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Matisia cordata Chupa-Chupa tree   Malvaceae
 

Chupa-Chupa, Quararibea cordata

 

Chupa-Chupa, Quararibea cordata

Matisia cordata (Malvaceae)
Alternative Botanical Name:
Quararibea cordata

Description:
The Chupa-Chupa tree is fast-growing, erect, to 130 or even 145 ft (40-45 m) high in the wild, though often no more than 40 ft (12 m) in cultivation.
It is sometimes buttressed. It has stiff branches in tiered whorls of 5 and copious gummy yellow latex. The semi-deciduous, alternate, long-petioled leaves, clustered in rosettes near the ends of the branches, are broadly heart-shaped, normally 6 to 12 in (15-30 cm) long and nearly as wide. Short-stalked, yellowish-white or rose-tinted, 5-petalled flowers, about 1 in (2.5 cm) wide, with 5 conspicuous, protruding stamens and pistil, are borne in masses along the lesser branches and on the trunk. The fruit is rounded, ovoid or elliptic with a prominent, rounded knob at the apex and is capped with a 2- to 5-lobed, velvety, leathery, strongly persistent calyx at the base, 4 to 5 3/4 in (10-14.5 cm) long and to 3 3/16 in (8 cm) wide, and may weigh as much as 28 oz (800 g). The rind is thick, leathery, greenish-brown, and downy. The flesh, orange-yellow, soft, juicy, sweet and of agreeable flavor surrounds 2 to 5 seeds, to 1 1/2 in (4 cm) long and 1 in (2.5 cm) wide, from which long fibers extend through the flesh.
(Morton, J. 1987. Fruits of Warm Climates.)
Geographic Distribution:
The tree grows wild in lowland rainforests of Peru, Ecuador and adjChupa-Chupa, Quararibea cordataacent areas of Brazil, especially around the mouth of the Javari River.
It is common in the western part of Amazonas, southwestern Venezuela, and in the Cauca and Magdalena Valleys of Colombia. It flourishes and produces especially well near the sea at Tumaco, Colombia.
(Morton, J. 1987. Fruits of Warm Climates.)
Food Uses:
This is a fruit that has always been eaten out-of-hand. Those that have the least fibrous flesh may be utilized for juice or in other ways. The pulp is rich in vitamins A and C.
(Morton, J. 1987. Fruits of Warm Climates.)

Native Legends and Names:
Little-known outside its natural range, this member of the Malvaceae family has nomenclatural problems.
Its current botanical designation is Matisia cordata Humb. & Bonpl., though it is sometimes referred to as Quararibea cordata. In addition, there is no generally accepted vernacular name. "Sapote" and "Zapote" predominate in native countries but these terms, derived from the Nahuatl word for "soft, sweet", are applied to several other fruits and to one in particular, the Sapote, Pouteria sapota.

In 1964, William Whitman obtained seeds from Iquitos, Peru, raised seedlings, planted one on his own property at Bal Harbour, Florida, and distributed the rest to private experimenters. The first to fruit was that grown by B.C. Bowker, Miami, in 1973. Whitman's tree and several others have also borne fruit.
(Morton, J. 1987. Fruits of Warm Climates.)

Indigenous Practices:
The fruits are plentiful in the markets of Antioquia, BuenaventuraChupa-Chupa, Quararibea cordata and Bogotá, Colombia, Puerto Viejo, Ecuador, the Brazilian towns of Tefé, Esperanca, Sao Paulo de Olivenca, Tabetinga, Benjamin Constant and Atalaia do Norte and elsewhere.
(Morton, J. 1987. Fruits of Warm Climates.)
 

Quararibea cordata, Matisia cordata
Family: Bombacaceae
Chupa-chupa, Zapote Chupachupa, South American Sapote
Origin: Brazil, Colombia, Peru
big treesmall tree 10-20 ftfull sunregular wateredible

The Chupa-chupa tree is fast-growing, erect, to 130 or even 145 ft (40-45 m) high in the wild, though often no more than 40 ft (12 m) in cultivation. It is sometimes buttressed; has stiff branches in tiered whorls of 5; and copious gummy yellow latex.

The flesh, orange-yellow, soft, juicy, sweet and of agreeable flavor surrounds 2 to 5 seeds, to 1 1/2 in (4 cm) long and 1 in (2.5 cm) wide, from which long fibers extend through the flesh.

In Florida, young trees need protection from winter cold. For best performance, the tree needs full sun and plenty of moisture. The tree attains maximum dimensions in the low, wet, deep soils of South American forests, yet it does well in cultivation on the slopes of the Andes and seems to tolerate the dry, oolitic limestone of South Florida's coastal ridge when enriched with topsoil and fertilizer.

The tree is commonly grown from seed but superior types should be vegetatively propagated. Side-veneer grafting can be easily done.

Also placed in Malvaceae ssf. Bombacoideae.

     
     

 

  

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