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Green Sapote

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Green Sapote, Pouteria sapota. Alternate vernacular names include sapota, zapote, zapote colorado, zapote mamey, lava-zapote, zapotillo, mamey sapote, mamee sapote, mamee zapote, mamey colorado, mamey rojo, mammee or mammee apple or red sapote. The sapote tree is erect, frequently to 60 ft (18 m) sometimes to 100 or 130 ft (30 or 40 m) with short or tall trunk to 3 ft (1 m) thick, often narrowly buttressed, a narrow or spreading crown, and white, gummy latex. The evergreen or deciduous leaves, clustered at the branch tips, on petioles 3/4 to 2 in (2-5 cm) long, are obovate, 4 to 12 in (10-30 cm) long, and 1 1/2 to 4 in (4-10 cm) wide, pointed at both ends. The small, white, to pale-yellow 5-parted flowers emerge in clusters of 6 to 12 in the axils of fallen leaves along the branches. The fruit may be round, ovoid or elliptic, often bluntly pointed at the apex, varies from 3 to 9 in (7.5-22.8 cm) long, and ranges in weight from 1/2 lb to 5 lbs (227 g-2.3 kg). It has rough, dark-brown, firm, leathery, semi-woody skin or rind to 1/16 in (1.5 mm) thick, and salmon-pink to deep-red, soft flesh, sweet and pumpkin-like in flavor, enclosing 1 to 4 large, slick, spindle-shaped, pointed seeds, hard, glossy-brown, with a whitish, slightly rough hilum on the ventral side. The large kernel is oily, bitter, and has a strong bitter-almond odor. The sapote tree is limited to tropical or near-tropical climates. In Central America, it flourishes from sea-level up to 2,000 ft (610 m); it is less common at 3,000 ft (914 m); and rare at 4,000 ft (1,220 m). Occasional trees have survived at 5,000 ft (1,500 m) but these grow slowly and fruit maturity is considerably delayed. Young specimens are highly cold-sensitive and the large leaves of the tree are subject to damage by cold winds. The sapote has been found too tender for California. It thrives in regions of moderate rainfall–about 70 in (178 cm) annually–and is intolerant of prolonged drought. Even a short dry spell may induce shedding of leaves.
The tree makes its best growth on the heavy soils–deep clay and clay loam–of Guatemala but it does well on a wide range of soil types, even infertile, porous sand. It was originally believed unsuited to the oolitic limestone soils of southern Florida. However, with adequate planting holes, it has proved to be long-lived and fruitful in Dade County. The tree will not thrive where there is poor drainage, a high water table, or impermeable subsoil restricting root development.

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 05 January, 2011.