Custard Apple Seeds
Annona squamosa is a small, semi-(or late) deciduous, much branched shrub or small tree 3 metres (9.8 ft) to 8 metres (26 ft) tall with a broad, open crown or irregularly spreading branches and a short trunk short, not buttressed at base. The fruit of A. squamosa (sugar-apple) has delicious whitish pulp, and is popular in tropical markets.
Pre-treatment: not required.
Quantity: 5 grams per packet
Germination Rate: Min.60%
Leaves occur singly, 6-17 x 3-6 cm, lanceolate or oblong lanceolate, pale green on both surfaces and glabrate or nearly so; sides sometimes slightly unequal; edges without teeth, inconspicuously hairy, at least when young, minutely dotted on examination with a lens; thin, dull green to dark green on top surface, and pale blue-green and covered with bloom on underside; apex short or long pointed; base short pointed or rounded; petioles 0.6-1.3 cm long, green, sparsely pubescent.
Flowers greenish-yellow, fragrant, on slender hairy stalks, produced singly or in short lateral clusters about 2.5 cm long, 2-4 flowers but not at the base of the leaves; sepals pointed, hairy, green, about 16 mm long; 3 outer petals oblong, thick and rounded at the tips, fleshy, 1.6-2.5 cm long, 0.6 cm wide, yellow-green, slightly hairy, inside light yellow and keeled with a purplish or reddish spot at the thin, enlarged base; inner petals 3 minute, ovate, pointed scales; stamens very numerous, crowded, white, less than 16 mm long; ovary light green, styles white, crowded on the raised axis.
The aggregate fruit formed from the numerous pistils of a flower, which are loosely united, is soft and distinct from other species of the genus. Each pistil forms a separate tubercle, mostly 1.3-1.9 cm long and 0.6-1.3 cm wide. Fruit is round, heart shaped, ovate or conical, 5-10 cm in diameter, with many round protuberances; greenish-yellow when ripe, with a white, powdery bloom; the pulp is white, edible and sweetly aromatic; in each carpel is embedded a seed, oblong, shiny and smooth, blackish or dark brown, 1.3-1.6 cm long, numerous.
The genus name, ‘Annona’ is from the Latin word ‘anon’, meaning ‘yearly produce’, referring to the production of fruits of the various species in this genus. A. squamosa has been named botanically from Jamaica.
Trees start to bear fruit when 3-4 years old. In India, the leaves fall in January-February and are renewed in April-May when the flowers appear, and fruiting is in July-August.