|BLIGHIA SAPIDA - Akee |
Native to Guinea and named after William Bligh of the HMS Bounty, who carried many plants to different parts of the world, this tree is grown and appreciated in Jamaica and the West Indies. It is not the fruit that is edible, but the fleshy white arils. The fruit is three-angled and splits or pops open when mature to reveal the black seeds, which are poisonous, and the arils. It is important that the fruit open naturally because the unripe aril is not digestible. The ripe aril can be eaten raw or immersed in boiling salt water for 15-20 minutes, until tender and bright yellow. The tree is outstanding with its racemes of white flowers and glossy evergreen leaves. It can be propagated by seed or cuttings and produces two crops a year.