Jamaican Guinep the great Jamaican fruit.
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Jamaican Guinep And Uses Of The Jamaican Fruit

Jamaican Guinep Its Uses In Jamaican Recipes

The Jamaican guinep tree is slow-growing, erect, stately, and attractive; to 85 ft high, with trunk to 5 ½  ft (1.7 m) thick; smooth, gray bark, and spreading branches. Young branchlets are reddish. The Jamaican guinep leaves are briefly deciduous, alternate, compound, having 4 opposite, elliptic, sharp-pointed leaflets 2 to 5 inches long and 1¼ to 2½ inches wide, the rachis frequently conspicuously winged as is that of the related soapberry. The Jamaican guinep flowers, in slender racemes 2 1/3 to 4 inches long, often clustered in terminal panicles, are fragrant, white, 1/5 to 1/3 inches wide, with 4 petals and 8 stamens. Male and female are usually borne on separate Jamaican guinep trees but some Jamaican guinep trees are partly polygamous. The Jamaican guinep fruit clusters are branched, compact and heavy with nearly round, green Jamaican guinep fruits tipped with a small protrusion, and suggesting at first glance small unripe limes, but there the resemblance ends. The skin is smooth, thin but leathery and brittle. The glistening Jamaican guinep pulp (aril) is salmon-colored or yellowish, translucent, gelatinous, juicy but very scant and somewhat fibrous, usually clinging tenaciously to the Jamaican guinep seed. When fully ripe, the Jamaican guinep pulp is pleasantly acid-sweet but if unripe acidity predominates. In most Jamaican guinep fruits there are a single, large, yellowish-white, hard-shelled Jamaican guinep seed, while some have 2 hemispherical Jamaican guinep seeds. The kernel is white, crisp, starchy, and astringent.

"The large Jamaican guinep Jamaican guinep tree grows up to 85 feet tall, with a thick trunk and smooth gray bark.  Jamaican guinep leaves are bright green, alternate and compound, with 4 elliptic leaflets 2-5 inches long and 1-2 inches wide.  Usually dioecious, with separate male and female Jamaican guinep trees.  Jamaican guinep flowers are small, white, fragrant, and borne in terminal panicles 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) long.  Jamaican guinep fruits are ellipsoid to spheroid, 1-1.5 inches (2.5-4 cm) long and 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide, with a thin, brittle green peel.  The Jamaican guinep pulp is orange, salmon or yellowish in color, juicy to somewhat pasty in texture, flavorful and sweet-sour to sour.  One or two large, cream colored Jamaican guinep seeds.  The Jamaican guinep pulp usually adheres tightly to the Jamaican guinep seed, but there are varieties that are relatively freestone. This tropical Jamaican guinep tree is widely cultivated in Jamaica for its Jamaican guinep fruit. Jamaican guinep is a medium-sized to large guinep tree and is often planted along roadsides. The Jamaican guinep is said to be native to Colombia, Venezuela, and the island of Margarita, also French Guiana, Guyana and Surinam. Jamaican guinep is commonly cultivated and spontaneous in those countries, also in coastal Ecuador, the lowlands of Central America, the West Indies and in the Bahamas. In Florida, Jamaican guinep is occasionally grown as far north as Ft. Myers on the West Coast and Palm Beach on the east; is much more plentiful in Key West, especially as a Jamaican guinep tree. There are some specimens in California and in botanical gardens in the Philippines, Zanzibar, Hawaii and elsewhere. According to Britton, there was a Jamaican guinep tree about 30 ft (9 m) tall in Bermuda in 1914 but Jamaican guinep had never bloomed. There are a few Jamaican guinep trees in Israel but none has Jamaican guinep flowered before 10 years of age. Jamaican guinep tree up to 30 m, often planted in tropical areas for its Jamaican guinep fruit. Well adapted to areas of low rainfall and grows to 1,000 m elevation in South America. Will grow in most soils, including very poor ones. Spanish line (guinep) is from northern South America, and is widely distributed throughout tropical South America, Central America and the Antilles.  Sporadically planted in other tropical regions.

