Our collection of peach palm (Bactris gasipaes) conserves more than 600 introductions from Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.
In pre-Columbian American cultures this fruit was one of the most desired of that era due to its exquisite flavor and high nutritional value.
Peach palm is native to South America, Panama and Costa Rica. The palm is cultivated for the fruits and for heart of palm, which is a valuable product for local consumption and export.
We can say with pride and ownership that the peach palm production technique for heart of palm was developed by CATIE in the 1970’s and then disseminated to the rest of America.
The collection has about 100 introductions collected in countries of Central and South America, such as Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Peru and Panama.
Annatto is native to tropical America. The red color obtained from the seeds of annatto is used as a natural food coloring in preparing foods and in the dermatology and cosmetic industries. The plant is used to improve degraded soils.
The collection has over 60 introductions from Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Cuba, the United States, Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia.
Guava is native to tropical America. It is characterized by its range of flavors, pulp colors, fruit size and shapes.
It is one of the most nutritious fruits due to its high content of vitamin A, Vitamin C and iron. The fruit is consumed in juices (diluted with water), preserves, jams and nectar.
CATIE’s exotic fruit collections conserve about 160 introductions of trees from around the world, distributed in 30 families and 95 species. The collection includes fruit, ornamental and timber trees.
Some of the identified species are:
Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus). Originally from the Indomalaya region, it produces some of the largest of all fruits directly on the trunk. The pulp is eaten raw or made into candies and the seeds are eaten roasted or cooked.
Litchi (Litchi chinensis). Native to southern China and Vietnam. It has been known since 2000 BC. It now occurs in India, Japan, Syria and the Mediterranean. Also known as “Chinese plum”, it is considered one of the world’s finest fruits.
“Devil tree” (Alstonia scholaris). This tree was used to cure malaria and its wood was used in India to make blackboards for schoolchildren.
Carlos Alberto Cordero Vargas, MGA
Head of Plant Genetic Collections
Tel. (506) 2558-2222, 2558-2355
Fax (506) 2556-5246