Ice Cream Bean - Pacay - Inga feuillei

KNOWN FOR:​​

  • Flavor of vanilla ice cream

  • Nitrogen fixer

  • 2 trees required

  • Suitable for containers

SIZE:

  • 20'Hx20'W

PH Range:

  • 5.1-7.8

Zone:

  • 9-12 cold tolerant down to 32° degrees when young. Mature trees hardy to 25°degrees

APPEARANCE:

  • Foliage - Dark Green 

  • Flower - A tuft of white stamens

EXPOSURE:

  • All day shade to partial shade

  • Trees do best with a source of humidity around.

  • Microclimate is everything!

Notes:

  • Sensitive in mid 30's

  • Young trees need shade and frost protection

  • suitable for containers

Feed:

  • DO NOT use fertilizers with nitrogen

  • 0-10-0 Fish emulsion monthly to provide potassium 

  • Mix 2-3 tablespoons magnesium sulfate and pour around the drip line of mature trees every month. .

  • This tree has a low salt tolerance so deep water to flush salts down regularly. 

General Information:

In English they have been called "ice-cream beans" due to the sweet flavor and smooth texture of the pulp. Naturally growing Ice Cream Bean trees produce abundant root nodules, which fix nitrogen, thus adding nitrogen to the soil rather than taking it away, hence benefiting the land by increasing fertility levels. 

Ice Cream Bean is a legume tree that is medium to large in length. Its height can reach an average of 60 feet or taller. At low temperatures, these trees are often damaged. These trees generally occur near river banks, so it has year round irrigation.

 

Inga species are dependable, they produce in abundance, and they provide sustenance in bad times. A family can produce food without occupying the farmland used for food crops, because they can grow on sites neglected by agriculture. They grow rapidly, are tolerant of diverse soils, and are resistant to disease and fire. These trees are easy to establish, spread their shade quickly, and provide fruit for years.

 

The fruits of the trees are quite edible and are often consumed by people of regions where this fruit grows. In Mexico, coffee-plantation workers can double their annual salary by selling the pods from the Inga trees used to shade the coffee plants. In Central America, the seeds are cooked and eaten as a vegetable. In Mexico, the seeds are roasted and sold outside theaters to moviegoers. In Costa Rica, the fruit is also known as Guaba, and is associated with good luck.

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