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Spondias purpurea - Purple mombin / Jocote


Native to:



Central America and Colombia.

Open forests, pasture, common live fence. 10 meter tall tree, up to 1470 meters above sea level.

Spondias purpurea - Purple mombin / Jocote

Ecological value:

Tolerates a wide range of well-drained soils. Pollinated by wasps and social bees. Fruits eaten and dispersed by birds and small mammals. Easily propagated from cuttings or from seed. Out of the 17 Spondias species, 10 produce edible fruit.

Material uses:

Ash from wood used in soap making. White, soft wood, brittle, used for
paper pulp, fuel wood. Produces a gum used as an adhesive and as well as a thickener for stews. Used as fence post in Panama.

Edible uses:

Sweet fruit, can be eaten with salt and vinegar or lime juice when unripe , or red hot pepper sauce and "alhuaishte". New shoots and leaves are eaten as greens.

Medicinal use:

Leaves have anti- bacterial properties. Used to treat sore throats and headaches. Fruit in heavy quantities will work as a laxative. Treats dysentery and diarrhea.

Other details:

The fruit and sap cause an allergic reaction if it is contact with skin. Starts fruiting
around 4-5 years old. Used as live fence, planted thickly to create instant barriers. Damaged by frost. Genus commonly referred to as Hog Plums.


Mengmeng Chen / Maryangela S Rocca/Christine Facella


“Spondias Purpurea L. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 18, 2023.
‌“Spondias Purpurea - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 18, 2023.
Huxley. A., ‘The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992’, MacMillan Press, 1992
Facciola. S., ‘Cornucopia II’, Kampong Publications, California, 1998
Cristóbal-Pérez, E. Jacob, Eric J. Fuchs, Jorge Lobo, and Mauricio Quesada. 2022. “Genetic Diversity, Asexual Reproduction and Conservation of the Edible Fruit Tree Spondias Purpurea L. (Anacardiaceae) in the Costa Rican Tropical Dry Forest.” Edited by Pankaj Bhardwaj. PLOS ONE 17 (11): e0277439.
‌ Image source: Forest and Kim Starr.

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