The proud marula tree has earned the title “King of African Trees” for two good reasons:
The marula tree is native to the sub-tropical miombo bushlands of Southern Africa. The tree has a single stem, a wide crown and distinctive gray bark. It usually grows up to 60 ft (18 m) tall.
The marula tree belongs to the same family as the mango tree. The juicy fruit has a light yellow peel, white flesh (which is rich in vitamin C), and a large kernel (or “stone”). A delicacy of roasted marula kernels is known as the Food of Kings.
The trees are not cultivated; they grow in the wild.
The fruit used to produce cream liqueur is harvested from wild trees by members of rural communities on whose land the trees grow. The harvest lasts only two to three months but it’s an important source of income to poor rural people, particularly the women who pick the fruit.
The bark can be used to prevent and treat malaria.
The fruit is highly nutritious, rich in protein, with a vitamin C content eight times higher than oranges. Try our great Grand Marula cream liqueur cocktail recipes.
Marula oil is used as an anti-oxidant skin moisturizer.
A traditional belief amongst many Venda people is that the tree can help determine the gender of a baby. Eating a preparation made from the powdered bark of a female tree will produce a baby girl. Bark from a male tree will deliver a boy.
Some Zulus traditionally call the marula the “marriage tree”. It is a symbol of fertility. The belief is that eating the fruit will make a woman more likely to become pregnant. The fruit is also used as a cleansing ritual before the wedding. Grand Marula is of course the perfect after-dinner indulgence on a romantic night out on the town or at home. Try our cream liqueur cocktail recipes.