flesh with tiny seeds throughout. Fast growing softwood tree and can be pruned heavily.
Surinam cherry (eugenia uniflora) – slow growing small bush up to 8m, small fruit is either dark purple or red depending on verity, sweet and sour.
Peanut butter fruit (Bunchosia glandulifera) – small sized red fruit with thin translucent skin. Nutty dense flesh with large white seeds. More info here
Jaboticaba (Plinia cauliflora) – Many verities of different colored grape shaped fruit that grow on the trunk. Dark red verity can fruit in 2 years.
Amazon tree grape (Pourouma cecropiifolia) – locally known as uva de monte. Fruit is small to large shaped as usual grape with dark thick skin, white sweet juicy flesh and large white seed.
Matoa (Pometia pinnata) – red and green types, round fruit with sweet jelly flesh and brown seed in the middle.
Langsat (Lansium parasiticum) – fruit has brown skin and translucent flesh.
Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) – Medium to large tree, fast growing. Fruit in 3 years if maintained well. Large sweet fruit often with latex. Can grow to have the largest tree fruit in the world. Seeds are edible when cooked.
Marang (Artocarpus odoratissimus) – Large tree (12 – 14m spacing) related to jackfruit. Round fruit that is sweet, soft pods, size of small marshmallows. “Rags” the parts between the fruits are also edible as well as the seeds that can be eaten cooked.
Durian (Durio) – Fruit has spiky green shell with soft creamy white or yellow (sometimes red) flesh that has complex sweet and fatty tastes.
Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) – trees grow slowly and need shade in first several years, can take 10 years before producing fruit.
Mango (Mangifera indica) – See video on pruning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh1AnvNa6mc
Kwini (Mangifera odorata) – different mango species from Borneo or Bali
Cacao (Theobroma cacao) – a few verities are used to make chocolate (yellow, red, etc)
Cupuaçu (theobroma grandiflorum) – related to cacao, national fruit of Brazil where they make juices from the pulp and using the seed to make butter for skin and cosmetics. The fruit has a fuzzy hard shell that is brown in color with cream whire-yellow flesh with acid sour slight sweet flavor that is best when allowed tree ripen and drop to the ground.
Mocambo locally unknown, or possibly bacao (Theobroma bicolor) – sweet/sour fruit with more flesh than cacao.
Borojó (Alibertia patinoi) – round large fruit with green turning brown thin skin, flesh is brownish and very dense creamy sweet-sour taste with small yellowish seeds the size and shape of lentils.
Carica papaya – is a herbaceous perennial 2–10 m in height. Prefers good draining soil and cannot survive flooding or standing water, doesn’t tolerate wet roots. Yellow or red flesh and skin, can be eaten green in salads. Seeds and leaves are medicinal (anti parasitic and used to treat dangue fever).
Mulberry (Morus) –
Aguaje locally called Acho (Mauritia flexuosa) – fruit resembling snake fruit, grows on a very wide, large, tall palm in wet spots near standing water, streams or flat spots. The fruit must be put into warm (not boiling) water for 1-2 hours until it is soft. The fruit flesh is either yellow or orange depending on verity, tastes sour and fatty with a large seed.
Tagua (Phytelephas aequatorialis) AKA Vegetable ivory – fatty fruit with hard seeds used to make sculptures or chess pieces in creem white color.
Coconut (Cocos nucifera) locally pipa for young coconut or coco for older – the seed, or the fruit, which botanically is a drupe, not a nut.
Chonta (Bactris gasipaes) AKA chonta duro in some countries or peach palm in others- Spiky palm trunk with starchy and fatty fruit that requires cooking. Different sizes and colors ranging from yellow to red with orange and green verities as well. Palm heart or palmito edible.
Nalampi (Caryodendron orinocense)
Pili (Canarium ovatum)
Herbs and tubers
Katuk (Sauropus androgynus) – green leaves and white berries are edible tastes like peanut or almond. Propagated from cuttings
Cranberry hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella) – dark purple leaves edible. Propagated from cuttings.
Kang kong (Ipomoea aquatica) – water spinach from Philippines. Edible leaves, stems, flowers. Grows in swampy muddy shallow water ponds.
Cassava locally called Yuca (Manihot esculenta) – starchy tuber that must be cooked. Propagated via cuttings, planted at 45 degree angle in the soil. Harvest when the thick stem is mature, thick and woody after 9 to 12 months of growing. Will often have flowers or seeds.
Taro locally called papa china (Colocasia esculenta) – starchy corms and tuber when cooked is similar to potato.
Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) – sweet crunchy tuber that is edible raw (such as in salads). Propagated via rhizomes. Harvest when yellow flowers appear.
Ginger locally called jengibre (Zingiber officinale) –
Turmeric locally called curcuma (Curcuma longa) –
Brazilian spinach – (Alternanthera sissoo) – edible leaves, good ground cover, together with pinto peanut (see below).
Winged beans (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) – sometimes known as dragon beans or asparagus beans, beans flowers and leaves are edible. Propagated by seeds, climbing up a trellis or pergola for best results
Indian lettuce locally called tree lettuce (Lactuca indica) – grows as a tree, pick the outside bottom leaves to eat. remove the stems
African blue basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum × basilicum ‘Dark Opal‘) – is a hybrid basil variety, a cross between camphor basil and dark opal basil. It is one of a few types of basil that are perennial. African blue basil plants are sterile, unable to produce seeds of their own, and can only be propagated by cuttings.
Sugar Cane (Saccharum)
Banana locally called guineo (musa) – verities include:
Orito – small sweet, locally very common. Dark brown spots on the trunk of the growing plant.
Orinoco – from the orinoco valley in Venezuela, not common locally. Square shape to the fruit. Solid green trunk of the growing plant, usually lower fruiting.
Seda – similar in size and shape to the most common known banana verity but tastier than cavandish. Large plant growing 4+ meters in height .
Namwa – Thailand in origin. Medium to high in size with very thick stock plant. Sour fruit when not fully ripe and can be sweeter when very ripe.
Plantain – commonly used in cooking, can be eaten raw when fully allowed to ripen black skin and soft.
Red – thick and tall red stock of the plant.
Vetivir grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides) – used for erosion control, clumping grass that doesn’t spread with seeds nor runners, has very deep roots to bring up minerals and hold the soil in place where slope and erosion or land slides may be a concern. Can create natural terraces.
Pinto peanut or perennial peanut (Arachis pintoi) locally called trebol – used for ground cover because it grows slowly, spreads quickly, competes with other weeds and fixes nitrogen from the air (leguminous). Does not produce any peanut, the yellow flowers are edible. See video on how to plant it.
Flemingia (Flemingia macrophylla) – used for chop and drop, leguminous nitrogen fixing fast growing plant.
Mexican sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia) – fast growing chop and drop “It has shown to increase plant yields and the soil nutrients of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K)”
As well as ice cream bean (see above)
SEIQUE – cedrelinga catenaeformis local Amazon hardwood tree that is common, growing and used for constructions because of its pest resistance, relatively fast growing. Can be useful in 5 to 10 years though much stronger when they are 20+ years old. They grow tall stright and thick for boards and beams. Use the beams when cut fresh, however boards should be stored to dry for at least 9+ months if would like to avoid gaps between floor and walls.
Cedro macho (cabrela canjerana)
Research the following, local names:
Pindo (Gynerium sagittatum) – used for sticks for temporary shelters or walls similar to bamboo