Abiu is a tropical fruit tree. The scientific name of abiu is Pouteria caimito and it belongs to the Sapotaceae family. It is originated in South America especially the Amazon region and commonly found in Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Venezuela.
More recently people started growing it in Hawaii as they thrive in a tropical climate where it is wet and warm. It has been widely cultivated in other parts of the world including the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and the United States.
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30-40 ft (9-12 m); up to 115 ft (35 m) in tropical areas
Nutritional Value of Abiu Fruit
Abiu Fruit contain lots of Vitamin, Minerals and other components. Some of the vitamins that Abiu Fruit has vitamin C, vitamin A, Folates, Pantothenic Acid, Niacin and Choline. Abiu Fruit contains dietary fiber, sodium and potassium, which have lots of health advantages. Apart from this Abiu Fruit also contains minerals such as calcium, manganese, copper, selenium, phosphorus, and magnesium. The best part of the Abiu Fruit is, it contains zero cholesterol.
An abiu fruit has a roundish oval shape, about the size of a peach, with a pointy end. In some varieties, the pointy end is larger with a small bulbous protrusion. The skin of the abiu fruit is smooth and shiny, dark green when it is immature, and turns into a brilliant golden yellow color when the fruit is ripe and ready to be picked. However, the abiu has its own amazing taste, unlike any other fruit.
Each fruit typically has one or two black oblong-shaped seeds. The peel of the fruit is not edible. It contains a gummy latex sap that could make your lips stick together! Don’t worry; it only happens if you bite directly into the fruit. The peel (where it is cut) also turns brown immediately when it is exposed to air.
Abiu can be propagated easily from seed in a pot, and then you can transplant the young plant into the ground later. In Hawaii, if you plant the seed directly in the ground, wild pigs or mongooses might dig it up and devour it before it has a chance to sprout!
Fill a three-gallon pot with a mixture of good potting soil and compost, add some fertilizer, and bury the seed in the center of the pot (about 2 inches under the soil).
Water thoroughly and set the pot in a warm sunny spot. After two weeks, the seed will germinate.
Abiu is a fast grower; it can get as tall as 3–4 feet in the pot within six months with regular watering and proper fertilizing. Transfer the healthy seedling into the ground as soon as possible to avoid root-bound problems.
Abiu trees should be planted in full sun for best growth and fruit production.
Mulching is highly recommended to keep the soil moist. After three years, the tree should be about 12–15 feet tall and will start to bear fruit. In the wild, abiu can get as tall as 120 feet! In the garden, it must be pruned regularly to keep it at the desired height and width (much easier to harvest the fruits).
Flowers and Fruit
In Hawaii, abiu is known for its prolific year-round fruit-bearing cycle. It is not uncommon to see an abiu tree covered with both immature and ripening fruits, as well as new flower buds along the branches! The small greenish abiu flowers usually appear in small clusters at the leaf axils or on the main trunk of the tree.
The flowers have no scent, but they do attract many flying insects as pollinators. Each flower lasts for about two days, then drops to the ground, and almost immediately, a tiny immature fruit forms. It quickly balloons into a marble-size fruit within a few days and continues to grow into its full size in about three weeks, then changes from dark green to light green to bright yellow.
The soil quality and depth dictates the tree density. Introduce compost, manure or chicken manure 36 weeks before planting. Make sure the site has adequate sunlight and plant 5 m in a row and 10 m between rows.
Although grafting produces desirable spices it is not a general practice. The main technique used in commercial production is seedling trees. The application of fertilizer per each year are 500g first year, 1,200g second, 2000g.
They constitute are cured animal manure, superphosphate and dolomite. A fertilizer comprising 12N:12P:17K:2Mg+TE i. Bearing trees require an addition of trace elements like iron 1g/l, solubor 1g/l and zinc 1g/L
Pests and Diseases
The trees, fruits are susceptible to different pests. The pests cause serious damage to fruits, leaves and tree. Common pests are fruit flies, spotted bugs, thrips, peach moth larvae and piercing moths.
Types of Abiu Fruit
Food Uses: The fruit of the abiu tree is edible and considered one of the best of the sapotesdue to having the sweet caramel-like taste of sapodilla with a smoother texture. It is commonly eaten out of hand and, although in Colombia those eating the fruit this way are advised to grease their lips to keep the gummy latex from sticking, this hazard can be avoided by selecting fully ripe fruits and scooping out the flesh with a utensil. The tartness of a bit of added lime juice may enhance the flavor, especially when chilled. The melting sweet pulp of the abiu is also used to flavor ice cream and cut into yogurt for a light and delicious breakfast. The subtlety of the flavor limits its utility in more complex confections and salads. Abiu fruit is a significant source of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, and vitamin C
Wood: The wood is dense and heavy, hard, and valued for construction.
Medicinal Uses: In Brazil, the pulp, because of its mucilaginous nature, is eaten to relieve coughs, bronchitis and other pulmonary complaints. The latex is given as a vermifuge and purge and is applied on abscesses.
Improves Eyes Health
Prevents Various Types of Cancer
Improves Digestive Health
Improves Bone Health
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Improves Respiratory Health
Improves Skin Health
Help to Reduce the Risk of Diabetes