Few fruit trees have as many enticing common names as this plant and yet few people have reaped the rewards of this adaptable small tree which grows so well in warm climate gardens.
A member of the family Muntingiaceae (also placed in Elaeocarpaceae family), the Panama Berry is indigenous to southern Mexico, The Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad, Tobago, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru.
It is now widely cultivated in most tropical and subtropical countries, where it is a typical pioneer species, colonizing disturbed sites in tropical lowland areas. In South East Asia it is one of the most common roadside trees, especially in the drier areas such as in eastern Java and eastern Thailand. It establishes itself in compacted areas and alongside shop fronts where no other tree will survive.
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