Both in foliage and fruit the yellow sapote closely resembles the canistel, but its fruit is, perhaps, slightly the better of the two. It is a small tree, attaining 25 feet in height, and usually of slender erect growth. The leaves are lanceolate, acute at the base and obtuse at the tip, 4 to 7 inches long, and light green in color. The small whitish or greenish flowers are solitary or in pairs in the leaf-axils. The fruit, commonly slender and extended into a long point at the apex, is 4 to 5 inches long, and orange-yellow in color. The skin is thin and delicate and the pulp soft and mealy, of the consistency and color of the yolk of a hard-boiled egg. In flavor it resembles the canistel. The seed is slender, nearly 2 inches long, light brown and glossy except on the whitish ventral surface.
Plate XVIII. Foliage and fruits of the akee (Blighia sapida).
The yellow sapote is most abundant in Mexico, but according to Pittier is found also in Panama and Costa Rica. The common names in Mexico are zapote borracho and zapote amarillo. The species is cultivated in that country from sea-level to elevations of 6000 feet. The fruit, which is eaten fresh, ripens in autumn and winter and is often seen in the markets.
While tropical in its requirements, the tree can be grown in regions which are subject to cool weather in part of the year. It is doubtful, however, whether it will stand more frost than its congener the canistel. In Mexico it grows on both light and heavy soils and in regions which are moist as well as in those which are comparatively dry. It has been propagated only by seed, but should lend itself to bud-propagation. As is common the fruits of different seedlings vary in form, size, and other characteristics.