Sunday, May 7, 2017
Marula - 'Sclerocarya birrea' - fam: Anacardiaceae
Sclerocarya birrea, commonly known as the Marula, is a medium-sized dioecious tree, indigenous to the miombo woodlands of Southern Africa, the Sudano-Sahelian range of West Africa, and Madagascar. 1
The Marula belongs to the same family Anacardiaceae as the mango, cashew, pistachio and sumac, and is closely related to the genus Poupartia, from Madagascar. 1
The tree is a single stemmed tree with a wide spreading crown. It is characterized by a grey mottled bark. The tree grows up to 18 mtrs tall mostly in low altitudes and open woodlands. The distribution of this species throughout Africa and Madagascar has followed the Bantu people in their migrations, as it has been an important item in their diet since time immemorial. 1
Fruit is very juicy and aromatic and is the size of a small plum. It may be eaten fresh and the flesh has an extremely high vitamin C content 2 - (fruit pulp contains up to four times vitamin C than oranges). 3 It may also be cooked to produce jam, juices and alcoholic beverages. It also has 2 small very tasty high protein nuts.
REFERENCES: Wikipedia 1 Daleys Fruit Tree Nursery 2 Marula Natural Products 3