Melicoccus bijugatus or Mamoncillo is a large, dioecious, slow growing tree native to Northern South and Central America. Trees in nature will reach about 100 feet (30 m) tall. Leaves are compound with 4-6 leaflets, elliptic-lanceolate to 2-5 inches (5-12.5 cm) long and 1.25-2.5 inches (3.25-6.25 cm) wide. The rachis is conspicuously winged. Bark is smooth and gray in color. Trees are grown for their fruits, which resemble grapes in appearance. This plant is fairly easy to culture in containers and is hardy in the landscape in USDA zone 10.
Blooming: Our trees are 2 years old and will probably not flower for another 3-5 years.
Culture: Melicoccus bijugatus need full sun to partial shade with a well drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. Trees are watered and allowed to dry slightly before watering again. In the landscape, the trees are very drought tolerant. We fertilize the trees once a month from March through September with a balanced fertilizer. The trees are briefly deciduous and during this period water is reduced until new growth begins. Once new growth starts, we go back on the regular watering schedule and do not fertilize the trees until March.
Propagation: Melicoccus bijugatus propagated from seed. Seed will germinate 30-60 days from sowing.
Melicoccus bijugatusa was featured as Plant of the Week October 24-30, 2008.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.