Friday, 16 November 2012

Fruits of Fiji
Fiji Post Limited proudly to issue a set of five stamps feature the Fiji’s edible fruits on December 02, 2010.  

The issue stamps are depicting fruit species, Moli kana or Citrus maxima (20c) , Vutu kana or Barringtonia edulis (40c), Dawa or Pometia pinnata (65c), Fei ( banana) or Musa troglodytarium ($1.20), Kavika or Syzgium malaccense ($10).

There are more then 18 native tree species with edible fruits in Fiji. The majority of these species are thought to be of aboriginal introduction, brought in by early indigenous settlers to Fiji.

Moli kana or Citrus maxima   flowers and fruits throughout the year. The scraped root is used as an internal remedy for hemorrhoids in the island of Taveuni. The fruit is eaten as a dessert fruit and also used for marmalade. This native tree can grow up to 12 m tall bearing edible fruits 10-30 cm wide. The fruit is very thick peel and pale yellow or pink pulp.
Vutu kana  or Barringtinia edulis is endemic tree to Fiji and grows up to 20 m tall in coastal forest. It bear spherical fruits that are up to 8 cm long and 5 cm wide with white petal flowers.

Barringtonia edulis flowers and fruit throughout the year. The nuts of this species can either be cooked or eaten raw.

Dawa or Pometia pinnata is a widespread native tree species in Fiji, commonly grown a round the villages, gardens and in nearby forests. 

The tree grows up to 30 m tall bearing the green to red-brown round fruits up to 5 cm long with jelly-like white pulp. The flowering period in December – March and fruits between March –May.

The pulp is edible, seed-specially cooked and eaten. The bark has traditionally been used for medicine and the wood as timber.
Fei Banana or Musa troglogytarum  is  a shrub locals refer to as soaga of the indigenous species Musa troglodytarium. 

The tree grows up to 3-4 m tall and is rare. It is not widely cultivated despite the fact that it produces nutritious fruits, because of its low economic significance.  Occasionally it is sold in the Suva municipal market. Skin of the fruit is orange when ripe and is edible after cooking.
Kavika or Syzygium malacensis grows  well in the secondary forest or old village near the streams. It is also cultivated in most Fijian village site and setllement, farmland and agricultural land. This plant has also recorded as a medicinal plant and a common ornamental tree species.

The tree can grow up to 15 m tall bearing large edible red fruit about 10 cm long and 7 cm broad. Its flowers are dark pink to red  color and conspicuous in a closed canopy with fruit turning cream-yellow to red at maturity.

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