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Genus of the Week

Week of November 16-22

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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:


Achras


Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Dilleniidae
Order: Ebenales
Family: Sapotaceae
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:


References:

  1. Hargreaves, Dorothy and Bob. Tropical Trees. Hawaii, Ross-Hargreaves: 1965.
  2. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.

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