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Spondias tuberosa (commonly known as Umb, Imbu, or Brazil plum) is native to northeast Brazil, where it grows in the Caatinga. The chaparral scrub grows wild across dry lands of the Serto. The name of this tree and fruit comes from the indigenous phrase y-mb-u, which means tree that gives drink. The productive cycle of this wild, spontaneously growing tree begins after ten years of growth. It bears fruit once a year and can produce up to 300 kilos of fruit in a single harvest when it reaches maturity. Due to its robust root system, a great network of tubers that can store liquid throughout the Sertos dry season, the Umbu tree can hold up to 3,000 liters of water during the dry months.

The round fruit is around 2-4 cm in size; they can be as small as cherries or as large as lemons. The flesh is soft and juicy, with a sweet taste and distinct aroma. The peel is smooth and green or yellow when the fruit ripen.

Umbu fruit can be eaten fresh or made into jams or other sweetened preserves like fruit cheese. The fruit is ideal for mixing with gooseberries or plums, and is used in fruit juices, jams and sorbets.


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