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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 4/2/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 4/2/2013)
Species Manilkara zapota (L.) van Royan
PlaceOfPublication Blumea 7: 410, 1953.
Synonym Achras zapota L., Sp. PI. 1190, 1753.
Description Tree to 40 m. Leaves clustered toward the branch tips; petioles 0.8-3 cm long; blades elliptic or oblong-elliptic to somewhat obovate or oblanceolate, 4-15 cm long, 1.5-6 cm broad, subconcolorous, glabrate at maturity, the reticulation usually evident below. Flowers solitary in the leaf-axils; pedicels 1.2-2.5 cm long, rufous-tomentulose (some of the pubescence deciduous with age); sepals 6-10 mm long, ovate or occasionally oblong, tomentulose, the outer often losing some
Habit Tree
Reference Moore & Stearn, Taxon 16: 382-395, 1967.
Description (rarely all) their pubescence with age; corolla 6-11 mm long, the tube usually comprising 1/2-%3 the total length, the lobes oblong to ovate, 1.5-3 mm broad, entire or erose or dentate at the apex, lacking dorsal appendages; staminodes petaloid, rather narrowly ovate-lanceolate, 3-4.5 mm long, erose; stamens 2/3-3/4 as long as the staminodes; ovary densely sericeous, the style 4.5-8 mm long, glabrous except at the base, the apex often irregularly toothed or lobed. Fruit brown, mealy- roughened, ellipsoid or ovoid or subglobose, to 10 cm in diam; seeds brown, com- pressed, 16-24 mm long, the linear scar extending from near the base to beyond the middle.
Distribution Mexico (as far north as San Luis Potosi and Nayarit) to northern South America and from southern Florida through the West Indies; probably native only from Mexico to Costa Rica.
Specimen CANAL ZONE: Balboa, Standley 27121 (US), 30860 (US).
Note The latex of the sapodilla or chicle-tree is the commercial source of'the gum base of the chewing gum industry. It contains 20-25% of the gutta-percha-like gum and is obtained by tapping the trunk by a series of connected, half-encircl- ing, zig-zag gashes. To prevent death of the trees, the) are tapped only once every two or three years. The United States is the leading consumer of chicle, the bulk being imported from British Honduras. The pear-shaped fruit is esteemed by people of tropical America and is eaten uncooked.
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