From the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
by Gene Joyner


Seasons in Australia are opposite to those in the US.  Summer is Dec. Jan. Feb. Autumn is Mar. Apr. May. Winter is June July Aug. Spring is Sept. Oct. Nov.

Mamey Sapote

Pouteria sapota
Sapotaceae


The mamey sapote, Calocarpum sapota, is a large evergreen tree native to Central America. Trees have large leaves up to twelve inches long and four inches wide which are shiny green with prominent veins. Trees grow slowly, especially when young, but are very popular because of the delicious fruit that they produce.

Flowers are produced throughout the warm season of the year along the major branches, and are followed by round to oblong fruit with a rough brown skin that may be eight inches in length. The pulp inside the fruit is an orange-red colour and the center of the fruit is usually occupied by one or more large, shiny, polished-looking seeds.

Fruits generally ripen during the late spring through early summer, and at maturity fruits do not change colour. They just become soft, much like avocados do. The flesh of the fruit is highly sought-after by many people and is used for fresh eating and especially for milk shakes and ice cream.

There are a number of named varieties of mamey sapote available. 'Magana' and 'Pantin' are the most popular. Most commercial mamey sapote is from grafting since seed-grown trees may take twenty years or more to bear and be of questionable quality and yield.

Trees do well where they are protected from strong winds in the winter and mature trees freeze at about 30°F. Small trees will get injured at 32°F. Mamey sapote can take a little salt wind, but should not be planted on open exposed areas close to the ocean or Intracoastal Waterway.

These trees normally have few problems with disease; however, some insects such as scale insects may occasionally be found infesting leaves or branches. Beetles also occasionally chew leaves, but none of these are serious enough to kill trees.

For best production, fertilise trees with a good quality citrus or fruit tree-type fertiliser every three or four months.
On young, newly-planted trees, every-other-month feeding for the first year is suggested. Trees also benefit from irrigation during the spring dry season since moisture stress can often cause abortion of large numbers of developing fruit.



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Bibliography

Joyner, Gene. "Mamey Sapote." rfcarchives.org.au. Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia. Tropical Fruit News, Volume 30 Number 9, Sept. 1996. Mar. 1997. Web. 26 May 2015.

Published 26 May 2015 LR. Updated 17 May 2016 LR
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