george josef kamel, s.j. drawing of zapote
Zapote. The town of Zapote in Cavite Province is named after a tree introduced from Mexico during colonial times. There are two varieties of zapote or sapote: sapote-negro [Diospyros ebenaster Retz. (black zapote)] and sapote [Pouteria sapota (See Madulid, p. 171 and p. 323)]. As the genus names indicate the two trees are not related. Sapote-negro is related to the persimmon in the family Ebenaceae.
While the two varieties of sapote are planted as ornamentals and as shade tree, the fruit is not very popular in the Philippines. Many have heard of the fruit and know that it is edible but since it is not readily available in the market, hardly anyone I know has seen the fruit much less eaten it. Except for Doc Madulid of the National Museum, whose book A pictorial cyclopedia of Philippine ornamental plants shows a shiny yellow green fruit of the sapote hanging from a branch with leathery, shiny leaves.