Ice Cream Bean Tree

The Ice Cream Bean Tree [inga spectabilis] is a legume tree with puffy flowers. Inflorescences with many long white stamens bring pollinators to the flowers' nectar. The pollinated flower becomes long, green-and-brown fruits. Guaba fruit has pods that are flat and woody. Its fruit has fleshy white meat that attracts mammals and birds. They open the pods and eat the fruit, thereby spreading the guaba seeds for the plant.


In Latin America this tree is planted for shade and lumber. Its branches have a wide profile, so it works well for agroforestry purposes, providing good shade for other crops. The tree is also grown for its sweet fruit, which is popular at fruit stands in Central America.