Borojoa patinoi, commonly known as Borojo, is a mid sized (3 to 5m) Tropical forest tree that belongs to the Rubiaceae family. It grows in the northwest area of Colombia in the Choco Department, in areas of high humidity (over 85%) and an average temperature of 28C, both in the wild and on local farms.
Borojo is an embera word meaning: boro = head, ne-jo = fruit. Head-shaped fruit, or round, globulous fruit.
The fruit is large (about 12 cm length) with a round shape and brown color and average weight 740-1000 grs. The pulp represents 88% of the total weight. Each fruit has 90 to 640 seeds. Borojo has high levels of protein, phosphorus, ascorbic acid, calcium and iron. [*]
Borojo is used in the preparation of jam, wine, desserts and traditional medicines with supposed aphrodisiac effects. It is also used by the local communities against hypertension, bronchial diseases and malnutrition.
Borojoa sorbilis is a very similar species, also used with commercial purposes. Borojo de la Amazonia (Amazonas borojo), Duroia maguirei, is a wild species in a different Rubiaceae genus, which grows up to 8m and has a smaller edible fruit. Claes Persson (1999)
The DNA studies of samples from several Rubiaceae genus, have shown that Borojoa is closely related to Alibertia, in particular Alibertia edulis. Fifteen other species such as Alibertia sessulis, Alibertia beertierifolia and the Stacyarrhena and Glossotipula genus also have similarities.
Cuatrecasas, Jose 1948: "Borojoa, un nuevo genero de Rubiaceas"; Revista de La Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas Fisicas y Naturales VII (28): 474-477. Bogota.
Cuatrecasas, Jose y Victor Manuel Patino 1949: Una nueva fruta tropical americana: el borojo. Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganaderia. Servicio de Divulgacion. Serie Botanica Aplicada. Ano II. N. 5. Cali. Imprenta Departamental.
Persson, Claes 2000: "Phylogeny of the Neotropical Alibertia group (Rubiaceae), with emphasis on the genus Alibertia, inferred from ITS and 5S ribosomal DNA sequences"; American Journal of Botany 87:1018-1028.
Robbrecht, E., and C. Puff. 1986: "A survey of the Gardenieae and related tribes (Rubiaceae)"; Botanische Jahrbucher fur Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 108: 63137.
Schumann, K. 1891: "Rubiaceae"; Die naturlichen Pflanzenfamilien 4(4): 1154; A. Engler and K. Prantl [eds.], Engelmann, Leipzig, Germany.
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