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Inga spectabilis - Guaba machete / Guavo real


Native to:



Parts of Central America, northern and western South America.

Rainforests at low to medium elevations. 0-2000 meters above sea level. 10 meters tall.

Inga spectabilis - Guaba machete / Guavo real

Ecological value:

This tree take 4-5 years to flower and produces fruits seasonally. Pollinators
include bees, butterflies, other insects. Has a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria that form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen which can be shared with neighboring plants.

Material uses:

Attractive wood, but susceptible to wood-boring insects. Used as fuelwood.
Contains tannins.

Edible uses:

The fibrous fruit of this plant melt in the mouth like cotton candy and is sweet, and is generally eaten fresh. Seeds edible, but less tasty

Medicinal use:

Used to treat inflammation, skin conditions and infections.

Other details:

Known as the Ice Cream Bean. The bean pods are typically 24 inches in length and 3
inches wide. It fruits from July to December. Shade tree for coffee and cocoa. The tree is also used to help grow crops like vanilla and black pepper.


Aria Shehas/Christine Facella


“Inga Spectabilis (Vahl) Willd. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 12, 2023.
“Inga Spectabilis - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 12, 2023.
Facciola. S., ‘Cornucopia II’, Kampong Publications, California, 1998
“Inga Spectabilis ‘Machete Ice Cream Bean’ Seeds.” n.d. AT Shipping. Accessed November 25, 2023.
Image sources: Filo gèn’ and Wilfredor.

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