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palm coconut trees

Coconut Palm

Ruh / ރުއް

The Coconut Tree is the national tree of Maldives. Often called the Tree of Life, for being one of the most useful trees in the world. When it gets older they fall down from the trees, people collect them and bring home for cooking curry with coconut milk or make oil. The coconut shell can be used as char for grilling food fish or even in char-based irons. Coconut fibre is still used to make coir ropes. The coconut leaves are used as thatch for roofing. Any cut pieces can be used to start fire for cooking. A drink called toddy is also taken from coconut tree which can be cooked to make sugar. Really nothing goes to waste.

Coconut has been used for remedies when people fall sick coconut water was given to boost energy.

Noni Plant

Ahi / އަހި

Noni fruit is very common in the islands of Maldives, but locals hardly eat them. It grown on a native tree that is about 5 - 10 feet tall, comes with bright green leaves. Many health experts claim it has anti-cancer properties. Here in Maldives you can get fresh noni fruit on the tree. While the fruit is known locally as "Ahivah" the tree is called Ahi or Ahigas.

Noni fruit when ripe produces a distinct odor that makes people stay away from this super fruit. It also has strong smell and a strange taste.

palm coconut trees


Maakashikeyo / މާކަށިކެޔޮ

Kashikeyo, known as screwpine in English, is commonly seen in almost every island in the Maldives with its abundance perhaps second only to coconut trees.

They are characterized by the presence of aerial prop roots and by the long narrow leaves which are spirally arranged in clusters. The arrangement of the leaves giving an impression of long, pointed effects has contributed to the naming of the tree as screwpine. The Kashikeyo plant grows quite fast in regions where heavy rainfall is prevalent – a factor that explains its common occurrence in the Maldives, which has a rainy monsoon in one half of the year. It is also highly tolerant to salt water.

Did you know that you can make a refreshing juice from Screwpine!

Indian Almond

Madhu / މަދު

Indian almond tree is among one of the most common trees throughout Maldives and it’s widely grown in tropical regions of the world. The fruit is edible, a bit acidic in taste. In some areas around the globe, its wood has been used to make canoes. It is not closely related to the true almond, however, their seeds taste similar to almonds when fully ripe, hence the name.

They can tolerate strong winds, salt spray, and moderately high salinity in the root zone and grow principally in freely drained soil. It is also easily propagated from seed, fast growing and flourishes with minimal maintenance in suitable environments.

Wild Mulberry

Thoothu / ތޫތު

They are woody shrubs or small trees with numerous branches emerging from the root base.The trunks and branches have grey, fissured, and scaly bark. The leaves are ovate with serrated margins. Wild mulberry fruit is sweet, small, and composed of multiple compressed drupes, similar to a small blackberry.

When they are ripe you can pick them up easily and soft but not mushy. They are similar to cultivated mulberries but much smaller, blackiish at maturity, fleshy and tasty. If you have time, you can go around and pick one if you are lucky to find them.


Dhonkeyo / ދޮންކެޔޮ

Bananas are not only tasty, there are so easy to grow in tropical countries like Maldives, In Fihalhohi alone, we could barely count the number of Bananas the Island have.

Banana trunks consists of all the leaf stalks wrapped around each other. New leaves start growing inside, below the ground. They push up through the middle and emerge from the center of the crown. So does the flower, which finally turns into a bunch of bananas.

Its fruit is sweet when it is ripe. Commonly used to make desserts or milkshake.

Averrhoa Bilimbi

Bilamagu / ބިލަމަގު

Bilimbi is a small tropical tree which consists of a fruit its skin is smooth to slightly bumpy, thin and waxy turning from light green to yellowish-green when ripe. The flesh is crisp and the juice is sour and extremely acidic and therefore not typically consumed as fresh fruit by itself.

They can be eaten with salt or sliced thin and added to salads, though most people find it too acidic and instead use it in curries, sauces etc. When ripe it is crunchy, juicy, acidic, and contains few, flattened, non-arillate seeds. It is used extensively as a souring agent for many native dishes. The fruit is a good source of vitamin C.

Bread Fruit

Babukeyo / ބަބުކެޔޮ

It came from a massive evergreen tree reachin up to 30 meters high. Its flowers are tiny and clustered together. Female and male inflorescences are present separately on the same tree.

It can be cooked and eaten at all stages of its development. It can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed and roasted. Boiled breadfruit with fish broth of tuna and coconut forms an appetizing traditional food. A traditional delicious sweet, bondibai, is also made from breadfruit. Breadfruit can be roasted and made into chips, and both the traditional sweet and the chips have good market. Wood is very light, soft and durable and widely used in making doors, door and window frames and boats. Wood is also good for making surfboards. Gum from the tree is used for caulking boats.

Indian Jujube

Kunnaaru / ކުންނާރު

They grow in the form of shrub or small tree that can reach 4 to 40 feet in height. It produces numerous zigzag branches covered with curved thorns and develops oval or ovate leaves with rounded tips and finely toothed or smooth margins. The fruits are dark green, glossy on the upper side, hairy on the bottom side and alternately arranged on the branches.

It has smooth, thin skin, fleshy pulp and hard stone with two oval seed in the middle. Ripe fruit can be yellow, orange or reddish-brown colored. When slightly unripe fruit has apple-like texture and taste. Fully ripe fruit has mealy texture, musky odor and wrinkled skin.

Java Apple

Jamburolu / ޖަބުރޯލު

They are cultivated mostly in homesteads and gardens. Its fruits has a shape in a bell form and these fruits are edible. When ripe, the fruit will puff outwards, with a slight concavity in the middle of the underside of the "bell". Healthy Java apples have a light sheen to them. Despite its name, a ripe Java apple only resembles an apple on the outside in color. It does not taste like an apple, and it has neither the fragrance nor the density of an apple. Its flavor is similar to a snow pear, and the liquid-to-flesh ratio of the Java apple is comparable to a watermelon. Unlike either apple or watermelon, the java apple's flesh has a very loose weave. The very middle holds a seed situated in a sort of cotton-candy-like mesh. This mesh is edible, but flavorless. The color of its juice depends on the cultivar.

Custard Apple

Atha / އަތަ

As other call it sugar apples is a green, cone-shaped fruit with scaly skin and creamy, sweet flesh. Due to its creamy texture, cherimoya is also known as custard apple. It’s often eaten with a spoon and served chilled like custard. Cherimoya has a sweet taste similar to other tropical fruits, such as banana and pineapple.

It’s loaded with beneficial nutrients that may boost your mood, immunity, and digestion.

Custard apple Grows both in wet and dry soil but requires adequate moisture during the growing season. It is highly tolerant to drought, but requires adequate moisture during the growing season. It is intolerant to water logging. It grows on a variety of soils, including rich, well drained, deep rocky soils, but performs better on loose, sandy loams.

Sapodilla Plum

Sabudeli / ސަބުދެލި

It is tasty and a healthy fruit. It contains plenty of dietary fiber and is full of nutrients that can help maintain your overall health and tackle certain illnesses.

Its flesh ranges from a pale yellow to an earthy brown color with a grainy texture akin to that of a well-ripened pear. Each fruit contains one to six seeds. The seeds are hard, glossy, and black, resembling beans, with a hook at one end that can catch in the throat if swallowed. The fruit has an exceptionally sweet, malty flavor. The unripe fruit is hard to the touch and contains high amounts of saponin, which has astringent properties similar to tannin, drying out the mouth.

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