Prandini’s Nursery is pleased to introduce a plant of South American origins, The Babaco. It belongs to the Caricacee family and is Natural hybrid somewhere between the mountain papaya (carica pubescens) and the Chamburo (Carica Stipulata). It is a herbaceous shrub, and characterized by its rapid growth, after having been planted for a year it can reach a height of 3 metres. The roots are meaty and tuberous and colonize the first 30-40 cm of soil, after six months of cultivation, they deepen and become bigger.
The Babaco thrives well in sandy soil, medium mix, volcanic and deep and sandy clay, drainage is essential if the clay is lime so as not to cause root rot. The Babaco prefers humid tropical climates with temperatures between 6° to 30°C, those close to zero provoke damage to the plant; in windy areas it requires wind protection. It is advisable to use a mature manure when fertilizing.
FLORA AND FRUIT
The trunk is greyish fibrous and spongy and of a narrowing diameter which ascends from the base to the top. The leaves are considerably large, and can be 50 cm long and 45cm wide on a 50cm stalk of 55cm
The flowers are only female, white-greenish bell shaped, and singularly grouped and contained in small pits in the leaves. In Italy it flowers all through the Summer and climbs well. Two months after being planted, small fruit appears which can be harvested after 10 months.
USE AND HEALTH PROPERTIES
The Babaco is a low calorific plant and contains and vitamin C which is an excellent antioxidant which strengthens the immune defense system a good quantity of vitamin A, mineral salts (calcium, phosphorous, iron) and vitamin C which is an excellent anti-oxidant which re-enforces the immune defense system. It has anti-infective and digestive properties. The Babaco can be conserved for long periods of time in the fridge; given its fibrous flesh you can make excellent smoothies with lemon, sugar and ice. Apart from the flesh the peel is also edible.
PRUNING AND CULTIVATION
The Babaco should be potted every 2-3 fruiting cycles.