Saturday, July 17, 2010

White Sapote (Casimiroa edulis)

White Sapote (Casimiroa edulis) is in the same family as Citrus (Rutaceae), and will grow wherever Citrus can be grown.  The fruit is between the size of a large hen's egg and a tennis ball, depending on the variety and growing conditions.
When ripe, the green skin of Casimiroa edulis turns a slight yellowish tint.  Inside the paper-thin skin, is a delicious, soft, sweet, white flesh with a custard texture.  The fruit usually contains one or two large seeds and a few flat undeveloped seed remnants.  Because of the thin skin and the softness of the ripe fruit, it is best to pick fruits from the tree as they mature.  Fully ripe fruits will detach from the tree and when they hit the ground they turn to mush.
I usually cut the ripe fruit in half, spoon out the contents, and eat it fresh.  When they ripen faster than I can eat them, I make a Frozen White Sapote Pie.  I make a graham cracker crust, fill it with soft-ripe fruit, and stick it in the freezer.  Nothing could be easier, and it's a great treat on a hot summer day!
There are several named cultivars of White Sapote.  Flowering and ripening time varies with variety and climate.  Mine always starts to bloom in early winter and continues throughout the spring.  I get ripe fruits starting in May and sometimes continuing through the whole summer and into September.  The flowers are small and inconspicuous, but provide excellent forage for bees.
Casimiroa edulis is native to central Mexico.  They grow 30 to 40 feet tall and make a dense shade.  The tree has a habit of molting a few times per year and most of the palmate leaves will drop suddenly leaving the tree nearly bare of foliage.  That is normal for this tree.  New growth is a coppery-red color.
White Sapote has a distinctive, warty bark that is usually host to algae and lichens, giving it a mottled appearance.

















As a member of the Rutaceae family, Casimiroa edulis is also a larval host plant for Swallowtail butterflies.
Various chemical compounds have been extracted from the fruit and seed and show potential uses in drugs for sleep aids, cardio-vascular regulation, anti-convulsives, and sexual enhancement.

13 comments:

Floridagirl said...

What a pretty tree! Its form reminds me of the Japanese maple. I almost bought a sapote once. Now I wish I had. I think I came home with a lychee and a Eugenia aggregata. You must have a lot of property to have so much variety in fruits and flowers.

Indoor Fountains said...

As always Jim, you post in-depth, illustrative and informative topics. Awesome job once again

AaronVFT said...

reminds me of avocado and guavas. The bark is so weird and unique!

Anonymous said...

This article was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

Anonymous said...

А! Questa è la mia prima visita ho tempo qui. Ho trovato tante cose interessanti nel tuo blog in particolare la sua discussione. Dal tonnellate di commenti sui vostri articoli, credo di non essere l'unico ad avere tutto il divertimento qui! mantenere il buon lavoro.

Grower Jim said...

Google translation of the above from Italian to English: А! This is my first time I visit here. I have found many interesting things in your blog in particular, its discussion. From tons of comments on your articles, I am not the only one having all the fun here! keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

شكرا لهذا المنصب رائع. الاعجاب الوقت والجهد وانتم تضعون في بلوق الخاص بك ومعلومات مفصلة التي تقدمها.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post acuto. Non ho mai pensato che fosse così facile. rispetti a voi!

Anonymous said...

Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone! This article is great! I just bought two trees, one of them with flowers... here in Portugal no one knows them! I hope i like this fruit... i will let you know! Best regards, Luis

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,
Do you know what size your sapote was when it first started to bloom? Also, do you have any seeds of it for sale?
Thanks,
G.

Grower Jim said...

G: I think my sapote was probably 4-5 years old and 12-15 feet tall when it started fruiting. The seeds have a very short period of viability so I won't have any available until about May of next year when another crop starts to ripen. Check with me then if you're still looking for some.

Romsics Gabriella said...

I love it. Thank you!

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