Sapodilla is native to Mexico and Central America. In its native distribution it reaches a height of 120 feet, with a trunk 3 feet in diameter. The bark secretes a white latex, called chicle, which in used to make chewing gum. The leaves are up to 4.5 inches long, with a conspicuous central vein and many very fine lateral veins. Flowers are about three-eighths of an inch long and appear in groups near the bases of the leaves. Fruits are up to 4 inches wide, the pulp is soft, juicy, and sweet. It flowers and produces fruits during most of the year. The generic name derives from the native name for India's Malabar Province. The species name derives from the term used by the Aztecs to refer to sweet, soft fruits.

The photographed tree is one of three specimens planted north of the new Agricultural Sciences greenhouses. There’s a young tree at the Research and Development Center.

Manilkara zapota (Sapotaceae)