Custard Apple

Custard AppleCustard Apple — The Custard-apple (Annona reticulata), known in English as bullock’s heart or bull’s heart, in Haiti as “Kashiman”, in French as “Cashiman” in Hindi as sitaphal or Sita’s fruit and in Urdu as “Shareefah”, in Thai as “Noi-na,” is a species of Annona, native to the tropical New World, preferring a low elevation, and a warm, humid climate. It also occurs as feral populations in many parts of the world including Southeast Asia, Taiwan, India, Australia, and Africa. It is a small deciduous or semi-evergreen tree reaching 10 m tall. The leaves are alternate, simple, oblong-lanceolate, 10-15 cm long and 5-10 cm broad. The flowers are produced in clusters, each flower 2-3 cm across, with six yellow-green petals.

The fruit is variable in shape, ranging from a symmetrical globose to heart shaped, oblong or irregular. The size ranges from 7-12 cm. When ripe, the fruit is brown or yellowish, with red highlights and a varying degree of reticulation, depending on variety. The flavor is sweet and pleasant, but inferior to that of the cherimoya or sugar-apple. The latter fruit is sometimes confused with this species.

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