Genipa Americana is common throughout tropical & subtropical regions of Central & South America. It flourishes both on well drained soils and on periodically flooded riverbanks.
The Genipa Americana tree stands tall at heights between 10–20 meters (30–65 feet). The trunk is approximately 40 – 80cm in diameter (15–30 inches). It is a deciduous tree with abundant foliage, the short-petioled leaves are more highly concentrated at the branch apex with an average size of 10-30cm (4 –12 inches). Its yellow or white flowers, about 4cm in diameter (1.5inches) are tubular in shape, with five petals, they appear in clusters at the base of the leaf. The fruit is a globose to ovoid shape, and varies in size and weight from 5-15cm in length by 4-10cm in diameter and from 150-400g in weight (that’s 2-6inches in length by 1.5-4 inches in diameter and from 5-14 ounces in weight). The pericarp is a white/yellowish colour and around 2.5cm thick (1 inch). The pulp contains the seeds protected by mucilaginous membranes. It is the juice from this pulp that contains the active colouring ingredient ‘Genepine’.
Varieties & Propagation
There are smaller ‘shrubby’ forms of the Genipa Americana tree, which grow along the riverbanks in Brazil. These trees are said to produce fruit all year round, though inedible, the genipine colouring should still be present in the small and unripe fruits. The Genipa Americana tree is naturally propagated by seeds, through natural dispersion and germination; though it is thought that the reason this tree is so well dispersed is thanks to well planned dispersion by indigenous peoples many years ago because if the many valued uses of the Genipa Americana Tree.
The Key biochemicals of Genipa Americana are; Genipine, Manitol, Tannins, Tannic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Genopocidic acid, Caterine, Hydatoin, Manit, Caffeine, Calcium.
Preferred Scientific Name: Genipa Americana L
Other Scientific Names: Genipa americana var. caruto (Kunth) K. Schum, Genipa caruto Kunth, Gardenia genipa Sw., Genipa barbata Presl, Genipa codonocaiyx Standl., Genipa cymosa Spruce, Genipa exelsa K Krause, Genipa grandifolia Pers. Genipa oblongifolia Ruiz & Pav., Genipa pubescens DC., Genipa spruceana Steyerm., Genipa venosa Standl., Genipa nervosa Sprce
Jagua, Genipa, Marmalade Box
Some Common Names
English; Genipap, Marmalade Box
Spanish; Jagua, Huito, Genipa, Caruto
Portuguese; Jenipapo, Mandipa
French; Confiture de Singe
Bolivia; Bí, Nané, Nobirr, Bi grande, Bicito, Totumillo
Brazil; Jenipapo, Genipapo, Genipopeiro, Jenipá, Jenipaba, Janipopeiro, Jenipapeiro, Janipapo, Cabacu
Columbia; Jagua, Genipa, Huito, Angelina, Genipapo, Chipara, Chibara, Guanapay
Costa Rica; Guaitilil, Tapaculo, Guaitilil Blanco, Brir
Equador; Jagua, Shiño, Sua, Sula, Tsua, Airo-tua, We’e
French Guyana; Genipa
Guatemala; Irayol, Irayol de Loma, Irayol de Montaña, Crayo, Guali
Honduras; Jagua, Irayol
Mexico; Jagua Azol, Maluco
Nicaragua; Tapaculo, Gigualtí
Panama; Jagua, Jagua Negro, Jagua de Montaña, Jagua Blanca, Guayatil Colorado
Peru; Palo Colorado, Huito, Huitoc, Huitol, Juagua, Yaguayagua, Vito, Vitu
Paraguay; ñandypa Guasu
Puerto Rico; Jagua, Genipa, Caruto
Surinam; Arasaloe, Tapoeripa
El Salvador; Irayol, Tambor, Tiñadientes, Tiñe-dientes
Venezuela; Caruto, Xagua, Carcarutoto, Caruto Rebalsero, Guaricha
Fruit – provides a valuable food source for most of the year.
|The 100% natural botanical staining power in these products come from renewable sources within the rainforest of South America.
Indigenous people throughout Amazonia have used the natural dye of the Jagua fruit (Genipa Americana) to adorn their skin for as long as can be remembered. Now you too can experience one of the best-kept secrets of the Amazon!