The abiu (Pouteria caimito (Ruiz et Pavon) Radlk., Sapotaceac) is a popular native Amazonian fruit and is attracting commercial attention in other tropical regions. Phenological and yield information is useful to growers and vendors for planning plantation management and commercialization. In Central Amazonia the abiu presented three periods of intense flowering each year from 1980 to 1982 (two during the rainy season, one during the dry season), followed a month later by fruiting, with considerable variation from tree to tree so that some fruit were available during at least seven months (April to October). The abiu flowered abundantly in each period, but only 1.4 to 3.0% of the flowers set fruit, and this percentage appeared to be affected by plant nutritional status and phytosanitary stress. On the nutrient poor Oxisols in Central Amazonia abiu fruit varied in weight from 57 to 238 g (mean ± s.d. = 120 ± 46 g), with 42% edible pulp. Anual fruit yield was estimated at 77 ± 28 kg/tree, equivalent to 21 t/ha at 6 x 6 m spacing. Insect visitors included apparent pollinators and pests (notably Anastrepha serpentina), and phytosanitary problems increased during the period of observation.
flowering; fruiting; leaf change; insect visitors; fruit set