The ackee, also known as achee, akee apple or akee (Blighia sapida) is a member of theSapindaceae (soapberry family), native to tropical West Africa in Cameroon, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali,Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
It is related to the lychee and the longan, and is an evergreen tree that grows about 10 metres tall, with a short trunk and a dense crown. The leavesare pinnate, leathery, compound, 15–30 centimetres long, with 6–10 elliptical obovate-oblong leaflets. Each leaflet is 8–12 centimetres long and 5–8 centimetres broad.
The flowers are unisexual and fragrant. They have five petals, are greenish–white and bloom during warm months. 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, surrounded by soft, creamy or spongy, white to yellow flesh—arilli. The fruit typically weighs 100–200 grams.