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Plant Informational Database

Akee

Blighia sapida

a.k.a. Ackee, Akee Apple, Vegetable Brain

Pear-shaped fruit, with several moderate lobes and a red to yellow waxy skin. The skin, unripe fruit, and seeds are poisonous. The yellow, fleshy portion surrounding the aril is edible and has a nutty flavor.

Seed Availability

Seeds are not available for the Akee. Please visit our seed store to view current selections.

Description

A medium to large sized tree, up to 40-60 feet in height. Fruits form in small clusters and grow to 2-4", ripening to an orange-red.

Hardiness

The akee is tropical or subtropical, and able to survive temperatures to the upper 20's.

Growing Environment

It seems to grow a bit better in areas that cool during the winter, rather than intense humid, tropical climates. Grow in full sun, water regularly.

Propagation

Often by seed, and occasionally through cuttings. Seedling trees may bear in 4 years. There are a few identified varieties.

Uses

The ripe arils are boiled, usually in salt water or milk, then fried, and eaten. The fruit is cultivated mainly in Jamaica, though occasionally elsewhere in the Caribbean. Canned akee can occasionally be found in specialty markets in the United States and elsewhere.

Native Range

Native to tropical forests of West Africa, along the Gold Coast and Ivory Coast. The akee has gained its fame in Jamaica where it was imported long ago and has become a key ingredient in many popular dishes there.

Related Species

Sapindaceae  
Blighia sapida
Akee
Dimocarpus didyma
Alupag
Dimocarpus longana
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Nephelium mutabile
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Belizian Genip