Casimiroa edulis (White Sapote)

Casimiroa edulis
(White Sapote)
Other Names: Zapote Blanco, Matasano, Casimiroa

Related To:[Rutaceae] Citrus, Curry Leaf, Bael Fruit

Main Uses: Fruit, shade.

Casimiroa edulis (White Sapote)

Growth Rate: Moderate once past the fast-growing seedling stage.

Mature Height/Spread: Up to 60 feet when grown from seed. Grafted trees are smaller and more manageable.

Flowering/Pollination: Mostly self-fertile. Small, greenish-yellow, not fragrant.

Tolerance: Has a moderate tolerance of both salt and dryness. Will sometimes defoliate during drought. Requires ample water to ensure good fruiting.

Soil/Nutrition: This tree prefers fertile, organic, slightly acidic, and well-drained soils. However, it is widely adaptable and appreciates mulching.

Casimiroa edulis (White Sapote)

Light: Full sun.

Wind: Moderately tolerant of wind.

Temperature: Subtropical. Can tolerate temperatures to the low 20’s, however it will drop its leaves.

Dangers: Seeds are quite toxic and should never be eaten.

Diseases Prone: Fruit flies (boring and infesting the fruit), black scale, mealybugs (especially on young trees).

Bearing Age: 7-10 years when grown from seed. 2-6 years when trees are grafted, though sometimes longer.

Fruit: Green to yellow fruit, generally tennis ball-sized, although size varies. White or yellow flesh has a smooth, buttery texture similar to avocado and tastes like a very sweet pear.

Fruits are ripe when they begin to soften, and the stem pulls out easily. A knife will slice smoothly through the ripe fruit flesh. Some people use the stem as an indicator of ripeness. Underripe fruit picked to mature at room temperature does not seem to strictly follow this rule.

History/Origin: White sapote is native to Central America and is usually found at slight elevations.

Species Observations: There is some variation in fruit taste among seedlings.

Many fruits which are grown from seed tend to have a resinous or bitter taste and can only be eaten at utmost ripeness. The choicest of fruits have no trace of this, being delicious and highly desirable in every aspect.

Seeds grown from these superior cultivars do tend to have better tasting offspring than the general species. Usually, one out of four seedlings will yield an exceptional fruit, while the rest will need to be eaten at utmost ripeness to be enjoyed.

Propagation: Easily grown from fresh seed, which can become a 5-foot tree in under a year. Growth slows after initial seeding growth spurt. Most commonly, this tree is grafted to ensure exceptional fruit quality.

Container Culture: The wild trees are often considered an unlikely candidate for container culture. A grafted variety plant can thrive and bear fruits in a container for many years and is easily trimmed and kept to a certain size. Seedling trees may be kept in a container but may require more attention to keep their size and growth habit under control.

Medicinal Uses: White sapote is used in Chinese medicine as a remedy for hypertension. Eating the fruit has a soporific effect (causes drowsiness) on some people. In some regions, the fruit is considered unhealthy when eaten in large quantities, hence the regional name “matasano,” which means ‘kills health.’

The bark, leaves and seeds of this fruit contain a soporific enzyme, Casimirosine, which has a hypnotic or sleep-inducing effect. Consumption of the fruit is sometimes observed as having a relaxing or sedative effect. Teas and tinctures of the leaves and/or bark have been used to induce sleep.

Nutritional Information: The fruit is considerably nutritious and is high in protein, carbohydrates and various minerals and vitamins.

Preparation / Food: Usually eaten fresh, often chilled.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *