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Annona squamosa a small well-branched tree or shrub that bears edible fruits called sugar-apple, species of the genus Annona and member of the family Annonaceae more willing to grow at lower altitudes than its relatives Annona reticulata and Annona cherimola (whose fruits often share the same name) making it the most widely cultivated of these species.

Common names



Description

Annona squamosa is a small, semi-(or late) deciduous, much branched shrub or small tree to tallvery similar to soursop (Annona muricata)with a broad, open crown or irregularly spreading branchesand a short trunk short, not buttressed at base.The fruit of A. squamosa has delicious whitish pulp, and is popular in tropical markets.
Stems and leaves: Branches with light brown bark and visible leaf scars; inner bark light yellow and slightly bitter; twigs become brown with light brown dots (lenticels - small, oval, rounded spots upon the stem or branch of a plant, from which the underlying tissues may protrude or roots may issue).
Thin leaves occur singly, to long and to wide; rounded at the base and pointed at the tip. Pale green on both surfaces and mostly hairless with slight hairs on the underside when young. The sides sometimes are slightly unequal and the leaf edges are without teeth, inconspicuously hairy when young.


Leaf stalks are to long, green, sparsely pubescent
Flowers: Solitary or in short lateral clusters about long, 2-4, greenish-yellow flowers on a hairy, slender long stalk. Green outer petals, purplish at the base, oblong, to long, and to wide, inner petals reduced to minute scales or absent. Very numerous stamens; crowded, white, less than long; ovary light green. Styles white, crowded on the raised axis. Each pistil forms a separate tubercle (small rounded wartlike protuberance), mostly to long and to wide which matures into the aggregate fruit.
Flowering occurs in spring-early summer and flowers are pollinated by nitidulid beetles.


Fruits and reproduction: Aggregate and soft fruits form from the numerous and loosely united pistils of a flower which become enlarged and mature into fruits which are distinct from fruits of other species of genus (and more like a giant raspberry instead).


The round or heart-shaped greenish yellow, ripened aggregate fruit is pendulous on a thickened stalk; to in diameter with many round protuberances and covered with a powdery bloom. Fruits are formed of loosely cohering or almost free carpels (the ripened pistels).


The pulp is white tinged yellow, edible and sweetly aromatic. Each carpel containing an oblong, shiny and smooth, dark brown to black, to long seed.


Distribution

Annona squamosa is willing to grow at altitudes of to and does well in hot dry climates; at much lower altitudes than many of the other fruit bearers in its family.

Native
Neotropic
:Caribbean: Antiguamarker and Barbudamarker, Bahamasmarker, Barbadosmarker, Cubamarker, Dominicamarker, Dominican Republicmarker, Grenadamarker, Guadeloupemarker, Haitimarker, Jamaicamarker, Martiniquemarker, Montserratmarker, Netherlands Antillesmarker, Puerto Rico, St Kitts and Nevismarker, St Luciamarker, St Vincent and the Grenadinesmarker, Surinammarker, Trinidad and Tobagomarker, Virgin Islands.
:Central America: El Salvadormarker
:Northern South America: French Guyanamarker, Guyanamarker, Venezuelamarker
:Western South America: Boliviamarker, Colombiamarker, Ecuadormarker, Perumarker
:Southern South America: Argentinamarker, Brazilmarker, Chilemarker, Paraguaymarker, Uruguaymarker


Current (naturalized and native)
Neotropic
:Caribbean: Antiguamarker and Barbudamarker, Bahamasmarker, Barbadosmarker, Cubamarker, Dominicamarker, Dominican Republicmarker, Floridamarker, Grenadamarker, Guadeloupemarker, Haitimarker, Jamaicamarker, Martiniquemarker, Montserratmarker, Netherlands Antillesmarker, Puerto Rico, St Kitts and Nevismarker, St Luciamarker, St Vincent and the Grenadinesmarker, Surinammarker, Trinidad and Tobagomarker, Virgin Islands.
:Pacific: Samoamarker, Tongamarker
:Central America: Belizemarker, Costa Ricamarker, El Salvadormarker, Guatemalamarker, Hondurasmarker, Mexicomarker, Nicaraguamarker, Panamamarker
:Northern South America: French Guyanamarker, Guyanamarker, Venezuelamarker
:Western South America: Boliviamarker, Colombiamarker, Ecuadormarker, Perumarker
:Southern South America: Argentinamarker, Brazilmarker, Chilemarker, Paraguaymarker, Uruguaymarker
Afrotropic: Sudanmarker, Tanzania, Uganda, Zanzibarmarker
Australasia: Australia, Fijimarker, New Zealandmarker, Papua New Guineamarker, Solomon Islandsmarker
Indomalaya: Cambodiamarker, Chinamarker, Indiamarker, Indonesiamarker, Laosmarker, Philippinesmarker, Thailandmarker, Vietnammarker
Palearctic: Cyprusmarker, Greecemarker, Maltamarker


Uses

For uses of fruit from the Custard-apple family see:

References

  1. McGregor, S.E. Insect Pollination Of Cultivated Crop Plants USDA, 1976


External links




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