Inga edulis

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Ingá Inga edulis 2.JPG
Pod and seeds
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae[1]
(unranked): Mimosoid clade[1]
Genus: Inga
Species: I. edulis
Binomial name
Inga edulis

see text

Inga edulis (eng. ice-cream-bean, joaquiniquil, Mex. cuaniquil, guama or guaba) is a fruit native to South America. It is widely grown, especially by indigenous Amazonians, for shade, food, timber, medicine, and production of the alcoholic beverage cachiri. It is popular in Peru, Ecuador, Pernambuco-Brazil and Colombia.[2] The name inga is derived from its name with the Tupí people of South America. In English they have been called "ice-cream beans" due to the sweet flavor and smooth texture of the pulp.


Mature trees of Inga edulis reach 30 m (98 ft) high and 60 cm (2.0 ft) diameter at breast height, usually branching from below 3 m (9.8 ft). The branches form a broad, flat, moderately dense canopy. The pods contain black seeds which are embedded in a thick white juicy pulp that tastes slightly like vanilla ice cream.



This plant has a convoluted history of synonymy with Inga vera. The plants discussed under that name by Brenan and Kunth are actually I. edulis, whereas that based on the writings of Carl Ludwig Willdenow refers to the actual I. vera. Inga edulis in works referring back to authorities other than von Martius usually refers to Inga feuilleei.[3]

Synonyms of Inga edulis Mart.:

  • Feuilleea edulis (Mart.) Kuntze[3]
  • Inga benthamiana Meisn.[3]
  • Inga edulis var. grenadensis Urb.[4]
  • Inga minutula (Schery) T.S.Elias[4]
  • Inga scabriuscula Benth.[3]
  • Inga vera Kunth[3]
  • Inga vera sensu Brenan[3]
  • Inga ynga (Vell.) J.W.Moore[3]
  • Mimosa inga L.[4]
  • Mimosa ynga Vell.[5]


  1. ^ a b The Legume Phylogeny Working Group (LPWG). (2017). "A new subfamily classification of the Leguminosae based on a taxonomically comprehensive phylogeny". Taxon. 66 (1): 44–77. doi:10.12705/661.3. 
  2. ^ Duke (1983)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g ILDIS (2005)
  4. ^ a b c Lim, T. K. (2012). Edible Medicinal And Non-Medicinal Plants: Volume 2, Fruits Volumen 2 de Edible Medicinal and Non-medicinal Plants. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 715. ISBN 9789400717633. 
  5. ^ USDA (2007)

Ice Cream Beans