Ice Cream Bean - Inga edulis

 (click underlined title to see more photos)   The tree grows fairly fast to about 20 feet tall, 25 feet or more wide, a few feet per year, and is very resourceful with its roots getting water.   Ice Cream Bean trees are typically rather productive with fruiting.   The fruit is mild mellow sweet, no acid tang, and mildly moist to dry-ish.   The flesh is about a 1/4" thick with a fused seed of about 1"x1/2" in size.  The ripe fruit in the photos is from late June.  Light green, mostly green, with some yellowing, is generally prime eating time, as for the enjoyability of the texture, wetness, and sweetness.  The flavor is kind of neutral, with a bit of light vanilla essence possibly.

The quality of the fruit depends on the tree, which depends on the original quality of fruit from which the seed was from.   Low quality fruit trees have fruit with rather dry-ish cottony flesh, which is not so desirable to eat.   Also, the riper, more yellow-skinned the fruit, the less moist the flesh.

High quality Ice Cream Beans are good fruit-food for moderate sweet and moist quality.   Fruits ripen 4 to 6 months from blooming.   Bottom photo shows Ice Cream Bean tree in flower in January.   Fruit ripen all of June through all of July, and there's potential for ripe fruit at other times of the year, depending on flowering.

Btw, from my experience with Ice Cream Bean, I don't recommend it for food, in general, excepting rare occasions or when you have no other choice if you're starving, because I find if I eat Ice Cream Bean fruit it has a 'vitality lowering' effect on my body, though it's pleasant to eat when fresh and not over-ripe.  Ice Cream Bean is a legume, i.e. in the Fabaceae family (previously known as Leguminosae Family), which includes soybeans/soy, of course, which is known for it's not so beneficial effect on ones body in some regards, though yes, providing some nourishment, but with some potentially modestly 'negative' though not necessarily severe, side effects.  Although cooking, and, fermenting leguminosae can minimize problems, but, ice cream bean is pretty much figured as mainly a fresh fruit.  Apparently the seeds aren't worthwhile for food, possibly not safe for consumption, going on what I could glean online.    Other Fabaceae / Leguminous plant products could also have similar effect, especially if consumed substantially rather than rarely or minimally.

Ice Cream Bean is native to northern south America, apparently in the Amazonia regions, although it's very well adapted to growing in fairly mild mediterranean climates, such as Southern California.  It's a fairly strong resourceful grower.  Probably doest best within 10 miles of the coast, though further inland can work too.

Tree in bloom in January, in bloom (white pom pom flowers, similar to styling of Calliandra flowers), about 3 1/2 years from planting from 15gallon size (Purchased in 5gal. size, but transplanted to this spot from another part of the yard after one year growing in the ground):



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