Mamey sapote is a fruit tree in the "Sapotaceae" family and member of the genus Pouteria. The mamey sapote tree belongs to the Sapotaceae (mapepire, chicle) family and is an evergreen that can grow up to 19.7 feet (6 meters) tall. It flowers from spring to summer and produces fruit from autumn to winter. The single-seeded, oblong fruit grows inside a smooth, green skin that turns as red as wine as the fruit ripens. Some varieties have light yellow or pink flesh, but all have a creamy consistency and a sweet flavor likened to coconut custard.
A large tree, up to 18.3 m tall, with a very thick trunk and short branches bearing spirally arranged leaves. The bark is greyish brown, smooth or fissured on old trees; young shoots are velvety at first but later become glabrous. Leaves alternate, simple, entire, broadly elliptic to obovate, 8.9-17.8 cm long, glabrous above and tomentose below; petiole 1-4 cm long. Flowers are bisexual or unisexual, in racemes or panicles, showy but short-lived; calyx lobes 4-7, unequal, the upper 3 larger, 3-6 mm long, glabrous, the lower with short-clawed petals 4-7 mm long. Petals usually absent; stamens many (40), the filaments 0.5-1 cm long; anthers shortly 2-lobed at the base and dehiscing by pores. Ovary ovoid, 1-3-celled, with 2 ovules per cell. Fruit a fleshy berry, 3-9 cm long and 3-6 cm in diameter; ripe fruit is pink or yellowish red and very fragrant; seeds ovoid to reniform, 4.2-7.5 cm by 2.8-4 cm.
The mamey sapote tree is native to southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America. It was introduced into the Philippines in the 1880s and has become widely naturalized there, especially along river banks in lowlands. It also occurs as an escape around abandoned houses and gardens throughout tropical Asia, Australia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Mamey sapote trees are cultivated throughout tropical America. They grow easily in deep, moist soils of lowland forests but also thrive in many other kinds of tropical regions. The tree has escaped from cultivation in Hawaii and south Florida and has become a weed along stream banks and roadways (and sometimes overtopping other vegetation).