This is a small, tropical semi-deciduous tree, named and grown for its unusual, delicious fruits called sugar apples, sweetsops or custard apples. They have a thick rind divided into knobby segments that separate when the fruit ripens to reveal conical, creamy-white segments of sweet, fragrant flesh, some containing a single seed. The flowers are fragrant and bloom on the branch tips singly or in clusters of two to four. Never fully open, they are yellow-green on the outside and pale yellow on the inside. The irregular branches and zig-zagging twigs make an open crown. The leaves are dark-green above and a lighter green below.
Even a slight frost may injure or kill this tree, so it is grown mainly in tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is not fussy about soil. It grows and fruits best in dry regions, when given water, but needs humidity when flowering for adequate pollination In drought, the fruit rind hardens and will split when rain arrives. Dry winters also lead to more loss of foliage. This tree grows best in full sun to part sun in fertile, well-drained soil.
The fruit is usually eaten fresh, the flesh chewed and swallowed, the seeds spat out. This is an acquired skill; the seeds are toxic and must not be eaten. In Malaysia the fruit is sieved to remove the seeds and the flesh is used in ice cream or milk for a cool drink. Flowering and fruiting occur in the summer. The softball-sized wide fleshy fruit are light-green with overlapping segments. The sweet flesh is white with many black seeds and the individual segments separate at maturity. The fruit may be eaten fresh or made into drinks and ice cream.
Information source: www.learn2grow.com/plants/annona-squamosa/.
Genus - Annona
Species - Squamosa
Common name - Sugar Apple
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 9 - 13
Height - 15'-20' / 4,60 - 6 m
Spread - 20'-25' / 6 - 7,50 m
Plant type - Fruit Tree or Shrub
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Fertile, well drained
Water requirements - Average
Landscape uses - Fruit Tree, for shade, tropical
Leaf / Flower color - Light Green / Yellow Green
No cold and moist stratification needed, but some scarification is really usefull to speed up and shorten the germination process.
1. Break the seed coat – the easiest and safest ways include using baby nail clippers to snip a tiny opening in the seed coat or rubbing the seed between two pieces of sandpaper. Do it carefully.
2. Soak the seeds in clean warm water for an hour
3. Plant seeds in the depth of the seed size in a clean and sterile seeds starting moist soil. Keep moist and in warm position at +22-+25C.
It may take 30 days or longer to germinate.
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