- This article is about the species Pouteria lucuma, formerly Lucuma obovata; this is not the same as the species Pouteria obovata.
(Ruiz & Pav.) Kuntze
The lúcuma (Pouteria lucuma) is a subtropical fruit native to the Andean valleys of Peru. Lucuma has been found on ceramics at burial sites of the indigenous people of coastal Peru. The Moche people had a fascination with agriculture and often chose to represent fruits and vegetables, including lucuma, in their art.
In Peru harvesting season is from October to March and in Chile from June to November.
The fruit was first seen and reported by Europeans in the Chinchasuyu region of the Inca Empire in 1531. It is sometimes known as lucmo. It is also called "eggfruit" in English, a common name also given to the closely related canistel (Pouteria campechina). The name "eggfruit" refers to the fruits' dry flesh, which is similar in texture to a hard-boiled egg yolk. The lucuma has particularly dry flesh which possesses a unique flavor of maple and sweet potato. It is a very nutritious fruit, having high levels of carotene, vitamin B3, and other B vitamins. The round or ovoid fruits are green, with a bright yellow flesh that is often fibrous. It grows at temperate elevations, between 1,000-2,400 metres. Temperatures of its elevated native range make the species technically subtropical, even though its native region is strictly tropical. It has been grown successfully in subtropical foothills of California. Attempts at growing lucuma in Florida's climate typically fail. In addition to Peru, the fruit is grown also to a limited extent in Bolivia and Costa Rica. It grows well in most tropical regions, but is not widely favored. The fruit is also available in large quantities in Lao People's Democratic Republic and in Vietnam.
Formerly known as Lucuma obovata, it is now considered a member of the genus Pouteria, and given the name Pouteria lucuma. It is not the species Pouteria obovata.