Sunday, 18 March 2012

Ice cream bean tree (Inga edulis)

I discovered the Ice cream bean tree growing in a public permaculture garden. I have heard a lot about this tree, the fruit of which is supposed to taste like vanilla ice cream (hence the name).

The golden - brown wavy pods are easily snapped to reveal the fruit inside:

The 'fruit' is actually a thin white wispy membrane covering the large seeds. Although mildly pleasant, it is a bit fanciful to compare the taste to that of vanilla ice cream. It is, however, an attractive tree of about 4m in height and a spread of 5 with drooping branches and waxy pinnate leaves. The seed sprout readily (as do most legumes) and is a fast grower. It would make a great small tree for somewhere something is needed quickly.


  1. I had the same assesment of the fruit.

  2. I've never seen such a tree but seems it rather interesting.

  3. This particular tree you have doesn't seem to be the best edible cultivar. Just like with any fruit, not all members will taste great. Cultivars I saw in people's videos who loved the taste, have really thick membranes and seeds are dark.


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