July 23, 2011

Aratiles

When we went at Paradise Ranch, I was so happy to see an Aratiles tree. I almost cried because back in my childhood, we had an Aratiles tree on our front yard. It was big and full of those red, sweet fruit. I used to call it Alatires, some people call it Aratiris or Aratelis.


My Kuya Bob and I had many fun times climbing this tree. We'd be lonely if we see bats lurking at sunset to have their share of this sweet little thing. I cried badly when they had to cut down the tree to give way to the construction of our house.


If you happen to have Aratiles, consider it a blessing, find out why...


Facts and Trivia on Aratiles:

It is a small tree 7-12 meters tall with tiered and slightly drooping branches. It has serrated leaves 2.5-15 cm long and 1-6.5 cm wide. The flowers are small ,white and slightly malodorous. It gives rise to 1-1.5 cm light red fruit. The fruit is edible, sweet and juicy, and contains a large number of tiny (0.5 mm) yellow seeds.
It is a pioneer species that thrives in poor soil, able to tolerate acidic and alkaline conditions and drought. Its seeds are dispersed by birds and fruit bats. It is cultivated for its edible fruit, and has become naturalised in some other parts of the tropics, including southeastern Asia.

In Mexico, the fruits are eaten and sold in markets. The fruits can be processed into jams and the leaves can be used for making tea. In Brazil, the trees are planted along river banks. The fruits falling from the tree attract fish that are then caught. In the Philippines and Indonesia the fruits are usually eaten mostly by children although it is not sold in markets.

In traditional medicine, its flowers can be used as an antiseptic and to treat abdominal cramps.

The timber from the Jamaican cherry is reddish-brown. It is compact, durable and lightweight and can be used for carpentry. It could also be used as firewood. The bark can be used to produce ropes and fiber for bark skirts. Due to its ability to grow in poor soil and its effective propagation by means of bats and birds, it could be used for reforestation projects.

In India, it is used in urban gardens for its ability to grow fast and attractiveness to small fruit eating birds such as the flowerpeckers. It is also commonly planted in parking lots.

(Source: Wikipedia.org)


3 comments:

  1. I super love aratilis! Up to now, I'd stop and pick some fruits when I chance upon the tree. I didn't know they have medicinal benefits. Thanks for this article. Brings back happy childhood memories!

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  2. hello Ms.Joy..I have never tasted it pa po..it looks like local grapes..when I'll go home to my lolo I will ask if they have an aratiles tree..

    passing by Ms.Joy..lunch po oh :)

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  3. We also had an Aratilis tree beside our house, but they cut it due to house expansion. When my husband and I was still mag boyfriend we hung around the tree, I really love the fruits it's so sweet and easy to eat. Now my kids love it too.

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Thank you for the joyful comments!