Canistel, Eggfruit - Pouteria campechiana
Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Fruit. Hoolawa Farms Haiku, Maui, Hawaii
Fig. 1
Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Fruit. Hoolawa Farms Haiku, Maui, Hawaii

Pouteria campechiana fruits and seeds from Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta
Fig. 2
Pouteria campechiana fruits and seeds from Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta

Three different varieties
Fig. 3
Three different varieties

Three varieties
Fig. 4

Canistel Leaves
Fig. 5
Leaves are whorled at the ends of branches

Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Branch with flower buds. Garden of Eden Keanae, Maui, Hawaii
Fig. 9
Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Branch with flower buds. Garden of Eden Keanae, Maui, Hawaii

Pouteria campechiana
Fig. 10
Pouteria campechiana inflorescense

Flowers
Fig. 14
Fruit forming

Pouteria campechiana, fruiting branch. Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta
Fig. 15
Pouteria campechiana, fruiting branch. Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta

Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Fruit. Hoolawa Farms Haiku, Maui, Hawaii
Fig. 16
Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Fruit. Hoolawa Farms Haiku, Maui, Hawaii

Seeds exhibited in the Kunming Botanical Garden, Kunming, Yunnan, China
Fig. 26
Seeds exhibited in the Kunming Botanical Garden, Kunming, Yunnan, China

Pouteria campechiana small plant
Fig. 27
Pouteria campechiana small seedling

Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel) Habit. Kahanu Gardens NTBG Kaeleku Hana, Maui, Hawaii
Fig. 28
Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel) Habit. Kahanu Gardens NTBG Kaeleku Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Canistel tree habit at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fig. 29
Canistel tree habit at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Trunk
Fig. 30
Trunk

Egg Fruit from Lalbagh Flower Show
Fig. 31
Egg fruit from Lalbagh flower show

Pouteria campechiana fruits, sold at Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta
Fig. 32
Pouteria campechiana fruits,
sold at Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta


Scientific name
Pouteria campechiana
Common names
Canistel, egg-fruit, ti-es, and yellow sapote (English), siguapa, zapotillo, zapote amarillo, and sapote mante (Spanish), tiesa (Philippino), lamut kahamen, khe maa, and to maa (Thai) 1
Synonyms
Lucuma campechiana Kunth; L. nervosa A. DC.; L. salicifolia Kunth; L. rivicoa var. angustifolia Miq.; L. salicifolia Kunth; Richardella nervosa (A. DC.) Pierre; R. salicifolia (Kunth) Pierren 3
Relatives
Abiu, Pouteria caimito; mamey sapote, P. sapote; lucmo, P. obbovata; cinnamon apple, P. hypoglauca; bully tree, P. multiflora; caimitillo, P. speciosa; curiola, P. torta; fruteo, P. pariry; green sapote, P. viridis; lucma, P. macrophylla; macarancluba, P. ramiflora and nispero montanero, P. macrocarpa 5
Family
Sapotaceae
Origin
Southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador 1
Uses
Fruit; landscape specimen
Height
20-25 ft (6.1–7.6 m); capable of being a large tree to 50+ ft (15 m)
Plant habit
Evergreen  small tree; open-growing tree; upright
Longevity
Unknown
Trunk/bark/branches
Branches, if cut, have a clear, milky sap which is an easy way of identification of this tree 9
Pruning requirement
Prune to contain size for ease of harvest
Leaves
Whorled at the ends of branches; obobate-elliptic; light to dark green; 2-10 in. (5-25 cm)
Flowers
Small greenish-white flowers in small clusters 9; flowers on new growth
Fruit
Varieable in form and size; peel is thin, waxy, smooth; pulp firm, smooth, creamy, sweet; mealy to smooth in texture
Season
November-March
Light requirement
Full sun
Soil tolerances
Tolerant of most well drained soil types including acid and alkaline soils 1
PH preference
5.5-7.5
Drought tolerance
Tolerant of long periods of dry soil conditions
Flood tolerance
Moderately tolerant
Aerosol/Soil salt tolerance
Not salt tolerant and will die with salt water inundation or persistent salt spray 8
Cold tolerance
Young trees amaged at 29°F (-1.6°C); mature trees at 23°F (-5°C) 1 
Wind tolerance
Superior wind resistance
Plant spacing
25-30 ft (6.7–7.6 m) 1
Invasive potential *
None reported
Pest resistance
Few problems once they are well-established 9
Known hazard
None



