Genus of the Week
Week of November 16-22
This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the
context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of
all available Web resources for a particular genus.
If you like this page, you should also visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes
, a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.
This week's genus:
Number of Species: At least 10
Achras is a genus of tropical trees. The species A. zapota not only produces the
chiku (an edible fruit also referred to as the Sapodilla plum), it also produces a latex known
as chicle (formerly used to produce chewing gum). Chicle trees are tapped for latex every two
to three years, and may yield as much as 60 quarts per tap. This genus was formerly known as
Sapota, from which the genus name zapota is derived, and is also known as
Manilkara (There is still much disagreement about species names and classifications).
Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Achras species:
- Go to the
NewCrop page on A. zapota, and from there you reach other links to get
information about growing this species as a fruit crop. Brought to you by the folks at Purdue
- Find out what the Sapodilla plum is called in Thailand and see a picture of this fruit by
- The Department of Agriculture in Malaysia has a plethora of information about the Sapodilla
as a fruit crop,
including pest management, handling of the fruit, and ideal growing conditions for the trees.
- See if you can find the drawings of the
fruit and seed of Achras in this black and white image of the Sapotaceae from the
University of Kansas. ( Source: Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M. J. (1992 onwards). `The Families of
Flowering Plants: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval.'
Version: 16th March 1997 )
- Visit the Bonsaiweb site to find
out more about which species in the genus Achras make the best bonsais.
- The Lychee Woods commercial web site has a
decent picture of the foliage of A. zapota.
- Find out about Junglegum, a return to the
natural chicle chewing gums of long ago (Is chewing gum really petroleum-based now???).
- Hargreaves, Dorothy and Bob. Tropical Trees. Hawaii, Ross-Hargreaves: 1965.
- Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
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