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Tree: Monkey Orange (Strychnos pungens)

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MarkWildDog
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Tree: Monkey Orange (Strychnos pungens)

Unread postby MarkWildDog » Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:25 am

Monkey Orange (Strychnos Pungens)

The Monkey orange tree is a small semi deciduous to deciduous tree growing up to 6 metre tall. This tree is browsed by most browsing game species. Grows in rocky areas.
The fruit pulp is edible. Baboons enjoy the fruit of the monkey-orange tree when it is ripe.Fruit of the Monkey Orange tree. It turns orange when ripe. The fruit has a thick rind with lots of seeds in a pulp.

Info and more pics from here.

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:38 am

Here's two monkey orange pix for you, Mark :wink:

ImageImage

However, according to the ID given by Imberbe, this one is Strychnos madagascariensis (Black monkey orange / Swartklapper). I saw it on the S8 loop, near Pretoriouskop.
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Niceone
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Unread postby Niceone » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:00 am

Can Humans eat the fruit too ?
If so , does anyone know the taste ?
Forgive my ignorance tree experts !

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Neil Crawford
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Unread postby Neil Crawford » Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:57 pm

I found the below on the web, about new fruits.


http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu02/v5-378.html

"Another interesting fruit, which has not reached the R&D stage, is the monkey orange. It consists of three main species as follows: Strychnos cocculoides Backer; S. spinosa Lam.; and S. pungens Solereder, Loganiaceae, all native to Southern Africa (Wehmeyer 1966; Fox and Norwood-Young 1982; Taylor 1986). Strychnos pungens did not survive in any of our introduction orchards. Strychnos cocculoides which is considered the best of the three (in terms of eating quality), survived only in the Besor region (good quality water and moderate temperatures) and some trees started to bear fruits not of very high quality. It is too early to judge its performance. So far the best of the three under our conditions is S. spinosa. It survived in three of our introduction orchards and performed very well in the Besor area (Fig. 7). We have around 15 fruiting trees with high variability for growth, yields, fruit size, ripening season, and taste. Some of the seedlings bear astringent, bitter fruits, other bear very sour ones but two of the trees bear excellent tasty fruits. In organoleptic taste tests, people were requested to compare the monkey orange fruit with familiar fruits; the most common answers were, orange, banana, and apricot, and all possible combinations among them. The fruits emit a delicate aroma reminiscent of the spice clove. GC/MS analysis performed by Ephraim Lewinson of Newe Ya’ar, (ARO Israel) found eugenol, the essential oil found in clove (unpubl. results). Over 90% of the panel claimed that it was very tasty. Various products such as juices and dry fruit rolls are potential uses for this fruit. The fruit is large (400–1200 g), (Fig. 8), round, has a thick shell 4–7 mm, and contains 30%–45% juicy flesh with over 20% total soluble solids, and high acidity (over 200 µeq H+/gFW)."

And also this on wikipedia
The tree is a close relative of Strychnos nux-vomica, the source of strychnine.

When we visited Kruger we stayed a night at Timbavati, in the village there we were shown two big trees of Monkey Orange that they were proud of, I don't remember more than that one of them was said to be rare. I must look up our photos.
/Neil

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Niceone
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Unread postby Niceone » Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:17 pm

Fascinating Neil .
Thanks for that ! As a budding tree enthusiast , it is much appreciated info !

I am actually quite tempted to try one now ! :lol:

If you do come across those photos please do put them up. It will be most interesting.

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Neil Crawford
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Unread postby Neil Crawford » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:18 pm

Hi, I checked it and found we only photographed one of them, and am sorry to say we can't remember which the other one was, I imagine it was medicinal because I think theý said the witch doctor (shaman how do they call them?) used it, and even bartered it with his colleagues. The one we photographed is (we think) Strychnos spinosa Green monkey orange, which according to Field guide to trees of Southern Africa is edible and delicous. Strychnos pungens is only noted as edible.
Heres our photo:

Image

/Neil

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Jakkalsbessie
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Unread postby Jakkalsbessie » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:41 pm

Niceone wrote:Can Humans eat the fruit too ?
If so , does anyone know the taste ?
Forgive my ignorance tree experts !

Niceone, i don't know if you are referring to a specific Monkey Orange species?
But in general the fruit pulp of all the large Strychnos species is edible and the fruit is at it best when over-ripe, because at that stage the pulp starts to liquefy.
Apparently the tastes varies among these species (i haven't tried it myself) and again apparently, and as in Neil's post, the Corky Monkey-orange (S. cocculoides) tastes the best and are sold in some countries.
*disclaimer... as i said apparently and i haven't tried it myself, so don't keep me responsible if something does go wrong! :?

The Strychnine is usually extracted from the seeds from the Indian Species S. nux-vomica (as Neil mentioned). And it is suspected that this compound might also be present in other S. species, albeit in lower concentration.
:shock: SO... it is advisable to avoid chewing (or swallowing) the seeds when you eat the fruit pulp.

The 1 that is commonly found in Kruger and as indicated in some of the above posts is Strychnos madagascariensis (Black monkey orange / Swartklapper).
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Neil Crawford
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Unread postby Neil Crawford » Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:23 pm

The 1 that is commonly found in Kruger and as indicated in some of the above posts is Strychnos madagascariensis (Black monkey orange / Swartklapper).[/quote]


And thinking about it, and talking to Ragnhild, we're pretty sure that the other one they had in Timbavati village was Black monkey orange.
/Neil


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