I Speak For The Trees

Szygyium jambos – Poma Rosa

Posted by The Lorax in May 5, 2008

Poma Rosa

Poma Rosa, growing in the Quito Botanical Gardens, Quito, Pichincha Province.   The tree attains a height of about 10 meters with a compact canopy and spreads readily by seed; it seems to have little preference for soil type, and requires moderate water and mixed sun.  I have seen Poma Rosa growing all across the Ecuadoran sierra and in the coastal plains, although not in the Amazon basin.  Poma Rosa is considered a noxious weed on Galapagos.

Poma Rosa (literally, “Rose Apple”) is a little-known fruit outside of South America and India; it is a pale yellow pome about the size of a small apple, contains two to three hairy seeds, and has lightly crunchy flesh with a strong flavour of roses.  They are an acquired taste, and one of my favourite pome fruits.  The fruit of the Poma Rosa spoils quickly in the tropical heat; in Ecuador they are grown as garden trees for their lovely foliage and the fruit is eaten out of hand as soon as it ripens.  Poma Rosa are very rarely, if ever, seen in the marketplace; the best way to try one is to ask a local child if they grow in the area.  The habit of simply pitching the seeds into the surrounding bush has ensured a healthy wild population.  In Arabia the juice of Poma Rosa is used in the same manner as traditional rosewater, and in South-East Asia, they are often served with spiced sugar.

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