SUGAR APPLES

Sugar Apples:  Annona squamosa

Sugar Apples (Annona squamosa) are the most widely cultivated member of the Annonaceae family.  Sometimes called "Sweetsop", as distinguished from "Soursop" (Annona muricata, aka Guanabana or Mang cau).

Sugar Apples are a native of the tropical Americas and West Indies, is a heart-shaped fruit about 2-4" in diameter, and are typically pale green to blue green in color w/ a deep pink blush on certain varieties.

Its exterior is segmented and tends to separate when ripe, exposing the interior. Inside are many small shiny dark brown seeds.

Flowering occurs in late spring to early summer and flowers are pollinated by nitidulid beetles, as bees can not reach the pollen. Hand pollination may be necessary in areas where the beetles do not exist.

Sugar Apples like it warm and humid. Optimum growing conditions are 74-93 degrees, with 70% humidity or more, and possibly wind protection. Protect from frost, though mature trees can tolerate short spells of temperatures down to 29-30 degrees.

Sugar Apples rarely exceed about 15-20' in Florida.

Sugar Apple

Photo courtesy of wikipedia: By J.M.Garg (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

sugar apples

typical 3gal Sugar Apple

Related Species:  
Annonaceae:   the sour'sop family


There are actually more than 2000 members of the Annonaceae family of plants, but only about 6 are common in America:

  • Annona cherimola: "Cherimoya"
    native of the Ecuadorian Andes, SA; grown in Colombia, Ecuador & Peru;
  • Annona muricata: "Soursop" "Guanabana" (Spanish) or "Mang cau Xiem" (Vietnamese) "Graviola" (Brazillian Portuguese)  Typically seedling grown.
    flavor something like a combination of strawberry & pineapple, w/ sour citrus notes and an underlying creaminess like a coconut or banana.

  • Annona reticulata: "Custard Apple"
  • Annona squamosa: "Sugar Apple" "Sweetsop" called "custard apple" especially in India & Australia;  typically seedling grown, maybe air-layered;
  • Annona senegalensis: "wild custard apple"
  • Annona atemoya: "pineapple sugar apple"
    Atemoya is a hybrid cross of A. squamosa & A. cherimola. 
    Cultivars are typically grafted.
  • Asimina triloba: "Pawpaw" -- native deciduous tree in NA, grown from Ontario to Florida; bears the largest edible fruit native to US or Canada