Shrub or tree to 15 m high, to 45 cm in diameter. Branchlets rounded, brownish, sparsely puberulous, glabrescent, armed with spinescent stipules to 1.2 cm. Leaves: Inflorescence composed of pedunculate glomerules aggregated into terminal densely puberulous panicles or racemes; Stamens white, to c. 9 mm, tube equalling the corolla-tube. Ovary puberulous, 2-3 mm, stipitate. Seeds black, glossy, obo- vate-oblong, often asymmetric in outline, flattened, 9-12 by 7-8 by 1-2 mm, funicle gradually thickened into a fleshy white or pink aril, covering the proximal part of the seed;
Northern America, Southern America, most of the tropics, especially in areas with a seasonal climate
Native of Central America (Mexico), now cultivated and naturalized in most of the tropics, especially in areas with a seasonal climate.
Bark used for tanning. The sweet aril is edible and used in lemonades. Timber soft but heavy, used for general construction as posts, and as fuel. Used for hedges after pruning. Cattle and goats feed on the fallen fruits.
Introduced into the Philippines from Mexico, later introduced to India, where it was first described by Roxburgh. For further notes see Kostermans (I.с.: 10).
Whitm. - in Tree Fl. Malaya. 1972: 285
Backer & Bakh. f. - in Fl. Java. 1963: 551
Roxb. - in Fl. Ind., ed. 2. 1832: 556
Verdc., Manual New Guin. Legum. 1979: 209
Nielsen - in Fl. Camb. Laos Vietnam. 1981: pl. 19: 14-18
Kosterm. - in Bull. Organ. Natuurw, Onderz. Indon. 1954: 8
Cockb. - in Trees Sabah. 1976: 196