How Casimiroa is grown

How Casimiroa is grown

Casimiroa or White Sapote (Casimiroa edulis La Llave) is a tropical and semi-tropical plant native to eastern Mexico and Costa Rica.
This plant is locally called Zapote blanco, (White Sapote) but the term “sapote” (from the Nahuatl “tzapotl”) is only generic, in the sense that it describes, with different adjectives, many different fruits that have the characteristic of being sweet and juicy .
The white sapote, outside the Central American area, is regularly cultivated only in south-eastern Australia.
It is a tree with a majestic bearing that grows rapidly and has no regular shape, often defined by the winds, even if it does not like too hot currents that injure the leaves and cause the fruits to fall prematurely.
The white sapote, to be cultivated, needs well-drained soils with a pH between 5 and 7.
The plant has no particular soil requirements, it resists to -6 ° C, especially if in arid soil. Abrupt frosts can induce leaf fall without serious problems.
The plant tolerates drought, but the quality of the fruit improves with regular and thorough irrigation.
The small white, odorless flowers attract insects, especially honey bees, and the fully ripe fruits are green to yellow in color.

This plant, due to its characteristics, can be cultivated in Italy and in the Mediterranean along the coasts.
Already in past times the Franciscan friars managed to sporadically reproduce the cultivation in warm areas of the Mediterranean such as Morocco, Spain, Turkey, and today it can also be found in Israel.
In general, the white sapote can grow wherever lemons and avocados are found and therefore along the milder areas of the Mediterranean climate and especially in the coastal air.
The probable failure, to date, of the cultivation of Casimiroa edulis in the Mediterranean is perhaps linked to the difficulty of harvesting the fruits from such a tall plant, which requires specific equipment and personnel specialized in this type of harvest.
It is possible to provide for this problem, as a rule, by pruning the plant, when young, to one meter in height in order to induce a shape already branched from the base, and widened, to limit the development in height.
Furthermore, some varieties of this plant have been selected that have a reduced pollinating capacity, while others have a great abundance of it, ignoring this fact some growers have reported a difficult fruiting for isolated specimens.
Finally, it should be remembered that Casimiroa edulis is a fast growing plant with weak wood.

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