Pouteria lucuma

Pouteria lucuma

pouteria lucma

Lucuma

Also spelt Lucmo. The botanical name is often also given as Pouteria obovata, or Lucuma obovata.

A lovely, round headed tree I have growing at Wharepuke is Lucuma, (pronounced luke-mah)  a native of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and northern Chile. This fruiting tree is not often seen in New Zealand but it should be grown more often.

The tree was well known to the Incas and had quite powerful spiritual connotations but it is for its fruit that it is known in South America. Highly nutritious yellow to orange coloured flesh covers one or two large shiny seeds. The green to yellow skinned fruit can grow to the size of a softball and up to a kilo in weight although they are usually smaller. Some are round and others pointed. The firm flesh tends to be dryish in texture and tastes of maple syrup and is used in drinks, puddings, cakes, buns, biscuits and pies. A delicious icecream is flavoured with it, also try it in a milkshake. The fruit is a good source of carbohydrates and minerals, particularly iron and vitamins A and B3.

When ripe the flesh can be dried and made into a flour which can be stored for a long time. The fresh fruit can also be frozen.

The timber of this long lived tree (600 years plus) is dense and durable and is used for furniture.

Grow in full sun and reasonably free draining soils.