Manilkara zapota

sapodilla

Introduction

Origin: Mexico and Central America1
Introduction to Florida: 1883 (agriculture)2

The huge sapodilla tree provides much shade, and is prized by some, but it is a non-native on the Florida EPPC List #1. It is occasionally found in hammocks and disturbed sites of Lee and Palm Beach Counties (Wunderlin, 2003). It is native to Central America.

sapodillaView the herbarium specimen image from the University of Florida Herbarium Digital Imaging Projects.

Description

Appearance

Evergreen tree to about 20 m (66 ft) high with stout trunk. Branchlets brownish-hairy.

Leaves

Alternate and often crowded at end of branchlets; young leaves are downy and brownish beneath.

Flowers

White on long stalks from leaf axils, tubular; tube up to 5 mm (0.2 in) long, 6-lobed.

Fruit

Brown with rough skin, up to 8 cm (3 in) across; brownish, mealy pulp; containing hard black seeds.

Distribution

SW, SE

Text from Invasive and Non-Native Plants You Should Know, Recognition Cards, by A. Richard and V. Ramey, 2007. UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Publ. No. SP 431.

Impacts

Ecological threat

FLEPPC Category I – Invasive exotics that are altering native plant communities by displacing native species, changing community structures or ecological functions, or hybridizing with natives.