Reading Material

Canistel Growing in the Florida Home Landscape from the University of Florida pdf 6 pages
The Maya Fruit: Canistel from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Virtual Herbarium
The Canistel, A Winter Fruit for South Florida from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Canistel from Julia Morton's book Fruits of Warm Climates
Canistel by G. Joyner from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia



Origin

Southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador 1

Description
The canistel bears an outstanding fruit, showy, flavorful, nutritious, and useful. Yet the species is rarely seen outside tropical fruit collections. The tree is attractive and requires little maintenance. It comes into production ober the winter when few other fruits are available. Admiration for this species grows with familiarity. It deserves widere planting and makes an ideal addition to the home landscape in Florida. 5

Leaves
The evergreen leaves are whorled at the ends of branches, obovate-elliptic, 2 to 10 inches (5–25 cm) long, tapering toward the ends. 1

Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel) Leaves at Pali o Waipio Huelo, Maui, HawaiiPouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel) Leaves at Garden of Eden Keanae, Maui, HawaiiCanistel at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8

Fig. 6. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel) Leaves at Pali o Waipio Huelo, Maui, Hawaii
Fig. 7. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel) Leaves at Garden of Eden Keanae, Maui, Hawaii
Fig. 8. Canistel at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden


Flowers
The bisexual flowers are borne in the leaf axils, singly or in clusters. Flowers are cream colored, have 5 sepals and 5 or 6 lobed petals (bell-shaped flowers), 5 stamens, and a single ovary. The flowers are pollinated by insects. 1

Pouteria campechianaFlower close-upFlower bud formation
Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13

Fruit
Fruit shape ranges from spindle-shaped to round to obovate (Fig. 3 ); commonly with a pointed apex. Fruit range in size from 3 to 5 inches (8-13 cm) long and 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm) in diameter. The peel is thin, waxy, smooth, green when immature and bright yellow to bright orange when ripe. The pulp is relatively firm, smooth, creamy, sweet, and also bright yellow to orange when ripe; the pulp of incompletely ripe fruit is dry and mealy. The pulp of ripe fruit may be dry to moist and mealy to smooth in texture. The fruit have 1 to 5 glossy brown seeds. 1

Canistel fruitLavulu - Egg fruit / Yellow sapoteLong fruitFruits of a different shape
Fig. 17 Fig. 18 Fig. 19 Fig. 20

Inside the ripe fruit

Canistel fruit in half
Fig. 21 Fig. 22
Seed pulp stuck on half at Pali o Waipio Huelo, Maui, HawaiiPouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel) Fruit and leaves at Pali o Waipio Huelo, Maui, HawaiiPouteria campechiana (fruit and leaves). Location: Maui, Hoolawa Farms Haiku
Fig. 23 Fig. 24 Fig. 25

Fig. 22. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Fruit in half from Pali o Waipio at Hawea Pl Olinda, Maui
Fig. 23. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Seed pulp stuck on half at Pali o Waipio Huelo, Maui, Hawaii
Fig. 24. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel) Fruit and leaves at Pali o Waipio Huelo, Maui, Hawaii
Fig. 25. Pouteria campechiana (fruit and leaves). Location: Maui, Hoolawa Farms Haiku

Varieties Page

Harvesting
The fruits are yellow to orange when they are mature and it is the time to be picked. As they soften, the skin texture changes from glossy to dull. The fruit can be stored at room temperature for 3 to 10 days for ripening. 2
The mature but still firm fruits should be clipped, leaving a small piece of stem attached, to avoid tearing the skin. When left to ripen on the tree, the fruits split at the stem end and fall. 7

Pollination
Canistel flowers are pollinated by insects. 1

Propagation
Look for grafted trees, not seedlings. Seedling trees will grow well, but they will take many years to fruit and will be of unknown and most likely inferior quality. Grafted trees can be purchased from local tropical fruit nurseries and specialty sales throughout South Florida. 2

