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Soursop Annona muricata

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Soursop Annona muricata, It is generally known in most Spanish-speaking countries as guanabana; in E1 Salvador, as guanaba; in Guatemala, as huanaba; in Mexico, often as zopote de viejas, or cabeza de negro; in Venezuela, as catoche or catuche; in Argentina, as anona de puntitas or anona de broquel; in Bolivia, sinini; in Brazil, araticum do grande, graviola, or jaca do Para; in the Netherlands Antilles, sorsaka or zunrzak, the latter name also used in Surinam andJava; in French-speaking areas of the West Indies, West Africa, and Southeast Asia, especially North Vietnam, it is known as corossol, grand corossol, corossol epineux, or cachiman epineux. In Malaya it may be called durian belanda, durian maki; or seri kaya belanda; in Thailand, thu-rian-khack.
The soursop tree is low-branching and bushy but slender because of its upturned limbs, and reaches a height of 25 or 30 ft (7.5-9 m). Young branchlets are rusty-hairy. The malodorous leaves, normally evergreen, are alternate, smooth, glossy, dark green on the upper surface, lighter beneath; oblong, elliptic or narrowobovate, pointed at both ends, 2 1/2 to 8 in (6.25-20 cm) long and 1 to 2 1/2 in (2.5-6.25 cm) wide. The flowers, which are borne singly, may emerge anywhere on the trunk, branches or twigs. They are short stalked, 1 1/2 to 2 in (4 5 cm) long, plump, and triangular-conical, the 3 fleshy, slightly spreading, outer petals yellow-green, the 3 close-set inner petals pale-yellow.

The fruit is more or less oval or heart-shaped, some times irregular, lopsided or curved, due to improper carper development or insect injury. The size ranges from 4 to 12 in (10-30 cm) long and up to 6 in (15 cm) in width, and the weight may be up to 10 or 15 lbs (4.5-6.8 kg). The fruit is compound and covered with a reticulated, leathery-appearing but tender, inedible, bitter skin from which protrude few or many stubby, or more elongated and curved, soft, pliable "spines". The tips break off easily when the fruit is fully ripe. The skin is dark-green in the immature fruit, becoming slightly yellowish-green before the mature fruit is soft to the touch. Its inner surface is cream-colored and granular and separates easily from the mass of snow-white, fibrous, juicy segments—much like flakes of raw fish—surrounding the central, soft-pithy core. In aroma, the pulp is somewhat pineapple-like, but its musky, subacid to acid flavor is unique. Most of the closely-packed segments are seedless. In each fertile segment there is a single oval, smooth, hard, black seed, l/2 to 3/4 in (1.25-2 cm) long; and a large fruit may contain from a few dozen to 200 or more seeds.

The soursop is truly tropical. Young trees in exposed places in southem Florida are killed by only a few degrees of frost. The trees that survive to fruiting age on the mainland are in protected situations, close to the south side of a house and sometimes near a source of heat. Even so, there will be temporary defoliation and interruption of fruiting when the temperature drops to near freezing. In Key West, where the tropical breadfruit thrives, the soursop is perfectly at home. In Puerto Rico, the tree is said to prefer an altitude between 800 and 1,000 ft (244300 m), with moderate humidity, plenty of sun and shelter from strong winds.

Soil

Best growth is achieved in deep, rich, well-drained, semi-drysoil, but the soursop tree can be and is commonly grown in acid and sandy soil, and in the porous, oolitic limestone of South Florida and the Bahama Islands.

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 05 January, 2011.