Utu Fruit / Parartocarpus venenosa

Parartocarpus venenosa

An extremely rare Artocarpus relative bearing a lumpy looking fruit with spiny, green-yellow skin. Fruits have orange flesh with a sweet and sour flavor. Overall appearance (though much, much smaller) is reminiscent of the jackfruit and other Artocarpus relatives.

The utu fruit looks similar to the jackfruit, from its soft spines, but its shape is completely different. Utu fruit tends to be rounded, although bumpy to and fro, while jackfruit is elongated and not bumpy. Utu is indeed still a close relative, although of a different clan, with jackfruit, cempedak, and breadfruit. Plant with the scientific name Parartocarpus venenosa Becc. (check the scientific name, synonyms, and classification on the GBIF Data Portal and The Plant List), has the common name ara berteh paya (Peninsula Malay), buru ongko (Java), purut (Sunda), pejatai (West Kalimantan), malanangka ( Philippines).

Medium-sized tree, up to 27 m tall, cylindrical trunk, up to 60 cm in diameter, unbranched trunk up to 18 m, without plank roots. Bark brown, brown-cream, or reddish spots, finely broken, less than 25 mm thick, only one layer, fibrous, milky white gummy and sticky, latex color does not change after exposure to air; the surface of the wood under the orange or white bark. Smooth-haired shoots sparse, terminal shoots not covered with leaves. Single leaf alternate, stalked, petiole not winged, leaves oblong-ovate, (10.0-) 14.0-20.0 cm x (4.5-) 6.0-10.0 cm; spine pinnate, upper surface dark green, lower surface green with white tinge, hair sparse or not short, stipules resembling a leaf blade, up to 5 mm long, not encircling twigs, fallen after some time. Inflorescences in leaf axils, male and female separately but on one tree, male flowers from the axis do not branch while female flowers from one point, flowers are very small, only 1 mm in length and diameter, without flower decorations. Male flowers with one stamen, female flowers with 1 pistil, inferior ovary. Fruits are double, single or multiple fruits with stalk from one point, fruit size 20.0-45.0 mmx 20.0-45.0 mm, spiny surface slightly soft, consists of many berry units, each fruit unit contains one seed, seed size 10 (8 -10)mm x 1-10 (6-8)mm.

Utu Parartocaepus venerosus, A: branch with leaves, B: petiole, C: young branch with inflorescence, D: upper surface leaves, E: lower surface leaves, F: fruit arrangement, G: fruit shape, H: split ripe fruit with seeds, and I: ripe fruit

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