Mamey Apple (Mammea americana)
Mamey apple is a large tree which is often planted for shade around houses. It grows well in full sun or light shade and prefers well-drained soils. The fruit is a berry which, when ripe, has an astringent taste. It can be eaten raw or cooked, being used as a dessert and can also be made into jams, sauces, pies, tarts and more. Mamey apple makes good preserves which tastes similarly to apricot preserves. A liqueur is distilled from the fragrant flowers. An alcoholic drink is fermented from the sap of the tree.
Medicinally, mamey is used in the treatment of scalp conditions, diarrhoea, digestive and eye problems. The gummy latex from the bark is used as an insecticide, to extract insects from the skin, and to kill ticks and other parasites of dogs and other domestic animals. The liqueur acts as a digestive.
Fun Fact: Leaves are twisted into a cone and used as pots for planting tobacco seedlings. The leaves provide protection against root-destroying insects.