name = Sapodilla

image_width = 240px
image_caption = Sapodilla tree
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Ericales
familia = Sapotaceae
genus = "Manilkara"
species = "M. zapota"
binomial = "Manilkara achras"
binomial_authority = (L.) P. Royen

Sapodilla ("Manilkara zapota") is a long-lived, evergreen tree native to the New World tropics. It is a native of Mexico and was introduced to the Philippines during Spanish colonisation.


Sapodilla grows to 30-40 m tall. It is wind-resistant and the bark is rich in a white, gummy latex called chicle.

The ornamental leaves are medium green and glossy. They are alternate, elliptic to ovate, 7-15 cm long, with an entire margin.

The white flowers are inconspicuous and bell-like, with a six-lobed corolla.

The fruit is a large globose berry, 4-8 cm in diameter, very much resembling a smooth-skinned potato and containing 2-10 seeds. Inside, its flesh ranges from a pale yellow to an earthy brown color with a grainy texture akin to that of a well-ripened pear.

The flavour is exceptionally sweet and very tasty. The fruit's flavor has been compared to cotton candy or caramel. The unripe fruit is hard to the touch and contains high amounts of saponin similar to tannin which dry out the mouth.

The seeds are black and resemble beans, with a hook at one end that can catch in the throat if swallowed.

The sapodilla trees yield fruit twice a year, though flowering may continue year round. The fruit has a high latex content and does not ripen until picked. Some are round and some are oval with pointed ends.

Other Names

Sapodilla was formerly often known by the invalid name "Achras sapota". It is known as "chikoo" or "sapota" in India, "sofeda " in Eastern India & Bangladesh, "chikoo" (also spelled "chikku," "चिक्कू," "chiku," "चीकू," or "ciku") in South Asia and Pakistan, "chico" in the Philippines, "sawo" in Indonesia, "ciku" in Malaysia, "hồng xiêm" ("xa pô chê") in Vietnam, sapodilla in Guyana sapodilla or "rata-mi" in Sri Lanka, "lamoot" (ละมุด) in Thailand and Cambodia, "níspero" in Colombia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Venezuela, "nípero" in Cuba and Dominican Republic, dilly in the Bahamas, naseberry in the rest of the West Indies, and "sapoti" in Brazil. In Kelantanese Malay, the fruit is called "sawo nilo" which is closer to the original name than the standard Malay "ciku".

ee also

*Black sapote
*Mamey sapote

External links and references

* [ CRFG Publications: Sapodilla]
* [ Sapodilla]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sapodilla — Sap o*dil la, n. [Sp. zapote, sapotillo, zapotillo, Mexican cochit zapotl. Cf. {Sapota}.] (Bot.) A tall, evergeen, tropical American tree ({Achras Sapota}); also, its edible fruit, the sapodilla plum. [Written also {sapadillo}, {sappadillo},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sapodilla — [sap΄ə dil′ə] n. [Sp zapotillo, dim. of zapote < Nahuatl tzapoλ] 1. a tropical American evergreen tree (Achras zapota) of the sapodilla family, yielding chicle and having a brown, rough skinned fruit with a sweet, yellowish pulp 2. the fruit… …   English World dictionary

  • sapodilla — /sap euh dil euh/, n. 1. a large evergreen tree, Manilkara zapota, of tropical America, bearing an edible fruit and yielding chicle. Cf. sapodilla family. 2. Also called sapodilla plum. the fruit itself. Also called sapota. [1690 1700; < Sp… …   Universalium

  • sapodilla — noun Etymology: Spanish zapotillo, diminutive of zapote sapodilla fruit, from Nahuatl tzapotl Date: 1697 a tropical American evergreen tree (Manilkara zapota syn. Achras zapota of the family Sapotaceae, the sapodilla family) with hard reddish… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sapodilla — [ˌsapə dɪlə] noun 1》 a large evergreen tropical American tree which has hard durable wood and yields chicle. [Manilkara zapota.] 2》 (also sapodilla plum) the sweet brownish bristly fruit of the sapodilla. Origin C17: from Sp. zapotillo, dimin. of …   English new terms dictionary

  • sapodilla — /sæpəˈdɪlə/ (say sapuh diluh) noun 1. a large evergreen tree, Manilkara zapota, of tropical America, bearing an edible fruit (sapodilla plum) and yielding chicle; chiku. 2. the fruit. {Spanish zapotillo, diminutive of zapote sapodilla fruit, from …   Australian English dictionary

  • sapodilla — noun a) Manilkara zapota; a long lived, evergreen tree native to the New World tropics. It is also known as Chickoo (also spelled Chiku ) in South Asia. b) The fruit from the sapodilla tree. The fruit is 4 8 cm in diameter, has a fuzzy brown skin …   Wiktionary

  • sapodilla — paprastasis kulkmedis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Sapotinių šeimos maistinis, medieninis, vaisinis, vaistinis augalas (Manilkara zapota), paplitęs Centrinėje ir Pietų Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Achradelpha mammosa; Achras mammosa;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • sapodilla — n. a large evergreen tropical American tree, Manilkara zapota, with edible fruit and durable wood, and sap from which chicle is obtained. Phrases and idioms: sapodilla plum the fruit of this tree. Etymology: Sp. zapotillo dimin. of zapote f.… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sapodilla — Achras (E); Manilkara (E) …   EthnoBotanical Dictionary

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