Mammee Apple Tree, Barbados Pocket Guide

Mammee Apple Tree

The mammee apple tree (Mammea americana) is native to tropical America and is believed to have been introduced to Barbados by the Amerindians.


The trunk of the mammee apple tree is short and its vertical standing branches form an oval-shaped crown. Its dark-green foliage is quite dense with opposite, leathery, elliptic leaves. The mammee flower is fragrant with about 4 or 6 white petals when fully blossomed. The flowers are borne either singly, or in clusters of 2 or 3 on short stalks. There can be in one flower pistils, stamens or both, so there can be male, female or hermaphrodite flowers on one tree or separately.


The fruit of the mammee apple is attached to a short, thick stem and is often time misinterpreted for a berry but in truth and in fact, it is a drupe (a fleshy fruit with thin skin and a central stone containing the seed). Texture wise, it feels somewhat grainy and rough and has a shape that is not fully rounded. The skin is grey-brown and the rind consists of the exocarp and mesocarp of the fruit while the pulp is formed from the endocarp. The flesh of the mammee apple is an orange or yellowish colour with varying textures. In Barbados, mammee apples are usually eaten in fruit salads but also made into beverages. In some instances, the flesh of the mammee apple is soaked in salt water in order to get rid of any bitterness that may be there.


The brown, rough, oval seed of the mammee apple can vary based on the size of the fruit. In small fruits, one seed may be found while in larger fruits, up to as many as four seeds can be found. Of particular caution to note, is that the juice of the seed leaves a permanent stain. Not yet practiced in Barbados but in Trinidad, the seed of the mammee apple can also be grated for usage as an insecticide in conjunction with rum or coconut oil to treat head lice and chiggers.


DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this page should not be interpreted as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this site.


Readers should consult the appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well being.


The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best information available to the writers. However, readers who fail to consult the appropriate health authorities automatically assume risk of any injuries. Barbados Pocket Guide is not in any way responsible for errors or omissions.


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