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Can you ID plant called "mespealis"/"mespelus"?

Larry Daley daleyl at bcc.orst.edu
Tue May 28 17:34:54 EST 1996


I have taken the liberty of cross posting this to soc.culture.cuba there 
are people in this group who can really tell how great nispero tastes.

Mespel is the Virgin islands name for the fruit best known as nispero,
sapodilla, and many other common names.  The scientific name is Manilkara
zapota (L.) v. Royen.  Chewing gum is made mainly from the latex of this
tree. "The rough-skinned berry contains 1-5 or sometimes more flattened
elliptic shiny black or brown seeds 3/4-1 inch long with a white scar on
inner edge.  Flowering and fruiting nearly through the year" 

Data taken from Little, E. Jr. and F. H. Wadsworth 1964. Common trees of 
Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, USDA handbook No. 249, U.S.Department 
of Agriculture, Forest Service. p. 446.

This book is available from Frank H. Wadsworth for about $25 plus 
postage. Frank's address is:

Calle Sacarello 1016
Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, 00924.

Can you tell about the historic document. My ancestors were being hunted
in Cuba by the evil Count of Valmaseda in the 1860's and my grandfather
Calixto (Garcia-I~niguez) Enamorado wrote a prize winning novel about it in

Larry Daley Garcia-I~niguez
On Fri, 24 May 1996, 
Shane K. Bernard wrote:

> Ran across a reference to a plant called "mespealis" (also spelled
> "mespelus") in a historical document from the 1860s and cannot figure
> out what kind of plant this is, nor even the correct spelling.
> I believe the fruit of this plant (or tree?) was edible and grew in
> tropical or subtropical regions (such as Louisiana and Cuba).
> Please reply if you have info on this species to:
> skb8721 at tam2000.tamu.edu
> Thanks,

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