This handsome tree is indigenous to the state of Rio de Janeiro in southeastern Brazil. It closely resembles its near relative the bakuri (Platonia insignis). The fruit is smaller in size than that of the latter species, and, while not considered so delicious, is highly prized by the natives, especially when prepared in the form of a doce or jam.
The tree, which is said to flower in December and ripen its fruit in January and February, is little known in cultivation. The fruit is ovate in form, sharp at the apex, and about 1 1/2 inches long. It is orange-yellow in color and has a tough, leathery skin surrounding translucent snow-white pulp in which two oblong seeds are embedded. The flavor is subacid, suggesting that of the mangosteen.
Several other species of Rheedia produce edible fruits, but none of them is well known in cultivation. R. edulis, Planch. & Triana, is occasionally cultivated in Brazil under the name of Umax) do motto (wild lemon); it is a small, handsome tree with oblong glossy-green leaves and elliptic yellow fruits 2 inches long. The white pulp is highly acid. R. macrophylla, Mart., is said by Jacques Huber to be cultivated at Para under the name of bacury-pary. Its fruits are said to resemble those of Platonia insignis, but are somewhat smaller and more acid.