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Ambarella Spondias dulcis Forst. Spondias cytherea Sonn.


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Ambarella Spondias dulcis Forst. Spondias cytherea Sonn. The tree is rapid-growing, attaining a height of 60 ft (18 m) in its homeland; generally not more than 30 or 40 ft (9-12 m) in other areas. Upright and rather rigid and symmetrical, it is a stately ornamental with deciduous, handsome, pinnate leaves, 8 to 24 in (20-60 cm) in length, composed of 9 to 25 glossy, elliptic or obovate-oblong leaflets 2 1/2 to 4 in (6.25-10 cm) long, finely toothed toward the apex. At the beginning of the dry, cool season, the leaves turn bright-yellow and fall, but the tree with its nearly smooth, light gray-brown bark and graceful, rounded branches is not unattractive during the few weeks that it remains bare. Small, inconspicuous, whitish flowers are borne in large terminal panicles. They are assorted, male, female and perfect in each cluster. Long-stalked fruits dangle in bunches of a dozen or more; oval or somewhat irregular or knobby, and 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 in (6.25-9 cm) long, with thin but tough skin, often russetted. While still green and hard, the fruits fall to the ground, a few at a time, over a period of several weeks. As they ripen, the skin and flesh turn golden-yellow. While the fruit is still firm, the flesh is crisp, juicy and subacid, and has a somewhat pineapple-like fragrance and flavor. If allowed to soften, the aroma and flavor become musky and the flesh difficult to slice because of conspicuous and tough fibers extending from the rough ridges of the 5-celled, woody core containing 1 to 5 flat seeds. Some fruits in the South Sea Islands weigh over 1 lb (0.45 kg) each. Climate The tree flourishes in humid tropical and subtropical areas, being only a trifle tenderer than its close relative, the mango. It succeeds up to an altitude of 2,300 ft (700 m). In Israel, the tree does not thrive, remaining small and bearing only a few, inferior fruits.

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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 30 December, 2010.