Ackee (Blighia sapida)

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140 in stock

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Ackee is a beautiful tree in the Soapberry family (Sapindaceae) (just like Lychee and Longan), native to tropical West Africa. Its shiny evergreen leaves, fragrant white flowers, and wide, rounded crown make it a graceful addition to a sunny garden. 

Ackee is prized for its fruits that turn red on maturity. With warmth and sunshine, they split open to reveal three cream-colored arils with black seeds attached. After they are harvested and cleaned, the edible, creamy arils can be used in cooking. They are used as a vegetable, even though botanically they are a fruit. Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica and also part of the national dish that is loved throughout the Caribbean, saltfish and ackee. Unripe fruits are not edible and must be allowed to ripen and split open on their own.

Ackee is an adaptable tree that grows best in full sun and well-draining, fertile soil but can tolerate a number of soil types, including sandy soil and oolitic limestone. It is drought-tolerant and can also stand hurricane-force winds.

Water your new tree at planting and then frequently enough to keep the soil moist without becoming waterlogged while it is getting established. You can also fertilize it every month for the first year. Since Ackee can grow to 75 feet, it can benefit from yearly pruning in the spring to keep the tree at a good size and encourage healthy branching.

In our experience, once your Ackee trees are large enough, they have really great success with propagating through air-layering. Our Ackee plants are grown from seed and capable of producing fruit in 3-6 years.

Plant Type:
Tropical Evergreen Fruit Tree

Harvest Season:
There are two bearing seasons: between January to March and June to August. The fruit turns red on reaching maturity and splits open with continued exposure to the sun. Do not consume unripe fruit. 

Mature Size:
Up to 75 ft. tall (Purdue says 40 ft)

Soil & Moisture:
Low-lying, deep, rich soil with ample moisture and good drainage.

Light Requirements:

Full Sun


Growth Rate: 

Zone Hardiness: 
Outdoors 9-11 with frost protection; Patio/Greenhouse 4+ 

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