Economic Botany of Spondias Purpurea

Economic Botany of Spondias Purpurea


This article reviews the Neotropical fruit Spondias purpurea (Anacardiaceae) - "Ciruela" or "Ovo", describing the cultivation, yields, and economics of the fruit.

Conclusions & Takeaways

Spondias purpurea originated in Mexico and is cultivated in semi-dry regions throughout the Neotropics. S. purpurea is grown in orchards in polyculture with papaya, banana, and yucca. Flowering occurs in the dry season. During cultivation, branches are often cleared of epiphytes (Tilliandsia recurvata). Propagation is done after the harvest, with vegetative cuttings 1.3-2.5m long, stored in the shade for a week, and planted when floral buds begin to open. Fruits are usually harvested green, 3-4 times during the life of a tree. Green fruits are exported and mature fruits are sold locally. In the two areas of Ecuador that were sampled, orchard maintenance and production costs are minimal, and cultivation can be manipulated so that it is possible almost throughout the year. Due to these factors, the authors found that revenues can be significant for small landowners.



Macía MJ, Barfod AS. Economic botany of Spondias purpurea (Anacardiaceae) in ecuador. Economic Botany. 2000;54:449–458. doi:10.1007/bf02866544.


  • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
  • Aarhus University, Denmark