Spondias purpurea is a species of flowering plant in the cashew
family, Anacardiaceae, that is native to tropical regions of the
Americas. It is most commonly known as Jocote, which derives from
the Nahuatl word xocotl, meaning "fruit." Other common names include
Red Mombin, Purple Mombin, Hog Plum, and Sineguela.
It is a small to medium-sized tree up to 25 feet tall. The leaves
are deciduous in the short dry season, but only fall shortly before
the new leaves develop; they are pinnate, with 7-23 leaflets, each
leaflet 3-5 cm long and 1.5-2 cm broad. The flowers are small,
reddish-purple, produced in large panicles. The fruit is an edible
oval drupe, 3-5 cm long and 2-3.5 cm broad, ripening red
(occasionally yellow) and containing a single large seed.
It is now widely cultivated in tropical regions throughout the
world for its edible fruit, and is also naturalised in some areas,
including the Philippines and Nigeria. Numerous cultivars have been
selected for fruit quality. It is also abundant in Central America.
The "Pacto del Jocote", peace treaty was signed in Costa Rica on
April 11, 1842 under a Jocote tree in Alajuela between Francisco
Morazan and Vicente Villase˝or overturning the government of Braulio
The fruits are often eaten ripe, with or without the skin. It is
sometimes eaten unripe with salt and vinegar or lime juice.
In Haiti, it is known under the name of 'siwŔl' and spread
throughout the mountainous areas of the country, mostly in the
northern and southern mountain ranges.
One typical dish in Salvadoran cuisine consists of a syrup made
of panela, jocote and mango.
The single large seed, which takes up most of the fruit, is not