Little horticultural attention has been given this Jamaican guinep fruit. In the 1950's, a large-Jamaican guinep fruited, sweet type was found in Key West. Air-layers and inarchings were made in order to permit trial of this type on the mainland. There are several strains of the Jamaican guinep tree exist. Jamaican guinep fruits with less than 45% edible Jamaican guinep pulp and 20% total sugars were disregarded. The first type is round, of medium size, the Jamaican guinep fruit flesh is firm, semi-dry. The guinep flesh separates easily from the Jamaican guinep seed and is extremely sweet. The next variety is also of medium size but the guinep rind is medium-thick and the guinep flesh firm but semi-dry. The flesh separates easily from Jamaican guinep seed and the flesh is extremely sweet. The third variety is round, oblong and small the guinep rind is thin and pliable. The guinep flesh is firm, semi-dry and separates easily from the Jamaican guinep seed and is very sweet. The fourth variety is round, medium-small and the guinep rind thin. The guinep flesh is firm, semi-dry, separating easily from Jamaican guinep seed; however Jamaican guinep has a fair amount of acid and is slightly sweet. The percentage of edible matter by Jamaican guinep fruit-weight ranged from 46.6% to 48.6%. Superior cultivars of guinep include 'Sasa', 'José Pabón', 'Perfa', 'Ponce' and 'Sotomayor'.  Melicoccus lepidopetala, from Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina, has an edible Jamaican guinep fruit.

Generally, the presence of a male Jamaican guinep tree is necessary to pollinate the Jamaican guinep flowers of Jamaican guinep trees that are predominantly female (or hermaphrodite functioning as female). However, in Cuba, some Jamaican guinep trees have sufficient numbers of Jamaican guinep flowers of both sexes to yield regularly large crops without interplanting. The small, greenish-white, fragrant Jamaican guinep flowers are borne in panicles from the branch tips at the beginning of the rainy season. The Jamaican guinep tree generally is polygamous, that is, they produce both bisexual Jamaican guinep flowers and those of one sex only. The anthers of many bisexual Jamaican guinep flowers are non-functional so that Jamaican guinep fruits do not develop unless cross-pollination occurs. Care should be taken, therefore, to set out plants with Jamaican guinep flowers of each sex. In Puerto Rico, the Jamaican guinep fruit ripens from July to September, appearing like bunches of large, green grapes. These are cut and peddled widely along roadsides and Jamaican guinep trees. The ovoid Jamaican guinep fruit measures a little over 1 inch in length, but an occasional Jamaican guinep tree bears Jamaican guinep fruit twice this size. Inside the tight, thin guinep skin, which is easily cracked by the teeth, lays a thin layer of sweet-tart yellow Jamaican guinep pulp surrounding a large ovoid Jamaican guinep seed. This Jamaican guinep pulp is a good source of iron. The Jamaican guinep seeds are said to be edible after roasting. The guinep is not strictly tropical, for Jamaican guinep ascends up to 3,300 ft (1,000 m) above sea-level in South America. Jamaican guinep can stand several degrees of frost in Florida. Nevertheless, Jamaican guinep is too tender to guinep fruit in California though Jamaican guinep has been planted there on various occasions. Jamaican guinep is well adapted to areas of low rainfall. That of Key West ranges from 30 to 50 in (75-125 cm) annually. The Jamaican guinep tree can tolerate long periods of drought.

In Cuba, the Jamaican guinep tree is said to flourish in nearly all types of terrain but particularly in deep, rich soil of calcareous origin. Jamaican guinep seems perfectly at home in the oolitic-limestone of southern Florida and the Florida Keys. In Colombia, Jamaican guinep has been observed to grow on such poor soils that Jamaican guinep has been adopted for planting in soil reclamation efforts. Jamaican guinep is spontaneous especially in dry, coastal districts. The guinep is usually grown from Jamaican guinep seed but superior types should be vegetatively reproduced. Air-layering of fairly large branches, at least 2 in (5 cm) in diameter, is successful in the summer and there will be adequate root development in 5 to 6 weeks. Approach-grafting is feasible provided the rootstocks are raised in a lightweight medium, in plastic bags to facilitate attachment to the selected Jamaican guinep tree. Attempts to veneer-graft or chip-bud have generally failed. Spanish line (guinep) is usually grown from Jamaican guinep seed, but superior cultivars may be propagated by air layering or grafting.  The Jamaican guinep tree is slow growing, taking 5-10 years or more to Jamaican guinep fruit.  Grows well at low elevations under hot, dry conditions.  Adaptable to different soil types, but seems to grow best in fertile, high pH soils.  Jamaican guinep fruits from July to October in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, the Jamaican guinep fruit ripens from July to September, appearing like bunches of large, green grapes. These are cut and peddled widely along roadsides and Jamaican guinep trees.

The ovoid Jamaican guinep fruit measures a little over 1 inch in length, but an occasional Jamaican guinep tree bears guinep fruit twice this size. Inside the tight, thin guinep skin, which is easily cracked by the teeth, lays a thin layer of sweet-tart yellow guinep pulp surrounding a large ovoid Jamaican guinep seed. This Jamaican guinep pulp is a good source of iron. The Jamaican guinep seeds are said to be edible after roasting. Ordinarily, the guinep, Jamaican guinep tree is given no care except for watering and fertilizing when first planted. Vegetatively propagated guinep trees bear earlier than guinep seedlings. A large stately Jamaican guinep tree with spreading branches and a smooth gray bark; indigenous to tropical America, growing up to 100 feet tall.

