What Is A Mamey Tree?
Mamey trees are native to China. They have been cultivated since ancient times. There are many varieties of mamie apple fruit. Some of them are small, some large and some very big! One thing that all these different types of apples have in common is their shape. Most varieties produce fruits with a round or oval shape. These shapes are called “mamey” or “ma-mee”.
The name mamey apple fruit comes from the Chinese word ma (apple) and mei (tree). Ma means round and mei means tall.
When it comes to the shape of the fruit, they are all considered to be “tall.” That’s why they’re often referred to as mama apple trees.
The term “ma-mee” is also used to refer to other kinds of apple fruits. For example, the fruit of the pomelo tree is called a mami apple.
Another type of apple fruit that’s sometimes referred to as a mami apple is the cherry tree’s fruit. Cherry trees don’t produce apples at all; instead they produce cherries which are similar in appearance but smaller than an average mamey apple. The mamey apple is a little bigger than the average cherry.
The mamey apple tree is about 15 to 20 feet in height and width. It does best in warm, subtropical climates but can survive in zones nine through 11.
The tree grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10B through 11. Although some varieties are self-pollinating, cross-pollination generally results in better crops. The tree grows quickly and bears fruit in three to four years. They can reach a height of 15 to 20 feet and a width of 10 to 15 feet.
The mamey apple tree produces round, red or orange-yellow fruits weighing up to two pounds. The flesh is white, buttery and slightly granular.
The flavor is sweet initially but turns slightly sour as it matures. Some people like the sourness, while others don’t. In some varieties, the skin color does not change even when the fruit ripens. These fruits tend to have a bland taste and soft texture. They are mainly grown for their looks and decorative value rather than edibility.
Common varieties of mamey apple trees include:
* Mamey sapote – Large and oval shaped with a rough brown shell that has green spots. The flesh is white and granular like cottage cheese.
It has a sweet coconut flavor.
* Maranon – Large and oval shaped with a brown, sometimes with green spots, rough shell. The flesh is white and granular with a sweet flavor similar to that of a pumpkin.
* Variegated – Large and oval shaped with a rough greenish-brown shell. The flesh is white and granular, but less so than the maranon.
It has a sweet flavor similar to pineapple.
When attempting to grow mamey apple trees, remember they like warm and subtropical areas. They do best in sandy, well-drained soil rich in organic matter.
The trees need full sun but can survive in part shade. They are drought tolerant when established but benefits from 1 inch of water per week.
You can get your mamey apple trees from online nurseries and garden centers or you can attempt to grow them from seed. When growing from seed, stratification is not necessary.
Place the seeds in a container and moisten them. Place the container in a spot that stays around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Check on the container every two to three days to make sure the seeds do not dry out. Germination should occur within six to 10 weeks.
When the seedlings are 2 to 3 inches tall, transplant them into 6-inch pots or into your garden. Transplant them 2 to 3 feet apart.
Mamey apples are not often found in U.S.
supermarkets, but they are becoming more popular and more easily available. They can be found in specialty produce markets in Central American sections. A single fruit can cost as much as $5. The good news is, mamey apples can be stored up to four weeks when stored properly. You can keep them on the countertop if you prefer them ripened or refrigerate them if you prefer them firm.
Mamey apples can be eaten raw or cooked. They make delicious desserts when cooked with other fruits such as bananas, papayas and pineapples.
They can be poached or baked in pies and cakes. They are often used in fruit salads or eaten alone. They can be used to make jam, alcoholic beverages and sauces. Mamey apples contain vitamins A and C, as well as iron, fiber and potassium.
Mamey apple trees are beautiful additions to tropical gardens.
The mamey apple tree is also known as the “earth apple” or “mammy-apple.” The name “mamey” most likely comes from the word “mamey” which means “mother” in a Caribbean language.
The mamey apple tree has been around for thousands of years. It is native to Central America and southern Mexico.
It has been found in Mayan ruins. It is believed to have been cultivated by the Aztecs and spread throughout South America by Spanish Conquistadors. The fruit was brought to the United States in 1833 when it was given to a botanist working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture by Joel Poinsett, the United States’ first ambassador to Mexico.
The mamey apple tree is a member of the Sapodilla family. It gets its name from the fact that its fruits look like a small, green pumpkins.
It can grow to be 25 to 30 feet tall with a spread of 15 to 20 feet wide. It has dark green, oval leaves that are 8 to 12 inches long and 5 to 7 inches wide. The leaves have an extremely smooth texture and feel almost rubbery to the touch. The tree flowers in spring and summer and fruits in the early fall months. The mamey apple fruit grows in clusters on the branches and can weigh up to 2 pounds each. They start out green and ripen to a dark yellow or orange. The inside is creamy white and tastes similar to a sweet potato or a combination of a sweet potato and a dry banana. The fruit has a scaly exterior and contains one large seed. The leaves, flowers and roots are all poisonous.
