It grows on trees and as it ripens turns from green to red and then splits open revealing it’s ripeness inside.The fruit of the ackee is not edible in its entirety. You have to wait for the pods to ripen and bust open. Then you can easily extract the fleshy yellow bits.
The leaves are paripinnately compound,15–30 centimetres (5.9–11.8 in) long, with 6–10 elliptical to obovate-oblong leathery leaflets. Each leaflet is 8–12 centimetres (3.1–4.7 in) long and 5–8 centimetres (2.0–3.1 in) wide.The inflorescences are fragrant, up to 20 cm long, with unisexual flowers that bloom during warm months. Each flower has five greenish-white petals.
The fruit is pear-shaped. When it ripens, it turns from green to a bright red to yellow-orange, and splits open to reveal three large, shiny black seeds, each partly surrounded by soft, creamy or spongy, white to yellow flesh—the aril The fruit typically weighs 100–200 grams (3.5–7.1 oz).
the use of ackee in food is especially prominent in Jamaican cuisine. Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica, and ackee and saltfish is the national dish. Ackee and codfish is ranked number two in the world by National Geographic survey of national dishes.
Ackee pods should be allowed to ripen on the tree before picking. Prior to cooking, the ackee arils are cleaned and washed. The arils are then boiled for approximately 5 minutes and the water discarded. The dried seeds, fruit, bark, and leaves are used medicinally.