Plant Clinic

Invasive sapodilla slow to bear fruit


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Q. Several years ago I planted a seed from a neeseberry fruit. For the past three years it has had a few flowers but it doesn’t set fruit. Someone said that it might be a male tree but why would it flower?

C.P., via email

Neeseberry, or naseberry, is more commonly known here as sapodilla ( Manilkara zapata). Since your tree is a seedling, it will take five to eight years to start bearing fruit. Grafted trees bear fruit much sooner. So, nothing is wrong with your tree. All it needs is time.

For more information on growing sapodilla, see or contact your local county Extension office for a copy.

Be aware that sapodilla has been found to be an invasive species in South and Central Florida and the University of Florida does not recommend planting this fruit tree in those regions (

An invasive species is a non-native organism that has been found to cause ecological damage or harm to natural areas.

Insect Samples

Send undamaged (live or dead) insects in a crush-proof container such as a pill bottle or film canister with the top taped on. Mail them in a padded envelope or box with a brief note explaining where you found the insects.

Do not tape insects to paper or place them loose in envelopes. Insect fragments or crushed insect samples are almost impossible to identify.

Send them to the address of your county extension office, found in the blue pages in the phone book under county government.

Adrian Hunsberger is an entomologist/horticulturist with the UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Extension office. Write to Plant Clinic, 18710 SW 288th St., Homestead, FL 33030; e-mail

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