Graviola, Annona muricata, also called Soursop due to its slightly acidic taste fruit, is a member of the family of the Custard apple trees known mostly for their edible fruits. The Graviola is a small, erect, tropical evergreen, fruit bearing tree that can grow to about 6 meters tall and 3.5 meters in crown diameter. It is indigenous to the Caribbean and Central America but it is found in most of the warmest tropical regions in South and North America including the Amazon region.
Annona muricata leaves are large, smooth, shiny, dark green, oblong to oval, pointed on both ends, 8-16 cm long. They have a pungent scent when crushed. Flowers are large, solitary, yellow or greenish-yellow in color.
The Fruit of the Graviola is ovate and large, covered up with small spine-like structures. The tree may bear fruits anyplace on its trunk or branches. The fruit pulp is fleshy, soft, white and fibrous with slightly acidic taste when ripe.
The ripe fruit is consumed raw or used in making beverages, jellies, sherbets and processed into ice creams. It may contain up to 100 black seeds. It is an first-class source of vitamins B and C. Unripe fruits can be consumed as vegetables. Yields are commonly low, 10-25 fruit of about 1 kg per tree per year, some time more.
Graviola Propagation Methods
Tree propagation is by seeds and cuttings. Seeds have a short viable life. The plant favors full sun or light shade, humidity and lots of water. It is tolerant of poor soil but needs a frost free area as it cannot stand frost. It will be wiped out by temperatures below °C. Annona muricata is a member of the family Annonaceae the genus Annona. Annona muricata has a long, rich history of employment in herbal medicine.
Graviola, Annona muricata, Soursop
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