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Manilkara jaimiqui ssp. emarginata branch with developing fruit
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Sapotaceae
Subfamily: Sapotoideae
Genus: Manilkara
Adans., conserved name[1]
Type species
Manilkara kauki
  • Achras L. (rejected name)[2]
  • Sapota Mill. (superfluous name)[3]
  • Stisseria Scop. 1777 illegitimate homonym not Stisseria Heist. ex Fabr. 1759 (Apocynaceae)
  • Hornschuchia Spreng.
  • Synarrhena Fisch. & C.A.Mey.
  • Eichleria M.M.Hartog
  • Muriea M.M.Hartog
  • Mahea Pierre ex L.Planch.
  • Northiopsis Kaneh.
  • Shaferodendron Gilly
  • Murianthe (Baill.) Aubrév.
  • Abebaia Baehni
  • Nispero Aubrév.
  • Manilkariopsis (Gilly) Lundell
  • Chiclea Lundell
  • Mopania Lundell

Manilkara is a genus of trees in the family Sapotaceae. They are widespread in tropical and semitropical locations, in Africa, Madagascar, Asia, Australia, and Latin America, as well as various islands in the Pacific and in the Caribbean.[4] A close relative is the genus Pouteria.

Trees of this genus yield edible fruit, useful wood, and latex. The best-known species are M. bidentata (balatá), M. chicle (chicle) and M. zapota (sapodilla). M. hexandra is the floral emblem of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province in Thailand, where it is known as rayan. M. obovata shares the vernacular name of African pear with another completely different species, Dacryodes edulis, and neither should be confused with Baillonella toxisperma, known by the very similar name, African pearwood.

Manilkara trees are often significant, or even dominant species in their native ecosystems, such as East Deccan dry evergreen forests, Central American premontane tropical wet forests, or together with Cynometra, in the Arabuko Sokoke National Park. Manilkara fruit are an important food item for various frugivores, in particular birds. The red fruit bat (Stenoderma rufum) is the primary – and possibly the only – seed disperser of M. bidentata in parts of the Caribbean. Tuckerella xiamenensis, a species of peacock mite, was described from a sapodilla tree.


The generic name, Manilkara, is derived from the Malayalam word manil-kara, a vernacular name for M. kauki; it combines Manil from Manilha, the Portuguese name of Manila in the Philippines, and kara meaning "fruit".[5]: 36 


Species accepted by Plants of the World Online as of December 2022:[6]

Several species are endangered due to overexploitation and habitat destruction. M. gonavensis of Haiti and M. spectabilis of Costa Rica are almost extinct.

Manilkara zapota plant and fruit in Tamil Nadu, India


  1. ^ a b Fam. Pl. (Adanson) 2: 166, 574. 1763 [Jul-Aug 1763] "Plant Name Details for Genus Manilkara". IPNI. Retrieved December 23, 2009. Nomenclatural Notes: nom. cons. Type Name: M. kauki (Linnaeus) Dubard (Mimusops kauki Linnaeus) (typ. cons.) ; basionym of: Sapotaceae Mimusops subgen. Manilkara (Adans.) Pierre & Urb., Symb. Antill. (Urban). 5: 162. 1904
  2. ^ GRIN (March 31, 2009). "Achras information from NPGS/GRIN". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2009. Comment: a rejected (nom. rej.), heterotypic synonym (Vienna ICBN Art. 14.4 & App. III) of Manilkara Adans., nom. cons.
  3. ^ Gard. Dict. Abr., ed. 4. [unpaged]. 1754 [28 Jan 1754] "Plant Name Details for Genus Sapota". IPNI. Retrieved December 23, 2009. Nomenclatural Notes: nom. illeg. nom. superfl. Achras Linnaeus (1753).
  4. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  5. ^ Armstrong, K. E. (February 2013). "A Revision of the Asian-Pacific species of Manilkara (Sapotaceae)". Edinburgh Journal of Botany. 70 (1): 7–56. doi:10.1017/S0960428612000327.
  6. ^ "Manilkara Adans". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2022. Retrieved 17 December 2022.