Parinari curatellifolia
Status: Least Concern
Type: Evergreen
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Chrysobalanaceae
Names: Mpundu
Appearance: The edible fruits are plum-like, which turn yellow-brown when ripe

General Information

Parinari curatellifolia is an evergreen tropical tree of Africa, found in various kinds of deciduous woodland most frequently in poorly drained areas and inland at moderate altitudes. It is also known as mmupudu (by Tswana speaking South Africans), mpundu or mobola plum after the fruit, which is considered tasty and causes the tree to be spared when woodland is cleared for cultivation

Uses

A traditional food plant in Africa, this little-known fruit has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare. The wood is very hard and heavy, as it contains silica crystals, therefore it is difficult to work but unfortunately is not durable and so is little used, although it makes good charcoal. However, the main value of the tree is the delicious fruit, which appears early in the dry season and can be harvested over 3 or more months. It is used a snack and the kernel has a high oil content. The crushed pulp of the fruit is an ingredient in drinks and since it ferments well, is often used to make alcoholic drinks as well. It is also used for faith healing by some indigenous churches in Zimbabwe.

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