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Updated by Joanna James on Dec 13, 2018
Headline for Tropical fruits to try in Sri Lanka – let your taste buds run wild!
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Tropical fruits to try in Sri Lanka – let your taste buds run wild!

Sri Lanka is home to more than 3000 species of plants, 800 of which are native to the country. While all of them aren't edible, here are some tropical fruits you should try out in Sri Lanka.

1

Ceylon Olive

Ceylon Olive

"Elaeocarpus serratus or "Veralu" in Sinhala is a plant which belongs to the Elaeaocarpaceae family and which can be found only in Sri Lanka. The fruit which is elliptical in shape and greyish-brown in colour. It grows in the central and western regions of the country. The Ceylon olive tastes sour when it's ripe and can be consumed either boiled, fresh or pickled, which is referred to as achcharu by the locals.

2

Ceylon Gooseberry

Ceylon Gooseberry

The Ceylon Gooseberry or the "Dovyalis hebecarpa", also known as "ketamilla" is another plant that is endemic to Sri Lanka. Sometimes called the Ceylon gooseberry, these fruits grow on a small tree that can sprout to around 6 meters and mostly used for jams and jellies. The fruit takes on an orange hue when unripe but turns in to a dark shade of purple when it's fully grown and ready to eat. While the fruit is full of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals it has a slightly sour taste.

3

Ceylon Breadfruit

Ceylon Breadfruit

The Ceylon Breadfruit which is commonly known in Sinhala as "Del"' and as "resini-pilaka" in Tamil, is scientifically called "Artocarpus nobilis". The Del tree, which is part of the Moraceae family, can grow up to about 25 metres tall and has large green leaves which are also used to serve various food items and for decorative purposes. The Del fruit and seeds can be boiled and eaten as a curry or can be dried and deep fried and eaten either as a spicy snack with salt and chilli powder or a sweet snack with honey.

4

Weera

Weera

"Drypetes sepiaria", which is referred to in Sinhala as "Weera" and "Virai" or "Weerapalam" in Tamil, is part of the Putranjivaceae family. It is a mediumly big tree with pale grey/ white bark and bright green leaves. The red fruits that grow on this tree are loved by bears and humans. The fruit while is not cultivated but it is plucked from the scrublands and forests.

5

Wild Date

Wild Date

The Wild date or "indi" as called in Sinhala and "iichchampalam" in Tamil, is a fruit that grows on a tree that is part of the Palme family. The plant bearing the Wild date can grow up to 5 metres in height and its long leaves that grow in an unorderly manner form a wicker pattern. The fruits are oval in shape and have a sweet taste. While the fruit is mostly grown in the southern part of the country, it can be seen in areas surrounding the hotels in Ahungalla such as the Heritance Ahungalla and many others

6

Sri Lankan Wild Mango

Sri Lankan Wild Mango

The Sri Lankan Wild Mango or "Mangifera zeylanica" is referred to as "aetamba" in Sinhala and "kaddu-ma" in Tamil, is a part of the Anacardiaceae family. The tree grows in humid and dry areas in the lowlands and has broad and coarse bark and bears small oval-shaped flowers. Similar to Weera, the Sri Lanka Wild Mango grows in the wild and while fruit is consumed by locals, tea cases and similar wood items are made using the softwood extracted from the tree.

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