Poraqueiba sericea (Umarí)

Family: Icacinaceae

Latin name: Poraqueiba sericea

Vernacular name: Umarí

According to anthropologists, the word “umarí” is of Jibaro origin. The round fruits are very popular. The oily mesocarp is eaten raw and can be made into a “butter” for spreading on bread. The large endosperm can be ground up and used in animal feed. Children will cut the endosperm into thin, opaque slices to make toy glasses. The wood is hard and useful, and popular for making charcoal.

The Amazon River town of Tamshiyacu is famous for its extensive groves of umarí trees. There, it is often interplanted with Brazil nut, and used for charcoal when the tree is old and fruit production decreases. The tree can grow quickly and becomes quite large, and has a thick canopy. Therefore, spacing and location in agroforestry systems is important. Umarí will not tolerate flooding, but can grow well in very poor, heavy clay soils. It is frequently interplanted with other tree crops that do well under these soil conditions, such as cashew, uvilla, and Inga species. Old umarales can be troublesome to burn for farmers when converting the system into a new chacra, and the new field is often unfertile.