Species Details

Details of Manilkara zapota will be displayed below

Manilkara zapota   

Common Name: Sapodilla
Scientific Name: Manilkara zapota (L.) P.Royen
Local Name: Sabu'dheli
Dhivehi Name: ސަބުދެލި
Plantae  (Kingdom)
Tracheophyta  (Plylum)
Magnoliopsida  (Class)
Ericales  (Order)
Sapotaceae  (Family)
Unknown   (Genus)

Manilkara zapota's description

Sapodilla can grow to more than 30 m (98 ft) tall with an average trunk diameter of 1.5 m (4.9 ft). The average height of cultivated specimens, however, is usually between 9 and 15 m (30 and 49 ft) with a trunk diameter not exceeding 50 cm (20 in). 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 (2.8–5.9 in) long, with an entire margin. The white flowers are inconspicuous and bell-like, with a six-lobed corolla. An unripe fruit has a firm outer skin and when picked, releases white chicle from its stem. A fully ripened fruit has saggy skin and does not release chicle when picked. The fruit is a large berry, 4–8 cm (1.6–3.1 in) in diameter. 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. Each fruit contains one to six seeds. The seeds are hard, glossy, and black, resembling beans, with a hook at one end that can catch in the throat if swallowed. The fruit has an exceptionally sweet, malty flavor. The unripe fruit is hard to the touch and contains high amounts of saponin, which has astringent properties similar to tannin, drying out the mouth. The trees can only survive in warm, typically tropical environments, dying easily if the temperature drops below freezing. From germination, the sapodilla tree will usually take anywhere from five to eight years to bear fruit. The sapodilla trees yield fruit twice a year, though flowering may continue year round.

Manilkara zapota's facts


Sapodilla is certainly tasty but it is also very healthy. It contains plenty of dietary fiber and is full of healthful nutrients that can help maintain your overall health and tackle certain illnesses. It is laden with antioxidants and also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties. These are just some of the conditions that sapodilla can help you overcome.

  1. COLD PREVENTION - Like most foods that are high in vitamin C, sapodilla can help boost the body’s immune system helping to keep illness at bay. Good amounts of vitamin C from fruit like sapodila is especially useful for preventing common viral illnesses like colds and influenza. There is also plenty of evidence to suggest that vitamin C reduces your risk of viral infections like pneumonia.
  2. BETTER DIGESTION - We know it is oft said but it is worth repeating that fiber is good for health and sapodilla contains plenty of dietary fiber. In fact is incredibly good for you but despite being told this from an early age, the evidence suggests that the vast majority of us fail to get adequate amounts of fiber in our diets. Fiber is especially helpful for our digestive systems. It can contribute to overall digestive health and help alleviate many of the common digestive symptoms that we are familiar with like constipation, diarrhea and indigestion. There is plenty of evidence that fiber can also reduce the risk of inflammatory bowel disorders, heart disease and even colon cancer.
  3. WEIGHT CONTROL - Another reason that fiber is good for health is that it can help satiate the appetite and reduce the craving for food throughout the day. This is obviously helpful for people looking to cut their calorific intake in order to shed some unwanted weight. Fibrous foods also help keep your digestive system working at optimal levels and help to properly clean out the bowels. If you are concerned about your weight, be careful not to get too much of your fiber from sapodilla because it is high in calories and fructose.
  4. ANTIOXIDANT BENEFITS - Sapodilla supplies you with plenty of much needed antioxidants. If you did not already know, antioxidants are vital in order to maintain health and reduce the risk of illness caused by free radicals. There is a mass of evidence that antioxidant rich foods can protect us from the oxidative stress that leads to deadly diseases like cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants also have a protective effect on the brain and reduce the risk of developing degenerative neural conditions like Alzheimer’s. And that is not all, if you are worrying that you are aging too quickly, antioxidant fruit like sapodilla can help your skin appear younger and fresher for that much longer.
  5. BONE HEALTH - Sapodilla contains a variety of essential minerals like calcium, zinc and manganese that are known to have a positive effect on the health of your bones and muscles. A deficiency in calcium increases the risk of your bones becoming weaker and developing common conditions like osteoporosis.
  6. SKIN BENEFITS - Sapodilla contains a diverse range of nutrients and antioxidant compounds making it perfect for maintaining a healthy, youthful complexion. Vitamin E found in the fruit helps moisturize the skin giving it a healthy glow while its antioxidant compounds can protect against many of those telltale signs of aging. The seed of the sapodilla fruit is also used to extract an oil used to treat various skin ailments.
  7. HAIR BENEFITS - In the same way that the nutrients contained by sapodilla help the health of your skin. they also help maintain healthy and glossy looking hair. Simply eating plenty of this nutrient rich food will have a marked effect but you could also use sapodilla seed oil assuming that you can find it.

Manilkara zapota's Behavior & Ecology

A well draining soil is of primary importance as Sapodilla Trees roots do not like to be wet and will rot if allowed to sit in water for extended periods. Sapodillas are adapted to tropical and warm sub-tropical climates. In Maldives this tree can be found Cultivated in homesteads.

Manilkara zapota's Reproduction

Isolated sapodilla trees may not be productive because some sapodilla cultivars are self-incompatible. In selfincompatible cultivars, the flowers require cross-pollination by another sapodilla seedling or variety to produce fruit. Other varieties may not require cross-pollination but produce more fruit when cross-pollinated.

Manilkara zapota's Relationship with Humans

Cultivated for its edible and nutritious fruit. The wood is of moderate quality and is used in small scale constructions. An infusion of the young fruit and the fl ower is drunk to relieve pulmonary complaints. A decoction of old, yellowed leaves is a remedy for coughs, colds and diarrhea. A paste of the seeds is applied on stings and bites from venomous animals. Manilkara



Latex and tannins are highly concentrated in the raw sapodilla fruits and, therefore, intensely bitter in taste. Eating unripe fruits may cause mouth ulcers, itchy sensation in the throat, and breathing difficulty, especially in the children.