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Hog Plum

Hog plum, botanically Spondias mombin, also known as yellow mombin, or Spanish plum, is a tropical fruit tree native to Central and South America. 

Common names:

Yellow mombin, hog plum, Sweet Ambazham, Spanish plum, "amra" - Hindi, "amra" or "jobo" - Bengali.

Origin and natural habitat:

Hog plum is native to Central and South America, but is now grown in many tropical regions around the world. 

Growth type:

Hog plum is a small to medium sized tree that can grow up to 15 metres tall. It has a dense, spreading canopy, a short boot and rough, grey-brown bark.

However, grafted varieties are very compact and can easily be grown in large pots.

Suitable climatic conditions and soil types:

Hog plum thrives in warm climates with temperatures between 20°C and 35°C. The plant prefers well-drained soil, but can also grow in sandy or loamy soils. It tolerates acidic and alkaline soil.

Sunlight requirement:

Hog plum prefers full sun, but can also tolerate partial shade.

Growing tips:

Plant the tree in well-drained soil and water regularly to keep the soil moist. Add organic material to the soil to improve its fertility.

Planting distance:

Hog plum trees from seedlings needs to be planted at a distance of 10 to 12 metres from each other. 

However, nowadays only grafted varieties are planted which are much compact. Pruning is recommended to maintain their size and shape.

Water requirements:

Spondias mombin trees need regular watering, especially in the dry season. However, it's important not to overwater the plant as this can lead to root rot.

Ease of maintenance:

Maintaining Hogplum plants is fairly straightforward. Pruning should be done regularly to keep their shape and size, as well as to remove dead or diseased branches. It is usually devoid of pest attacks. 

Fruit description, taste, size, and color:

The fruit of Spondias mombin is oval-shaped, with a smooth, yellow or orange skin that turns orange-red when ripe. The flesh is juicy and fibrous, with a tangy, slightly sweet flavor. The fruit isize is typically 6-8 cm.

Edible uses:

Spondias mombin fruit is commonly eaten fresh or cooked. It can also be used to make jams, jellies, and other culinary preparations.

In fact, it can be used as a substitute for raw mango in most recipes.  While most mango varieties are seasonal, hog plums are available round the year.

The fruits from this grafted hog plum are slightly different from the traditional hog plums. Its fruit is not fibrous. When fully ripe, the fruit is not only slightly sweet but also not very sour.

In some regions, it is also used to make a traditional alcoholic beverage.

Medicinal uses and nutritional value:

Hog plums, also known as Spondias mombin, are a nutrient-rich fruit containing high amounts of vitamin C, dietary fiber and antioxidants. Eating these fruits can provide many health benefits, such as boosting the immune system, aiding in digestion and reducing the risk of various types of cancers.

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