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Pakistan | Family List | Annonaceae | Annona

2. Annona squamosa L., Sp. Pl. 537. 1753. DC., Prodr. 1:85. 1824; Hook. f. & Thorns. in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 1:78. 1872; Cooke, Fl. Pres. Bomb. 1:15. 1901; Parker, For. Fl. Punj. 6. 1956 (3rd. ed.); Verdcourt, l.c.; Stewart, l.c.

English: Custard Apple.

Vern.: Sharifa, Sitaphal.


Small tree, 5-6 m high. Young branches sparsely hairy. Leaves elliptic to oblong-obovate, 8-11 x 3-4.3 cm, acute to obtuse with cuneate to subrounded base, glabrous on both sides, young leaves sparsely hairy. Petiole 5-12 mm long, glabrous. Peduncle 2-3 mm long, leaf opposed or terminal on short axillary branches, 1-2-flowered. Bract and bracteole minute, pilose. Pedicel 11-16 mm long, glabrous. Sepals broadly deltoid, 1.5-3 x 3-4 mm, basally connate, pilose outside. Outer petals oblong, 20-27 x 7-9 mm, pale yellow with deep purple spot inside at base, obtuse, triquetrous, basally concave within, sparsely pilose to glabrous outside, puberulous inside; inner petals frequently absent. Receptacle conical. Stamens 1 mm long, narrow cuneate, filament short, locules equal, connective-tip subtruncate. Carpels basally connate, ovary dorsally pilose, 1-ovuled, style short, stigma narrow conical. Fruit 5-10 x 5-7.5 cm, yellowish green, glaucous, tuberculate, monocarps loose and easily separable in ripe fruit, pulp soft, smooth, pure white or yellow tinged. Seeds dark brown to black.

Fl. Per.: April-August.

Syntypes: Jamaica, Sloane in Sloane Herb. VII: 96, 97, 98 (BM).

Distribution: Widely cultivated in Old and New World tropics.

The Custard apple, Sugar apple or Sweetsop is indigenous to tropical America. In Pakistan, it is widely cultivated in Sind and also in Punjab. The fruit is the best tasting of all the Annona species. The pulp is said to be rich in Vitamin C. Seeds are strong irritant to eyes and may cause blindness. Leaves and unripe fruit are insecticidal. Root is a strong purgative.


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