Thursday, May 6, 2010

Annona muricata Soursop

06-30-2009: It's turning slightly yellow so it's harvest time. It will be ready to eat in a day or two. Yummy, I can't wait to eat it and it is just in time for my birthday(what a great present from nature) and the fourth of July!! Pictures of the inside coming soon!!!

06-28-2009: Almost time! Growing Soursop fruit (all photos are of my tree )

06-16-2009: It's getting bigger!!!

05-09-2009: Immature fruit growing fast!

05-09-2009: Well camouflaged immature fruit.

Family: Annonaceae •
Genus: Annona •
Species: Muricata (L.) •
Country of Origin: South America •
Common Names: Guanábana, Soursop •

This fruit is popular in Jamaica, the Caribbean and South America where the fruit is eaten raw, made into ice cream or a favorite of many, a smoothie made with the pulp, sweetened condensed milk and ice! This is a relative to the Sugar Apple and the Cherimoya. I've only had one fruit make it to the table so far but it will get more fruitful as it gets older. Update 06-16-2009: My tree is doing amazing this year, I have another fruit on the way and the tree is flowering like crazy!!

Soursop is a small tree, usually slender in habit and rarely more than 20 feet high. Mine is about 15 feet high and ten feet in diameter. The leaves are obovate to elliptic in form, commonly 3 to 6 inches long, acute, leathery in texture, glossy above and glabrous beneath. Deeply green with proper nutrition.

The flowers are large, the three exterior petals ovate-acute, valvate, and fleshy, the interior ones smaller and thinner, rounded, with the edges overlapping, are creme-yellow outside and light yellow inside and lightly fragrant.

The fruit is the largest of the Annonas; specimens 5 pounds in weight are not uncommon and much larger ones have been reported. More typically though in South Florida, about twelve inches long and six to eight inches in diameter. It is ovoid, heart-shaped, or oblong-conical in form, deep green in color, with numerous short fleshy spines on the surface. It starts to turn yellowish-green upon ripening. The skin has a rank, bitter flavor. The flesh is white, somewhat cottony in texture, juicy, and highly aromatic. Numerous brown seeds, much like those of the Cherimoya, are embedded in it. The flavor suggests that of the pineapple and the mango. Although it is totally unique in itself.

Alphonse DeCandolle says that the Soursop "is wild in the West Indies; at least its existence has been proved in the islands of Cuba, Santo Domingo, Jamaica, and several of the smaller islands."Safford states that it is of tropical American origin. The historian Gonzalo Hernandez de Oviedo, in his "Natural History of the Indies," written in 1526, describes the Soursop at some length, and he mentions having seen it growing abundantly in the West Indies as well as on the mainland of South America. At the present day it is perhaps more popular in Cuba than in any other part of the tropics. In Mexico it occurs in many places, and the fruit is often seen in the markets. It is also grown in the tropical portions of South America. This is a tropical tree. It is difficult to grow in South Florida but not impossible. If you find a nice sheltered location, give it lots of water, and organic fertilizer from time to time you should have success. excerpts taken from Manual Of Tropical And Subtropical Fruits by Wilson Popenoe

10-01-2008: Three pictures of my tree with a mineral deficiency that is quite obvious and since rectified with organic fertilizer, look at the leaves in the first photo!

12-18-2008: Some smaller flower buds

12-18-2008: Flowers, unusual, beautiful and lightly fragrant

04-19-2009 Immature Fruit

06-16-2009: See above for new pictures of this fruit

Creative Commons License
Annona muricata Soursop by Eric Bronson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at


Anonymous said...

Guanabana! :)
In order of taste Guanabana -> Mountain Soursop -> Pond Apple

Just purchased a few Soursop from the Murrays nursery last week. No online ordering but their website has directions.

I likE plants! said...

I love the Guanabana one of my favorite fruits!!! I can't wait maybe a week or two I'll have a fresh one right off my tree!
p.s. That's a great nursery to buy trees from. I knew Bob M. what a nice down-to-earth guy!!!! I was sad to hear of his passing.