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A Visual [Botanical?] Guide to Varieties of Agbalumo

by on February 15, 2018

It might surprise you – like it did I – that there are different varieties (or cultivars/ cultivated varieties?) of Agbalumo, distinct in shape, colour and size.



L – Globose (x 2 rows) to R – Ovoid (x 2 rows)

Many factors come into play in describing fruit. On the basis of a number of observations, I dare say I can identify at least 6 varieties – here we go.

Differentiation by Shape

globose - having the shape of a sphere or ball; "a spherical object"; "nearly orbicular in shape"

oblate - flattened at the poles, as a spheroid generated by the revolution of an ellipse about its shorter axis (opposed to prolate).

ovoid - egg-shaped; having the solid form of an egg.

Variety 1 | Globose, vertical and horizontal axes roughly equal Pointy base.

Variety 2 | Oblate, vertical and horizontal axes roughly equal. Flat base

Variety 3 | Ovoid, vertical axes longer than horizontal. Egg-shaped

Variety 4 | ‘Ellpisoid’, vertical axes longer than horizontal. Less egg-shaped


L – Variety 2; R – Variety 4


L – Variety 3; R – Variety 4 

Differentiation by Colour of Flesh

The fruit can also be differentiated by the colour of the flesh.

Variety 5 | Red-fleshed, tends to be sweeter than orange-fleshed variety. Present in both globose and ovoid fruits

Variety 6 | Orange-fleshed, tends to be less sweet than red-fleshed variety. Present in both globose and ovoid fruits


L – red fleshed, globose; R – orange fleshed ‘tending to ovoid’


I imagine next steps would be trying to establish links to provenance and delving deeper into the specifics of classifying the varieties but really fascinating, no?

Well, yes :). I think so too.

What do you think? What do you know? How else can I slice and dice this fruit to learn more? Any information you can share would be appreciated! Thank you xxx