This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, golden leaf, in reference to the color of the under surface of the leaves). Sapo-tacese. Handsome trees, grown far south for fruit and for ornament.
Juice milky: leaves alternate, thick and stiff, usually shining and copper-colored or golden beneath with silky pubescence, with many parallel cross-veins: flowers small, sessile or stalked, clustered at the nodes or in the axils; calyx mostly 5-parted; corolla tubular-cam-panulate or somewhat rotate, mostly 5-lobed, without appendages; stamens as many as the corolla-lobes, and staminodia 0; ovary 5-10-celled: fruit fleshy and usually edible, 1- to several-seeded. - About 60 species in tropics, the larger part American.
Fig. 958. Chrysophyllum Cainito. (. X 1/3)
The various species of Chrysophyllum have beautiful broad green leaves, with under surfaces of a silky texture, varying in color from a silvery white through golden to a russet-brown, and are well worth a place in the conservatory as ornamental trees. By giving them sufficient room, they will bear fruit in the course of a few years, under glass, which in the case of C. Cainito, the star-apple of tropical America, is edible, and well liked even by people of a temperate clime. All species are strictly tropical, and cannot be grown where frosts occur unless properly protected. Propagation is ordinarily effected by seed, which readily germinate if planted when fresh, and it is stated that all species may be grown from cuttings of well-ripened shoots placed in strong, moist heat. The soil most suited for their growth is of a sandy character, and if not of a good quality should be well manured, using a considerable proportion of potash in the fertilizer for fruiting specimens. They seem to do well on a great variety of soils, however, that are sufficiently well drained, wet land not agreeing with them. (E. N. Reasoner.)
Caimito. Fig. 958. Thick-headed evergreen, to 50 ft.: leaves oval or oblong, silky-golden beneath: corolla-tube twice as long as the calyx; stigma 8-10-crenate or -lobed; flowers purplish white. W. Indies, Panama, Cent. Amer. I.H. 32:567. A.G. 11:405. - The fruit is the size of an apple, symmetrically globular and smooth, hard; a cross-section shows the star-shaped core, whence the common name; it varies from white to purple in color of skin and also of flesh. The pulp is delicious (used uncooked) if the fruit is allowed to remain on the tree until ripe. It has large, pumpkin-like dark seeds. It is very impatient of frost.
Lam. (C. monopyrenum, Swartz). Satin-Leaf. To 35 ft.: leaves like those of C. Cainito: flowers white; stigma 5-crenate: fruit ovoid-oblong or oval, 1-seeded by abortion of ovules, blackish, 1 1/3 in. long, said to be insipid. S. Fla. and S. B.M. 3303. - Sparingly transferred to grounds as an ornamental tree.
Benth. (Theophrdsta imperialis, Lind.). Plant strict and simple, to 20 ft. or more, unarmed: leaves obovate-oblong to oblong-oblanceolate, 3 ft. long, on large plants very sharply serrate: flowers yellowish green, small, in clusters along the trunk, the cluster sessile but the flowers pedicellate; corolla rotate, 5-lobed, thick: fruit 5-angled, nearly globular, size of a small apple, with a hard thick flesh; seeds 1 in. long and 3/4in. wide, compressed. Brazil. B.M. 6823. I.H. 21:184. Gt. 1864:453. - This species was grown 30 years before its genus was determined, but upon flowering in European gardens it was found to be a Chrysophyllum (by some referred to Martiusella, which see). l. H. B.