Açaí is a palm which is cultivated for its fruits. These Açaí berries are edible and often used to make fruit drinks. Also the Açaí palm heart is edible and can be used as a vegetable.
Berries of the Açaí are popular as they contain antioxidants. The fruits are recommended against several diseases and also to assist in weight loss. However, medical science is not yet convinced about all these claims.
Acai palm tree
Palmera de asa
Basic information and facts
Brasil, Surinam, Peru.
Mainly found in Central and South America.
Acai is a tall palm tree.
The acai berry looks a bit like a grape but is a bit smaller, more like a cherry. Fruits grow in branched panicles which often bear 500 or more fruits.
The tree has large pinnate leaves which can be up to 3 meters long.
Climate and weather:
This palm tree grows in tropical humid climate, often in swampy areas.
The acai palm can be over 25 meters tall.
Acai is grown from seed.
The acai berries are used as food or to prepare juice. Several medicines are prepared containing extracts from the berries. The palm heart is edible and can be used as a vegetable. Leaves are used to make hats, mats, baskets and brooms. Sometimes they are used as roof thatching. The wood is used for building construction.
The name ‘Purpura bacca’ is found on websites dealing with weight loss products, but is possibly not an official scientific name.