Kendrick Import’s Weblog
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The Monkey Apple Tree

Whilst out walking this morning, we came across this monkey apple tree. As it is winter here in South Africa the trees have no leaves, and the grass is brown! The tree is common throughout Southern Africa.

Monkey Apple Tree

Monkey Apple Tree

The tree is browsed by small game and the leaves and roots of the tee are used medicinally. The fruit pulp is edible and apparently delicious!!

The fruit of the tree is dried naturally in the sun. The green fruit smell of oranges as they dry and turn from green to a stone/brown colour. They are then hand decorated in a variety of patterns and colours to become the stunning monkey apples we import!

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3 Responses to “The Monkey Apple Tree”

  1. We have loved having the Monkey Apples in our store. I had heard that the local market (tourists) provided more than enough demand, and that supplies to the US would dry up. Is that correct?

  2. I distintly remember growing up as a child in Mozambique that we used to eat the monkey apple. It has a sweet/sour taste. Whilst travelling in Hluhluwe (Northern Kwazulu Natal) two weeks ago, I came across the fruits which were being sold by the locals at Zamimpilo Crafts Market. Even after many years of not having consumed the fruit, it still smells and tastes the same. It would be interesting to find out if there are any medicinal benefits to the fruit or the leaves/trees.

  3. The monkey Apples have many uses and benefits as follows:
    Traditional Uses: Roots are used in the production of eardrops. A decoction of the fruit is used to cure stomachache and treat bronchitis. Leaf infusions provide lotion for sore eyes. The roots are also used as remedy for fevers and inflammation. Snakebite victims induce vomiting by eating unripe fruit and seeds. Strychnine and strychnine alkaloids, which have been identified in the plants, are believed to be the active ingredients for treatment against snakebite. An analgesic is made from the decoction of the leaves.
    Known Properties: The fruit contains a saponin, which makes a soapy lather with water. Fishermen use roots and fruit of the same together to stupefy fish. Pulp of most of the species contains citric acid and Vitamin C. The inner skins of the fruit shells contain valuable oils that have potential in cosmetics. The pulp has potential as a food and a flavour ingredient while the oil has properties favoured by the cosmetic industry. Hope this is interesting to you! We find drying the fruit in a bowl gives the house a wonderful citrus smell as well!


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