Bungo, Mabungo – Saba comorensis

Bungo or Mabungois the fruit of the rubber vine, Saba comorensis, one of the rarest fruits that grow on very few locations on this planet, including the islands of Pemba, Zanzibar and Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The plant is a strong climber up to 20 meters long growing on tall trees.

Saba comorensis stem has pores and narrow lines on the surface and exudes white sticky latex when cut. Leaves are smooth, elliptic with a rounded base and obtuse apex, 7-16cm long and 4-8cm wide. Flowers are fragrant, borne in many short stalked terminal or axillary slightly convex heads, corolla tubular shaped with white petals and yellow throat.

Bungo Fruit

Bungo vine produces an edible, sour, aromatic and a rich source of vitamin C fruit. It looks similar to an orange with a hard orange peel but it contains a number of pips, which not unlike a mango seed the flesh and juices are all locked in fibers. Fruit is 4-8 cm long and 3.5-6 cm wide. The fruit doesn’t falls off after ripening. So it must be harvested when ripe. This is indicated by the change of color from green to yellow. It can keep for long and does not rot easily.

The fruit makes an aromatic, delicious refreshing drink which has been described as tasting of the combined juices of mango, orange and pineapple. It is popular and highly appreciated drink by the locals. The best way to enjoy Bungo is to remove the seeds and flesh from the peel, soak them for a few hours in some water, blend so the skin loosens from the seeds, strain to remove seeds, and add a pinch of salt and sugar (and red chilli powder if you like) to the juice collected.

Bungo Fruit Propagation Methods

Plant propagation is by seed with up to 90 per cent germination rate. Vines do not fruit regularly. Saba comorensis is a member of the Apocynaceae family the genus Saba.

Bungo, Mabungo, Saba comorensis

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