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  • Common name: Canistel, eggfruit, cupcake fruit, zapote Amarillo, yellow sapote
  • Scientific name: Pouteria campechiana
  • Family name: Sapotaceae
  • Origin: Central America
  • Height: 25 ft, may vary depending on growing conditions
  • Width: 25 ft
  • Growth: Fast
  • Zone: USDA Zones 10-12
  • Light needs: Full sun
  • Salt tolerance: Low
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Can grow in well-drained soil of all textures. Prefers a pH between 5.5 and 7.5
  • Moisture: Prefers consistently moist soil but can handle periods of soil dryness
  • Drought tolerance: Tolerant to long periods of drought once established
  • Pests/Diseases: Not very susceptible to pests/diseases. Scale infestations might occasionally occur but are usually not severe enough to cause damage.
  • Growing conditions: Needs to be grown in full sun, but is generally tolerant of many soil conditions and can handle both dry and moist soil. Best growth is observed in slightly alkaline, moist soils. It is a fast growing tree, growing up to 4 ft per year and reaching fruit-bearing age in 3 to 4 years, so it needs plenty of room around it to spread out. It is not frost tolerant, and although mature trees may be able to survive short periods of frost, it is generally not advised to grow this plant in an area that experiences freezing temperatures.
  • Characteristics: This tree usually reaches a height of 25 ft, but in ideal conditions it may grow to be over 40 ft tall. The trunk and branches are grayish-brown and furrowed. Leaves are broad, oblong, and evergreen. The leaves, branches and trunk produce a white, thick latex. Flowers are small, greenish-white, and clustered between leaves near stem tips. The fruits are the drawing point of this plant, being large, round and pointed at the tip with a bright yellow color, as well as edible.
  • Propagation: Not usually done by seed, as viable seeds often produce plants which take a long time to reach bearing age and produce poor-quality fruit. Most propagation is done by grafting or air-layering.
  • Wildlife: Flowers are pollinated by insects.
  • Facts: The fruit is edible raw, and the taste and texture vary among different varieties. Usually the flesh has a creamy, pasty texture, somewhat reminiscent of an egg yolk, and the flavor resembles egg custard or sweet potato. The latex is also harvested and used for various purposes. The specific epithet, campechiana, is derived from Campeche, a town in Mexico where the tree grows.
  • Designer considerations: Its large size and fruit make it a good specimen tree. Placing a bench or picnic table next to large individuals will provide a nice place to sit, as the tree provides plenty of shade.


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