Abiu (pourteria caimito) – Plant Profile
Abiu are a tropical to sub-tropical fruit native to the amazon rainforest sometimes called the ‘The Creme Caramel Fruit’.
Mature plants will grow to reach 10m and more. Grown in Australia in the Northern parts of Queensland as well as in the Northern Territory, Abiu (pouteria caimito) has potential as a commercial crop. Common names include ‘Caimo’ and ‘Cauje’ although these are seldom used.
The tree is evergreen and the fruit rounded and yellow to orange in colour.
The fruit is of a caramel flavour with a sticky layer of latex type texture close to the skin. The fruit are round and eaten raw (chilled) or with ice-cream. (avoid the latex layer as it is very sticky).
A number of Abiu varieties are available in Australia, many developed in Australia. These include – Inca Gold, Cape Oasis, Gray as well as Z2, Z3 and Z4. Some perform better in different areas. Look for proven cutting grown trees that have a track record in your area for good fruit production.
These are a heavy fruiting tree that are regarded as relatively pest and care free, a rapid growing tree that will bear good fruit quantities in 2 – 3 years from grafted varieties, a few years longer from seedlings.
Although the main fruiting period is during the warmer months of the year they will fruit sporadically through cooler months, but inly in the sub tropical to tropical areas.
Abiu are now grown commercially in Australia and are available in some fruit shops, however as shelf life is not long transport to markets can be problematical.
- Grow in full sun.
- Choose a position protected from strong winds.
- Good moisture is required for strong and constant fruit production.
- Irrigation is recommended in most area.
Plants can be propagated from seed, however seed needs to be very fresh for reasonable germination result.
Most varieties are propagated by grafting.
To keep trees to a reasonable size they are pruned with the central leader removed and branching encouraged. It is best to keep lower branches away from ground level and the tree at around 3 – 4 metres in height.
This is a fruit that does not transport easily or have a long shelf life so it is not readily found in markets outside its growing area.
With home grown trees, wait until the fruit turns a good yellow and then allow the fruit to ripen more for a few days before eating.
Did You Know
The fruit is now grown in Malaysia and Hong Kong where it is known as “Wong Kum Kuo” which translates to Emperor’s Golden Fruit.
Abiu trees are available for sale from the following nurseries.
PO Box 1021 Mossman, QLD 4873
9 Meadow Rd Julatten QLD 4871
2 Burns Rd Ross Creek Goombborian QLD 4570
Ph 07 5483 3734 Mob 0423 775401
Specializing in exotic fruit trees: Abiu, Barbados Cherry, Black Sapote, Candlenut, Carob, Coffee, Jackfruit, Lychee, Macadamia, Mango, Persimmon, Strawberry Tree, Tamarind and many more.