Cuajilote (Parmentiera aculeata)
While doing my thesis cataloging riparian species of plants along the Mopan River I came across this tree I was not able to ID. It took my six year old daughter to ID it. When she saw the picture of the tree and fruit, she said " my grand dad always feeds this fruit to the horse when we go horseback riding." That was how I was able to positively ID this tree.
I found this just below Arena Village on the Guatemala side of the river. I was told it is very common in Guatemala. I also found one tree just below the stone cottage farm.
I read something about it and usually it is cooked and can be used medicinally. Parmentiera aculeata is one of the edible indigenous fruit trees that has been totally forgotten by Mayanists. The colonial chronicles mention the fruit of this tree as one of the foods grown in the yards or fence rows of houses, and were part of the staple diet of some villages where the tree flourished. Similar to cacao, the fruit can be eaten raw or cooked in different ways. (Calixto, 2005)
Photograph by Roberto Mai
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