Acai Berry Plants and Acai Palm Nurseries and acai berries
Another plant promoted as a supper food Acai berries come from the Acai Palm. It is the small purple to black berries that appear after flowering that are sought after as a health food. Originally from the rain forests of Brazil, the fruit does taste great, however the health benefits may just be a little overstated. It is high in antioxidants, Vitamin C, Amino acids and is a good source of fibre. Its really the claims about being good for weight loss, is a cure for depression as well as arthritis that have very little basis in fact.
The berries of the Acai palm are often picked and turned into a juice drink used as a health supplement. Plants are increasingly available for sale in Australia and the berries are widely used for diets and juice.
The berries are expensive for two reasons, the fruit is small and the stone or pip is big. The berries also need to be harvested and processed ( freeze dried) very quickly to have any chance of retaining all of those nutritional benefits.
Profile and Growing Hints
Acai Palms are grown for the acai berries. The berries of the acai palm are reputed to be very high in anti oxidants. Acai Palms ( Euterpe Oleracea) are originally from South America, and prefer a moist humus rich soil. So if you wanted fresh fruit, which is what is used in Brazil, you would need to grow your own tree.
Acai Palm – Summary Information.
- Climate – Tropical to sub tropical, warmth and humidity
- Soil – Requires a moist very fertile soil.
- Position – Full sun to part shade.
- Height – Can reach 8 metres and more, dwarf varieties are said to be available.
- Spread – Will form a crown to 4 metres across
- Foliage – Typicalpalm fronds.
- Flowers – Creamy brown in bracts, followed by clusters of pale fruit which turn a deep purple when ripe.
- Flowering period – will flower twice a year in good conditions.
- Frost Tolerant – No
- Drought tolerant – No
Acai palms are not readily available in Australia at present, however seed has been imported and acai palms should be more widely available within a year or two. Acai Palms are also a source of edible palm hearts.