Manilkara zapota  (L.) P. Royen Chicle ;  Sapodilla   Sapotaceae

The seeds of the chicle tree, Manilkara zapota, are used as beads by the Indians of South America.  Dancers in the Shuar district of Ecuador wear belts of the empty bony seed shells for their clacking sound.5  The milky latex, which oozes from the trees when they are tapped, was chewed by the Aztecs and was the original base for chewing gum.6

The Spaniards introduced this evergreen tree, native to Central America, along with its Aztec name chicle, to the Philippines.7

 

BACK
TOP
FWD