COMMON NAME Brazilian Custard Apple, Rollinia Tree, Biriba
BOTANICAL NAME Rollinia deliciosa
HEIGHT 10′ to 40′
WIDTH 10′ to 16′
LIFESPAN 30 to 60 years
SOIL TYPE Well drained to wet. Often grows in areas that receive flooding for part of the year. Tolerates very wet soil.
WATER REQUIREMENTS Water after planting in ground, and water every day for 2 weeks. Week 3 and week 4, water deeply twice a week. From week 5 forward water deeply at least once a week until it has been 3 months. Requires regularly watering once established. Supplement with water during droughts and the hot, dry months to keep your plant lush and thriving. Reduce watering in the Winter when growth slows.
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS Prefers full sun, tolerates part shade
FERTILIZING Sparingly use a general purpose 10-10-10 every month or every 2 months from Spring to Summer for faster growth. Alternatively, use a slow-release fertilizer 3 times a year. Halt fertilizing from the Fall to Winter, then begin again in the Spring. Avoid getting fertilizer on the leaves, flowers, and stems. Water before and after applying fertilizer. Do not over-fertilize, as this will result in more foliage and less flowers and less fruit.
FLOWER Yellowish-green, three petaled
FRUIT Large and round, covered in soft, prominent spines. Green unripe; Yellow when ripe. Harvest when firm and yellow, ripens in 3 to 7 days. Develops black tips on the spines when fully ripe. Ripens quickly after being removed from the tree, so it not common in stores. The interior is white to translucent. Sweet, and succulent pulp with an excellent flavor. Contains many seeds. Edible.
ALLERGENS, TOXICITY AND ANIMALS Fruit could possibly cause a reaction in those with latex allergies. Plant toxicity unknown.
COMMENTS This rare, fast growing tree is native to the Brazilian-Peruvian Amazon. It is tolerant of periodic flooding. Susceptible to wind damage, especially when trees are young. Fruit develops around 3 years after being planted from seed. Thriving 10 year old Rollinia trees will produce around 100 fruit. The fruit has a similar taste to a Sour Sop/Sugar Apple mix. Some describe the flavor as ‘creamy lemon sherbet’. Seeds have a relatively long shelf life of 3 years to 4 years. Pests include the chalcid fly, mealybugs, and scale. Use neem oil to get rid of pests. In locations susceptible to cold damage, wrap a frost cloth over and around the tree and tie securely to protect the day before a freeze. Remove promptly once the freeze has subsided. Regulate soil temperature and better protect the roots by mulching (with mulch, leaves, hay, etc.) no less than 3″ thick and 1′ radius around the base of the trunk above where the roots grow.
PRICE 15 gallon $75