Yacaratiá (Jacaratia spinosa) (sprouted)

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Discover the allure of Jacaratia spinosa, commonly known as Yacaratiá, offering a botanical treasure trove for your garden. Endemic to lush forests spanning from Costa Rica to Argentina, this lactiferous tree stands tall, adorned with compound, alternate leaves and pear-shaped fruits. With its distinctive thorns and glaucous undersides, it adds a touch of exotic elegance to any landscape. Delight in its edible, sweet fruit, reminiscent of papaya, and embrace its unique culinary potential, showcased in confections and sweets. Elevate your gardening experience with Yacaratiá seeds, an embodiment of natural beauty and gastronomic delight.

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Introducing Yacaratiá Seeds: Explore the Exotic Flavor of the Amazon

Yacaratiá, scientifically known as Jacaratia spinosa and commonly referred to as yacaratiá, originates from the lush rainforests of South America. This unique species, belonging to the Caricaceae family, is endemic to a diverse range of regions, including Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, and Paraguay. Thriving in forest canopies towering over 15 meters, the yacaratiá tree is a striking sight, reaching heights of 10 to 30 meters with a diameter of 8 decimeters.

Distinctive Features:

  • Recognizable by its lactiferous nature, yacaratiá presents compound, digitate, alternate leaves with 6-10 (12) lanceolate folioles, measuring 3.5-17 cm in length and 1-4 cm in width. The underside of the leaves exhibits a glaucous hue.
  • This monoecious species showcases male inflorescences with tiny, white flowers measuring 1-3 cm in length, while female inflorescences bear erect, pedunculated flowers reaching 2-3 cm in length.
  • The fruit of yacaratiá resembles a pear-shaped berry, ranging from 3-12 cm in length and 1-5 cm in width, transitioning from green to yellow-orange upon ripening. Each fruit contains seeds measuring 5 mm, resembling chestnuts.

Culinary and Utilitarian Uses:

  • While the wood of yacaratiá is characterized by its light color and soft texture, traditionally not employed in furniture making or other woodworking applications, a groundbreaking process pioneered by forestry engineer Roberto Pascutti in Argentina’s Misiones province has unlocked its culinary potential. Through patented techniques, yacaratiá wood is transformed into delectable treats such as chocolates, confections, and even “confit boards,” offering a unique gastronomic experience.
  • Beyond its innovative culinary applications, the pulp of the yacaratiá fruit is prized for its sweetness, reminiscent of papaya, and can be enjoyed fresh, processed with sugar, or toasted. The fruits are also a favored food source for various forest-dwelling creatures, including monkeys like Cebus apella.

Additional information

Rare species


Endemic to: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Paraguay.
Habitat: Found in canopy forests exceeding 15 meters in height.
Tree Characteristics:

Lactiferous tree, reaching heights of 10 to 30 meters with a diameter of 8 decimeters.
Branches adorned with glabrous thorns.
Compound, digitate, alternate leaves consisting of 6-10 (12) lanceolate oblong leaflets, measuring 3.5-17 cm × 1-4 cm, with a glaucous underside.
Leaf Stalk: 5-23 (34) cm long.
Reproductive Structure:

Monoecious: Male inflorescence with 7-28 (33) tiny white flowers measuring 1-3 cm in length, light green. Female inflorescence with erect, pedunculated flowers, 2-3 cm long.
Fruit: Pear-shaped berry, 3-12 cm × 1-5 cm, ripening to yellow-orange. Seeds are 5 mm, chestnut-colored.
Identifying Features:

Distinguished by abundant thorns, glaucous leaf undersides, and elongated, pedunculated fruits.

Wood: White, weak, with limited applications in furniture making or other wood industries. In Argentina, particularly in the province of Misiones, a patented process by forest engineer Roberto Pascutti has found application in food, producing candies and other confections like alfajores and "confit boards." The wood is processed within 24 hours to eliminate substances affecting taste and reduce rigidity, resulting in a soft consistency while retaining some wood characteristics, aligning with the trend of unconventional foods. In other countries, hollowed trunks are used to make barrels. The pulp is also edible, processed with sugar or cut and toasted.
Fruit: Edible and sweet, with a flavor resembling papaya.
Ecological Role:

Fruit Consumption: Eaten by monkeys inhabiting the forests where this tree species grows, including species like (Cebus apella).


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