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mombin (mōmˈbēn) [key], any tree of the tropical genus Spondias of the family Anacardiaceae (sumac family). The plum-shaped fruits, 1 to 2.5 in. (2.54–6.38 cm) long, are much eaten in the tropics. They are spicy and slightly acid in taste and are eaten fresh, boiled, dried, or in preserves. Best known are the red mombin, or Spanish plum ( S. purpurea ), marketed chiefly in Mexico and Guatemala, the yellow mombin ( S. mombin, called also hog plum or jobo), and the otaheite apple or ambarella ( S. cytherea ), found in both the Old and New World tropics. The local common names vary widely. Mombin is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Anacardiaceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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