Canistel (Pouteria campechiana)

A glowing yellow, waxy skinned fruit with a pulp that has the consistency of a hard-boiled egg yolk. Highly favored in the tropics, the canistel is rarely grown in the United States. Fruits can be highly variable in size and shape–ranging from round to pointed and ovaloid.

Description: A mid-sized tree, usually 20-40ft, but up to 100ft. Leaves are slender, glossy, and sharply tapered at the base. Branches contain a gummy latex. Seedling trees produce in 3-6 years, grafted or air layered trees a year or two earlier. Fruiting generally occurs during the winter months and on into spring.

Hardiness: Primarily tropical. Grows quite well in Florida and is frost tolerant. Grows outdoors in Southern California, but fruit production is low.

Growing Environment: Tolerant of a wide variety of soils, and can grow in poor soil. Grow in part-shade or full sun. Water regularly.

Propagation: Propagation is by seeds, grafting and air-layering. Seeds loose viability within a few days and will usually sprout within a few weeks.

Uses: Eaten fresh out of hand. Sometimes used in custards, pies, milkshakes and other desserts.

Native Range: Native to Southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador. Cultivated in Florida, Central America and throughout the West Indies.