Gustavia superba is an understorey tree in the Lecythidaceae family, that grows in Central and North-Western South America. Common names include membrillo, sachamango and heaven lotus. The trunk is around 5-10m high with the leaves radiating from the top (like palms).
Gustavia grows naturally abundantly, especially in secondary forests. It appreciates lots of moisture, sun and well drained soil. It branches little until mature, and has a bunch of leaves at the top, so that it resembles a palm. Seeds are dispersed by agoutis. The leaves are a favourite food of iguanas.
The flowers have big white/pink petals and the centre is pink and yellow and a compacted rounded mass of yellow/pink anthers in the centre. The flowers have a sweet fragrance.It bears rounded pear shaped fruit cauliflorously (on the trunk). Inside the hard green shell that contain several large seeds about 4 cm in diameter. The yellowish-orange pulp is edible, is usually boiled after which it is said to resemble meat in taste. It is rich in A, B and C vitamins.
The tree is not widely known outside its native range from Ecuador to Panama and Venezuela, but has been planted in tropical botanical gardens, including in Singapore (where it is referred to as 'pungol') and in Australia.
Join me for Floral Friday Fotos by linking your flower photos below, and please leave a comment once you have done so!
****If you take part in the meme, please show an active link back to this site on your own blog post!****
Add your own link to the Linky list below and say hello in a comment. Please visit other participants in the meme. I am swamped with work at the moment, so even though I appreciate your participation, I cannot visit all of your blogs...