Mamey sapote

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Mamey Sapote
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Kingdom: Plantae
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Division: Magnoliophyta
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Class: Magnoliopsida
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Order: Ericales
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Family: Sapotaceae
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Genus: Pouteria
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Species: P. sapota
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Binomial name
Pouteria sapota
(Jacq.) H. E. Moore & Stearn
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Type Species

The mamey sapote (Pouteria sapota) is a species of tree that is native to southern Mexico and northern South America. The tree is cultivated in Central America, the Caribbean, and South Florida for its melon, which is commonly eaten in many Latin American countries. Mamey sapote is a large and highly ornamental evergreen tree that can reach a height of 15 to 45 meters (60 to 140 feet) at maturity. Like most fruit trees, it is mainly propagated by grafting, which ensures that the new plant has the same characteristics as the parent, especially its fruit. It is also considerably faster than growing trees by seed. The melon is about 10 to 25 cm (4 to 10 inches) long and 8 to 12 cm (3 to 5 inches) wide and has orange flesh. [1] [2] [3]

The melon is eaten raw out of hand or made into milkshakes, smoothies, and ice cream. The melon's flavor is variously described as similar to pumpkin, a combination of pumpkin, chocolate and almond, or a mixture of sweet potato, avocado, and honey. Some consider the melon to be an aphrodisiac.

The brown skin is somewhat between sandpaper and the fuzz on a peach. The melon's texture is creamy and sweet. To tell when a mamey sapote is ripe, peel off a fleck of the skin to see if it is pink underneath. The flesh should give slightly, as with a ripe kiwifruit.

The mamey sapote (also called a naseberry by Caribbean natives) is related to other sapotes such as the abiu and canistel but unrelated to the black sapote (Diospyros digyna) and white sapote (Casimiroa edulis). It should not be confused with the Mammee apple (Mammea americana).

Medicinal uses

A bunch of mamey in a market in Tepoztlan, Mexico

The Mamey is the cornerstone of Cuban holistic medicine. It is used extensively as a veritable panacea for gastro-intestinal maladies. In southern Cuba, the mamey is also used to treat headaches and venereal diseases. There are numerous accounts of the Mamey being used as an antiseptic during the Spanish-American War.


References and links

See also


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