The Inverted Root Graft: Applications for the Home Garden in Florida from the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden pdf

Planting
Young nursery trees should be planted and left to grow during their first season so that they establish quickly. However, during the early spring of the following year, trees should be cut back to either force branching along the main trunk and/or selective branches should be headed back and others cut out completely to encourage the formation of evenly spaced branches and wide branch-to-trunk crotch angles. 1

Pruning
To maintain optimum fruit production and limit tree height, trees should be selectively pruned annually. To begin, the tree should be pruned at about 10–12 ft (3.1–3.7 m) in height by removing the primary (central) leader and secondary leaders and any vigorous upright limbs during the spring. Subsequently, the tree may shaped by selectively pruning to form a cone-shaped canopy. Follow-up pruning should be done during late summer to remove any new, vigorous growth. Removing the central leader and periodically selectively removing vigorous growth will keep the canopy remain to light and wind movement. The goal is to maintain fruit production in the lower tree canopy, improve light penetration into the canopy, and limit tree size. 1

Canistel Cultural Calendar

Irrigation
Once canistel trees are 4 or more years old irrigation will be beneficial to plant growth and crop yields during prolonged dry periods. The specific water requirements for mature trees have not been determined. However, as with other tree crops, the period from bloom and through fruit development is important and drought stress should be avoided at this time with periodic watering. 1

Pests
Few pests and diseases attack the canistel. In Florida only scale insects and the fungi, Acrotelium lucumae (rust); Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (fruit spot); Elsinoë lepagei (leaf spot and scab); and Gloeosporium (leaf necrosis) have been recorded for this species. The tree is nearly always vigorous and healthy. 1

Diseases
Several diseases attack canistel leaves, including scab and leaf-spot (Elsinoe lepagei), leaf-spot (Phyllosticta sp.), black leaf-spot (Phyllachora sp.), leaf necrosis (Gloeosporium sp.). Fruit may be attacked by anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides) and rust (Acrotelium lucumae), and roots may be attacked by Pythium sp. Contact your local county extension agent for current control recommendations for more information. 1

Food Uses
Canistel may be eaten fresh, although it is more commonly used to make milkshakes, custards, or ice cream. Canistel is high in potassium and vitamins. 1
The ripe fruit or the pulp can be preserved and stored by freezing it for up to 6 months. Neither heating nor freezing will darker the bright yellow of the flesh and its texture makes it perfect for pies, milkshakes puddings and bread. 8

Medicinal Uses **
A decoction of the astringent bark is taken as a febrifuge in Mexico and applied on skin eruptions in Cuba. A preparation of the seeds has been employed as a remedy for ulcers. 6

Other Uses
Latex extracted from the tree in Central America has been used to adulterate chicle. The timber is fine-grained, compact, strong, moderately to very heavy and hard, and valued especially for planks and rafters in construction. The heartwood is grayish-brown to reddish-brown and blends into the sapwood which is somewhat lighter in color. The darker the color, the more resistant to decay. 6

General
Its binomial name is derived from the Mexican town of Campeche, where it is native. 4
In Florida, it survives winter cold as far north as Palm Beach and Punta Gorda and in protected areas of St. Petersburg. It has never reached fruiting age in California. 7

Further Reading
Pouteria campechiana from the World Agroforesty Database
The Canistel from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Canistel (Pouteria campechiana) from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
The Canistel from W. Popenoe's book Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits
Canistel Botanical Art


