Mamey Sapote 'Key West' (Pouteria sapota)
Mature Grafted Fruit Tree
The Mamey Sapote is a large evergreen tropical tree that produces a large fruit that is both sweet and almond-like in flavor. Beloved in the Caribbean and throughout the tropical world, the Mamey Sapote fruit tastes like a delicious combination of sweet potato and pumpkin with undertones of almond, chocolate, honey, and vanilla. On the outside, Mamey Sapote fruit is brown and fuzzy, but on the inside the deep golden red-orange pulp is smooth and slightly granular. Mamey's rich flavor has made it popular as a dessert fruit. Fruit can be frozen and made into thick smoothies, milkshakes or ice cream.
The Mamey tree is a close relative of Canistel has a thick central trunk and a full open canopy lush with long dark green leaves. Small white flowers form abundantly in clusters towards the end of the stems. Sapote fruit is slightly avocado shaped and vary in size from 3 to 8 inches long and 1 to 6 pounds. Mamey sapote trees will fruit prolifically when mature, producing 200 to 500 fruits in a season!
This superior and very rare Mamey Sapote cultivar has a history as rich and unique as it's coveted flavor. The Key West Mamey (aka the Pantin Mamey) was discovered growing near a fire station in Key West, Florida. "The seeds of this tree were believed to come from Cuba by way of 19th century dissidents who left the island at that time. The tree was originally called the Key West Mamey Sapote until it was selected and propagated by Eugenio Pantin in the early 1950s. The story goes that a Cuban émegré named Josefina Jimenez smuggled three Mamey seeds into the US in her brassiere and gave them to Pantin, who grew them as seedling rootstocks, onto which he grafted budwood of the Key West Mamey tree. Pantin then proceeded to plant a small commercial orchard in Miami-Dade County, Florida. After his death in 1963, Eugenio's son, Donald, took over the family business, and nurseryman, Lawrence Zill, who had recognized the potential of Eugenio's prized cultivar, named it the Pantin Mamey Sapote."