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Nature's Collage

Nature's Collage
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-12-29
Categories: Trees
Camera: Canon Powershot SX110IS
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Travelogue: Guatemala & Belize
Theme(s): RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 5 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-01-16 11:02
Viewed: 6316
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
While walking around in Tikal National Park, we came across this tableau, which I thought was very interesting, in an educational kind of way. Not only was it arranged by Nature herself, with the help of some birds who had opened and partially eaten the fruits in the first place, but it showed the fruit of the sapodilla tree at different stages of development (small green fruits to ripe brown), both from the outside and the inside of the fruit, and two open fruits at different stages of maturity.

The next day we were able to buy a ripe sapodilla fruit at the market and we ate it. It was deliciously sweet. In fact I remember having eaten such a fruit as a child, while growing up in Southeast Asia.

To see the chicle from the fruit, please see the picture in my workshop.

Sapodilla Tree (Chico Zapote)
Manilkara zapota
Family: Sapotaceae

The tropical forests of Guatemala contain many useful plants, including the sapodilla tree, from which a sticky substance is tapped, that formed the original base of chewing gum before synthetics were introduced. Chicle was a major export of the PetÚn jungle during the first half of the 20th century. A few countries, mainly Japan, still import chicle, which, in turn, provides a source of income for those chicleros living in or near the forest. Like the rubber tree, which also grows wild in the PetÚn, the sapodilla must be tapped carefully to insure that it will remain alive to provide chicle over a period of many years. The Sapodilla Tree is a big one, sometimes 40 mts. high, often its trunk is very thick, and the bark is brown with gray spots, moderately smooth and deeply fissured. This tree lives at 0 to 1200 meters above sea level in dry subtropical forests, humid subtropical forests and very humid subtropical forest. Its edible fruit, named zapote, is delicious. The Maya called it Sak-ya.


marianas, Jamesp, loot has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

What a great capture this wonderful tree!
I never see one like that!

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2010-01-16 23:08]

Hi Manyee

As you say an excellent natural presentation - it reminds me of those wonderful C19th botanical engravings.


  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2010-02-05 21:04]

Hi ManYee

I notice we were neighbours yesterday, but I first wanted to come back to this TrekNature
1st. I searched the gallery and couldn't find any previous postings of this species so I had
to send it straight to my theme for "RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN". This is a
rather interesting shot of the fruit from the Sapodilla Tree, showing it in its various stages
as you mentioned in the notes. It almost seem like a botanists type of specimen collection
and you did a fine piece of work to present this species to the site. Although you did post
a workshop image showing the "chicle" from the fruit, it perhaps would have added even
more value if you could show us the complete tree. Anyway, it has nothing to do with the
posting as such, it is just a thought or a suggestion.

Good work and TFS.
Take care and have a great weekend MF.

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