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A moderate to large tree in the Sapotaceae, originally native perhaps to the Caribbean but now widely naturalized in Central America and widely cultivated in South America and elsewhere. Its elliptic, leathery leaves are deep glossy green above and densely covered with rich golden-brown felt-like hairs below. The round fruit can reach about 10 cm in diameter and has a smooth, reddish or blackish purple or sometimes greenish skin. The delicious, soft, juicy sweet, milky pulp has a few small seeds embedded in a radiating pattern that may give the appearance of a star if the fruit is cut crosswise. The fruits keep well in a fridge for up to 3 weeks. The seeds have a good viability and germinate readily and young trees can start bearing fruit after only five years. It is best suited to cultivation in the tropics as it is relatively tender to frost.