Mamey sapote trees are a great choice for those looking for a beautiful tree that produces delicious fruit.
The mamey sapote fruit is large and has an oval or round shape. It has a rough, brownish-red skin. A single fruit can weigh up to 1 kilogram or more.
Mamey sapote, when ripe, has a lovely reddish orange colour inside, which is a little bit like papaya or pumpkin and very much like the green sapote to which it's closely related.The flesh is thick, creamy and sweet with a rich tropical flavour. It has a mixed taste of caramel, pumpkin and apricot.
The Mamey Sapote is usually eaten raw. It may also be added to ice cream, puddings and fruit salads.
The mamey sapote also serves as an ornamental tree.
- Origin: Central America and Mexico
- Scientific name: Pouteria sapota
- Botanical family: Sapotaceae
- Maturity period: Seedlings: 6-8 years; Vegetative propagation: 4-5 years
- Fruiting season: Throughout the year, with peak season in spring and summer
- Growing in containers: Possible, but not common
- Sunlight requirement: Full sun
- Growth habit type: Tree
- Average Height: 15-45 meters
- Average width (canopy span): 12-15 meters
- Growth rate: Medium
- Ease of growing: Moderate
- Edibility rating: 8/10
- Health benefits: 4/10
Mamey sapote benefits
Mamey sapote contains so-called carotenoids, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These carotenoids protect the body from oxidative stress.
Mamey sapote seeds are edible. The oil from its seed kernel is used as a skin ointment.
How to grow Mamey Sapote
The mamey sapote tree is evergreen and very beautiful. They grow into a 6–8 metre tree but rarely can grow as tall as 20 metres. Grafted Mamey Sapote trees, doesn’t grow very tall.
The tree has a dense, rounded crown. The leaves can grow up to one metre long and are clustered at the tips of the branches which is quite attractive to see.
Warm Tropical climates with high humidity are ideal for growing Mamey Sapote.
Mamey Sapote needs full sun to bear high quality fruit. Grafted Mamey Sapote trees should be planted 6-8 metres apart for adequate sunlight. They are not normally pruned.
Mamey Sapote seeds or graft cuttings may be used for propagation. it can take up to 7 years or more for the seedlings to bear fruit. However, grafted plants bear mature fruit within 3-4 years.
It flowers in the form of axillary racemes. After two years of flowering, the fruits ripen. Due to the long gestation period from flowering to ripe fruit, it is common for the tree to have flowers, ripe and immature fruits all at the same time.
Harvesting Mamey Sapote
Lightly scratch the skin of the Mamey sapote, and it will reveal this reddish orange inside. This means the fruit is ripe and ready to be picked, and you can let it ripen off the tree. However, it still takes another five to six days until the fruits are ripe.
Mamey Sapote can be grown in large containers, but does not bear as much fruit as a tree planted in the ground.
Mamey sapote cultivation is relatively easy and only requires occasional watering and fertilisation.