If you are a gardener known to dance to the beat of your own drum, cultivating the “A-cha-cha” could be your next great pick!
Gardeners of all levels can’t resist the lure of the Achacha tree. Garcinia humilis is native to South American countries like Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil, where locals know it as “Achachairú.” Its cultivation began with indigenous communities in the tropical lowlands of the Amazon Basin, and it has been traditionally used as a hunger suppressant and in skin healing. The name was adapted from Achachairu to simply Achacha for marketing purposes in Australia, where it was recently approved for commercial growth and is propelling Achacha into popularity on the world’s fruit platter.
The Achacha is native to medium-altitude rainforests, so it grows well in shady, humid climates in soil with good porosity. The Achacha tree can be slow growing, but eventually fruits with an abundant rhythm. Its bright orange, egg-shaped fruits are said to be most similar to Mangosteen in flavor, but with about half of the sugar content! Achacha fruits grow enclosed in a rind, which keep for 4 to 6 weeks at room temperature once harvested. The rinds, rich in antioxidants, can also be infused and chilled into a sweet, tangy drink.
This plant has super potential! Garcina fruits have known “antibacterial, antiviral, antiprotozoal, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, and antiimmunosuppressive properties,” and are being studied for additional medicinal uses. Garcinia humilis is also considered a good candidate for rainforest restoration efforts in areas of South America that have been damaged by deforestation and burning.
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