List of Growers and Vendors
Bibliography

1 Crane, Johathan H. and Balerdi, Carlos F. "Canistel Growing in the Florida Home Landscape." edis.ifas.ufl.edu.. This document is HS1049, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date Nov. 2005. Revised Oct. 2006 and Nov. 2016. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
2 Ledesma, Noris. "The Canistel, A Winter Fruit for South Florida." fairchildgarden.org. 20 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Dec. 2014.
3 "Pouteria campechiana synonyms". ars-grin.gov. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
4 "Pouteria campechiana." wikipedia.org. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
5 Boning, Charles R. Florida's Best Fruiting Plants- Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs, and Vines. Pineapple Press, Inc. sarasota, Florida. Print.
6 Morton, J. "Canistel." hort.purdue.edu. Fruits of warm climates, p. 402-405. 1987. Web. 23 Dec. 2014.
7 Orwa C., A. Mutua, R. Kindt, R. Jamnadass and S. Anthony. "Pouteria campechiana Baehni. " worldagroforestry.org. Agroforestree Database: a tree reference and selection guide version 4.0. 2009. Web. 5 Apr. 2017.
8 Ledesma, Noris. "The Canistel, A Winter Fruit for South Florida." fairchildgarden.org. Miami Herald. 20 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Dec. 2014.
9 Joyner, Gene. "Canistel." rfcarchives.org.au. Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia.  Article from RFCI Inc. Newsletter Jan. '88. July 1988. Web. 23 Dec. 2014.

Photographs

Fig. 1 Gray, Nathan. Eggfruit at the South Kona Fruit Stand in Hōnaunau, Hawaii (Big Island). 2013. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 2 Wibowo, Djatmiko. Pouteria campechiana fruits and seeds from Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta. 2010. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0) and GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 3,4,5,12,14,19,30 Kwan. Pouteria campechiana. 2010. natureloveyou.sg. Web. 28 Sept. 2014.
Fig. 6 Starr, Forest and Kim. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Leaves at Pali o Waipio Huelo, Maui, Hawaii. 2013. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 7 Starr, Forest and Kim. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Leaves at Garden of Eden Keanae, Maui, Hawaii. 2011. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 8,13,29 Robitaille, Liette. "Canistel Serie." 2014. JPG File
Fig. 9 Starr, Forest and Kim. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Branch with flower buds. Garden of Eden Keanae, Maui, Hawaii. 2011. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 10,11,27 Vinayaraj. Pouteria campechiana. 2012. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 26 Dec. 2014.
Fig. 15 Djatmiko, Wibowo. Pouteria campechiana fruiting branch. Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta. 2010. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0) and GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 16 Starr, Forest and Kim. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Fruit at Hoolawa Farms Haiku, Maui. 2006. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 17,21 Pouteria campechiana. N.d. Top Tropicals Tropical Plant Catalog. toptropicals.com. Web. 28 Sept. 2014.
Fig. 18 Issadeen, Hafiz. Lavulu - Egg fruit/Yellow sapote. 2010. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 20 Conrad, Jim. Fruits of a different shape. Jim Conrad's Naturatlist Newsletter. commons.wikimedia.org. Public domain. Web. 5 Apr. 2017.   
Fig. 22 Starr, Forest and Kim. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Fruit in half from Pali o Waipio at Hawea Pl Olinda, Maui. 2013. starrenvironmental.com. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
Fig. 23 Starr, Forest and Kim. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Seed pulp stuck on half at Pali o Waipio Huelo, Maui, Hawaii .2013. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 24 Starr, Forest and Kim. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Fruit and leaves at Pali o Waipio Huelo, Maui, Hawaii. 2013. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 25 Starr, Forest and Kim. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). (fruit and leaves). Location: Maui, Hoolawa Farms Haiku. 2006. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 26 Daderot. Seeds exhibited in the Kunming Botanical Garden, Kunming, Yunnan, China. 2011. commons.wikimedia.org. Public domain. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 27 Vinayaraj. Pouteria campechiana. Small plant. 2012. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 28 Starr, Forest and Kim. Pouteria campechiana (Eggfruit, canistel). Habit at Kahanu Gardens NTBG Kaeleku Hana, Maui. 2009. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 4 Apr. 2017.
Fig. 31  Rameshng. Egg Fruit from Lalbagh Flower Show. 2012. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 26 Dec. 2014.
Fig. 32 Djatmiko, Wibowo. Pouteria campechiana fruits, sold at Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta. 2010. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0) and GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.

UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas
** Information provided is not intended to be used as a guide for treatment of medical conditions.

Published Mar. 2014 LR. Last update 4 Apr. 2017 LR
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