Madrono Fruit (Rheedia Madruno) is native to the Golfo Dulce region of Costa Rica, the Atlantic slope of Panama, and northern South America–Colombia and Ecuador through Venezuela to Guyana and Bolivia. It is particularly common in the Cauca Valley of Colombia. This fruit is not famous much outside its homeland.
An erect, lush, compact evergreen tree with pyramidal or nearly round crown, 7-20 m high. The opposite leaves are elliptic to oblong, wedge-shaped at the base, rounded or pointed at the apex. The fragrant male and female flowers are borne on separate trees in clusters of up to 14 in the leaf axils; have 4 reflexed, pale-yellow petals; the male, 25 to 30 light-yellow stamens.
The fruit is round or ellipsoidal, sometimes with a prominent nipple at each end; 2 to 3 in (5-7.5 cm) long, with thick, leathery, warty, greenish-yellow rind containing a deep-yellow, resinous latex. The white, translucent, juicy, sweet-acid, aromatic pulp adheres tightly to the 1 to 3 ovate or oblong seeds which are about 3/4 in (2 cm) long. The fruits are sweet and tasty. Madrono adapts to a wide variety of soils, tolerating even poor soils or heavy clay. It is a slow grower. One word of caution, though: do not pick fruits prior to maturity. If we pick the fruit before maturity, fruits are generally very acid, and no further ripening occurs in the fruit.
Madrono Fruit Benefits:
- It makes an excellent jam
- The yellow latex of the tree is used in Panama to treat ulcers and other sores.
- The wood is pinkish and hard but not commonly used.
- These berries are used in folk medicine
- In Morocco, this tisane has been used to control blood pressure while protecting against cure colds.