Monographs Details: Gustavia speciosa (Kunth) DC. subsp. speciosa
Authority: Prance, Ghillean T. & Mori, S. A. 1979. Lecythidaceae - Part I. The actinomorphic-flowered New World Lecythidaceae (Asteranthos, Gustavia, Grias, Allantoma & Cariniana). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 21: 1-270. (Published by NYBG Press)
Family:Lecythidaceae
Description:Description - Trees, medium sized, to 10 m tall (fide Romero-Castaneda). Leaf blades narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, 21-44 x 6-10(-14) cm, with a length to width ratio of 3.2-4.8, with 16-21 pairs of lateral veins. Petioles (20-)40-80 mm. Flowers usually with a calyx of 4 rounded, triangular or irregularly incised lobes, 2-10 x 2-13 mm wide; ovary walls puberulous to rusty-tomentose.

Discussion:Gustavia speciosa subsp speciosa is cultivated for its edible fruits. The edible portion of the fruit is the yellowish pulp that surrounds the seeds. This is sucked from the fruit raw or is cooked with meat and rice (Romero-Castaneda, 1969). Sucking the pulp gave rise to the common name “chupo” which comes from the Spanish verb chupar (to suck).

Humboldt, Bonpland and Kunth (1825) reported the fruits to be eagerly sought after by youngsters who, after consuming too many, took on a yellowish cast. The yellow color disappeared 24-48 hours later without requiring medical attention.

On a visit to Mariquita, Colombia vendors at fruit stands informed me that the fruits of this variety are sold at two different times of the year. The initial harvest is in January and another follows in July and August.
Distribution:Colombia South America| Bolívar Colombia South America| Antioquia Colombia South America| Cundinamarca Colombia South America| Tolima Colombia South America| Ecuador South America| Esmeraldas Ecuador South America| Peru South America| Loreto Peru South America|

Common Names:Chupo, Chopé