Friday, 25 January 2013

Custard Apple (Annona reticulata)

The Custard Apple tree is native to the Caribbean and Central America.

The Custard Apple tree is a medium-sized, semi-evergreen tree that reaches about 10m tall. It has an spreading and irregularly-shaped trunk. The alternative leaves are oblong and narrow with conspicuous veins. They have a foul smell. 

The flowers are fragrant and yellow-green in colour, growing in drooping clusters of three or four. They have 3 small inner petals and 3 fleshy and narrow outer petals that are light green externally and pale-yellow with a dark-red or purple spot on the inside of the base. 

The compound fruit may be spherical or or irregularly shaped. The skin is thin but tough and can be yellow or brownish when ripe, with a pink or reddish blush. The juicy flesh is surrounded by a creamy-white layer of custard-like flesh. The juicy segments within each contain a single, hard, dark brown or black seed. The seed is oblong, smooth and glossy at about 1cm long. The ripe fruit tastes sweet and pleasant.

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