The mamey apple tree grows best in deep, well-drained soil that is rich with organic matter. It tolerates shade, but grows best with full sun exposure.
It is a relatively drought tolerant once it is established, but during the first year or two, plenty of water should be provided until the plant is fully established. It can be grown in zones 9 through 11.
Growing mamey apple trees from seeds can take up to five years before they bear fruit, so you might want to look into buying an established plant instead. Mamey apple trees can be purchased online through specialty fruit growers.
A 5-gallon container sized plant can be purchased for around $40. Before you invest in a mamey apple tree, you should check with the Department of Agriculture in your state to make sure it isn’t considered invasive.
Mamey apples can be eaten fresh, but they can also be made into jams, jellies, juices, wines, teas and desserts. They can be preserved by drying or by canning.
The mamey apple fruit has a dry, mealy texture and is extremely low in acid. It has been described as tasting similar to a sweet potato mixed with a dry banana.
Some people say it tastes like pumpkin pie. It has a lot of food value for such a small fruit. It contains vitamins A and C, as well as lots of potassium and a bit of iron. It can be used to make wine, jam, tea and more.
These plants can grow up to 25 feet tall so be sure you have the room before you plant one. They also have large leaves so don’t plant them under power lines.
The roots can be invasive so don’t plant them near your garden. You can harvest mamey apples when they are bright yellow or orange. They can be eaten raw or cooked.
The scientific name for mamey apple is Pouteria mammosa and it is also known as egg fruit, bonpland, mamoncillo and butter fruit. It originally came from Central America and South America and the Aztecs called it Huitz-tzapotl.
There are several varieties including Apple, Beber, Costa Rica and Mayan.
The mamey apple tree can grow up to 30 feet tall with a 15 to 20 foot spread. It has smooth grey bark and large palmate leaves.
The flowers are white, tube shaped and have five petals. The fruit starts out green and ripens to yellow or orange. They are ovoid in shape and contain a single large seed. Mamey is one of the all-time great “exotic” fruits and has a delicious flavor similar to a combination of sweet potato and pineapple.
The mamey apple (scientific name: Pouteria sapota) is a small, round fruit that grows on a evergreen tree native to Central America. It looks like a cross between an olive and an orange, with a thin green skin that turns yellow, orange and eventually dark brown as it ripens.
The inside has a texture similar to a pear and the flavor is sweet with hints of citrus and honey.
The mamey apple is in the same family as the sapodilla (chikoo) and starts out green like a pear but ripens to yellow or orange. It’s oblong like an olive and has a single, large seed.
The skin is thin, smooth and starts out green then turns yellow, orange and ultimately almost brown. The inside flesh is white, dry and mealy with a flavor similar to a sweet potato mixed with a dried pear.
The mamey apple is one of the all-time great “exotic” fruits and has a delicious flavor similar to a combination of sweet potato and pineapple. Mamey trees can reach up to 30 feet tall with a spread of about 20 feet so they need plenty of space.
The leaves are large (10-18 inches long) and smooth with a palmate shape. The flowers are white and borne in clusters. The fruit starts out green like a pear but ripens to yellow or orange. They are ovoid in shape and contain a single, large seed.
Mamey trees are fairly hardy (to 20 degrees F.) but they don’t grow well in extreme heat or cold so they are limited to tropical and subtropical areas.
They grow best in well-drained, fertile soil that is rich in organic matter. They need lots of water when they are young but only moderate water as they mature. They are not suitable for growing in containers.
Mamey trees are fairly disease resistant and insect resistant but can be susceptible to certain fungal infections so they do best in humid, subtropical or tropical areas.
NOTE: When ripe, the skin of the mamey apple turns brown. If it turns dark purple it is overripe and if it turns green it is underripe.
The mamey apple is not only delicious out of hand but it can also be made into jams, jellies, preserves, pies, ice cream, sherbet, cocktails and other dishes. In the Caribbean they are used to make wine.
The mamey apple can be purchased from some nurseries that specialize in tropical fruit trees or it can be purchased online. Plants are available in the spring and trees are available in the summer and fall.
NOTE: There is also a Central American tree called the sapodilla (Manilkara zapota) that is often misidentified as a mamey apple. It is also edible but has a very different flavor so you don’t want to get them confused.
Thanks to its delicious taste and many health benefits, the mamey apple is definitely a superfood you’ll want to try. It is popular in Central America and the Caribbean and can also be grown in home gardens with the right climate.
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Sources & references used in this article:
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