This information is from: Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands by Elbert L. Little, Jr. and Frank H. Wadsworth [US Dept. of Agriculture Handbook No. 249 July 1964].  Contributed by Linnea Angermuller

The Quenepa, kinep, Spanish-lime (Melicoccus bijuagatus Jacq.) is in the Soapberry Family (Sapindaceae), a familiar exotic tree planted for its edible fruit and shade.

....Fruits (drupes), borne in clusters, are marketed for their thin flesh, which is gelatinous and slightly fibrous, yellowish to salmon colored, and suggestive of grapes. Flowering in spring (April to June) the fruits maturing from June to Sept.

The sapwood is light brown, and the heartwood light brown or pale yellow gray. The wood is of medium weight and fairly hard but reportedly not resistant to decay. Elsewhere it has been used in construction, interior work, and cabinets.

Besides furnishing fruit and shade, the trees are honey plants... [There is much more on the page, i.e., the tree's range, etc.]

Then they list other Common Names: --genip, ginep (Virgin Islands); mamon (Spanish, commerce); mamoncillo (Spanish); quenepa (Puerto Rico, Colombia); limoncillo, quenepa (Dominican Republic); escanjocote (Nicaragua); mamon de Cartagena (Costa Rica); Spanish-lime, genip, mamoncillo (US); genip (English); chenet (Trinidad); quenepe (Haiti);quenette, quenettier, kenepier (Guadeloupe); quenette (French Guiana); kenepa, kinnup-tree (Dutch West Indies); knippen (Surinam).

Spanish Lime

Genip, Mamoncillo, Quenepa
Sapindaceae Melicocca bijuga L.
[Borrowed from the Purdue University Agriculture Dept. Web Site]

This tree, native to the American tropics, is widely cultivated in the West Indies. It is not related to citrus limes. The tree is medium to large. Fruits are borne in clusters. Individual fruits are ovoid in shape, an inch or more long, and have a thin, brittle skin. Inside is a thin layer of tart to sweet pulp and a large seed. Fruit ripens in late summer. The edible portion is the juicy pulp. The seeds are edible after roasting.

Background photo: Courtesy of Tomas Carey

Presented by CZBrats
August 3, 1998

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