Sapodilla (Manilkara zapota)

A uniquely flavored fruit, the soft brown flesh of the sapodilla tastes a bit like a sweet mix of brown sugar and root beer. The sapodilla tree is also the source of chicle, a chewing gum component.

Description: A slow growing and very large tree that can reach over 100ft in the tropics. Fruiting occurs 4-6 months after flowering, with fruit sometimes ripening in bunches multiple times of the year.

Hardiness: The sapodilla is reasonably hardy tree when full grown and can stand temperatures into the high 20’s.

Growing Environment: Grow in full sun. Trees are at home in both dry and wet climates and is drought tolerant.

Propagation: By seeds or grafting. Seeds can remain viable for several years.

Uses: Eaten fresh, usually as a dessert fruit. The bark contains a gummy latex substance called chicle which used to be a primary ingredient in chewing gum.

Native Range: Native to the Yucatan, Guatemala, and Belize. It is now grown in much of the tropics.