Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Ava from Austin. Ava Wonders, “What is a yangmei?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Ava!

Do you have a favorite type of fruit? Many kids might reach for an apple or banana after school. Others love cracking open a whole watermelon. For some, though, there’s nothing like biting into a fresh yangmei.

What is yangmei? You may know it by another name. Some people call it bayberry. Others say it’s waxberry. You may have heard it called the yamamomo or the Chinese strawberry. Or perhaps you know it as yumberry! 

Yangmei is a small, round, purple fruit. It looks like a berry, but it’s actually categorized as a drupe. The outside of the fruit is bumpy, similar to a blackberry. There’s also a pit at the center like you would find in a cherry.

How is yangmei produced? It grows on an evergreen tree that’s native to eastern Asia. It’s especially common in China, but can also be found in Japan and other parts of the continent.

What does yangmei taste like? It’s been described as having a tart flavor, much like a strawberry or raspberry. Some also say it has a somewhat herbal taste. It’s popular in juice, tea, jam, or just by itself! Many people also eat yangmei as a dried fruit.

In the U.S., yangmei is largely sold as a flavoring or powder called yumberry. You can find it in flavored waters and similar products. However, it’s been grown and eaten as fresh fruit in China for over 2,000 years. 

The tree that produces yangmei has long been grown for its medicinal uses. People have used its bark to treat poisoning, skin conditions, and injuries. The fruits themselves are high in antioxidants. These are thought to help protect the cells and promote brain and heart health. Even the pits are sometimes used as a medicine for cholera patients.

Have you ever tried yangmei? Maybe you could even grow your own yangmei tree one day! If you get the chance, give this fruit a shot—you may just find a new favorite.

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.7, CCRA.W.9, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2,

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