Peanut Butter Fruit

Peanut Butter Fruit


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Common Name:  Peanut Butter Fruit.

Latin Name:  Bunchosia argentea.

Origin:  South America.

Description (what it looks like):  A perennial, evergreen shrub or small tree up to 5m high, often with multiple trunks.  Leaves are simple, opposite, ovate, up to 15cm long and 8cm wide with a wavy margin, forming a very ornamental canopy.  Clusters of yellow flowers form in spring.  These are lightly perfumed and up to 8cm long.   Followed by an abundance of dark red fruit to around 2.5cm long.  The rich, sweet flesh has a texture similar to peanut butter.  Seeds / nuts are green at first, then colour up when ripe in late Summer.  There are 1-2 large seeds embedded in the orange-red pulp.

Uses (function):  Attracts birds and bats.  Great ornamental or screening value.  Self-pollinating so you only need one plant for fruiting.  Can be grown in container gardening, even inside if enough light.

Nutritional value:  Protein rich, low in calories and fat and are a source of simple sugars, fiber, and vitamins.

Growing details (propagation, seed etc):  Seedlings can be sprouted from fruit.  Harvest between February-September.  Can be kept pruned to a shortish shrub size for easy foraging.  Prefers shelter from cold winds and frost.

Best time to grow:  Plant out in spring, when the soil warms up.

Soil:  Good draining, fertile soil with a neutral pH (6.6-7.3).

Sun:  Full sun (80%-100%).

Water:  Moderate.  Keep moist.

How to eat it:  Sweet, delicate and best eaten straight off the tree as soon as it turns red.  The fruit can be eaten fresh or made into milk shakes.  It has a sticky, dense, sweet, pleasant-tasting pulp, but is not very juicy as the sugars are concentrated.  Separate the flesh from the seed and freeze for later use.  Ideal for jams, jellies, preserves, muffins and the like.  The flesh can also be dehydrated.

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