Evergreen, but cold- and drought-deciduous.
Rapid in spurts.
15-50' high and as wide.
Small, greenish-yellow, in clusters.
Depends on climate. May bloom several times a year. Some cultivars bloom
in alternate years.
Years before fruiting:
Grafted, 3-4; seedlings 7-8.
Thin, green skin with white flesh or thin orange-yellow skin with yellow flesh,
variable in shape and size, can resemble an apple, 1-6" diameter, tastes like peach,
pineapple, banana or vanilla custard, especially when soft. The skin is bitter on some
cultivars. Eating the fruit can induce drowsiness.
Months for fruit to ripen:
6-9. Best flavor when tree-ripened, but many often fall
to the ground first, and should be harvested early. Unripe fruit must not be bruised
because the flesh will become blackened and bitter under the bruise.
Fruit ripen after harvest. Some cultivars should be harvested when soft, others
when hard. Remove from tree by cutting the stem with clippers. The stem falls off
the fruit when ripe.
Storage after harvest:
Ripen at room temperature. Store ripe fruit up to 7-10 days
in the refrigerator.
Reddish new growth turning to glossy dark green, 3-7 lance-shaped leaflets
joined at base, dense shade.
No thorns. Branches are somewhat brittle and should not be climbed.
Tap root, invasive side roots spread beyond the drip line.
C. edulis 'Pike' is often used as a rootstock due to its vigorous growth.
Cultivars of Note:
'Lemon Gold' Green skin ripens to pale yellow, yellow flesh,
excellent flavor with hint of lemon, uniform appearance, fruit ripens well when
picked immature, keeps well when ripe, moderate crops, less vigorous tree.
'Redland' Medium sized, sweet, round fruit.
'Suebelle' Yellow skin, sweet flesh with vanilla custard flavor,
variable sized fruit usually small, harvest when soft, 15-20' high tree,
bears nearly all year.
Flowers attract insects. Fruit attracts birds and mammals.
Toxic / Danger:
Seeds are poisonous.
Mexico and Central America.