SCIENTIFIC NAME: Bactris gasipaes or Guilielma gasipaes
FAMILY: Arecaceae

PEACH PALM (Guilielma gasipaes) also called PEJIBAYE has first fruited in the Yeppoon area this year. The tree is growing at Doug Drake's property, Cooberrie, near Yeppoon. It is a single plant with small suckers - self-pollinating as no other plants are within many kilometres.

The bunch of fruit consisted of approximately two dozen bright red fruits, each about 100 grams and measuring 6 x 7 cm, and numerous other smaller green fruit. The flesh was orange in colour and approximately 2 cm thick. Raw, it tasted starchy, but not unpleasant.

Steamed with a little salt it was crisp with a dry bean-chestnut flavour that I found pleasant. Inside the fruits were hard black nuts 1.5cm x 3cm.

This palm is considered of economic importance for its fruit and palm hearts in the 5-page article "PEJIBAYE" - UNDEREXPLOITED TROPICAL PLANTS WITH PROMISING ECONOMIC VALUE 1975 - NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.

Roger Goebel

DATE: July 1987

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