Aristoclesia esculenta Stuntz
Platonia insignis, the sole species of the genus Platonia, is a tree of the family Clusiaceae native to South America in the humid forests of Brazil, Paraguay, parts of Colombia and northeast to Guyana; specially in Amazon Rainforest. Common names include bacuri (and numerous variant spellings thereof; bacurí, bacury, bakuri, pacuri, pakuri, pakouri, packoeri, pakoeri), maniballi, naranjillo and bacurizeiro.
There was a degree of nomenclatural confusion, caused by Moronobea esculenta. If that were validly published for this species the current name would be Platonia esculenta. It was established that Moronobea esculenta is not a formal name (not "validly published"), so the name remains Platonia insignis.
Platonia insignis is a dry-season deciduous tree, reaching 25–40 m high. It has a pyramidal crown and copious yellow latex in the bark. The leaves are opposite, simple oblong to elliptic, 8–15 cm long, and glossy dark green, with wavy margins and a leathery texture.
The flowers are 5–7 cm long and pink in color, with five petals and numerous stamens. The fruit is round to oval and 7–14 cm long, with a thick, yellow skin. It resembles a papaya. The rind exudes a yellow latex when pressed. The sticky white pulp is fragant, with a taste that is both sweet and sour. There are 3 to 5 seeds.
Cultivation and uses
The bacuri is grown for its fruit, which is made into various condiments and beverages. It contains high levels of phosphorus, iron, and vitamin C. The oily brown seeds are used as a home remedy to treat skin conditions. Its yellowish wood is frequently used as timber.
- Rogez, H., et al. (2004). Chemical composition of the pulp of three typical Amazonian fruits: araça-boi (Eugenia stipitata), bacuri (Platonia insignis) and cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum). European Food Research and Technology 214(4) doi:10.1007/s00217-003-0853-6
- Cornell University Caique Glossary
- Peres, V. and T. J. Nagem. (1997). Trioxygenated naturally occurring xanthones. Phytochemistry 44(2) 191-214. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(96)00421-9
- Platonia insignis on www.cefe.cnrs.fr
- Clement, Charles (2006). "Platonia esculenta bacuri". In Jules Janick, Robert Paull. The Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nuts. Cambridge, MA: CABI. pp. 269–272. ISBN 9780851996387.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Platonia insignis.|