By: Bernadette Gallagher, Gardener
Did you know we grow quite a few plants that have edible fruit in our Costa Rica biome? It is exciting watching things grow and ripen, and even occasionally getting to taste them! Here are a few of the edibles we have in our biome.
Here we have Carica papaya, a papaya tree! We have two papaya trees, but this is the one that is currently fruiting.
I love this picture because you can see all the stages of the fruit, from flowers, to baby fruit, maturing fruit and finally the yellow ripe papaya!
We also have bananas! Currently we are waiting for two different bunches to ripen. These are Musa ‘Blue Java’, or ice cream bananas, they are different from bananas you would find in the grocery store; smaller and a little more tart, with thin skin. This is a picture I took of a new bunch at the beginning of October.
Here is the same bunch I captured in mid-January. They have gotten bigger, but they do require a lot of patience and waiting. We harvest them as soon as the first one starts to ripen, as they tend to ripen and spoil quickly after that.
Here is the newest bunch, in a perfect spot for guests to view from the canopy deck in our Costa Rica biome! Come check it out!
We also have a couple of different guava trees. This one is Psidium cattleianum, or strawberry guava. It has sweet, delicious little red fruits.
Here is Psidium friedrichstalianum, or Costa Rica cas fruit, another guava. These fruits ripen to a yellow-green color.
Here is Malpighia glabra, or Barbados cherry. It produces fruit a little smaller than the cherries we are familiar with, which have a tart taste and are packed with vitamin C.
This is Bunchosia argentea, or the peanut butter fruit tree. This is one of the more interesting fruits in the biome. It has small orange-red fruit with a paste-like texture that tastes like peanut butter! It is a very strange sensation to eat a bright red fruit with that unexpected flavor!
Here we have Annona muricata, or soursop. An interesting fruit with a spikey exterior, soursop, as it’s name suggests has a sour, citrusy taste. In some places it is used to make candy, ice cream, smoothies and more!
Soursop flowers and fruits can grow on branches, stems or even right on the trunk.
This is known as cauliflory, when plants that can flower and fruit from their main stems or woody trunks. Pictured above are soursop flowers. You may have noticed cauliflory in a local native tree, our very own redbud, Cercis canadensis! We have a few plants like this in the biome, including soursop, cannonball tree (Couroupita guianensis), jaboticaba (Plinia cauliflora), and our cacao tree (Theobroma cacao).
Here you can see a young cacao fruit coming right from the trunk.
In this picture we can see cacao fruits in various stages of ripening. While we most often think of making chocolate from these after the pods dry, you can also eat the mildly sweet white flesh surrounding the seeds!
These are some of the plants we are lucky enough to see fruit, that provide nourishment and enrichment to our birds and butterflies, and sometime a small, tasty snack for our staff. It may be cold and snowy outside, but it is always warm, green, and lush inside our Costa Rica biome. Visit us for a tropical getaway!
TOMORROW: 20220524 00:00 | 1653350400
Debug info for popularity tracking: Disable within popularity-tracking.php file once ready.
Time: 1653264000 / Saved: 1653177600
Views (7 day(s) ago): 1
Views (6 day(s) ago): 1
Views (5 day(s) ago): 2
Views (4 day(s) ago): 2
Views (3 day(s) ago): 3
Views (2 day(s) ago): 1
Views (1 day(s) ago): 1
Views (Today): 1