CHRYSOPHYLLUM CAINITO L. - STAR APPLE.
Abiaba, achras caimito, aguay, cainito, estrella, golden leaf tree, pomme de lait, star apple, sterappel.
Sapotaceae (Sapote Family).
Star apple is a beautiful tropical tree, growing rapidly up to 75 feet or more in height.
It has round, purple skinned fruit, which is often green around the calyx, with a star pattern in the pulp.
The skin and rind are not edible.
Sometimes there is a greenish - white variety of the fruit. The reverse side of the oval leaves shines like a golden color seen from a distance; that's why it is also called golden leaf tree.
The tiny flowers are purplish white and have a sweet fragrant smell.
Cainito is hermaphroditic (self fertile).
In Suriname the golden leaf tree bears fruit year around.
The fruits are delicious as a fresh dessert fruit; the flattened seeds are light - brown and hard.
Golden leaf tree starts bearing fruit in 7 (seven) years.
Star apple seeds are used in Venezuela as a diuretic and febrifuge.
In Cuba, a decoction of the leaves is used as a cancer remedy, while a decoction of the bark is used as an antitussive (cough suppressant).
Other uses of the fruit: as a treatment for diabetes.
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USDA zone 9 - 11.
Seeds and budding.
Due to recalcitrant nature of the seeds, they have a short viable life, can not be dried well and can not withstand low temperatures.
Full sun; well drained, rich clay -, loam - or sandy soil.
Soils: highly alkaline up to PH 7.5.
Star apple is a tropical species but can be grown in South Florida.
Temperatures below 28 degrees F. will serious injure the mature plant, while young trees exposed to 31 degrees F. will be killed.
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