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Tree Description: The white sapote is a superb but delicate fruit that tastes like a creamy sugar cube. The fruit is typically baseball- to softball-size, and the trees begin fruiting in just one to two years. They are best eaten fresh and chilled, but are excellent in ice cream and milkshakes as well. In Mexico, they have a reputation for having a soporific effect, and have come to be known as the "sleepy sapote." . Avg. Height x Width: 20' x 15'. Varieties: Homestead, Redland, Smathers, and Younghans. Season: May - July. Damage Temp: 24F.
Scientific Name:Casimiroa edulis
Common Name: (English) White Sapote, casimiroa, Mexican-apple; (Spanish) matasano, zapote blanco
Origin: Central America
Distribution: Throughout tropical highland and subtropical areas of Latin America, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean region, India, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
History: Horticulturists in Israel took serious interest in white sapotes around 1935 and planted a number of varieties. The trees grew well and produced little in the coastal plain; bore good crops in the interior and commercial prospects seemed bright but the fruit did not appeal to consumers and was too attractive to fruit flies. White sapotes have not done well in the Philippines. The common species was introduced into California by Franciscan monks about 1810, and it is still cultivated on a limited scale in the southern part of that state. In Florida, it was first planted with enthusiasm. Today it is seldom seen outside of fruit tree collections. Of course, many of the trees planted have been seedlings bearing fruits of inferior size and quality, but even the best have never attained popularity in this country.
Importance: C. edulis's bark, seeds and leaves contain a glucoside called Casimirosine that has proved to have an hypnotic and sedative effect. Regionally, it is used medicinally to induce sleep, and a decoction of the leaves is also used to treat diabetes, while in China it is popularly used to lower blood pressure.