Other names: Karatas, pingoin.
Maya is a fruit from South American. Its native range of maya extends from Mexico through tropical South America and the Caribbean islands. It is now naturalized several other parts of the word.
A perennial shrub, formed of a large basal rosette and rarely developing a discernible stem, 1-2 m high, 2-3 m wide.
Leaves many, rosulate, often over 2 m long, not at all constricted between the sheath and the blade; sheaths very broad, densely and coarsely tomentose-lepidote; blades linear, attenuate, 4 cm wide, deep green above, pale green and very minutely pale-appressed-lepidote below, armed with stout teeth up to 10 mm long.
Developing fruits of maya
Inflorescence scape, stout, white-farinose; scape-bracts foliaceous but with the sheaths roseate and subinflated. Inflorescence many-flowered, narrowly pyramidal, white-farinose; primary bracts like the scape-bracts but the upper ones entire; branches up to 12-flowered. Floral bracts linear-subulate from a short broad base, 3 cm long, much shorter than to about equaling the ovary;
Flowers up to 6 cm long, distinctly pedicellate. Sepals erect, very narrowly triangular-subulate, 15-30 mm long, flat or nearly so, pale; petals 3 cm long, 5.5-6 mm wide, linear-elliptic, rose with white base and margins, densely white-tomentose at the apex; ovary slenderly ellipsoid, 2 cm long
Fruit a berry, elliptical, 3.5 cm long, yellow or ochraceous, strongly verrucose, acidulous, aromatic, rind tough and fibrous, weighing around 15 g each,
Seeds small, black, tear drop shaped, 0-100.
The fruit tastes like pineapple, is eaten occasionally out of hand. It has a white flesh. Though it tastes sour, but is used to make a refreshing drink.
The leaves have long fibres which can be utilized commercially.
Maya grows naturally in areas from sea level to 600 m elevation and receiving 85 to 200 mm of natural precipitation in all type of soils except those which are poorly drained.
It can be multiplied by seed or vegetatively from stolons. The seeds take 5-6 months to germinate.
Maya is very suitable for use as a live fence.