Benefits Of: TROPICAL PEACH

Salicaceae (Willow family) tree is not even closely related to the true peach (Prunus persica).

Description. Vigorous evergreen shrub or small tree, 3-6 m (10-20 ft) tall, with long, drooping branches with few thorns, and a spreading crown. Alternate, glabrous, ovate-lanceolate leaves 6-8 cm (2.4-3.2 in) long with a wavy margin. Small, dioecious, greenish-white flowers are produced in clusters in the axils of leaves. Reddish-brown, globose fruits with numerous tiny white dots on the velvety skin. Several flat, white seeds are embedded in a juicy, subacid to sweet, orange-yellow pulp.

Origin and Distribution. The tropical peach is a hybrid of D. hebecarpa (ketembilla), native to southern India and Sri Lanka, and D. abyssinica (Abyssinian gooseberry), which grows naturally in East Africa. The natural hybrid described here probably originated in Florida in the early 1950s. This little-known plant thrives in tropical and subtropical climates, surviving light frosts.

Food uses. The fruits have a sweet-sour but somewhat astringent taste and are eaten fresh or made into preserves, syrup, juices, and jams. Fruits of Dovyalis can be used to make fruit wine.

Comments. In spite of the common name tropical peach, which relates to the taste, color, and texture of the fruit, the tree is not closely related to the peach (Prunus persica).

All mentioned species of Dovyalis are considered minor fruits, having never gained popularity as they are either too sour or too astringent.

Description. Erect evergreen tree with rough, flaking bark, 30-45 m (100-150 ft) tall. Alternate leaves oblong to elliptic, 10-25 cm (4-10 in) long, leathery, glossy green from above and silvery or brownish underneath. Fragrant white to pale yellow flowers are borne in small clusters on branches and trunk. The flowers, which open at night, are pollinated mainly by nectarivorous bats. Yellow to yellow-green fruits round to oval, 20-30 cm (8-12 in) long by 15-25 cm (6-10 in) wide, with a thick rind covered in numerous sharp spines. Fruit divided into 5 compartments containing 1-7 seeds each, embedded in an orange, pinkish, or yellowish creamy pulp. Durian fruits are well known for producing a very strong odor.

Origin and Distribution. The durian tree is native to Indonesia and Malaysia. Commonly cultivated from India to Southeast Asia. In Africa and the American tropics, the tree is rarely grown except in some botanical gardens and rare-tree collections. The tree requires a strictly tropical climate with high annual rainfall.

Food uses. The ripe fruits are sold in markets whole or cut into segments. Durian flesh is most often eaten fresh or after chilling. It is often employed in desserts and in a wide variety of sweet edibles like candy, ice cream, milk shakes, and cakes. The flesh is used to prepare sweet or salted preserves. A popular dish from Sumatra called sambal tempoyak is made from fermented Durian pulp, coconut milk, spices, and spicy sambal sauce. In Malaysia, people cook rice

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Benefits Of: TROPICAL PEACH

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