Native to the Greater Antilles, the caimite, from its scientific name Chrysophyllum cainito, conquered the Lesser Antilles including Martinique and then tropical America during the Arawak or Caribbean period. The name "caïmite" was given by the Taino Indians. The fruit is also called milk apple or star apple. In Martinique it is the term of caïmite which is retained.
There are different varieties of star apples according to the color of the skin of the fruit is green, purple to dark purple. The star apple tree, to erect 6 to 30 meters high, contains a white latex which gives it medicinal properties. It has the distinction of having bright green leaves above and fluffy golden brown below. It is grown both for its ornamental value and its fruit which is picked because it does not fall. Harvesting takes place from January to March. The globular fruit is green or purple depending on the thick-skinned varieties. Once cut in half to reveal a gelatinous pulp is white or purple.
In its center, 4-10 brown seeds flattened appear in a star lodge. The sweet soft flesh without acidity is assessed at full maturity otherwise it leaves an astringent latex around the lips.
Star Apple has many medicinal properties. It is astringent, febrifuge, vulnerary, laxative, stomachic, diuretic. It is mainly indicated for diarrhea, bronchitis, wounds, sores, diabetes and rheumatism.
The fruit is eaten raw but you can make juice. The Star Apple releases by consuming a milky material, its non-toxic sap which tends to stick to the lips. After determining the fruit flesh is eaten with a spoon. The seeds are not edible.