Sugar Apple | Sweetsop – Annona squamosa

Sugar apple, Annona squamosa, also known as Sweetsop and Custard-apple (custard apple is another plant in the same genus, Annona reticulata). The plant is an indigenous, fruit bearing tree, of the tropical Americas, India and Pakistan. It is a small semi-evergreen tree reaching 6-8 meters in height.

Annona squamosa leaves are alternate, simple, oblong, 5-17 cm long and 2-5 cm wide. The flowers are yellow-green with spotted purple bases, born in bundles of 3-4, each flower 1.5-3 cm across, fragrant with three outer large petals and three minute inner ones.

Sugar Apple Fruit

Sugar apple fruit is commonly round to pine cone-like, 6-10 cm diameter with a lumpy skin, weighing around 100-230 g. There are fruit variants in shape and size. The fruit flesh is slightly granular, sweet, white to light yellow, and resembles and tastes like custard and with a very definite, sweet-smelling scent. Blackish-brown seeds are scattered through the fruit flesh. Seeds are bitter and poisonous.

Sugar Apple Propagation Methods

Tree propagation is by seed. Seeds keep well for 3 to 4 years. However, they germinate better a week after removal from the fruit than when absolutely fresh. Germination could take 30 days or more. Sugar-apple is the most widely cultivated of all the species of Annona, being grown widely throughout the tropics and warmer subtropics. It is quite a productive bearer and will produce fruit in as little as two to three years. Five year old trees can produce as many as 50 Sugar-apples.

Annona squamosa is a member of the family Annonaceae the genus Annona. Fruit production can be poor where natural pollinators are few in which event hand pollination with a natural fiber brush must be used in order to increase yield. Annona squamosa will do well in most types of soil but requires good drainage as water-logging is intolerable.

Sugar apple, Annona squamosa

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