These photos of flowers and maturing fruit were taken in Jamaica in June 2008. The photo below is of a nearly mature akee fruit that we saw in Costa Rica in November 2007.
If ever you come across an akee fruit at this stage, don't eat it! Akee is mature when it turns yellow-orange and splits to expose three shiny black seeds. The seeds are surrounded by fleshy, yellowish arils. Only the arils are edible, and only after being boiled. Eating an unripe akee or parts other than the arils leads to vomiting, seizures, and Japanese vomiting sickness (a fatal hypoglycemia). Apparently it is illegal to bring akee into the US because so many people have died from eating unripened akee.
On this date in 1932, Dorothy Popenoe, the wife of Frederick Wilson Popenoe (who was an agricultural explorer who specialized in South American crops and who was responsible for introducing avocados to American kitchens) died at the age of 33 from eating an unripe akee in Guatemala.
Happy New Year!