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Quararibea cordata - (Bonpl.) Vischer

Common Name South American Sapote, Chupa Chupa, Matisia
Family Malvaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rainforests on fertile soil from fairly high altitudes to lowland coastal regions[307 ]. Found both in areas that are seasonally inundated, and also areas that are not[416 ].
Range S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia; C. America - Panama, Costa Rica.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Quararibea cordata South American Sapote, Chupa Chupa, Matisia

Quararibea cordata South American Sapote, Chupa Chupa, Matisia


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A fast-growing and natural pioneer species within its native range known as Quararibes cordata or South American Sapote is medium-sized tree growing about 30 m in height and 50 cm in bole diameter. The leaves are heart-shaped, green, and alternate. The flowers are creamy-yellow. Though the plant has no medicinal uses, it is valued for its edible, large, and round fruits with yellow-orange pulp and sweet flavor. The wood of this species is easy to cut but has poor mechanical properties. It is used for doors and panelling, and to make light boxes. Plants are grown from seeds.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Quararibea cordata is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 16 m (52ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10 and is frost tender. The flowers are pollinated by Insects, humming birds.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Matisia cordata Bonpl.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses: Drink

Fruit - raw[301 ]. The fibrous yellow-orange pulp of the fruit is sweet and is eaten raw[301 ]. The flavour is reminiscent of a very sweet pumpkin with overtones of mango and apricot[301 ]. Opinions vary widely over the quality of this fruit, with some people describing it enthusiastically as like a blend of mangoes, peaches and strawberries, whilst others have found it to be bland[307 ]. There are forms with very little fibre and these can be utilised for juice[301 ]. The fruit is up to 10cm in diameter[416 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Containers  Houseplant  Pioneer  Wood

Sheltered seaside. Backyard tree. Public open space. Large conservatory. Agroforestry Uses: A fast-growing, natural pioneer species within its native range. With its edible fruit it could very well be useful in a mixed planting to restore native woodland or to establish a woodland garden[K ]. The large trees of this species are grown in association with avocados. This combination works well because both species have the same soil requirements, and zapote provides necessary shade for the avocados[355 ]. Other Uses The wood is coarse-textured, irregular-grained, light in weight, with a low resistance to wood-eating organisms[625 ]. It is easy to cut, but has poor mechanical properties. It is used as core material for doors and panelling, and to make light boxes[625 ].

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Likes to grow in hot, humid, lowland tropical to subtropical regions with lots of rainfall[335 ]. Plants are very susceptible to frost injury[335 ]. Prefers a fertile, moisture-retentive soil and a position in full sun[307 ]. Young plants are fast-growing[625 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in individual containers. A high germination rate can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 20 - 30 days[625 ]. Stem cuttings.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Apasi, Chupa chupa, Chupa-chupa, Cordate matisia, Matisia, Patintoqui, Sapote Sapotillo, Saput, Zapote de monte,

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Amazon, Asia, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil*, Central America, Colombia*, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Hawaii, Mexico, Nicaragua, North America, Pacific, Panama, Peru*, Philippines, Puerto Rico, SE Asia, South America, USA,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(Bonpl.) Vischer

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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