While greatly superior in flavor to its congener the sapote (C. mammosum), the green sapote is much more limited in its distribution. It is common in the Guatemalan highlands and is found also in Honduras and (rarely) in Costa Rica. Elsewhere it is not known, but it deserves to be cultivated throughout the tropics.
In habit and general appearance the tree greatly resembles the sapote, from which it can be distinguished (according to Pittier) 'by the smaller leaves, downy and white beneath, the smaller and differently shaped sepals, the shorter staminodes and stamens, the latter with broadly ovate anthers, and above all the comparatively small, green, and thin-skinned fruit and the smaller, ovate seed." It is most abundant in northern Guatemala (the Alta Verapaz), where it grows usually at elevations of 4000 to 6000 feet. Unlike its relative the sapote, it does not thrive in the hot lowlands. The lower limit of its cultivation is approximately 3000 feet, the upper between 6000 and 7000 feet.
The fruit, which is known in Guatemala as injerto (Spanish) and yash-tul (Kekchi, green sapote), is much prized by the Indians of the Verapaz. The flavor is similar to that of the sapote, but more delicate, and the flesh is finer and smoother in texture. The largest fruits are nearly 5 inches long, turbinate to elliptic in outline, and brownish green to pale yellowish green in color; the skin thin, almost membranous, and easily broken. The flesh is pale red-brown in color, melting, sweet, and somewhat juicy. The seeds are commonly one or two, elliptic in form, and about 2 inches long. Usually the fruit is eaten fresh, but in some parts of Guatemala a preserve is prepared from it, similar to that made from the sapote.
The tree is productive, but has the disadvantage of not coming into bearing earlier than eight or ten years from seed. It is not systematically cultivated, but is met with in dooryards and around cultivated fields. The fruits are in great demand in the markets of Guatemalan towns. They ripen from October or November (depending on elevation) to February. When picked from the tree they are hard and can be carried long distances without injury, but after they have softened and are ready for eating they must be handled carefully, since the skin is thin and easily broken.
This species has been planted recently in California and Florida. It is more likely to succeed in the latter state than the sapote, since it is somewhat more frost-resistant. It is doubtful, however, whether it will survive temperatures below 27° or 28° above zero. Seed-propagation is the only method which has been employed up to the present time.