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Annona squamosa L.


Annona squamosa L.





Vernacular Names

Malaysia Nona sri kaya, buah nona, sri kaya.
English Sugar apple, sweetsop.
Indonesia Sirkaja (Javanese), sarikaja (Sundanese, Sumatra), atis (Ternate, Tidore).
Thailand Noina (Central), makkhiap (North-eastern), lanang (Pattani).
Philippines Atis.

Tiep baay, tiep srôk.

Laos Khièb.
Vietnam Na, mang câù ta.
French Attier, pomme cannelle.

Geographical Distributions

Annona squamosa is widely distributed throughout tropical South America. Most atemoya hybrids resemble cherimoya in vigour and tree habit, but exhibit flowering and fruiting characteristics intermediate to both parents. It is grown commercially in Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, and the atemoya in Australia, Florida, Hawaii and Israel.


This shrub or tree can grow up to 3-6 m tall. The leaves are oblong to narrowly elliptic, measuring 7-17 cm x 3-5.5 cm, slightly pubescent or glabrescent beneath.

The flowers are extra-axillary, borne on slender peduncles of young branchlets and usually in clusters of 2-4 but sometimes solitary. The 3 outer petals are oblong, measure up to 2.5 cm long, green and purple at the base while the 3 inner petals are reduced to minute scales or absent.

The fruit is a spherical or conical pseudocarp, measures 5-10 cm in diametre and formed of loosely cohering or virtually free carpels with the rounded ends projecting that render the tuberculate surface. The surface is greenish-yellow and with a powdery bloom. The pulp is white tinged with yellow. The seeds are dark brown.

Ecology / Cultivation

Annona squamosa thrives in the tropics up to about 1000 m elevation and has the reputation of being a hardy, drought-resistant crop, particularly in India. This is only partly correct. Although the rest period and leaf fall enable the tree to survive a severe dry season, it requires adequate moisture during the growing season, and responds very well to supplementary irrigation. The importance of moisture is borne out by the fact that in India as well as Southeast Asia, fruit set is largely limited to the onset of the rains, notwithstanding the prolonged flowering season.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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  1) Safety


    1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 2: Edible fruits and nuts.

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