Canistel – Pouteria campechiana
Canistel, Pouteria campechiana, is the most attractive fruit tree of the family Sapotaceae. An evergreen tree that usually reaches no more than 10 meters in height, but it may, in exceptionally favorable situations, reach a height of 25-30 meters and its trunk may attain a diameter of up to 1meter. The evergreen leaves are glossy 10-25 cm long, and 5-8 cm wide. Fragrant, cream-colored, 20mm long, bisexual flowers are borne in small clusters.
The canistel tree does well in a tropical or subtropical climate and it s tolerant of a diversity of soils but a deep, fertile, well-drained soil is best. This tree does not demand special care but some organic matter or a balance fertilizer can be applied during growth periods. Blooming extends from early spring to early summer though some trees flower all year round.
The waxy yellow fruits-ranging from round to oval is ready from about early autumn to early winter. It must be picked mature but still firm. If left on the tree to ripen the fruit most likely will split. Canistel fruit will keep in good condition under refrigeration for several days. It is eaten fresh or baked. Flesh may be used in ice creams, milkshakes or custards and jams.
Canistel Propagation Methods
Plant propagation is mostly by seeds but they lose viability quickly and should be planted within a few days after they have been removed from the fruit. The seedlings grow fast and begin to bear in 3 to 5 years. Cleft grafting, and air-layering are also successful methods of propagation. Mulching is beneficial in the early years. There are very few pests and diseases that attack the Canistel.
canistel, Pouteria campechiana
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