The marula is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree with an erect trunk and rounded crown. It is one of the plants that played a role in feeding people in ancient times.Male and female flowers are borne on separate trees, the flowers of male plants producing pollen and the female flowers producing the fruit for which the tree is so well known. These are green on the tree and turn yellow after falling (Feb-June).
The fruit is edible, eaten either fresh or made into a delicious jelly. It also makes alcoholic beer known as Mukumbi by the Vhavenda people. A marula liqueur is available commercially. The white nut is highly nutritious and is eaten as it is or mixed with vegetables. Fruit-farming communities prefer planting a couple of these trees to attract pollinators to their farm in early spring.
This tree grows easily from seed sown in washed river sand in spring. It can also grow from a truncheon planted in the early spring. It is fast-growing, with a growth rate of up to 1.5 m per year. This tree is very sensitive to frost and grows best in frost-free areas under warm conditions. African marula Fruit Plants in Kerala is now available in our farms.