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Star Apple, Caimito
Scientific Name: Chrysophyllum cainito L.
Family: Sapotaceae
Star Apple, Caimito (Chrysophyllum  cainito) Frost Tolerance: Tender in Phoenix, foliage damaged at 30 F (-1 C), serious damage at 26 F (-3 C)

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Origin: Central America

Growth Habits: Evergreen tree, up to 50 feet tall (15 m)

Watering Needs: Regular water, good drainage

Propagation: Seeds

The Star Apple tree, a native of Central America, is an evergreen that reaches a height of 50 feet or more. The oblong-lanceolate leaves are 2 inches wide and up to 7 inches in length, dark green and smooth on the upper surface and silky golden brown on the under surface. This color combination makes the tree an unusually striking ornamental plant.
A closely related species, the Satin-leaf Fruit (Chrysophyllum oliviforme Lam.), is sometimes grown for its fruit and as an ornamental. The small fruit is oblong in outline and has an objectionable rubberv skin. The purplish pulp, however, has a good flavor and can be used to make an excellent jelly.

Cultural Practices:
It is not tolerant of waterlogged conditions and should be grown on well-drained soils.

Blooming Habits:
The purplish-white flowers are small and inconspicuous.

Fruiting Habits:
The globose fruits range up to 4 inches in diameter and are green or purplish. The fruits do not normally drop and, therefore, must be picked and allowed to ripen off the tree.
The common name of this fruit is derived from the starlike appearance of the core when the fruit is cut in cross section. The tough skin surrounds a white, sweet, edible pulp in which are imbedded the small, hard, brown, glossy seeds. The pulp is esteemed as a fresh dessert fruit, but care should be taken to remove the skin, which contains an unpleasant-tasting latex. The pulp sometimes is used in making preserves.

The star apple is usuallv propagated by seeds, although budding of better selections probably would be satisfactory.

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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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