About Chrysophyllum imperiale (a small text)


Chrysophyllum imperiale, or Martiusella imperialis (old name), or Guapeba (Indian name) is a Brazilian tree, about 20 - 30 meter tall, large leaves, beautiful shape and tasty fruits.


It originally existed in Rio de Janeiro, but a few years ago was considered extinct in its natural habitat.

In 2004, there was a Portuguese writer, Pedro Foyos, looking for drawings or pictures of this species, because he intends to write a book on Brazil's and Portugal's history.

He contact a few “tree people” of Brazil. My contact with him took place via an Internet discussion group about trees (held in Portuguese), at the address


After this, it was formed a group of people around the world looking for this tree, and trying to reproduce it, including Brazilian botanicals.

In a few years some individuals of this tree were be found in Brazil.

One or two in a remote and wild area around Baia da Guanabara, Rio de Janeiro.

About 4 or 5 in Parque do Rio Doce, Minas Gerais, one very accessible, see in the main page.

After this, they started to become available seeds and seedlings of this species, and today it’s possible to find this tree growing (slowly) in many places of Brazil.


Some Brazil's History

D. Pedro I, first emperor of Brazil, loved trees and Chrysophyllum imperiale was one of his favorites.

Around 1800-1810, there was plenty of this tree in the region where today Rio de Janeiro city is located. There were big, ancient trees, very beautiful and giving tasty fruits.

By this time, European Botanist Von Martius spent many years studying Brazilian vegetation, and described this species.

D. Padro I liked to travel, and had many friends around the world. He sent seedlings of C. Imperiale to these friends, who were often kings and princes themselves.

The tree planted in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney, Australia, was maybe the healthier individual and produced flowers and fruits. It was planted by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1868.

Because the wood was very hard and good to build ships, the tree was sought by many people, and it turns out that some time ago was considered extinct in its habitat.

There are a few trees around the world and some in Brazil.


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