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Sapodilla Tree

The sapodilla, Achra zapota, or plum tree is a large evergreen tree native to Central and South America. Sapodilla trees can often grow to 100 ft (30 m) tall with a girth of some 7 ft (2 m). The flowers are white to cream in color and usually open at night. The seeds of these trees are dispersed by bats, which excrete them after consuming the fruit.

The durable wood of the sapodilla tree is used in building construction as well as for making furniture and ornaments. It is also desired for its soft, sweet-tasting fruit, the sapodilla plum or chiku. However, humans have primarily cultivated this species for its whitish latex, which is used to produce chicle, the elastic component of early forms of chewing gum.

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