Caricaceae, Jacarantia mexicana, Bonete – Jalisco, Mexico
Bonete is a wild papaya relative native to Mexico, called Coahuayote in Naualt, K’uun che’ in Mayan. I photographed this tree last week in the dry tropical coastal forests in Jalisco. The tree is tall with a straight trunk, reminiscent to some members of the Bombacaceae (Malvaceae) family in that the girth of the trunk seems disproportionately thick compared to the branches. The first time I saw Bonete I mistook it for a Ceiba. The bark is soft, wood pithy, the leaves elliptic.
Male and female flowers are born on separate trees (dioecious). the ripe fruit has high nutritious value and can be eaten when mature or immature. The pulp and aroma of the fruit is similar to that of papaya. As you can see in one of the photos, the sap exuded from the stem of the freshly picked fruit is also similar to that of papaya.There is not much information out there on this species, the locals I spoke with were all aware of its edible properties. It seems to be a much sought after wild fruit.