• This giant herbaceous plant is very fast growing, bearing flowers and then fruit within a year of planting.
  • Cultivated in most tropical countries, the ripe fruit is usually eaten raw and the unripe green fruit cooked in curries and stews.
  • The fruit is high in pectin, meaning it can be used to make jellies. 
  • The fruit is used medicinally to aid digestion, lower inflammation and improve healing.
  • The pulped fruit is also said to make a great face mask.

Where it grows

Native to tropical and sub-tropical frost-free zones in south-east USA, Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Useful links


  • Herb: plant with fleshy parts rather than a persistent woody stem above ground.
  • Lobe: incomplete division in any plant organ (eg leaf).