SCIENTIFIC NAME: Chrysophyllum cainito
FAMILY: Sapotaceae

The first major fruiting of Star Apple (Chrysophyllum cainito) has occurred with some people's trees having up to 100 fruit in different stages of maturity and flowers still being set.

Most of the trees I've seen that have fruit are seedlings about 3 to 4 years old, with a few 'Haitian' and 'Grimal' cultivars, and a few seedling 'Green' Star Apples also cropping heavily.

The shiny purple-skinned, round fruit about 8cm in diameter, is easily cut around its circumference and parted to reveal a star-shaped centre of translucent pulp. The remainder of the fruit, though more fibrous, was edible to within ½cm of the skin.

The delicious sweet fruit has flavours reminiscent of grape and melon, however, fruit should be well-coloured and mature, as immature fruit have an objectionable sticky latex, especially near the skin.

The Star Apple tree is very attractive as an ornamental alone. A medium to large evergreen tree, its weeping form and glossy, velvet, green leaves, with a gold underside, gives the tree its ability to change from green to gold with a small wind. Unfortunately, seedling trees can have flower pollination problems, which leads to shy and even non-bearing trees, an aspect of sapotaceous fruits.

Either as a commercial or back yard tree, the Star Apple shows plenty of merit, and will easily gain acceptance in the market place. produce.


DATE: September 1982

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