Ice Cream Bean - Inga edulis
The Ice Cream Bean is a large evergreen tree. It produces brushlike white flowers followed by long twisted seed pods which contain sweet soft cottony pulp which is said to taste like Vanilla ice cream. It is a strong growing hardy tree which produces a wide shady canopy as well as tasty pods.
Inga Edulis is an easy customer when it comes to soil-it won’t mind poor soil and will even thrive in acidic conditions. It has Nitrogen fixing properties in the roots so it will add nutrients to any soil you plant it in.
The Ice Cream Bean prefers to be warm and grows well in hot countries. It likes to be moist; in its native environment it is often to be found lining river banks, so keep it well watered and make sure that it gets a really good soaking every now and then.
As it produces its own Nitrogen you will not have to worry about too much extra feeding, but it will benefit from the addition of Magnesium and Potassium occasionally. Just add a little natural or green fertiliser to your plant if it looks like it needs something.
It will survive colder conditions but Inga Edulis will slow down growth and production in really cold areas. It will handle light frost but repeated heavy frosts will eventually kill it.
Seedling Trees approx 30cm tall
All photo's credit to Kim & Forrest Starr