Black Sapote is a species of persimmon that is native to eastern
Mexico and Central America south to Colombia. Other names include
Chocolate Pudding Fruit and (in Spanish) Zapote Prieto. In south
Florida it is also sometimes confused with the Coco Fruit, a toxic
relative that can cause insanity. It is unrelated
to the mamey sapote (Sapotaceae), and the white sapote (Rutaceae).
Mature trees can grow to over 25 m (82 ft) in height and are
evergreen. It is frost sensitive. The leaves are elliptic-oblong,
tapered at both ends, glossy, and 10–30 cm (3.9–12 in) long.
Black Sapote fruit are tomato-like and measure 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9
in) in diameter, with an inedible skin that turns from olive to a
deep yellow-green when ripe and an edible pulp that turns from white
when unripe to a flavor, color and texture often likened to
chocolate pudding when ripe.
A usually large, green-skinned fruit about the size of an apple.
Flesh turns dark brown/black when ripe. Pulp both looks and tastes
somewhat like chocolate pudding. Black sapote's make a wonderful
Description: Large tree to 80ft. Trees can be kept small and will
fully bear fruits at just a few feet high.
Hardiness: Full grown trees can survive to 28F.
Growing Environment: Trees are not too particular about soil and
nutrient support. Fruits ripen in winter but depending on the tree
may fruit a few months earlier or later. Fruits are best picked and
eaten when fully ripe, the pulp becomes soft and pudding like at
Propagation: Usually grown from seeds which make it to bearing
age in 5-6 years.
Uses: Eaten fresh or used in desserts. Black sapote mousse's,
cakes, custards are popular dishes where black sapote's are grown.
Native Range: The black sapote is native to southern Mexico.
Trees grow wild in coastal lowlands. Today, the black sapote is
rarely cultivated outside of the America's.