[NAFEX] Use of Scientific Names (Was Re: Unidentified Fruit)

Dan Sorensen dan.phantom at westpa.net
Thu Apr 3 17:16:19 EST 2003

This is a perfect example of the failure of common names and makes a good 
case for the use of scientific names.  The word "sapote" is believed to 
have come from an Aztec word, "tzapotl", which refers to any soft, sweet 
fruit.  Avoiding any fruit called sapote would be like saying because may 
apples (Podophyllum)can be poisonous one should avoid eating anything 
called "apple". There are plants in at least seven different  genera that 
go by the common name of "sapote" and perhaps dozens of others that have 
sapote as part of their name.  Even I, here in Pennsylvania am growing 
white sapote (Casimiroa sapota) and the Chico sapote (Manilkara sapota), 
two totally different, unrelated species.  Unless you are also allergic to 
common chewing gum, you probably won't be allergic to the chico sapote, 
although undoubtedly some people are because given any substance at random, 
someone is probably allergic to it.  It would be sad if some people with 
latex allergy would automatically refuse to eat a fruit because it is 
called sapote by some people somewhere.

I happen to be allergic to mangoes, cashews and gingko nuts under certain 
conditions.  The first two are in the same family as poison ivy. the third 
is unrelated but has a similar oil in the fleshy covering.  I try to learn 
as much as possible about new fruits so I know what to be cautious of and 
what to avoid altogether.

On the other hand, it doesn't help when the botanists decide the name is 
incorrect and change it. ;-)


At 10:36 AM 4/3/2003 -0600, you wrote:

>After reading all the discussion about the mystery fruit, I'd like to add a
>caution.  A couple years ago, Dr. Bargyla Rateaver of San Diego sent me a
>box of sapote fruit from her trees.  They had a lovely aroma and wonderful
>flavor.  But....the second the flesh hit my lips, they started to swell.
>Same with the throat.  I avoided a trip to ER by gulping 50 mg. of Benadryl.
>My point is, if you have a latex allergy or sensitivity, sapote will give
>you major trouble.  The latex can be seen in fruit skins.
>Doreen Howard
>Wisconsin 4b, where the pears broke bud yesterday and the cornus mas is

Dan Sorensen                               Visit my Experimental Gardening 
Website at:
RD2 Box 57                                  http://phantom.home.westpa.net/
Russell, PA 16345                          Northwestern Pennsylvania  USDA 
Zone 5
dan.phantom at westpa.net              Penn State Master Gardener & Ham Radio- 
-------------- next part --------------

Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.465 / Virus Database: 263 - Release Date: 3/25/2003

More information about the nafex mailing list