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Tree Description: This fast-growing tree can reach up to 20 m (66 ft) in its native range of Melanesia and Polynesia; however, it usually averages 10–12 m (30–40 ft) in other areas. Spondias dulcis has deciduous, pinnate leaves, 20–60 cm (8–24 in) in length, composed of 9 to 25 glossy, elliptic or obovate-oblong leaflets 9–10 cm (3.5–3.9 in) long, which are finely toothed toward the apex. The tree produces small, inconspicuous white flowers in terminal panicles. Its oval fruits, 6–9 cm (2.4–3.5 in) long, are borne in bunches of 12 or more on a long stalk. Over several weeks, the fruit fall to the ground while still green and hard, then turn golden-yellow as they ripen. According to Morton (1987), "some fruits in the South Sea Islands weigh over 500 g (1 lb) each."
Scientific Name: Spondias dulcis Parkinson (synonym: S. cytherea Sonn.).
Common Names: Ambarella, Otaheite apple, and golden apple (English-speaking countries); kedondong (Malaysia and Indonesia); ma kok farang (Thailand), juplon (Costa Rica); and caya (Brazil) (Andall and Paull 2012a).
Origin: Ambarella is native to the South Pacific Islands from the Indo-Malaysian region to the Tahiti Islands (Andall and Paull 2012a). The yellow mombin is native to tropical America (Martin, Campbell, and Ruberté 1987).
History: Ambarella fruits are native to Polynesia and the region known as Melanesia which includes islands such as Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Vanuatu. The fruit was then introduced to Asia and then Jamaica in 1782 and was spread throughout the Caribbean and into South America. Later in 1909, it was planted in Florida in the United States and has also become naturalized in Australia. Today Ambarella fruits are widely found in tropical regions across the world and are sold in fresh local markets in Asia, Southeast Asia, Polynesia, Melanesia, Australia, Africa, the Caribbean, and North, Central, and South America.
Importance: Ambarella fruit is rich in vitamin C. It improves the function of the immune system. It also improves the formation of collagen and accelerates the wound healing process. The fruit also contains antioxidants and helps prevent free radical damage.