The Aratilis, Muntingia Calabura

Aratilis, Muntingia Calabura, a plant of less economic importance. Maybe it is not important at all. The numerous trees I was seeing at next barrio road side were all gone. The two trees near and in front of our house were gone too.

aratilisWay back cutting a single to several trees required no permit. Anyone could freely cut down his own tree whenever he wanted to. And even if there was, the tree is prone to natural death. It has weak branches, root system and trunk. A typhoon signal number two can easily break the tree down. The two trees we used to climbed were killed by typhoons.

It is a fast growing tree. Aratilis grown from cutting bears fruits after a year (if I am not mistaken). It bears fruit continuously through its lifetime.

Has elongated heart-shaped leaves. Hairy on both sides. The leaves are favorite breeding ground of hairy caterpillars or tilas. Those caterpillars are painful and itchy to touch that is enough reason for some residents to cut the plant down.

As I said above, the tree bears flowers and fruits continuously. Ripe fruits are harvested and eaten as is. Shiny green fruits are rare ripe and can be eaten. However, dark red fruits are the best. Juicy, slightly sweet and contains hundreds of minute seeds.


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