Facts about Amazon grape

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Amazon grape Quick Facts
Name: Amazon grape
Scientific Name: Pourouma cecropiifolia
Origin Tropical rainforests of Western Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru
Colors Green turning reddish- purple to dark purple when ripe
Shapes Ovoid to globose, drupaceous fruit 2–4 cm long, and borne in clusters like grapes with the exception of its smell
Flesh colors White
Health benefits Good for treating hard boils
Pourouma cecropiifolia commonly known as Amazon grape or Amazon tree-grape is a species of Pourouma and belongs to family Urticaceae. The plant is native to tropical South America, in the western Amazon basin in tropical South America, northern Bolivia, western Brazil, southeastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru and southern Venezuela. It is the best known of the twenty species of the genus Purouma. It is especially abundant in the vicinity of Iquitos. It has been cultivated since pre-Hispanic times by the Indians of south-western Colombia and is grown by Indians and non-Indians in Brazil. The tree grows on high dry land at altitudes below 500 m within latitude 17 ° N and S of the equator. Few of the popular common names of the plant are Amazon Tree Grape, Tree Grape, Uvilla, and Washi shuinia, Mapati, Caimaron, Curcura, Peruma, Uva and Uvula. The edible fruit is greatly valued within the plants native range, where the fruit is often gathered from the wild. The tree is also cultivated in the Amazon basin, and has been suggested as a home-garden crop throughout the humid tropics.

Amazon Grape Facts

Name Amazon grape
Scientific Name Pourouma cecropiifolia
Native Tropical rainforests of Western Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru
Common Names Amazon Grape, Amazon Tree Grape, Tree Grape, Uvilla, Washi shuinia, Mapati, Caimaron, Curcura, Peruma, Uva, Uvula
Name in Other Languages Brazil: Tararanga Preta, Mapati, Amaitem, Ambaúva De Vinho, Ambaúva Mansa, Cucurca, Imbauba Mansa, Imbauba-De-Vinho, ImbaubaDeCheiro, Imbaubarana, Inbauba, Imbanbapuruma, Puruma, Sucuuba, Uva Da Amazônia, Uva Da Mata, Umbaúba De Cheiro, Umbaúba De Vinho
Chinese: Yàmǎxùn pútáo (亞馬遜葡萄)
Columbia: Puruma, Caime, Caimaron, Caimaron Silvestre, Uva Caimarona, Camuirro, Cucura, Uva, Sirpe, Hiye, Joyahiye
English: Amazon grape, Amazon Tree Grape; Tree Grape, Uvilla               
French: Caimaron
French Guyana: Uvilla, Uva De Monte, Uva Caimarona, Caimarõn, Caimurro, Peru Uvilla, Uva De Monte, Sacha Uvillas
Korean: Ubiya (우비야)
Peru: Uva de Monte, uvilla
Persian: انگور آمازون
Portuguese: Cucura, Imbauba De Vinho, Mapate, Puruma, Umbauba De Cheiro, Uva De Mata, Embaúba, Mapati, imbauba-do-vinho
Russian: Amazonskiy vinograd (Амазонский виноград)
Spanish: Caima, Caimaren, Uva Caimarona, Uva De Monte, Uvilla, Sacha-uvilla, Uva-caimarona
Welsh: Ffa
Plant Growth Habit Medium-sized, evergreen, dioecious, branched tree
Soil Grows well on poor soils but prefers rich, well-drained soils and is vulnerable to flooding. It cannot stand prolonged drought and frost
Plant Size Up to 20 meters tall, but is often smaller, and has a straight bole 20 – 30 cm in diameter
Bark Bark is gray and marked with leaf scars
Leaf Alternate, cordaterotund and palmately compound, with 9–11 leaflets, 15–30 cm long and 10–20 cm broad, on a 20 cm long, glabrous petiole. Segments are obovate-oblong- lanceolate and velvety
Flower The white male and female flowers are borne in cluster of 20 or more in a 10 cm long inflorescence on separate trees. Male flowers with 4 free, strap-shaped sepals, with 4 or more stamens and basifixed anthers on short filaments, Female flowers with cup-shaped, fleshy perianth cup investing the one-celled, tomentosa ovary with a short style and slightly lobed stigma
Fruit Shape & Size The fruit is ovoid to globose, drupaceous fruit 2–4 cm long, and borne in clusters like grapes with the exception of its smell
Fruit Color Initially green turning reddish- purple to dark purple when ripe
Skin Rough, inedible but easily peeled
Flesh Color White
Propagation By seed
Traditional Medicinal Uses
  • The warmed bark is used as a poultice for treating hard boils.

