Star-apple, or golden-leaf tree, is native to the Greater Antilles but is planted throughout the tropics for ornament and for its delicious fruit. It  reaches a height of 100 feet, with a trunk 3 feet in diameter. The leaves are up to 6 inches long, with the upperside smooth and lustrous green, and the underside covered with fine hairs that give it a golden or copper appearance. Flowers are about a quarter of an inch long and appear in compact groups near the bases of the leaves. The fruit is up to 4 inches in diameter and is green or deep purple according on the variety. The pulp is jelly-like and very sweet. It flowers during summer and autumn, and the fruits ripen from autumn to spring. The generic name means golden leaf, in reference to the color of the underside of the leaf. The species name derives from the taíno name for the tree and the fruit.

The photographed tree is near the western end of the Research and Development Center. There are other trees north of the supplies warehouse at the Buildings and Grounds Department, and south of the chancellor’s house.

Chrysophyllum cainito (Sapotaceae)