FRUITS FROM AMERICA
An ethnobotanical inventory
Geo Coppens d'Eeckenbrugge and Dimary Libreros Ferla


Talisia esculenta (St. Hil.) Radlk.  (Sapindaceae)


Common synonyms : Sapindus esculentus St. Hil.

Common names : Po: pitomba, pitomba-rana, olho de boi, pitomba de macaco; pitombeira is the tree; Fr: pitoulier comestible.

Origin and geographical distribution : South of the Amazon: Brazil (Céara, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais), Bolivia, North of Argentina. Cultivated in north-eastern Brazil and in the Amazon of Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia.

Status :  Cultivated.

Description : Tree to 20 m, propagated by seeds (recalcitrant, germination in 24-35 days). Fruits disposed in clusters, ovoid, 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter, with a brown, coriaceous exocarp; pulp whitish, translucid, 1-2 seeds.

Uses : Aril eaten fresh. The sap is used as a poison for fishes. 

References : Fouqué, 1972; Martin et al., 1987; Villachica et al., 1996.


December, 2000

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