Seeds from the fruits were collected and viable seeds were distinguished by the colour of the aril (red, as opposed to dark brown for aborted seeds).
The frail, brown shell is marked with longitudinal ridges, sometimes having a whitish aril (seed coat) fixed to one end.
It was not possible to compare the removal and predation rates between arillate and non-arillate seeds due to the fast removal of the aril by invertebrates such as harvestmen, grasshoppers and especially ants.
But the fruit's clusters of arils - or seeds surrounded by a juicy sac - are protected by sections of white, pithy membrane.
The fruits, about 6 cm in length, are red or yellow, and, when ripe, split to expose three shining black seeds surrounded by fleshy arils .
Experimental results with another bird-dispersed tree bearing arillate seeds, Clusia criuva, have further demonstrated that ant-induced seed movements can markedly affect seedling establishment in the Atlantic rainforest.
In an arillate fruit, the aril is a fleshy outgrowth of the seed's own outer covering.
What are commonly thought of as spices today are a collection of seeds, berries, flowers, fruits, kernels, roots, rhizomes, leaves, arils , barks and saps that are used in cooking and food preparation.
The migrant bird Tersina viridis utilizes arillate seeds of the Asian tree Michelia champaca.