Plant Description

Amazon grape is a medium-sized, evergreen, dioecious, branched tree that normally grows up to 20 meters tall, but is often smaller, and has a straight bole 20 – 30 cm in diameter. The plant has grey bark marked by leaf scars with a rosette of branches high up the tree and leaves crowded toward the tips of the branches. The plant grows well on poor soils but prefers rich, well-drained soils and is vulnerable to flooding. It cannot stand prolonged drought and frost.

 Leaves

Leaves are alternate, cordaterotund and palmately compound, with 9–11 leaflets, 15–30 cm long and 10–20 cm broad, on a 20 cm long, glabrous petiole. Segments are obovate-oblong- lanceolate and velvety. They are green on the upper surface, whitish or bluish gray and velvety below, the largest middle ones, all more or less connate toward the base. The leaves give off an agreeably aromatic fragrance when crushed like wintergreen.

Flower

Inflorescence is erect, narrow, many- flowered axillary panicle. The unopened inflorescence is reddish-purple, densely coated with fine white hairs. The white male and female flowers are borne in cluster of 20 or more in a 10 cm long inflorescence on separate trees. Male flowers with 4 free, strap-shaped sepals, with 4 or more stamens and basifixed anthers on short filaments, Female flowers with cup-shaped, fleshy perianth cup investing the one-celled, tomentosa ovary with a short style and slightly lobed stigma.

Fruit

Fertile flowers are followed by ovoid to globose, drupaceous fruit 2–4 cm long, and borne in clusters like grapes with the exception of its smell. Fruit are initially green turning to reddish- purple and finally dark purple when ripe. The skin is rough, inedible but easily peeled. The pulp is white, mucilaginous, juicy, sub acid, very mild flavor; and encloses 1 conical seed with fibrous, grooved testa. However, fruits of Amazon grape are quite fragile and have a short shelf life too.  This is the reason that its cultivation has not been able to pick up in spite of being a good and a popular fruit too.

Native American mythology

Ermanno Stradelli published at the end of the nineteenth century the Legenda del Jurupary, which speaks from a mythical point of view of the questions of language and birth in the ancient indigenous societies of Río Negro and the Middle Amazon. During this story, Seucy, a very pretty girl, goes into the forest and picks up some Pihican fruit that has fallen to the ground because of monkeys. She eats these fruits and juice flows between her breasts to her private parts without her noticing. Later she discovers that she has lost her virginity and that she finds herself pregnant. She will eventually give birth to a beautiful boy who looks like the sun and is called Jurupary, that is to say “conceived by the fruit”. Jurupary later became chief and legislator of the village.

Culinary Uses

  • Fruit is sweet and juicy, eaten fresh and made into jams, jellies, other confections and wine.
  • Fruit is very fragile and has poor post-harvest shelf-life which limits marketing options.
  • The sweet flower perianth is eaten raw or used for making drinks and wine.
  • The toasted seeds can be used as a substitute for coffee and the leaf ash is sometimes substituted as a coca additive.
  • Some people also make a wine from Amazon grapes.

Other Facts

  • The wood is light, coarse and non-durable and used for paper pulp and for making charcoal.
  • The wood is unsuitable for furniture or general construction.
  • It is used for linings, boxes, toys and plywood.
  • It is also pulped for cellulose.
  • In Southwest Columbia, Indians reduce the leaves to ashes to mix with roasted and sprayed coca leaves to chew them into a fine powder called mambe.
  • Mature tree can yield 50-70 kg of fruits.

References:

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pourouma+cecropiifolia

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/POUCE

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2408635

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Pourouma+cecropiifolia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pourouma_cecropiifolia

https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/Amazon-Tree-Grape.html

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