Friday, 25 January 2013

Soursop (Annona muricata)

The Soursop is native to the West Indies and Southern America. 

At about 4m, the Soursop tree is a small and upright evergreen tree. It is low branching and bushy,   with hairy young branchlets. The oblong leaves are glossy and dark green on the upper side but paler and slightly hair on the under side. The flower stalks are stout and woody, appearing opposite the leaves near the petiole with about one or two yellowish conical-shaped flowers. The 3 inner petals are pale yellow in colour while the 3 outer petals are yellow green. They also emerge anywhere on the trunk, branches or twigs. 

The Soursop fruit is slightly lopsided and sometimes irregularly-shaped. It can be up to 30cm long. The fruit is a compound fruit with a rough-looking yet tender skin that has stubby soft spines. The skin is dark green when unripe but turns light yellowish-green when ripe. The white flesh is juicy and aromatic with a slight acidic taste. The fruit may contain a few dozen up to a few hundred seeds depending on the size. The black seeds are oval in shape, smooth, and hard, about 1 to 2cm long each.

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