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Sapodilla, Nispero

Manilkara zapota

Family: Sapotaceae
Genus: Manilkara (man-il-KAR-uh) (Info)
Species: zapota (zuh-POH-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Manilcara achras
Synonym:Sapota achras
Synonym:Achras zapota
Synonym:Manilkara chiku



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


Unknown - Tell us


USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:

Pale Green


Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)

Port Hueneme, California

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Brandon, Florida

Homestead, Florida (2 reports)

Key Largo, Florida

Key West, Florida (3 reports)

Loxahatchee, Florida

Marathon, Florida

Mulberry, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Summerland Key, Florida

Tavernier, Florida

Honomu, Hawaii

Kailua, Hawaii

Mililani, Hawaii

Wahiawa, Hawaii

Newark, New Jersey

Eagle Pass, Texas

Houston, Texas

Humble, Texas

Christiansted, Virgin Islands

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 3, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council has listed this species as a Category 1 invasive species, one that has done demonstrable harm to natural habitat. A problem for south Florida.


On Apr 4, 2010, jen_1956 from manchester,
United Kingdom wrote:

i came accross this plant/fruit whilst i was in Benidorm Spain 2 years ago the fruit was unbeivable i brought 4 seeds home to England and potted them up in my conservatory within weeks i had 4 strong seedlings last spring i planted them out in my garden and they have done wonderfully i now have 4 strong sturdy small trees they have even survived the terrible winter we have just had, what i would like to know from anyone is what if the possibilities of them bearing fruit and what age should this be ?


On Jan 20, 2010, DaveBilling from Altos Del Maria,
Panama wrote:

Please excuse my rambling.

I recently moved to Panama and my Spanish is practically non-existent. My wife and I recently bought 3 brown fruits that looked a lot like avocados with a very tough skin. We had no idea what to do with them but they were hard so we figured it was a vegetable and tried it in a soup. It never softened with cooking and there was a gummy deposit all around the pot top and lid. Later we were told "It's a fruit stupid. Put it in a brown paper bag and wait" We let them over ripen so just planted the seeds that look like tiny eggplants. They haven't germinated yet. By the way our monkey liked the very ripe fruit.

So, I want to plant indigenous trees on my property and one lumber that is popular here is Nispero. It is a very hard, dense dark... read more


On Aug 14, 2006, tmccullo from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Interesting that the sapodilla is called nisperos in Cuba. My wife is from Argentina and a they call the Loquat a nispero. Anyway, we got some fruit from the sapodilla in South Texas and planted them. Now we have about 10 seedling growing. I can't wait to see how they do here. The fruit is great!


On Aug 3, 2004, jandouw from Staten Island, NY wrote:

This and mango are my all-time favorite fruits, but mango does take second place. I've always thought of the flavor as being reminiscent of honey.

You can usually tell that the fruit is ready to be picked when the little 1/4" 'pin' at the end of the fruit farthest from the stem falls off. However, it sounds like your bird may not wait that long. You might be able to protect the fruits on the tree by tying a clear or white plastic bag around them. If you must pick them early, keeping them in a brown paper bag will do wonders to ripen them quickly and well. This technique works for all tropical fruits.

BTW, the Thais refer to it as lamut (la-MOOT), and in the Dutch West Indies it is known as "mispel" (MISS-pull; Dutch and Papiamentu) or "messapple" (MESS-ah... read more


On Jul 31, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

There is an exotic fruit nursery/grove not too far from us and they planted several "nisperos" (this is what the sapodilla is called in Cuba, where I grew up)

I love the fruit and can't find it available for sale locally very often as most of the growers seem to ship them off-island.

I love to make nispero ice cream!


On Jul 30, 2004, Kuukama from Kailua, HI wrote:

My sapodilla tree is now about 8 years old and is starting to produce fruit. The outer shell is very hard and doesn't seem to soften. We also have a very aggresive bird called a red-vented bulba that seems to start eating the fruit before it is fully ripe.

I live on the windward side of Oahu, Hawaii near the beach and concur that the tree does well in beach sand soil and salty wind conditions. I've had to brace the tree however, since the root structure doesn't support the tree in windy conditions.


On Mar 6, 2004, i8lufc wrote:

I used to pick these fruits from trees growing in Cyprus when I was a kid, walking to school, they are delicious. I have only ever seen them on sale in the UK once and that was last year. I put one of the stones in a tub and it has now grown to approx 8" high.


On Nov 11, 2003, Thaumaturgist from Rockledge, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

The ancient Maya used to call this Zapotle. Native to the tropical forests of the Yucatán Peninsula, Belize (British Honduras) and northern Guatemala, now it has the following most common names, at the least, in various parts of the world:

sapodilla plum

Mayan writings talks about "millions" of Zapotle trees at the peak of the Mayan civilization. Even today, Sapodilla is the most abundant tree in the jungles of Gran Petén, at the heart of the Mayan world.

Although Manilkara zapota is the accepted scientific name for this fruit from the Sapotaceae family, Achras zapota is also used in some countries.

C... read more


On Oct 30, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

The fruits are good, and there are many cultivated and natural Sapodilla trees in Rio de Janeiro, but I don´t see them for sale very often.

I like to eat this fruit like Kiwi, leaving the skin off. It´s very sweet and has a different texture. If the fruit is not completely ripe, you will notice the sticky sap as you chew on it, though it´s not toxic. The seeds are black, big, shiny and hard.


On Jun 8, 2003, teddyJ from Rockhampton,
Australia wrote:

Will take mild frost down to -2C for short periods. Brown furry skinned sweet fruit (reminiscent of caramel) ripen in late winter/early spring. Some fruit from seedling trees are rainy. Sap is original 'Chicle' chewing gum.