The chupa chupa is knows for the high content of fiber and carotenes. Vegetal fibers are considered very important by nutritionists because they relive constipation and regulate digestion. Including the chupa chupa fruit in your diet will improve bowel movements. Both the pulp and the seeds of chupa chupa are rich in antioxidant compounds. These counter the destructive effects of free radicals that cause cancer and other serious diseases. They provide an overall boost to the immune system, increasing resistance to respiratory problems and all types of infections. Chupa chupa provides a good cocktail of vitamins and minerals, in particular vitamin C.
The chupa chupa fruit is traditionally consumed raw, out of hand. It is also possible to prepare them as juice but some fruits have a flesh that is too fibrous for processing. The chupa chupa pulp has a yellow or orange color and has a fibrous texture and a sweet taste. It has been compared to a pumpkin that is sweeter than normal; some people also claim it resembles an apricot or a mango. The chupa chupa fruit has many fans, who say that it tastes like a combination of peaches, mangoes and strawberries. However, it tastes bland and unappealing for others.
The chupa chupa grows in tropical and subtropical rainforests. Its range starts at sea level and extends up to elevations of 2000 m in Ecuador. It can be cultivated in Florida but the young trees must be shielded during the winter. Chupa chupa tree can easily be killed by frost and needs wet locations in full sun for best results. In the wild, chupa chupa can be found from coastal areas to high altitudes in rainforests with fertile soil. It can survive seasonal flooding but it also grows in areas that are never inundated. The chupa chupa can be cultivated easily on the slopes of the Andean Mountains. However, it only reaches maximum dimensions in the wild, in the wet rainforests of South America. If topsoil and fertilizer are added, it also tolerates the dry oolitic limestone soils typical to the coastal ridges of South Florida. The most common method of propagation chupa chupa is from seed. However, in order to select superior trees, it is better to multiply them through vegetative means. Budding is not an option but side-veneer grafting is easy. Seeds collected from the ripe fruits should be immediately placed in separate containers in a partially shaded location. It will sprout in 20 to 30 days, with a high germination rate.
The chupa chupa fruits are rich in fibers and vegetal proteins. They also provide vitamins like ascorbic acid and some B-complex vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, as well as essential minerals like iron, calcium or phosphorous.
The chupa chupa bloom is between the months of August and November in Brazil, while fruits become ripe between February and May. In Florida, the fruits can only be harvested in November, even if the flowers emerge during the winter. Chupa chupa fruits never fall to the ground and will rot on the tree if not collected. They should be harvested when the edge of the calyx has a light color, with a knife or cutting pole.