Sapodilla (Manilkara sapota)

The sapodilla is believed native to Yucatan and possibly other nearby parts of southern Mexico, as well as northern Belize and Northeastern Guatemala. It is a tropical evergreen tree of a genus of about 80 species in the family sapotacea. It’s a slow-growing, upright and elegant, than can reach up to 60 ft high in the forest of Central and South America where for many year were used to extract gummy latex called "chicle", a chief ingredient in chewing gum. Sapodilla wood is strong and durable and timbers than supported beams in Mayan temples.    

 

The fruit is spheroid to ovoid in shape, rusty brown on the surface, and roughly 5–10 cm (2–4 inches) in diameter. The sweet flavor has been compared to a combination of pears and brown sugar. Sapodilla fruit are soft, sweet and have a beautiful smell when ripe. The sapodilla is delicious to eat out of hand, but can also be made into a great dessert sauce or mousse. A grafted tree produces fruit in 3 years.  Sapodilla trees respond favorably to pruning and shaping. Each year, after harvest, trees should be pruned, removing the upright branches and keeping the tree 6 to 8 feet tall.

 

Learn more about Growing Sapodilla in South Florida click Here

Visit The Edible Garden at Fairchild to see our Sapodilla.