11 - PEQUI

Caryocar brasiliensis Cambess. (Caryocaraceae)

11- Pequi - Caryocar brasiliensis Cambess. (Caryocaraceae)

 

Tree, up to 7 m, commonly shrubby, with tortuous trunks. Opposite, trifoliate leaves, with long petiole, wavy margin and rounded apex, of very variable size, hairy on both sides. Cream colored flowers, large, with long and numerous stamens, arranged in groups at the tip of the branches. Flowering from August to November, fruiting until February.

 

Pequi is an indigenous contribution to the cuisine of the Midwest, so valued that the tree has become the symbol of the cerrado of that region. In São Paulo, its flavor is not so appreciated, many people have not even heard of it. It would be curious to know if in the past it was part of São Paulo cuisine.

Distribution: Typical of the cerrado, it occurs in the south of Pará, bordering the Amazon region, up to the state of Paraná and Paraguay.

Situation in São Paulo: It takes place in Parque do Juquery, the last remaining Cerrado in the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo, indicating its presence before urban development.

How to plant: Plant with extreme difficulty in germination, even in nature. You should collect the fruits that have fallen on the ground, peel them and put the pulp in the water for four days until they rot, to facilitate the cleaning of the seeds. Then, let it dry in the shade for another four days, and then immediately immerse it completely in a solution of gibberellic acid, which is found in agricultural stores, in a ratio of one gram to four liters of water, for another four days. Only then plant the seed lying down, partially burying it halfway in 30 cm deep bags with red cerrado soil and 30% sand, and covering the exposed part with vermiculite. Leave it in the sun and water it well, so after thirty days you can see them sprout with a success rate of around 50%. Water for six months to develop well; it can be planted with eight months, when it will be about 40 cm, in the final place in full sun and only in the rainy season. The plant grows slowly, it should start to bear fruit after about five to six years.

Uses: In addition to the culinary use of pulp and oil, the bark and leaves extract a yellow pigment and eventually used as an ornamental plant.

ALMEIDA, SP ET AL. CERRADO: USEFUL VEGETABLE SPECIES. PLANALTINA: EMBRAPA-CPAC, V. 464, 1998.
DURIGAN, G. PLANTS OF THE CERRADO PAULISTA: IMAGES OF A THREATENED LANDSCAPE. PAGES & LETTERS EDITORA E GRÁFICA, 200 4
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