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Rollinia deliciosa is a species of flowering plant in the custard-apple family, Annonaceae, that is native to tropical South America. It is cultivated for its edible fruits, commonly known as biriba, throughout the world’s tropics and subtropics.

Common names

The Brazilian name, biriba has become somewhat well known. Nonetheless, the fruits are occasionally known by other names, including wild sugar apple and aratiku.

Description

Biriba is a fast-growing tropical tree, reaching a height of 4–15 m (13–49 ft). It is known to bear fruit from seed in as little as 4 years. The fruit is large, conical or round, green when unripe, ripening to yellow. The surface of the fruit is covered with soft spines or protuberances. These rather delicate protrusions will bruise and blacken with handling of ripe fruit, giving it an unappealing appearance. It does not transport well, which has limited its commercialisation.

The fruit contains a number of large, inedible seeds. The fruit pulp is very soft and sweet, with a somewhat Banana-like flavor. Some reports of the flavour are extremely favourable, others more moderate. This may be due in part to a wide range of cultivars. Fruits of the largest cultivars may be up to 4 kg.

The tree has a good tolerance of wet soils and periodic flooding.

Written on June 13th, 2012 , Fruits

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