Monday, 23 March 2009


Beside the house, overhanging and touching it is a large Caimito tree. The Caimito (Chrysophyllum cainito) tree is a large, evergreen tree native to Central America and the West Indies. It is a pretty tree with leaves dark green on top and below a rich bronze colour. The fruit is known in English as star apple, and is a delicious, sticky lilac, persimmon like experience. It exudes a sticky white latex that will clamp lips shut, but is worth it for the sweetness of the pulp. I love caimitos, but despite the tree being fairly laden and close to the house, I have not had one. Every night the kinkajous come and feast, throwing their leftovers on the roof and the forest floor right by the steps into the house. The dogs bark at them, but the kinkajous don't seem to care and gorge. They are not known as the friendliest of creatures and sometimes there's a scuffle as they bicker and clack at each other, but there's plenty of food and the arguments have been kept to a minimum. Yesterday morning I watched two good sized raccoons descend the tree. The male came down first all in a great whoosh and disappeared down the hill. His mate came down very slowly and tentatively, all eyes and twitching nose. She was right to be cautious - the dogs aren't so keen on raccoons, but they were all out for their morning walk and she had the freedom to leave. The fruit is mostly out on the thinner branches, I wonder what the raccoons are eating up there?


  1. Very interesting post, I enjoyed reading. Thanks!

  2. I hail from the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Caimite or star apple is a sweet fruit when ripe. In the unripe state it has a pungent taste and produces a milky substance that is latex like. It reminds me of persimmon which has the same texture, and they both have a star shape when cut crosswise. I wonder if they are related.


thanks for sharing!