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Manilkara zapota

Family Name: Sapotaceae
Synonyms: Sapota zapotilla, Achras zapota
Common Name: Chiku, Sapodilla, Sauh Menila, Naseberry, Nispero, Chicle, Chicle Gum, Ciku, 人心果
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Fruit & Vegetable Coastal Dry Soils / Drought Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Tiered
Maximum Height 18 m


Native Distribution Tropical Americas
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Tree up to 18-30 m tall.
Foliage Glossy leaves are elliptic (7.5-11.3 cm long). They are spirally arranged near the branch tips.
Flowers Pale green flowers are bell-shaped and have 6 stamens (male, pollen-producing part).
Fruits Fruits are round, oval or ellipsoidal. They contain 3-12 hooked seeds.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The fruit is eaten raw or used in desserts.)
[Others]: Young fruits. high tannin content, boiled and decotion drunk to treat diarhhea; Seed paste applied to bite and sting wounds due to poisionous animals; Young leaf shoots washed to remove sap and eaten raw or with rice in Indonesia. Gummy latex used in tropics to fill dental cavities or make figurines; Wood strong and durable, used to make beams and furniture; Gummy latex (chicle) tapped from trunk during rainy season (latex flows better) for making chewing gum and adhesives;

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Dry Soils / Drought, Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Alkaline high pH Soils
Landscape Uses General, Container Planting, Coastal
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden
SGMP Treatment
Usage Hazard - Cons Irritant - Sap, Toxic Upon Ingestion
Usage Hazard - Cons Remarks Sticky sap in immature fruits, broken surfaces of plant; Seed kernel contains saponin and sapotinin -- injestion of more than 6 seeds will cause vomitting and abdominal pain.

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee))
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.