I was so thrilled that anyone would have thought I’d just found a long lost uncle. I hadn’t seen old Mr Tan for more than a decade.
Dad used to buy bags of soil and fertilizer from him whenever we went to the garden centre. Then suddenly, he and his wife disappeared and the place was taken over by others.
I was thrilled to see him looking well, hopping off his old bike as it came to a halt. We chatted a while and the kindly old man asked after my dad. Then he said, “Wait. I have something for you. Come, come.”
I followed him as he shuffled to the backyard where he surveyed two rows of knee-high spondias dulcis plants. He chose one. “This is dwarf; and seedless. I grow these for my friends. This is for you.”
And that’s how we came to have a dwarf kedondong, as this fruit is commonly called here, in our garden.
It sits in a big urn and has since fruited three times; first there was just a lone fruit, then three, and finally a dozen which looked a bit too heavy for the diminutive two-foot plant.
This crunchy, tangy tropical fruit is best picked before it ripens. It can be eaten neat, but tastes best dipped in a sauce, served in salads or blended into a refreshing drink. Of these, the latter remains my favorite.
It’s nutritional value? The fruit is packed with vitamin C but this, to me, is secondary. I’d enjoy it whatever the case. There is nothing quite like a nice cold refreshing kedondong drink. I’m sure many will agree with me.
Cheers, Mr Tan!
Care and propagation: full sun, well drained soil, water moderately. Propagate using seeds or hardwood cuttings