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Aratilis, Bajelly tree, calabur tree, capulin, Jamaica cherry, mansanitas, Panama berry, Sabah cherry, sagase, saresa, Singapore cherry, strawberry tree
Muntingia calabura, the sole species in the genus Muntingia, is a flowering plant native to southern Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and western South America south to Peru and Bolivia. Common names include (English) calabur tree, capulin, Jamaica cherry, Panama berry, strawberry tree, Singapore cherry, Sabah cherry, Bajelly tree; (Tagalog) aratilis, and saresa; and (Cebuano, Ilokano) mansanitas and sagase in Kannada.[+]
It is a small tree, 7–12 m tall with tiered and slightly drooping branches. It has serrated leaves 2.5–15 cm long and 1–6.5 cm wide. The flowers are small, white, and slightly malodorous. It gives rise to 1.0- to 1.5-cm light red fruit. The fruit is edible, sweet, and juicy, and contains a large number of tiny (0.5-mm) yellow seeds.
It is a pioneer species that thrives in poor soil, able to tolerate acidic and alkaline conditions and drought. Its seeds are dispersed by birds and fruit bats. It is cultivated for its edible fruit, and has become naturalised in some other parts of the tropics, including southeastern Asia. As a pioneer plant, it could help condition the soil and make it habitable to other plants. However, it might also be considered as an invasive species since it might outcompete indigenous plants.
QNHG (Qatar Natural History Group) and associated people, for a possibility to participate in their field excursions and to learn about local nature.