Melicoccus bijugatus

Primary tabs

Melicoccus bijugatus


Dioecious or monoecious tree 10-25 m tall; bark light gray, smooth, with horizontal markings. Stems glabrous, nearly terete. Leaves paripinnate; petioles 2.5-7 cm long, flattened, subterete or less often winged to broadly winged, glabrous; rachis 1.5-3(4.5) cm long, glabrous, winged to broadly winged, or less often unwinged and slightly dorsiventrally flattened; petiolules drying brownish, not pulvinate, ca. 2 mm long; leaflets (2) 4, opposite or subopposite, asymmetric, chartaceous, elliptic, oblong, ovate or obovate, 4-14(20) × 2.2-5(7) cm, glabrous on both surfaces, tertiary veins reticulate, the margins entire, slightly wavy, the apex acute or obtuse, the base attenuate on the petiolule. Thyrses distal, 5-12 cm long; axes glabrous, angled, striate, the staminate inflorescences with 4-8 lateral branches, slightly shorter than the main axis, the pistillate ones with 3-4 mostly basal, short branches; bracts triangular, minute, ciliate on margins; pedicels (2)5-7 mm long, not articulate. Flowers fragrant; sepals 4, greenish, 1.5-2.2 mm long, oblong, concave, glabrous except for the lanate margins, petals 5, cream to yellowish, obovate, 2-2.5 mm long, narrowed at base, rounded at apex, lanate to sparsely lanate on margins, lacking appendages; nectary disc annular, swollen, lobed, glabrous; stamens 8, spreading, the filaments of unequal length, glabrous, ca. 4 mm long in staminate flowers, and 1 mm long in pistillate flowers, anthers dorsifixed, elliptic, ca. 0.6 mm long; ovary glabrous, cylindric-ellipsoid, the style ca. 0.5 mm long, the stigmas bilobed or bilobed-annular, papillate. Fruit subglobose or ellipsoid, green, 2-3.5 cm long, the pericarp coriaceous, ca. 1 mm thick. Seeds 1(2), 1.5-2.5 cm long, with a tan, fleshy, sarcotesta.


Africa: Cameroon (Cameroon); Gabon (Gabon), Guianas cultivated, Pacific islands, Southern America: Colombia (Colombia); Venezuela (Venezuela), dry forests of northwestern South America
Native to the dry forests of northwestern South America (Colombia and Venezuela), but naturalized throughout northern South America, Central America, the West Indies, Cameroon, Gabon, and the Pacific Islands. Planted for its edible, sour fruits. Cultivated in the three Guianas (GU: 1; SU: 1; FG: 2).

Common Name

English (French Guiana): quenette; English (Suriname): knippa