Skip to main content

Tropical Fruit—Canistel

Tropical Fruit at a Glance—Canistel
by Jeff Wasielewski, Laura Vasquez and Jonathan H. Crane

Common name: Canistel

Botanical name: Pouteria campechiana

Family: Sapotaceae

Some good varieties: Fairchild #1, Oro, Trompo, Bruce

About the fruit: The fruit is bright yellow orange on the outside and the inside. The mature and ripe pulp looks similar to a cooked egg yolk giving the fruit the nickname, the egg fruit. Pick fruit when peel is yellow-orange and let fully ripen (quite soft) prior to consumption. When ripe the pulp should be soft and creamy.

Season: Main season is August through October.

Why you should consider it: The pulp is excellent for smoothies and milk shakes. The fruit’s pulp keeps its consistency and color during baking, so it makes an excellent ingredient for many recipes.

Be aware: The tree has a fair amount of latex, so it may gum up your saw or loppers. This species is typically a heavy producer, so it may have more fruit than you can handle.

Close up of canistel

It’s easy to see why they are called the egg fruit. Photo credits: Ian Maguire UF/IFAS

Pruning: The canistel takes very well to pruning and can be kept at ten feet through annual selective pruning. Remove strong verticals and encourage lateral growth.

Planting: Make sure not to plant too deep. Dig the hole bigger than the container but refill the hole with the native soil so the plant’s first flare root is at or just above ground level. Protect the tree from mechanical damage (string trimmers and mowers).

Fertilizer: Use an 8-3-9 or something similar two to three times during the rainy season (May to October). Drench with chelated iron (EDDHA) and use a micro-element foliar spray two to three times from May to October.

For more information see: Canistel growing in the Florida home landscape.