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Spondias mombin - L.

Common Name Yellow Mombin, Hog Plum, Caja Fruit, Taperebá
Family Anacardiaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Occurs in a great variety of humid tropical climates, often in secondary vegetation derived from evergreen lowland forest or semi-deciduous forest[303 ].
Range S. America - Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam; C. America - Panama to Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Spondias mombin Yellow Mombin, Hog Plum, Caja Fruit, Taperebá

Spondias mombin Yellow Mombin, Hog Plum, Caja Fruit, Taperebá


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Spondias mombin, or Yellow Mombin, is a flowering tree native tropical America. It is deciduous with a dense and spreading crown and grows up to 25 m tall and at least 60 cm in trunk diameter. The bark is thick. The leaves are compound, comprising five to nine pairs of leaflets. The flowers occur on terminal stalks. The fruits, small and yellow, have leathery skin and thin layer of pulp, and single-seeded. The pulp can be eaten fresh or made into desserts or juice. The young leaves are consumed raw or cooked. Seeds are also edible. Medicinally, S. mombin is used in traditional medicine against lower back pain, rheumatism, digestive track problems, angina, sore throat, malarial fever, diarrhea, urethritis, gonorrhea, stomach pain, colds, dysentery, laryngitis, ophthalmia, and many others. Root ashes are used in making soap. The wood is used for posts, boxes, matches, general carpentry, tool handles, etc.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Spondias mombin is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10 and is frost tender. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Mauria juglandifolia Benth. Spondias aurantiaca Schum. & Thonn. Spondias brasiliensis Mart. & Engl.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Root  Sap  Seed  Shoots
Edible Uses: Drink  Tea

Fruit - raw or cooked. Pleasantly acid, the fleshy fruit is eaten raw or cooked with sugar[301 ]. It is also used for making jams, ice cream etc[301 ]. Juices improve with keeping overnight as the mild astringency of the fresh fruit disappears[303 ]. Unripe fruits are pickled and used like olives[301 ]. The dull light orange to yellow or brown ovoid fruit is 30 - 40mm long and 20 - 25mm in diameter[303 ]. There is great variation in fruit quality from region to region, some being sweet and pleasant and others quite disagreeable in flavour[303 ]. Young leaves - cooked and used as a vegetable[301 ]. The shoot tastes like cassava and can be eaten raw or boiled[303 ]. The seeds can be eaten[303 ]. When fresh water is unavailable, water from the roots of this tree can be drunk[303 ]. The sap from the roots has been drunk in place of water when the latter was not available[303 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Abortifacient  Antibacterial  Antidiarrhoeal  Antirheumatic  Antiseptic  Antitussive  Contraceptive  Dysentery  
Febrifuge  Laxative  Malaria  Ophthalmic  Stomachic  Tonic

Both the bark and flowers are used in folk medicine to make cure-all teas for digestive tract ailments, lower back pain, rheumatism, angina, sore throat, malarial fever, congestion, diarrhoea, urethritis, metrorrhagia, and as a contraceptive[303 ]. The bark is used in a remedy for gonorrhoea, to treat diarrhoea, coughs and colds, haemorrhages. stomach-aches and to alleviate fatigue[348 ].. Plant extracts exhibit antibacterial properties, and a decoction of the bark or root bark is considered antiseptic[303 ]. The roots are regarded as febrifuge[303 ]. An infusion is used to treat dysentery[348 ]. Leaf decoctions are used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery, colds, fevers and gonorrhoea[303 , 739 ]. The leaves are also used in an abortifacient preparation[348 ]. A decoction of the leaves and young stems is used as an eyewash in ophthalmia[348 , 739 ]. The flowers are cardiac and stomachic[739 ]. A decoction is used in the treatment of laryngitis, ophthalmia and children's diarrhoea[739 ]. The fruit is mildly laxative[348 ]. It is stewed and eaten to cure diarrhoea[348 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

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Other Uses

Containers  Fencing  Fuel  Furniture  Paper  Soap making  Wood

Agroforestry Uses: The tree is occasionally planted to provide shade for coffee plants[331 ]. It is sometimes utilized for living fence posts[331 ]. Other Uses Ashes from the roots have been used in making soap[303 ]. The heartwood is cream to buff in colour; it is not demarcated from the sapwood. The texture is medium to coarse; the grain straight to slightly irregular; lustre is medium; there is no distinguishable odour or taste. The wood is light in weight, soft; it is somewhat durable, with a low resistance to attack by decay fungi and insects, and is particularly prone to blue stain. It air dries rapidly, but develops moderate warp and slight checking. It is easy to work and generally finishes smoothly, though fuzzy grain may develop in some operations. The trunks are occasionally used for dugouts and the stems for posts, boxes, matches, general carpentry, tool handles, millwork, utility plywood, and furniture components. Logs need to be promptly processed to minimize deterioration from insect attack[303 , 316 , 419 ]. Its hardness, density and light colour make the tree useful for wood pulp. The resulting paper has good resistance to tension and tearing but a poor reaction to folding[303 ]. The wood is suitable for fuel[303 ].

