Achachairu or achacha is a fruit that is from the Amazon basins of Central Bolivia. Achachairu is a tree that fruiting prolifically and related to the mangosteen. Nowadays the fruit has been widely cultivated in Australia as well. In Kerala, where abundant rainfall is getting, is also harvesting achachairu. Garcinia Humilis is the scientific name of the fruit
Achachairu fruit characteristics
The fruit has a somewhat shape of mangosteen and has a thick rind which can be removed using a knife or fingernails. It grows up to 4-6 centimetres in diameter when ripens and weighs approximately 35 grams. The fruit’s colour and shape are so good that sometimes it is used for decorative purposes. It turns into reddish-orange colour when matures having a pleasant smell.
The fruit’s taste is refreshing with sweet and citrus mixed. The fruit is a blueish-green colour when it is young and the rind is bitter. Normally, the fruit has 1-4 seeds, depends on the size and climate of the soil. Keep the fruit at 15-20 degrees Celsius to get maximum days of shelf-life. A study reveals that the fruit will be okay up to 4-6 weeks under this temperature and enough humidity.
Achacha can be eaten fresh, as such. It can also be consumed making it into juice. Fruit flies can be an issue, during this time use neem oil emulsion to keep away the flies.
The plant can be grown up to 7-15 meters high under caring climate and soil conditions. Once the plant is being bruised or cut, it exudes latex. The tree does not support direct sunlight and this causes young foliage to wither away. When the leaves are young, they will be pinkish-red and once the leaves mature it turns yellowish-green. It will take 4-5 years to bear fruit after planting the seed.
Achachairu requires a tropical or subtropical climate. Hard winter makes the flowers and fruit to drop, and it also requires modest rainfall. The fruit unlike many other fruits can withstand flooding and water-logging for a certain duration.
It prefers natural soil, fertile with compost or cow manure and it favours neutral pH value of the soil.
Propagation methods of Achachairu plant
Normally, achachairu plant uses its seeds from the fruits to propagate, because budding and grafting methods are not successful. Latex inside the trunk makes it difficult for the achachairu to be successful in the grafting method to propagate. Pollination is done by natural means such as bees and other insects.
The plant grows well in almost all soil conditions. But the fruit-bearing capacity of the fruit reduces when the climate goes below 20 degrees Celsius. The plant requires a temperature between 25-35 degrees Celsius. The root system of the variety is very weak, so that makes a hole that is at least 2 meters in length, width and height for planting the sapling.
- Do the pre-planting works before a month. Dig a hole that is 2 meters wide, long and high. Fill the hole with compost or cow manure.
- For growing saplings from the seeds, scatter seeds in a bag full of soil. Water the seeds and they will sprout in 20-31 days. Keep the bag where 12-13 hours of sunlight is available.
- Keep the sprout in the bag for 3-4 years when the tree began to show its growth up to 48 inches. After reaching this height the plant can be moved to open ground.
- Water the plant occasionally, especially during the early stages of planting and the summer season.
- Apply nitrogen-based fertilisers to get maximum growth.