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Lecythidaceae, Gustavia superba, membrillo, paco

March 3, 2008

Membrillo is a tree with origins in tropical lowlands from Ecuador to Panama and Venezuela. It is mostly found in homegardens grown for personal consumption. The tree is generally slow growing, likes water and sun, and can reach a height of five to ten meters. The rounded, pear shaped fruits appear on the trunk contains one to four large smooth seeds surrounded by a fleshy yellowish orange edible pulp, which is typically boiled and is said to have a taste resembling meat.Membrillo pulp is rich in vitamins A, B, and C. The species is adapted to hot, humid, tropical climates and will do best in well drained soils with full sunlight. The leaves of G. superba are a favorte food of iguana.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2010 10:08:32 pm

    We have here Gustavia augusta (pink flowers), G. gracilima (delicate leaves, pink flowers) and G. speciosa (white flowers). Check them all in my webpage:

  2. dianesmalley permalink
    December 26, 2012 10:08:40 am

    Hi I am just about to plant one in North Queensland (rainforest area) and wanted to know if you could tell me if they drop a lot of leaves and also how quickly it might get to say 2m?
    Many thanks

    • December 26, 2012 10:08:24 pm

      It shouldn’t take long to reach 2 m… From seed maybe 2 years. Usually I’ve seen then growing as understory trees, so they’ll reach for the light in that situation and then branch out once they’ve grow high enough for adequate sun. if you plant them in a more full sun environment it may branch sooner and stay smaller. they don’t drop excessive amounts of leaves, the leaves become very big. Great looking tree.


  1. Gustavia superba – A tropical beauty « Gardening with Wilson

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