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.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF SAPODILLA
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.
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.
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.
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.