Owners of two houses had no idea about the fruit when they bought a sapling at a nursery two years ago
Two houses at Katuru, a major panchayat near here, have become the talk of the town. People are thronging the houses to see the fully grown bunches of water apple or bell fruit.
Neither of the house owners knew how the fruit would look like when they planted the sapling a couple of years ago.
It was sheer description by a nursery owner that made them buy a sapling and plant it in their yard.
“We were looking for a new plant altogether when we visited a nursery in Kadiyam in East Godavari two years ago. The person looking after the nursery suggested us to go for water apple,” says A. Arjuna Rao, who owns a convent in the village.
He did not have any idea about what a bell fruit was.
The plant began to bear fruit in the second year itself. However, the yield was meagre last year, he said.
Referring to the information available on the Internet, Mr. Rao said that water apple was suited only to low altitudes in the tropics and areas where there is rainfall fairly well spaced throughout the year. But, it survived here, he added.
The extracts from water apple, a Malaysian medicinal plant, could provide bioactive compounds that help support people suffering from diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels. The fruit has a mildly fragrant and a faint sweetish flavour, he adds.
V. Ravi, another resident, grew another variety of bell fruit. Its pink flesh attracts passers-by.
Neither he nor his relatives were aware of the characteristics of the fruit when they bought the plant at Ganguru nursery.
The plant had grown into a six-ft-high tree in just three years.
It began flowering and bearing fruits from the second year onwards.
“This year, we have a bumper yield. We distributed the fruit to our neighbours and relatives in Hyderabad,” says Mr. Ravi's relative Kadiyala Srinivas.
After eating the tangy, juicy sweet water apples to our heart's content, we still have lots of it left, he adds.