Agroforestry & Ethnobotany

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Uvillas fruit in bunches. Shipping these fragile fruits can be a problem.

Family: Moraceae
Latin name: Pourouma cecropiifolia

Vernacular name

The sweet, juicy fruits are very popular to eat and can be made into jams and other confections. The fruit is eaten to help the kidneys. Some people believe the seeds that sink in water will produce female trees, and those that float will be males.

Uvilla grows quickly, and can do well in poor upland soils. It does not tolerate flooding. It is dioecious, and can become very tall (20m) over time. It is commonly mixed with peach palm, cashew, and pineapples. Primates and bats are attracted to the fruit bearing trees of this dioeceous species. Farmers often cull out the male trees, but a few mature males should remain to facilitate fertilization of the females. The fruit grows in large bunches which hang from the thin branches. The fruit can suffer from severe fungus attacks as it develops, ruining harvests. The fruit is very fragile and does not keep well, which limits marketing options.