Descriptions and articles about the Akee, scientifically known as Blighia sapida in the Encyclopedia of Life. Includes Overview; Brief Summary; Molecular Bio. Blighia sapida (Sapindaceae). Common Names. English: ackee, akee. Spanish: akí, seso vegetal. French: aki, arbre fricassé. Portuguese: castanheiro do Africa. Originating in tropical West Africa, the Ackee tree is cultivated for its fruit which are cooked and eaten as a vegetable. It is now widely.
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O riginating in tropical West Africa, the Ackee tree is cultivated for its fruit which are cooked and eaten as a vegetable. It is now widely, though sparingly distributed outside of its native range, except on the island of Jamaica where its extensive cultivation has caused it to become naturalised. Under favourable conditions, the tree may reach heights of up to 25 m 80 ftthough is more commonly 10 to 15 m 30 to 50 ft tall with a straight, stout trunk supporting a densely leafy rounded crown.
The bark is pale grey and smooth. Leaves large and compound, being made up of glossy green oval leaflets, each 12 to 20 cm 6 to 8 in long and arranged in pairs along the length.
They remain on the tree in all seasons. Flowers small and insignificant, cream-coloured, either bi-sexual or male and held in branched clusters arising at the ends of the branches, though they may be partly obscured by the leaves. They come into bloom at the start of the rainy season in seasonally blghia areas but bloom on and off throughout the year in areas where the dry season is short or where humid conditions prevail.
The fruit has a thick fibrous shell that splits at the base when fully mature, separating into three segments, each shielding a soft, pale yellow or creamy-white aril with a glossy black seed attached.
There are two named varieties in cultivation, ‘Butter’ with a soft, bright yellow aril and ‘Cheese’ with a somewhat firmer, cream-coloured aril. All parts of the fruit are poisonous, yet the arils are eaten in some countries, particularly in Jamaica where it has been adopted as the national fruit. After removing and discarding the seed, the arils are carefully cleaned, leaving only the soft yellow or cream-coloured flesh which is then simmered, usually in lightly salted water.
Blighia sapida / IPlantz
At the end of the simmering process, the water is drained off and discarded as a precaution. In Jamaica, flakes of salt-preserved cod fish are added to make that country’s most esteemed dish, ‘Ackee and Saltfish. Ackee trees produce a medium-weight wood, in blighiia to kg per cubic meter 37 to 41 lbs per cubic ft range, with reportedly good natural resistance to rot, decay and wood-boring insects, though this is not well researched.
The heartwood is pale gold- to orange-brown. Logs, when available are sawn into planks mostly for making furniture or into beams for railway sleepers. However, the trees are not usually felled in areas where the fruit is eaten and has salida importance. The branchwood is cut for firewood and for making charcoal.
Honeybees can be observed vigorously working the flowers, but the tree’s importance to honey production is unknown. The cooked arils contain high levels of Vitamins A, B1 ThiamineB2 RiboflavinB3 Niacin and C Ascorbic acidas well as high levels of Oleic acid, an Omega-9 fatty acid that helps to maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels.
Blighia sapida – Useful Tropical Plants
Szpida was for years banned from being imported into the United States, but in the FDA Food and Drug Administration granted an exemption to a ‘Green List’ of exporters, which according to the FDA demonstrated that they have controls in place blighiaa ensure their product is safe.
Although ackee trees will also grow well in wetter climates with no dry season, flowering is sa;ida poor due to fungal attack, resulting in low fruit production.
New plants can be started from seed or from cuttings. Seedlings start to flower and bear fruit when around three years old sapda are not true-to-type, so cuttings are preferred when selected varieties are to be cultivated.
Performs best on free-draining clay-loam, loam and sandy-loam soils of a moderately acid to slightly alkaline nature, generally with a pH of 5. Although it also grows well on alkaline soils, with a pH of 8.
It has good tolerance to drought but poor tolerance to slow-draining or permanently waterlogged soils. Trees in South Florida yield from fifty to two hundred fruit per season, depending on the size of the tree and the growing conditions. The fruit is poisonous if improperly harvested and prepared, containing the potentially deadly peptide hypoglycin. Only fruit that are on the tree and that have opened naturally, showing their arils, should be harvested.
Unripe, unopened fruit or fruit that have bloghia and fallen to the ground are considered a poison risk and are not to be consumed.
The seed germinate readily but because of their relatively large size, they would need large animals or rodents to disperse them.
It has naturalised in Jamaica, although this is due to its extensive cultivation in that country. In Australia, it is recorded as having escaped cultivation and as a weed of the environment in some areas, but there does not appear to be any record of it being a serious weed anywhere in the world.
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Home page Blighia sapida. Ackee Other common names: Description O riginating in tropical West Africa, the Ackee tree is cultivated for its fruit which are cooked and eaten as a vegetable. Use After removing and discarding the seed, the arils are carefully cleaned, leaving only the soft yellow or cream-coloured flesh which is then simmered, usually in lightly salted water. Health use The cooked arils contain high levels of Vitamins A, B1 ThiamineB2 RiboflavinB3 Niacin and C Ascorbic acidas well as high levels of Oleic acid, an Omega-9 fatty acid that helps to maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels.
General interest Ackee was for years banned from being imported into the United States, but in the FDA Food and Drug Administration granted an exemption to a ‘Green List’ of exporters, which according to the FDA demonstrated that they have controls in place to ensure their product is safe. Growing New plants can be started from seed or from cuttings. Problem features The fruit is poisonous if improperly harvested and prepared, containing the potentially deadly peptide hypoglycin.
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