Sunday, October 14, 2007

Calabash tree

I discovered this calabash tree (Crescentia cujete) in the front yard of Zacharias Oliveira, a friend here in Santarém. These trees are fairly common, but it was the size of the tree that caught my attention. The trunk and main limbs are just huge. This is another one of those trees classified as cauliflorous, meaning that the fruit develop directly from the main trunk and limbs of the tree. Except for a mass of seeds, there's nothing inside the huge ball-like fruit, called cuia locally. After drying out, they are normally cut in half and serve as containers for everything under the sun. Decorated cuias are sold in the arts and crafts stores of Santarém.

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