Peanut Butter Fruit
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Peanut Butter Fruit
E Introduced Photo: Preetha P.S.
Common name: Peanut Butter Fruit, monk’s plum, peanut butter tree, Peruvian plume
Botanical name: Bunchosia armeniaca    Family: Malpighiaceae (Barbados cherry family)
Synonyms: Malpighia armeniaca

Peanut Butter Fruit is a perennial evergreen shrub or small tree up to 5 m high, often with multiple trunks. Leaves are simple, opposite, ovate, up to 15 cm long and 8 cm wide with a wavy margin; they form a very ornamental canopy. The regular small lemon-yellow flowers appearing mainly in Spring are androgynous, lightly perfumed and are borne in leaf-axils, in racemes up to 8 cm long. The petals are yellow, prominently clawed, there are typically 10 stamens but half may be reduced to staminodes. The gynoecium has a single pistil with usually 3 carpels and a superior ovary. The tree produces round red fruit, which smell like peanut butter, hence the common name. Peanut Butter Fruit is native to S. Tropical America, cultivated as an ornamental plant elsewhere.

Identification credit: Preetha P.S. Photographed in cultivation in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

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