Mammea americana (Clusiaceae)
English: mamey, mammee apple, mamme, mammy-apple, South American apricot, tropical apricot
Spanish: mamey, mamey dominicano, mamón de Santo Domingo, mamón de Cartagena
Portuguese: abricó, abricó do Pará
French: abricot de Saint Domingue, abricotier sauvage, apricot d'Amerique
Indonesia: manggis negri
Origin and Distribution
Native to the West Indies and northern South America. Cultivated sporadically throughout the tropics.
Large tree, to 50-60 feet (15-18 m) tall, with a straight trunk and a rounded, dense crown. The new bark is bright green and smooth, becoming dark brown and rough with age. All parts of the plant exude yellow latex when wounded. The large, thick leaves are opposite, elliptical, glossy and bright green, from 3-6 inches (8-15 cm) in length and 3-4 inches (8-10 cm) wide. The white, fragrant flowers are solitary or in axillary clusters, and may be perfect or unisexual. The fruit is large and round, 4-10 inches (10-25 cm) in diameter, with a brown rind covering yellow orange pulp. The pulp is firm and slightly juicy, with a pleasant taste reminiscent of apricot or peach. Seeds are large, brown and rough textured, 2.5-3 inches (6.4-8 cm) long, and usually 1-2 per fruit.
Propagation and Culture
Mamey is usually propagated by seed, but are also grafted. Grafted trees bear fruit sooner, stay smaller, are hermaphrodite, and have predictable fruit quality. The seeds germinate slowly, taking from 40-260 days. Fresh seeds have a germination percentage of close to 100%. Trees can be transplanted to the field after 1-2 years, when they are a foot (30 cm) or more in height.
Mamey grows best in a fertile, well drained soil with high organic matter content, but will tolerate heavy, poor, acid soils. Trees should be fertilized every 3-4 months during the first 3 years of growth, and thereafter 1-2 times per year. Mulching is recommended to add nutrients and organic matter to the soil, conserve moisture and control weeds. Mamey grows from sea level to over 3,000 feet (914 m) elevation.
Seedling trees begin to bear fruits in 6-8 years, grafted trees in 3-5 years from planting. Fruits ripen from July through September in Puerto Rico, and fall to the ground when they are ripe. They can also be picked when they reach full size and show an external color change from greenish brown to orange brown. A mature tree can produce over 250 fruits per year.
Cultivars and Related Species
There are few named cultivars of mamey. 'Redland' is a cultivar with perfect flowers.
Another Mammea species is M. africana, known as the obota, abricotier d'Afrique, African mammee apple or African apricot, and native to tropical Africa.
Mamey is primarily consumed fresh, but is also used to make jams, marmalades, pies, tarts and liqueurs.
Nutritional composition per 100 g mamey fruit
The resin exuding from the trunk is used as an insecticide and acaricide. A seed extract is used to control mange and fleas in animals. Leaves and roots also have insecticidal properties.
The tree, with its glossy green leaves and symmetrical shape, is also a beautiful ornamental.
More information on mamey
Mammea americana L.
americana L. (Clusiaceae)
Montoso Gardens, Hwy
120 Km 18.9, Box 692, Maricao, Puerto Rico 00606 USA
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