The Jamaican guinep flowers are clustered in panicles; fragrant and greenish white. The Jamaican guinep fruits are borne in clusters; they are completely round and 1 - 1½' in diameter. The leathery, thin green guinep skin covers a layer of juicy Jamaican guinep pulp translucent and salmon pink. The large Jamaican guinep seeds is also round and ¾" - 1" in diameter. Knippa is mostly eaten out of hand; the guinep juice can also be used as a cold drink. The Jamaican guinep seeds can be roasted and are edible; the cooked Jamaican guinep seeds are a substitute for cassava. Full sun, well drained clay - loam soil. The guinep tree can tolerate drought well. The guinep tree should be planted in frost free location; guinep can withstand some frost but serious damage occur at 25° F. In Florida, the guinep fruits ripen from June to September. In the Jamaica, the season extends from July to October. Ladders and picking poles equipped with cutters are necessary in harvesting Jamaican guinep fruits from tall Jamaican guinep trees. The entire cluster is clipped from the branch when sampling indicates that the Jamaican guinep fruits are fully ripe. At this stage, the guinep rind becomes brittle but does not change color. If picked prematurely, the guinep rind turns blackish, a sign of deterioration.

Because of the leathery guinep skin, the Jamaican guinep fruit remains fresh for a long time and ships and markets well. The Jamaican guinep tree is a host of the Citrus black fly, Aleurocanthus woglumi. There are several parasites (Prospaltella spp., Eretmocerus serius, and Amitus hesperidium) which provide effective control of this pest. In Florida, Armillariella (Clitocybe) tabescens causes mushroom root rot; Fusarium and Phyllosticta cause Jamaican guinep leaf spot; and Cephaleuros virescens, algal Jamaican guinep leaf spot and green scurf. For eating out-of-hand, the guinep rind is merely torn open at the stem end and the Jamaican guinep pulp-coated guinep seed is squeezed into the mouth, the juice being sucked from the guinep pulp until there is nothing left of Jamaican guinep but the fiber. With Jamaican guinep fruits that have non-adherent guinep pulp, the latter may be scraped from the Jamaican guinep seed and utilized to make pie-filling, jam, marmalade or jelly, but this entails much work for the small amount of edible material realized. More commonly, the peeled Jamaican guinep fruits are boiled and the resulting juice is prized for cold drinks. In Colombia, the juice is canned commercially.

The Jamaican guinep seeds are eaten after roasting. Indians of the Orinoco consume the cooked guinep seeds as a substitute for cassava. Spanish line (guinep) is eaten fresh by popping the Jamaican guinep fruit out of the peel and chewing the juicy Jamaican guinep pulp off the Jamaican guinep seed.  Also used to make juice, jam, jelly, and liquor called "bilí".  The Jamaican guinep seeds are reportedly edible, but are very astringent. The Jamaican guinep has several great benefits, with only 58 calories in a healthy serving, the guinep contains protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, ash, calcium, thiamine phosphorus, iron, carotene, riboflavin, ascorbic and amino acids. Jamaican guinep has been said that the Jamaican guinep pulp fibers coat the lining of the stomach, adversely affecting the health, but this has been denied by the Government Chemist of the Department of Science and Agriculture in Jamaica who declares that fatalities in children are the result of choking on the Jamaican guinep seed. When coated with Jamaican guinep pulp, Jamaican guinep is very slippery, is accidentally swallowed and, because of its size, lodges in the throat, causing suffocation or strangulation. A dye has been experimentally made from the juice of the raw Jamaican guinep fruit which makes an indelible stain. The Jamaican guinep flowers are rich in nectar and highly appealing to hummingbirds and honeybees. The honey is somewhat dark in color but of agreeable flavor. The Jamaican guinep tree is esteemed by Jamaican beekeepers though the Jamaican guinep flowering season (March/April) is short.

In Jamaica, the Jamaican guinep leaves are scattered in houses where there are many fleas. Jamaican guinep is claimed that the fleas are attracted to the Jamaican guinep leaves and are cast out with the swept-up foliage. Some believe that the Jamaican guinep leaves actually kill the fleas. The heartwood is yellow with dark lines, compact, hard, heavy, fine-grained; inclined to decay out of doors, but valued for rafters, indoor framing, and cabinetwork. In Jamaica, the astringent roasted Jamaican guinep seed kernels are pulverized, mixed with honey and given to halt diarrhea. The astringent Jamaican guinep leaf decoction is given as an enema for intestinal complaints.

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