Mammea americana (Clusiaceae) 

 

Common Names 

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

German: Mammiapfel   

Indonesia: manggis negri

Malaysia: aprikot 

 

Origin and Distribution 

Native to the West Indies and northern South America. Cultivated sporadically throughout the tropics. 

 

Botanical Synonyms 

Mammea emarginata. 

 

Description

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. 

 

Mamey (Mammea americana)

 

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.

 

Uses

Mamey is primarily consumed fresh, but is also used to make jams, marmalades, pies, tarts and liqueurs. 

 

Nutritional composition per 100 g mamey fruit      

Carbohydrate 10 g
Fat  0.1 g
Protein  0.5 g
Calcium  5 mg
Phosphorous  46 mg
Iron  0.5 mg
Carotene 0.4 mg
Vitamin B1 0.02 mg
Vitamin B2  0.04 mg
Niacin  0.6 mg
Vitamin C   2 mg

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 

Mamey: Mammea americana L.
From Julia Morton's Fruits of Warm Climates (1987).

Mammea americana L. (Clusiaceae)
From the online Fruits from America: An ethnobotanical inventory.

 

 

 

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