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Chrysophyllum cainito


Native to:



Panama. Naturalized in the Central American lowlands.

Tropical woods at medium and low elevations. Up to 1560 meters above sea level. 18 meter tall tree.

Chrysophyllum cainito

Ecological value:

Adapts to almost all types of soil and in a range of climates. Medium growth rate. Drought tolerant when established. Fruit consumed by mammals such as the Kinkajau.

Material uses:

The reddish-brown wood is hard but not durable. Suitable for construction purposes, wood veneers and cabinetry. The mature branches are used as a medium to grow orchids. Good quality paper from pulp. Tannins from bark. Good fuel wood.

Edible uses:

Fruit eaten raw or as preserves. Seed kernel made into nougat. Fruit is popular: Most fruit from this genus are edible and is round and often purple skinned with a star pattern in the pulp.

Medicinal use:

Leaf infusions used to treat diabetes and articular rheumatism. The fruit also has antioxidant properties.

Other details:

The tree is hermaphroditic (self-fertile), and produces a strong scent. Also cultivated as ornamental. Blue green leaves make it an attractive ornamental. Chrysophyllum cainito belongs to a genus of 54 species found across the tropics.


Maria Camila Misle/Christine Facella


“Chrysophyllum Cainito L. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 27, 2023.
“Chrysophyllum Cainito - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 6, 2023.
“Chrysophyllum in Flora of North America @” n.d. Accessed November 27, 2023.
Image sources: Hans B and Forest & Kim Starr.

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