1.1.1- The Family Sapotaceae TheSapotaceaeare afamilyofflowering plants belonging toorderEricales. The family includes about 800speciesofevergreentrees and shrubs in around 65 genera (35-75, depending on generic definition). Their distribution ispantropical. Many species produce edible fruits, and/or have other economic uses. Species noted for their edible fruits includeManilkara(Sapodilla,sapota),Chrysophyllum cainito(star-apple or golden leaf tree),Pouteria(abiu, canistel,lúcuma,Mamey sapote),Vitellaria paradoxa(shea) andSideroxylon australe(Australian native plum). Shea (shiin several languages of West Africa andkaritéin French; also anglicized asshea butter) is also the source of an oil-rich nut, the source of edible "shea butter", which is the major lipid source for many African ethnic groups and is also used in traditional and Western cosmetics and medications. The 'miracle fruit' Synsepalum dulcificumis also in the Sapotaceae. The Family Sapotaceae has three Subfamilies: Chrysophylloideae Sapotoideae Sarcospermatoideae 1.1.2- The Subfamily Chrysophylloideae The Subfamily Chrysophylloideaeis asubfamilyofflowering plants in thechiclefamily,Sapotaceae.This subfamily has about 26 genera. 1.1.3- The Genus Chrysophyllum Chrysophyllumis a group of trees in theSapotaceae described as a genus byLinnaeusin 1753. The genus is native to tropical regions throughout the world, with the greatest number of species in northern South America. One species,C. oliviforme, extends north to southernFlorida. Chrysophyllummembers are usually tropicaltrees, often growing rapidly to 10-20 m or more in height. The leavesare oval, 3-15 cm long, green above, densely golden pubescent below, from which the genus is named.Theflowersare small (3-8 mm), purplish white and have a sweet fragrant smell; they are clustered several together, and arehermaphroditic(self fertile). Thefruitis edible; round, usually purple skinned (sometimes greenish-white), often green around the calyx, with a star pattern in the pulp; the flattenedseeds are light brown and hard. The fruit skin is chewy like gum, and contrary to some reports, is edible. There are 86 species from Genus Chrysophyllum. 1.1.4- The Species Chrysophyllum cainito Chrysophyllum cainitois a tropical tree of the family Sapotaceae. It is native to theGreater Antillesand the West Indies. It has spread to the lowlands of Central America and is now is grown throughout the tropics, including Southeast Asia.It grows rapidly and reaches 20 m in height. It has numerous common names includingcainito, caimito,star apple,golden leaf tree,abiaba, pomme du lait,estrella,milk fruitandaguay. It is also known by thesynonymAchras cainito. InVietnam, it is calledvú sữa(literally: breast-milk). The fruits are delicious as a fresh dessert fruit; it is sweet and best served chilled. In Vietnam, the most famous variety is Lò Rèn milk fruit coming from Vĩnh Kim commune, Châu Thành District, Tiền Giang Province.
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