Sapodilla can grow to more than 98 ft. tall with an average trunk diameter of 4.9 ft. The average height of cultivated specimens, however, is usually between 30 and 49 ft. with a trunk diameter not exceeding 20 in. It is wind-resistant and the bark is rich in a white, gummy latex called chicle. An unripe fruit has a firm outer skin and when picked, releases white chicle from its stem. A fully ripened fruit has saggy skin and does not release chicle when picked.

The fruit is a large berry, around 1.6–3.1 in in diameter. Inside, its flesh ranges from a pale yellow to an earthy brown color with a grainy texture akin to that of a well-ripened pear. Each fruit contains one to six seeds. The seeds are hard, glossy, and black, resembling beans, with a hook at one end that can catch in the throat if swallowed.

The fruit has an exceptionally sweet, malty flavor. The unripe fruit is hard to the touch and contains high amounts of saponin, which has astringent properties similar to tannin, drying out the mouth.

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