The Character of the Gift
Other names: Golden Leaf Tree, Caimito
Botanical name: Crysophyllum cainito (Sapotaceae)
THE NOBLE BEAUTY OF THE RAINFOREST GLOWING IN HER GOLDEN DRESS
The Star Apple is an enchantingly beautiful fruit tree. Growing rapidly, it bears fruit after only seven years. The Star Apple can reach up to 30 m (100 ft) in height and the trunk diameter can be 50 cm (1.6 ft). A fully grown tree can be hundreds of years old. The top of the Star Apple is shaped like an umbrella and the branches are shining in a refined manner. The leaves are charming and the tree almost seems to be wearing a dress made of satin. The leaves are mainly bright green on one side and the other side is amber and silky.
The wood is fine with a reddish-purple or maroon color. Although Star Apple wood isnít especially pursued, itís occasionally used to manufacture luxury furniture. Being an original Tropical American tree, Star Apple is in the same tree family as another charming fruit tree, Mamey.
THE CREAMY FLOWERS AND THE PURPLE FRUITS
Star Apple blooms with cream-colored flowers and bears fruit from July to March. The round or slightly oval fruits are 4-7 cm (1.5-2.5 inch) in length. Raw fruits are green and change into dark purple when ripe. Fresh fruits are sweet and delicious and are used to prepare tasty jam and juice.
THE CURING TREE AS A SOURCE OF STRENGTH
In addition to having tasty healthy fruits, Star Apple has some helpful medicinal uses. The beautiful leaves and bark contain some secrets of natureís pharmacy. The medicinal tea made out of the leaves is believed to cure diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. As well as traditional medicine the decoction made from the leaves is believed to prevent cancer. The bark decoction is used to alleviate coughs and is a tonic and stimulant drink if taken in proper doses and prepared correctly.