From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The canistel (Pouteria campechiana) is an evergreen tree native to
southern Mexico and Central America. It is cultivated in other
countries, such as Brazil, Taiwan, and Vietnam for its fruit. Its
binomial name is derived from the Mexican town of Campeche, where it
is native. It is sometimes (wrongly) referred to as Lucuma
campechiana. In the Philippines it is called chesa.
The canistel grows up to 10 meters (33 ft) high, and produces
orange-yellow fruit, also called yellow sapote, up to 7 centimeters
(2.8 in) long, which are edible raw. Canistel flesh is sweet, with a
texture often compared to that of a cooked egg yolk, hence its
colloquial name of "eggfruit." It is closely related to the Mamey
sapote and abiu.
The plant's name in the Vietnamese language is cây trứng gŕ
(“chicken egg” plant) because of the fruit's appearance. It also has
the Vietnamese name lekima. This is very unusual because Vietnamese
is a tonal language which uses predominantly monosyllabic words. It
appears that this name derives from the word lucuma. The unusual
name "Lekima" has been included in the list of typhoon names, and
was applied to a storm that devastated north-central Vietnam and
killed from 42 to 55 people in Vietnam on 10 March 2007.
A glowing yellow, waxy skinned fruit with a pulp that has the
consistency of a hard-boiled egg yolk. Highly favored in the
tropics, the canistel is rarely grown in the United States. Fruits
can be highly variable in size and shape--ranging from round to
pointed and ovaloid.
Description: A mid-sized tree, usually 20-40ft, but up to 100ft.
Leaves are slender, glossy, and sharply tapered at the base.
Branches contain a gummy latex. Seedling trees produce in 3-6 years,
grafted or air layered trees a year or two earlier. Fruiting
generally occurs during the winter months and on into spring.
Hardiness: Primarily tropical. Grows quite well in Florida and is
frost tolerant. Grows outdoors in Southern California, but fruit
production is low.
Growing Environment: Tolerant of a wide variety of soils, and can
grow in poor soil. Grow in part-shade or full sun. Water regularly.
Propagation: Propagation is by seeds, grafting and air-layering.
Seeds loose viability within a few days and will usually sprout
within a few weeks.
Uses: Eaten fresh out of hand. Sometimes used in custards, pies,
milkshakes and other desserts.
Native Range: Native to Southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and El
Salvador. Cultivated in Florida, Central America and throughout the