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Ackee Apple

Blighia sapida

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The Ackee is an evergreen tree, with egg-shaped leathery leaflets and fragrant flowers & pear-shaped fruit that are enjoyed by many despite its toxic properties. Only the pulp (aril) of fully formed ackee should be consumed, after the fruit has burst open on its branch & the aril has been exposed to the sun. This fruit is so enjoyed in places such as Jamaica, that chose it as their national fruit. Apart from being enjoyed in Caribbean cuisine, it also has medicinal, ornamental & poisonous applications.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Spring, Autumn
Fruiting time
Summer, Winter

Harvesting

Traditionally twice a year the ackee fruit is harvested. The ackee must be allowed to open fully or at least partly before it is detached from the tree & the arils removed and cleaned in preparation for cooking.

Propagation

Seed
Ackee may be propagated by seed, however, the seeds are short-lived and should be planted within a few days after extraction from the fruit. Germination time - 2-3 months.
Cuttings
Stem cuttings dipped in rooting hormone should grow under mist.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Attracts insects such as bees.
Repels harmful insects
The spreading of ashes obtained from calcined capsules is a repellent for some insect pest.

Geography

Origin
Native to West Africa
Natural climate
Tropical and Sub-tropical

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

culinary
Although from Northern Africa, it became popular in Carribean cuisine.
ornamental
Pretty evergreen tree.
poison
The ash can be used as insect repellent
Notes
Culinary. Medicine. Ornamental. Poison. Cologne

Personality

Family
Sapindaceae
Flower colour
Greenish-white or Greenish-yellow
Scent
Mild

Problems

No serious pests or diseases known except for the Verticillium wilt disease.

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