Tree Tuesday

The world is full of interesting trees. This for example is the Jabuticaba Tree, or the Brazilian Grape Tree, from South America and those growths on its trunk are fruits. The tree is mainly found in southern Brazil in the Sao Paulo and Minus Gerais regions, but also grows in areas of Paraguay and Argentina.

The fruit itself is a small and round, about 3 to 4 cm in diameter, with one to four large seeds, a thick, deep purple colored skin and a sweet, white or rosy pink gelatinous flesh. Naturally the tree may flower and fruit only once or twice a year, but when continuously irrigated it flowers frequently, and fresh fruit can be available year round in tropical regions. During Jabuticaba season in Minas Gerais, thousands of street vendors sell fresh Jabuticaba in small net bags, and the sidewalks and streets are stained the same deep purple by discarded Jabuticaba skins.

Jabuticaba is largely eaten fresh, but because the fruit starts to ferment just 3-4 days after harvest, they are often used to make jams, tarts, strong wines, and liqueurs. Due to the extremely short shelf-life, fresh Jabuticaba fruit is very rare in markets outside of areas of cultivation. The fruit also has many medicinal uses. Traditionally, an astringent decoction of the sun-dried skins has been used as a treatment for hemoptysis, asthma, diarrhoea, and gargled for chronic inflammation of the tonsils. It also has several potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory anti-cancer compounds.

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  1. Jazzlet says

    What an amazng tree! It just doesn’t look as if those balls are edible fruit to my temperate conditioned eyes, they look more like the fruit of a fungus than a tree.

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    A tree that looks as if it was invented by Stanislaw Lem or Terry Pratchett. To my eyes, the fruit look like big berries.

    It’s awesome.

  3. cherbear says

    Apparently sweet and gelatinous. They really don’t look like part of the tree, and instead resemble some fungal fruiting body of some sort. I want to try one now.

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