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

The plant grows best in the subhumid and frost-free tropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 1,000 metres[200 , 303 ]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 21 - 27°c, but can tolerate 13 - 35°c[418 ]. The plant is severely damaged by frost[303 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 600 - 2,800mm[418 ]. It can succeed in areas with widely distributed rainfall, or with a marked dry season[335 ]. Requires a sunny position[418 ]. Prefers a medium to heavy, well-drained, fertile soil[418 ]. Plants are not too fussy over soil, not needing very fertile conditions[200 ]. However, very poor soil, or shallow land, is unsuitable[200 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.3 - 8[418 ]. A fast-growing tree, easily reaching a height of 3.5 metres within 2 years from seed[419 ]. Fruiting usually starts when seedling trees are about 5 years of age, although well-kept cuttings may start fruiting earlier[303 , 335 ]. Some ripe fruit can be found on the tree during most of the year[303 ]. Plants produce a deep taproot when young and also have a shallower root system near the surface when older[303 ]. Flowering Time: Late Winter/Early Spring Mid Spring Late Spring/Early Summer. Bloom Color: White/Near White Cream/Tan.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - Fresh seeds germinate well. Seeds germinate within 35-75 days[303 ]. Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a semi-shaded position in individual containers. A high germination rate can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 20 - 40 days[419 ]. Seedlings develop rapidly and they should be ready to plant out less than 6 months later[419 ]. Quite large cuttings of wood from the previous season or older, often 50-100 cm long and 5-10 cm thick[303 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Acaiba, Acaja, Acajaiba, Atoa, Bafosse, Bijendenden, Budjabual, Caja-mirim, Caja, Cajazeiro-miudo, Cedrillo, Hog-plum, Hubu, Imbuzeiro, Jamaica-plum, Java-pumb, Jobo, Jogo, Kadongdon china, Kadongdong chuchuk, Kadongdong sabrang, Mandiple, Mandipul, Mope, N'pela, N'pilo, Negae, Ninom-o, Nsuka kara, Obo, Ogae, P'sale, Pilme, Prunes-mombin, Sale, Same, Tapereba, Tchale, Ubos, Ugai, Umpela, Umpilo, Uposse, Uvuru, Yellow mombin, abal, atoya xocotl, biaxhi, caja, cajá, cajá-mirim, capuaticacao, chiabal, chupandilla, chuynadilla, circuelo obo, ciruela, ciruela agria, ciruela amarilla, ciruela calentana, ciruela campechana, ciruela colorada, ciruela del país, ciruela do méxico, ciruela loca, ciruela roja, ciruelo, cozticxocotl, coztilxocotl, cupu, gelbe mombinpflaume, gelbpflaume, hobo, hog plum, hog-plum, imbu, jamaica-plum, jobillo, jobito, jobo, jobo espino, jobo francés, jobo hembra, jobo negro, jobo roñoso, jocote, jocote de jobo, jocote tronador, jovo, mango ciruelo, mi ten mixi, mimbear ten, mombin, mompin, obo de zopilote, palo de mulato, piets ten, pompoaqun, pompoqua, prunier mombin, sirínguela, sismoyo, taperebá, ten mi viad, tepereba, tzrrobmal, ubos, ubus, xkinin-hobó, xobo, yellow mombin.

Brazil; Mexico; Guatemala; Belize; Honduras; El Salvador; Nicaragua; Costa Rica; Panama; Colombia; Bolivia, Plurinational State of; Ecuador; Paraguay; Peru; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Guyana; Suriname; French Guiana; Cayman Islands; Cuba; Jamaica; Dominican Republic; Haiti; Virgin Islands, U.S.; Virgin Islands, British; Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados; Grenada; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Guadeloupe; Martinique; Montserrat; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Trinidad and Tobago; Aruba; Curaçao, Africa, Amazon, Asia, Australia, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil*, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Caribbean, Central Africa, Central America, Colombia, Congo, Congo R, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba*, Dominican Republic*, Ecuador, El Salvador, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guiana, Guinea, Guinée, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti*, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Lesser Antilles, Liberia, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North America, Pacific, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, SE Asia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South America, St Lucia, Suriname, Tahiti, Togo, USA, Venezuela, West Africa, West Indies*,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Spondias dulcisGolden Apple, Ambarella,Tree15.0 9-12 FLMHSNDM422
Spondias purpureaPurple Mombin Red Mombin, Spanish Plum, CiruelaTree10.0 10-12 FMHNDM422
Spondias tuberosaImbu, Umbú, Brazil PlumTree6.0 10-12 SLMHNDM402

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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