Ice-cream grows on a shade tree

Pilbara News - - Property - Sabrina Hahn

Who would have thought ice-cream grows on trees?

There is a tree that has long pods that taste just like vanilla ice-cream.

It’s a big, spread­ing tree with white and yel­low pom­pom-type flow­ers that de­velop into long pods.

In­side the pods are hard black seeds sur­rounded by a juicy white pulp that tastes very much like vanilla ice-cream.

The pods look sim­i­lar to a tamarind pod.

The botan­i­cal name is inga edulis and it is na­tive to Cen­tral Amer­ica and South Amer­ica.

It is a big tree, grow­ing 10m-15m high, with a spread of 8m.

An­other ben­e­fit of this tree is that it pro­duces ni­tro­gen-fix­ing nod­ules on the root sys­tem, adding ni­tro­gen to sur­round­ing soil.

Inga trees grow in warm re­gions and are not frost-tol­er­ant.

In some parts of Queens­land and NSW, they can be­come a weed, so they are not rec­om­mended for the Kim­ber­ley re­gion where they may be­come a pest.

If you have chil­dren and the space to grow an inga tree, they will love it.

It’s a healthy treat for them and also pro­vides them with a shady spot to play.

When it comes to prun­ing, you can go pretty hard, even cop­pice them to near-ground level.

If you do not want to go that hard, just prune them so they re­tain a man­age­able size and a more com­pact shape. It’s win-win all round when you think about it — ex­tra ni­tro­gen for the soil, healthy food for the chil­dren and shade for the gar­den.

Inga edulis is avail­able from most gar­den cen­tres.

The pods of the Inga edulis tree, na­tive to Cen­tral and South Amer­ica, have a juicy white pulp that tastes like vanilla ice-cream.

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