The Ice Apple tree, also known as Borassus flabellifer, is a species of palm tree that is native to South Asia, including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. It is widely grown in tropical regions around the world for its edible fruit, which is known for its cooling and thirst-quenching properties.
|Tropical regions of South Asia
|Up to 30 meters
|Diameter of Crown When Mature
|Diameter of Tree Trunk When Mature
|Up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet)
|Years it Takes to Grow
|15-20 years for the tree to mature and produce fruit
Country of Origin
The Ice Apple tree is indigenous to South Asia and is commonly found in the tropical regions of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. The tree is also cultivated in other countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar.
The Ice Apple tree is a tall, single-stemmed palm tree that can grow up to 30 meters in height. The trunk of the tree is thick and sturdy, with a diameter of about 1 meter. The leaves of the tree are fan-shaped and can grow up to 3 meters in length. The tree also produces clusters of small, creamy-white flowers that develop into round, green fruit about the size of a tennis ball. The fruit has a tough outer skin, and the interior contains a translucent jelly-like substance that is the edible part of the fruit.
The Ice Apple tree plays a vital role in the ecosystems where it grows. It is a valuable source of food and shelter for a variety of animals, birds, and insects. The fruit of the tree is a source of food for many bird species, including pigeons, parrots, and bulbuls. The tree’s leaves are used by weaver birds to build their nests. Insects such as bees and butterflies are attracted to the tree’s flowers, which provide a source of nectar for them.
Importance to Birds, Animals, and Insects
The Ice Apple tree is an essential source of food and shelter for many bird species, animals, and insects. The fruit of the tree provides a valuable source of nutrition for birds and small animals. The tree’s leaves are used by many bird species as nesting material. Insects such as bees and butterflies are attracted to the tree’s flowers, which provide them with a source of nectar.
Ice Apple fruit
The Ice Apple fruit, also known as Taal or Nungu, is a type of tropical fruit that grows on the Ice Apple tree (Borassus flabellifer). The fruit is round, about the size of a tennis ball, and has a hard, fibrous outer covering that is green when unripe and turns yellow when fully ripe. The outer covering has a prickly texture that can be peeled away to reveal the translucent, jelly-like interior of the fruit. The flesh of the fruit is sweet, juicy, and refreshing, with a mild flavor that is often described as slightly nutty or coconutty. The fruit contains a high amount of water and is known for its cooling and hydrating properties, making it a popular snack during hot summer months. The Ice Apple fruit is commonly eaten fresh or used in drinks, desserts, and other culinary preparations.
States in India
In India, Ice Apple is primarily cultivated in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala. It is also grown in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and West Bengal.
Can it be grown in homes?
The Ice Apple tree requires a warm, humid climate to grow and is best suited for tropical regions. It can be challenging to grow the tree in a home garden, as it requires a lot of space to grow and has a long maturation period. However, dwarf varieties of the tree are available that are better suited for home gardens.
The Ice Apple tree is an important species of palm tree that is native to South Asia. It plays a vital role in the ecosystems where it grows and provides food and shelter for many bird species, animals, and insects. The tree is widely cultivated for its edible fruit, which is known for its cooling and thirst-quenching properties. While it may be difficult to grow the tree in a home garden, dwarf varieties are available that are better suited for smaller spaces.