Other Names: Sapote Verde, Injerto, Yash-tul
Green sapotes ripen to have a similar colored flesh as the mamey
The leaves are similar, but not identical to the mamey sapote.
Related To: [Sapotaceae] Mamey Sapote, Lucuma, Canistel
Growth Rate: Slow to moderate.
Mature Height/Spread: Capable of reaching 40' though usually
Flowering/Pollination: Self fertile.
Tolerance: Mildly drought tolerant when older, but prefers
constantly moist soils. No salt tolerance. Floods or wet feet will
kill it outright.
Soil/Nutrition: Tree does well on fertile, slightly acid soils.
Requires fertilization and mulching on neutral, deficient sandy
Light: Full sun.
Temperature: Will withstand occasional frosts once mature (27-28
F). Trees under 5' should be protected. Slightly hardier than the
mamey sapote under ideal conditions. Leaves turn a copper color when
stressed by cold.
Diseases Prone: Fruit flies.
Bearing Age: 3-4 Years from graft, 7-8 years from seed. In
Florida, sometimes the species tends to bear it's major crop in
winter months (December - February). The cool temperatures stifle
the full development of sugar in the fruits. Other types (such as
TREC 32) bear in September and October, producing a much superior
fruit. It takes about 8-9 months from flowering until the fruit is
Fruit: Small, 2-3" diameter fruits, acorn shaped, pale green skin
with orange/salmon colored flesh. Skin begins to turns orange when
ripe. Flavor is described as very similar to, and often superior
than the more widely known mamey sapote. The texture is also softer,
History/Origin: Is endemic to elevations of 3000-7000 feet in
Guatemala, Costa Rica, Hondouras and Panama. It is most abundant in
northern Guatemala. This fruit tree is propagate worldwide, with
development of superior strains now occurring in Central America,
Australia, and Florida (USA).
Species Observations: The green sapote will fruit in subtropical
while the mamey sapote will not, despite being fairly equivalent in
cold tolerance overall. This is because pouteria viridis is native
to higher elevations in it's natural habitat, where hot temperatures
are tempered, and it is naturally subjected to regular cool
temperatures and colder soils. Mamey sapote, on the other hand is a
more tropical lowland species that cannot handle prolonged winter
temperatures in the 40's and 50's, or cold soils.
Conversely, the green sapote can be brought to bear fruit easily
in lowlands to where the mamey sapote is native, when grafted on an
Propogation: Often grafted onto mamey sapote or canistel
rootstock, both of which are more suited to production in tropical
"Makawao" A Hawaiian selection from Maui, has a very fine flavor,
often considered the best of the cultivated types.
"TREC 32" Is a Florida selection, best suited to Florida
climates, and bears delicious fruits in late fall.
"Fairchild" is a sweet, delicious fruit. Unknown bearing period.
Container Culture: Possible, but not ideal.
Medicinal Uses: Unknown.
Preparation / Food: Fruits are eaten fresh, or used in a manner
similar to mamey sapote. Seeds are sometimes roasted and eaten.
Close-relative of the popular mamey sapote, the green sapote is
slightly smaller in size, with green-yellow or brownish skin and an
orange-red pulp much like its cousin. Strangely, the fruit is little
known outside of Central America, even though its flavor is often
described as superior to the mamey sapote.
Description: Medium to large-sized tree from 40-80ft. There is
not a lot of culture information for the green sapote. Fruits take
up to 9-10 months to ripen.
Hardiness: It tends to be a bit hardier than the mamey sapote,
and has been grown in California.
Growing Environment: Grow in full sun. Water regularly.
Propagation: Usually by seed, but grafts can be made onto mamey
Uses: Usually eaten fresh out of hand, but the pulp is also used
in making desserts and preserves. The pulp is softer than the mamey
sapote. The seeds are edible and are often roasted.
Native Range: Native to Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica.