Within the PermaTree FoodForest we grow high diversity of fruits.
Manzana de montana (Bellucia Pentamera) or “Mountain Apple” is a small tree with a rounded crown; it can grow 6 – 8 m tall. The edible fruit is gathered from the wild for local use. The tree is sometimes cultivated for its fruit, and is also grown outside its native range
This tree, known in South America as the mountain apple (manzana de montana), produces edible fruits that were used by at least one Amazonian indigenous group to combat parasite infections. Andokes use the fresh fruits as an anthelmintic.
Anthelmintics or antihelminthics are a group of antiparasitic drugs that expel parasitic worms and other internal parasites from the body by either stunning or killing them and without causing significant damage to the host. They may also be called vermifuges or vermicides.
The large juicy fruits are edible. The pale yellow fruit is a depressed-globose berry around 25mm x 30 – 50mm, containing numerous small seeds.
The juice from the bark is given to babies as a treatment for thrush. The fresh fruits are used as an anthelmintic.
Reproductive biology of Bellucia
Successful fruit-set by Bellucia requires floral visitation by bees. The flowers are produced continuously all year, and are visited by a wide variety of female bees, the principal pollinators being Xylocopa, centris, Ptilotopus, Epicharis, Eulaema, Bombus, and Oxaea. The floral attractants are color and the odor produced by the pollen, stamens, and petals; the reward is pollen. Bellucia produces berries with numerous small seeds, and is dispersed by birds, bats, monkeys, tapirs, turtles, and ants. Seedling establishment requires full sunlight, and occurs on a variety of soil types. The reproductive strategy is interpreted as that of a pioneer species. In extra Amazonian regions, B. pentamera is often found invading newly deforested land.