Chupa chupa is the colloquial term which refers to a semi-deciduous fruit tree that almost exclusively grows in the South American Amazonian rainforest spanning the countries Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Equador. Outside of this region, the tree is better known by its scientific name - Quararibea cordata - although the tree is almost always never known outside of scientific circles that focus on studying natural vegetation in different areas around the world. In the U.S., for example, the fruit has been grown in Florida since 1964 but only to a limited extent and up to today, not many are familiar with the tree and its fruit or its different uses.
The main use of the chupa chupa today is as an ornamental addition to a small home garden. When mature, the tree sports a geometrical design that is quite sturdy making it one of the more beautiful accent sin any neighborhood. The tree grows to about 50 meters in height and given its fast growth rate, it is deal for creating a wooded area quickly and efficiently. The tree is also known to be moderately tolerant of drought so even in the summer months, it continues to grow fast. It is however not recommended to grow the chupa chupa near the sea because it does not have a very good tolerance to salty water.
When cultivating the chupa chupa, it is best to have a moist, fertile and properly drained soil in order to ensure growth. Prescribed fertilizers should be rich in potassium and nitrogen and must be constantly watered early in the growing phase. It also requires significant exposure to sunlight and is sensitive to temperature fluctuations below 40 Fahrenheit so the local climate should remain mild for the tree to flourish.
As for the fruit, the chupa chupa is usually a large fruit with a very tasty orange colored fruit. There are also some species that are smaller which have an orange-yellow color. However, these too are soft, juicy, and sweet. The type of soil where the tree grows factors largely into the resulting quality of the fruit with certain cultivars resulting in a fibrous product as opposed to the soft version that many locals love.
When cultivated, the season for harvesting depends on the weather at any particular location. In Brazil, for example, the fruit is often harvested from February to May while in Florida, the best time for a harvest is in November. The fruit also characteristically does not fall out of the tree so all forms of harvesting has to be done above ground with the use of tall raising platforms. If cared for properly, a tree can produce as many as 6,000 fruits in a season although the average is more in the 3,000 to 3,5000 range.
The chupa chupa is a great addition to any backyard and can be cultivated for its fruit bearing properties. Check it out if you are on the lookout for new varieties of trees to grow and care for.
Moisture 85.3 g Protein 0.129 g Fat 0.10 g Fiber 0.5 g Ash 0.38 g Calcium 18.4 mg Phosphorus 28.5 mg Iron 0.44 mg Carotene 1.056 mg Thiamine 0.031 mg Riboflavin 0.023 mg Niacin 0.33 mg Ascorbic Acid 9.7 mg