Lucuma campechiana HBK.
Lucuma heyderi Standl.
Lucuma nervosa A.DC.
Lucuma rivicola Gaertn.
Lucuma salicifolia Kunth
Richardella salicifolia Pierre
Sideroxylon campestre T.S.Brandeg.
Vitellaria campechiana Engl.
Vitellaria salicifolia Engl.
Common Name: Canistel
Canistel is an evergreen tree with a slender or spreading crown; tt often grows no more than 8 metres tall, but in favourable conditions can reach 15 - 30 metres. The straight bole can be more than 100cm in diameter[
A popular fruit in the tropics and subtropics, the tree also provides a useful timber. It is often cultivated in tropical and warm subtropical regions, especially in S. America, both for its edible fruit and as an ornamental[
Central America - Panama, north to Mexico.
Moist or wet mixed forest, sometimes in pine forests, often on limestone, at elevations that are mostly below 1,400 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A plant that can succeed in the lowland moist tropics or subtropics, growing at elevations up to 1,400 metres[
]. In its native range it experiences an average annual temperature of 26°c, with a maximum 36.7°c and a minimum of 14.9°c[
]. Plants can tolerate occasional, short-lived frosts[
]. Average annual precipitation is approximately 1,288mm, ranging between 900 - 1,800mm[
]. It requires no more than moderate precipitation and does well in regions with a long dry season[
]. It is very susceptible to drought according to another report[
]. It grows well in maritime areas, where it shows good wind resistance[
Tolerant of a wide range of soil types, including sandy and heavy clay soils[
]. Requires a very well-drained soil[
]. It makes the best vegetative growth in deep, fertile, well-drained soils, but is said to be more fruitful on shallow soils[
]. It can be cultivated on soil considered too thin and poor for most other fruit trees[
]. Tolerates a pH in the range 5 - 7[
This species has become invasive in Florida[
Seedling trees can commence fruiting when 5 - 7 years old, grafted trees can fruit when 3 - 4 years old[
The mature but still firm fruits should be clipped to avoid tearing the skin. When left to ripen on the tree, the fruits split at the stem end and fall[
Some trees can produce fruit more or less continuously throughout the year[
There are some named varieties[
The fruit is excellent when eaten raw, it can also be used in cakes, pies, ice creams, puddings etc[
]. It has a yellow to orange pulp that is soft and mealy in texture with a very rich, sweet flavour that is somewhat reminiscent of a baked sweet potato[
]. The fruit somewhat resembles the yolk of a hard-boiled egg[
]. It is not highly regarded by many people because it is not crispy and juicy like so many other fruits[
]. The fruit is extremely variable in form and size, ranging from almost round to oval or spindle shaped[
]. It ranges in size from 7 - 12cm long and 5 - 7.5cm wide, though there is a shrubby form (var palmeri) where the fruits are only 2.5cm long[
A decoction of the astringent bark is taken as a febrifuge and is applied on skin eruptions[
A preparation of the seeds has been employed as a remedy for ulcers[
The tree produces an abundant latex[
]. It is extracted from the tree and has been used to adulterate chicle[
The fine-grained, compact, strong, moderate to very heavy and hard timber is valued especially for planks and rafters in construction. The heartwood is greyish-brown to reddish-brown and blends into the sapwood, which is somewhat lighter in colour. The darker the colour, the more resistant to decay[
Seed - remove it from its husk before sowing[
]. The seeds lose viability quickly and should be germinated within a few days after removal from the fruit[
]. Seedlings grow rapidly and may produce fruit in 3-4 years[
Air-layering may be possible[
Canistel seeds lose viability quickly and should be planted within a few days after removal from the fruit. If decorticated, seeds germinate within 2 weeks; otherwise there may be a delay of 3 - 5 months before they sprout. The seedlings grow rapidly and begin to bear in 3 - 6 years. There is considerable variation in yield and in size and quality of fruits. Vegetative propagation is preferred in order to hasten bearing and to reproduce the best selections. Side-veneer grafting, cleft grafting, patch budding and air-layering are usually successful. Cuttings take a long time to root