Sapotaceae Manilkara zapota van Royen, Syn: Manilkara achras (Mill.) Fosberg
Source: Magness et al. 1971
The tree is a tropical evergreen, native to the American tropics, but now grown in dooryards and small commercial plantings in many tropical countries. The tree becomes large, with smooth, thick, shiny leaves. The bark contains a milky latex, chicle, obtained bv tapping. Chicle is the base of chewing gum. Fruits are up to 3.5 inches in diameter, flattened at the stem end, globose-conic in shape. The skin is thin and scurfy. Flesh is yellowish brown, tender, granular, and sweet. Fruit structure is somewhat similar to apple, with a central core of 10 to 12 cells and a similar number of seeds. Flowers may open and fruits ripen over a long period in the tropics. Older trees have survived exposure to 26F., or even lower without serious damage. Sapodillas are not grown commercially in the U.S., but individual trees may be found in subtropical areas. Fruits are marketed locally in Puerto Rico.