Moldenke Fruit Plant (Citharexylum montevidense)
Common Name: Tarumã de Espinho, Moldenke
Botanical Name: Citharexylum montevidense
General Information: Citharexylum montevidense is a deciduous tree belonging to the Verbenaceae family. Recognized for its spiny nature, it typically grows to a height of 5 - 10 meters. Native to South America, its distribution spans Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and the southern and eastern regions of Brazil. The tree features a large, open crown and a short, cylindrical bole with a diameter ranging from 15 to 25cm.
The tree is occasionally harvested from the wild, primarily serving as a local source of fuel. While the fruits are red, globose drupes measuring about 12mm in diameter and containing 1 - 3 seeds, they are not widely appreciated by the local population. The fruit, however, has a sweet, succulent pulp.
Bloom Time/Fruiting: 2 to 4 Years
Maintenance: Cultivating Citharexylum montevidense requires a moderate level of maintenance. The tree exhibits a fast growth rate, particularly in sunny conditions. It serves agroforestry purposes, providing food for native fauna, and can be employed as a pioneer species when restoring native woodland. The wood, although coarse-textured and not durable, finds utility in fuel and charcoal production due to its small size.