Edible portion: Fruit, Seeds, Nuts
The tree starts out growing erect then develops a spreading habit with drooping branches. It grows between 5 to 18 m high. It is evergreen. It has large compound leaves shaped like the fingers on a hand. The 3-7 leaflets are long and smooth. They can be 12-15 cm long. They are on a long leaf stalk. New growth is normally reddish. The flowers are small (10 mm across) greenishyellow and in panicles of 20-80 flowers. Many varieties only have functioning female flower parts so need pollinator trees. The fruit change from green to yellow with maturity. The fruit are round and 7-12 cm across. The flesh is white in green skinned kinds and yellow in yellow skinned kinds. They contain 1 to 5 seeds.
It is a subtropical tree. It is not suited to the coastal tropics nor the desert regions. It grows in the tropical highlands above 600 m. They tolerate a range of soil types. They need well drained soil. They show some frost, drought and salt tolerance. But trees fruit better if well watered. Sites protected from wind are best. They prefer a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. In Central America trees grow up to 2,500 m altitude. Deep, acid, sandy soils rich in compost are best. In Hobart Botanical gardens. It suits hardiness zones 10-11.