Canistel, Eggfruit - Pouteria campechiana
Canistel fruit

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


Fig. 1

Other Information

Season: November-April

Damage temp. 28F

PH preference: 5.5-7.5

Soil: Tolerance to sandy or limestone soils

Light requirement: Full sun

Wind: Superior wind resistance

Drought: Well-established canistel trees are tolerant of long periods of dry soil conditions

Flooding: Canistel is considered moderately tolerant and may survive several days of excessively wet or flooded soil conditions

Salt: No salt tolerance

Cold: not cold tolerant 

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).

Its binomial name is derived from the Mexican town of Campeche, where it is native.

Pouteria campechiana Pouteria campechiana Flowers
Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4
Three different varieties Fruit Canistel fruit in half
Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7

Inside of the ripe fruit

Fig. 8

Egg Fruit from Lalbagh Flower Show
Pouteria campechiana fruits, sold at Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta

Fig. 9

Egg Fruit from Lalbagh Flower Show

Fig. 10

Pouteria campechiana fruits, sold at Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta

Fruit shape ranges from spindle-shaped to round to obovate; 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

When to Harvest: 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

Canistel Leaves Credit: © Habit of growth Credit: Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Trunk Credit: Kwan ©
Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13

Medium sized tree in Florida (20 to 25 ft; 6.1-7.6 m), but capable of being a large tree to 50+ ft (15 m) with an upright growth habit.
The evergreen leaves are whorled at the ends of branches, obobate-elliptic, 2 to 10 inches (5-25 cm) long, tapering toward the ends.
Canistel trees are tolerant of most well drained soil types including acid and alkaline soils. Trees growing in fertile soils tend to produce larger but fewer fruit, whereas trees growing in infertile soils produce many but smaller fruit.
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


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

Diseases and 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

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


Further Reading

Pouteria campechiana from the World Agroforesty Center pdf 5 pages

The Canistel from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia

Canistel (Pouteria campechiana) from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Canistel Botanical Art

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List of Growers & Vendors



1 Crane, Johathan H. and Balerdi, Carlos F. "Canistel Growing in the Florida Home Landscape." 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. Reviewed July 2013. Web. 25 Sept. 2014.

2 Ledesma, Noris. "The Canistel, A Winter Fruit for South Florida." 20 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Dec. 2014.


Fig. 1,8,11 Pouteria campechiana. N.d. Top Tropicals Tropical Plant Catalog. Web. 28 Sept. 2014.

Fig. 2,3 Binayaraj. Pouteria campechiana. 2012. Web. 26 Dec. 2014.

Fig. 9  Rameshng. Egg Fruit from Lalbagh Flower Show. 2012. (CC BY-SA 3.0). commons.wikimedia.orgWeb. 26 Dec. 2014.

Fig. 10 Djatmiko, Wibowo. Pouteria campechiana fruits, sold at Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta. 2010. Web. 26 Dec. 2014.

Fig. 4,5,13 Kwan. Pouteria campechiana. 2010. Web. 28 Sept. 2014.
Fig. 6 Starr, Forest and Kim. Fruit at Hoolawa Farms Haiku, Maui. 2006. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
Fig. 7 Starr, Forest and Kim. Fruit in half from Pali o Waipio at Hawea Pl Olinda, Maui. 2013. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.

Fig. 12 Starr, Forest and Kim. Habit at Kahanu Gardens NTBG Kaeleku Hana, Maui. 2009. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.

Published Mar. 2014 LR. Updated 16 Jan. 2015 LR

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