Chiku (sapota) is a tropical fruit. It has an uncanny resemblance to a kiwifruit in skin texture and color, except the chiku is slightly larger and without the hairy feel, but rough. The rounder variety does not look like kiwi fruit except for the color. Chiku sapota is spelt differently in different countries, but retaining the same pronunciation. Other names for chiku are sawo (Indonesia), lamoot (Thailand, Laos and Cambodia), sapota (part of India), sapote, sapodilla, zapote, sapoti, nispero, dilly, naseberry, chicozapote, and many other names. In Malaysia, we called it chiku. Chiku's scientific name is Manilkara zapota.
The chiku is native to Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Sapota was first introduced to the Philippines by the Spaniards. Now the chiku is a common fruit in South East Asia, Pakistan and India.
Manilkara zapota Plant
Manilkara zapota, commonly known as the sapodilla, is a long-lived, evergreen tree native to Central America, southern Mexico and the Caribbean. Chikoo was introduced to the Philippines during Spanish colonization. It is grown in large quantities in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Mexico. Guatemala and other countries are commercially grown for the production of chuckle which is a gum-like substance obtained from latex and is mainly used for the preparation of chewing gum. In India, It has become a very popular fruit crop in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala.
Chikoo Plant Care growth
The sapota tree can grow to a height of 30 meters (100 feet) high. However a grafted Chikoo plant can be controlled to a low height. I have one grafted chiku tree which is less than 10 feet high with controlled pruning. Chiku tree as a replacement for the rambutan tree which did not survive. chiku tree fruits easily throughout the year, although the fruits take a long time to ripen. The sapota flowers are minute and white in color, not attractive at all.