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Vasconcellea x heilbornii - (V.M.Badillo) V.M.Badillo

Common Name Babaco
Family Caricaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range S. America - Andes.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Vasconcellea x heilbornii Babaco

Eric Hunt flickr
Vasconcellea x heilbornii Babaco
Jeremy Cherfas flickr


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Babaco, Vasconcellea x heilbornii, is a small evergreen tree that is short-lived and grows about 2 m high. It is a hybrid cultivar between Vasconcellea cundinamarcensis and Vasconcellea stipulata. Of all the species in the Vasconcellea genus, Babaco is the most tolerant to cold. It produces only female flowers and can produce 30-60 fruits in a year. The fruits are eaten raw or cooked. It is fragrant and flavorful, and seedless. Plant is propagated by rooting axillary shoots.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Vasconcellea x heilbornii is an evergreen Tree growing to 2 m (6ft) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.


Carica chrysopetala Heilborn Carica pentagona Heilborn Carica x heilbornii V.M.Badillo


Edible Uses

Fruit - raw or cooked[301 ]. Fragrant and flavourful[196 ]. The flavour has been likened to the taste of strawberry, with a hint of pineapple[196 ]. The fruit is usually seedless and can weigh 2 kilos[196 ].

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.

None known

Other Uses

Other Uses None known

Cultivation details

A plant of the highland tropics, where it is usually found at elevations of 1,400 - 2,50 metres[196 ]. It can also be grown at lower elevations in subtropical and warm, essentially frost-free temperate areas. Yields of over 100 tonnes per hectare are possible[196 ]. There are several named varieties[301 ]. The plant coppices well[196 ]. Although this species is dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants), fruits are usually produced parthenocarpically, without the need of pollen for fertilisation[301 , 670 ]. A few viable seeds will often be produced, however, if the flower is pollinated[670 ].


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Seed - unlikely to breed true since this is a hybrid species. Seeds are sometimes produced when the flowers are fertilized, these can be used to propagate the plant. Sow the seed in individual containers or in a nursery seedbed in light shade. Germination can be slow and difficult, taking about 30 days[670 ]. Seedlings can be planted out when 4 - 6 months old[670 ]. Cuttings work fairly well and maintain female lines that do not need pollination in order to produce fruit..

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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


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(V.M.Badillo) V.M.Badillo

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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Subject : Vasconcellea x heilbornii  
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