Arrayan/Chilean Myrtle/Luma apiculata

Arrayan, (not to be confused by Sartre Guava) belongs to the myrtaceae family. These species are some of the most characteristic and beautiful in the lake region of the Patagonian Andes. They grow along water currents in the Valdivian temperate rain forests in Chile, while in Argentina it grows from Quetrihue Peninsula on the shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi. The Arrayanes National park was created in 1971 to protect its forest of rare Arrayan trees. Trees in protected areas grow very slowly; reaching heights up to 55 feet, and can be up to 600 years old. To protect the soil and the roots of these fragile trees, a wooden path has been made for the tourist to enjoy the view of the cinnamon-colored trees with twisted branches. The barks of these trees are so thin that it is very cold to the touch. It is said that this forest inspired Walt Disney for the scenography of the movie Bambi. It is also grown in gardens and as bonsai as a decorative plant for its glossy evergreen foliage, in beautiful contrast to the slender red stems.

Besides its aforementioned English names, one can add Temu Tree. And in Spanish it is Palo Colorado. The most common name in Chile is Arrayan; another is Collimamul (meaning orange wood). The scientific name Luma is derived from a Mapuche name. Over the years this species has been classified variously by botanists; the first scientific description was by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1828, as Eugenia apiculata. It was introduced to cultivation in the northern hemisphere in 1843-44, when William Lobb sent seeds to England. It was cultivated in California by 1897, and was being sold in nurseries there by 1909 if not earlier. (arthurleej)

Luma apiculata is shrubs or small trees with evergreen foliage, typically reaching 10-20 m tall and up to 1 m trunk diameter, which is twisted, multiple and with an extraordinary amount of branches, may reach a diameter between eleven and twenty-seven inches. The forests they make up are classified as “ever green forests,” since it foliage does not fall during the winter. They have aromatic, glossy, dark green leaves and clusters of cup-shaped, white flowers from midsummer into mid-autumn, followed by round, purple fruit. Its fruits appear by the end of the summer and are present until autumn.

They are fleshy berries with a kind of spherical shape, whose color is black-purplish. When mature, they can measure between 0,31 and 0,60 inches. They contain between two and four small seeds, however this number may vary between one and fifteen. These fruits are edible, stimulating, soothing and healing, that is, they heal sores and wounds. The fruit have a sweet flavor and can be consumed raw or cooked. Fruit quality, however, is very variable and depends on the parent tree. Arrayan leaves are traditionally used as a smudging incense during Ayahuasca rituals. They are holy trees to the Araucanian Indians, and the leaves has been used by shamans and medicine men in the Amazon region for healing rituals and shamanic experiences since pre-Columbian times.

Colada Morada

Ingredients (40 cups)
1 pound blackberries
1/2 pound of mortino (arrayan, Chilean berries)
10 orangettes
1/2 pineapple, chopped
1 pound strawberries
1/2 pound black flour
1/3 maicena or cornstarch
3 sheets of orange
6 -10 leaves of lemon verbena
10 leaves of myrtle
6 cloves
10 sweet peppercorns
4 sticks cinnamon
1 ishpingo
1 1/2 pound of sugar
1/2 babaco

Place in a pot with 2 liters of water all the spices (cinnamon, cloves, pepper, shiping). When water grass in about 15 minutes, add the lemon verbena leaves, myrtle, lemon, orange and leave for 5 minutes. CERN is water and carries it back to fire and without herbs.
Mix the cornstarch or flour 2 cups black in cold water until dissolved and mixed in the water in the fire, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

In addition, the mortiño cook in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes, hovering and liquefies, add the juice to the previous preparation.Wash berries and liquefied with half a cup of water, getting a thick juice that is added equally to the laundry. Do the same with orangettes laundry and let it boil for 15 minutes. Chop diced pineapple, strawberries and babaco the end, we put in the wash, add sugar to taste and leave for 10 minutes. To serve, you can use a cup or jar and place raisins to taste. The drink can be taken hot or cold.

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3 Responses to Arrayan/Chilean Myrtle/Luma apiculata

  1. chantell says:

    I live in riverside ca, I have a friend that just recently seen a dr. and was told that she needed to drink arrayan tea. we have been on a searching rampage to find. Closest we found was a nursery in LA that would sell us the tree. Do you know where we could find any.

  2. Hi, I live n argentina and will try to find some seeds of luma apiculata (arrayan), if you want, mail me:

    m a r c o s @ o v e j a f m . c o m

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