Byrsonima crassifolia

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Byrsonima crassifolia
Byrsonima crassifolia 1.jpg
Byrsonima crassifolia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Malpighiaceae
Genus: Byrsonima
Species: B. crassifolia
Binomial name
Byrsonima crassifolia
(L.) Kunth[1]

Malpighia crassifolia L.

Changunga or nance, frozen, unsweetened
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 306 kJ (73 kcal)
16.97 g
Sugars 8.31 g
Dietary fiber 7.5 g
1.16 g
0.66 g
Vitamin A equiv.
5 μg
569 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.015 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.018 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.29 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
0.18 mg
Vitamin B6
0.021 mg
Folate (B9)
8 μg
Vitamin C
92.5 mg
Vitamin E
1.25 mg
Vitamin K
11.9 μg
46 mg
0.38 mg
20 mg
0.248 mg
10 mg
244 mg
3 mg
0.09 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Byrsonima crassifolia is a species of flowering plant in the acerola family, Malpighiaceae, that is native to tropical America. It is valued for its small, sweet, yellow fruit, which are strongly scented. The fruits have a very pungent and distinct flavor and smell. The taste is not comparable to any other fruit. Common names include changunga, muruçi, nanche, nance, chacunga, craboo, kraabu, savanna serrette (or savanna serret) and golden spoon.

Description and habitat[edit]

Byrsonima crassifolia is a slow-growing large shrub or tree to 33 ft (10 m). Sometimes cultivated for its edible fruits, the tree is native and abundant in the wild, sometimes in extensive stands, in open pine forests and grassy savannas, from central Mexico, through Central America, to Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil; it also occurs in Trinidad, Barbados, Curaçao, St. Martin, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and throughout Cuba and the Isle of Pines. The nance is limited to tropical and subtropical climates. In Central and South America, the tree ranges from sea-level to an altitude of 6,000 ft (1,800 m). It is highly drought-tolerant.

Example ecoregions of occurrence[edit]

Found in a number of tropical and subtropical ecoregions of the Americas that feature conifers, an example ecoregion of occurrence for B. crassifolia is the Belizean pine forests.[3]


The fruits are eaten raw or cooked as dessert. In rural Panama, the dessert prepared with the addition of sugar and flour, known as pesada de nance, is quite popular. The fruits are also made into dulce de nance, a candy prepared with the fruit cooked in sugar and water. In Nicaragua (where the fruit is called nancite), it is a popular ingredient for several desserts, including raspados (a frozen dessert made from a drink prepared with nancites) and a dessert made by leaving the fruit to ferment with some sugar in a bottle for several months (usually from harvest around August-September until December) -- this is sometimes called "nancite in vinegar".

The fruits are also often used to prepare carbonated beverages, ice cream and juice, in Brazil, flavor mezcal-based liqueurs, or make an oily, acidic, fermented beverage known as chicha, the standard term applied to assorted beer-like drinks made of fruits or maize. Nance is used to distill a rum-like liquor called crema de nance in Costa Rica. Mexico produces a licor de nanche.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Byrsonima crassifolia (L.) Kunth". TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  2. ^ "Byrsonima crassifolia". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  3. ^ C. Michael Hogan & World Wildlife Fund. 2012. Belizean pine forests. ed. M. McGinley. Encyclopedia of Earth. Washington DC

External links[edit]

Data related to Byrsonima crassifolia at Wikispecies