Annona muricata
Common Name: soursop 
Type: Tree
Family: Annonaceae
Native Range: Central America, West Indies
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Yellow-green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11. This tree should only be planted outdoors in frost free areas protected from cold winds. It is best grown in rich, evenly moist but well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates average soils. It is totally intolerant of frost. In St. Louis, it may be grown indoors in greenhouses, but is difficult to grow as a houseplant.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Annona muricata, commonly called soursop (also known as graviola or guanabana), is a small evergreen tropical tree that is native to Central and tropical South America. In the wild, it is a slender tree that will grow to 15-20' tall often with down-curved branching. It grows much smaller in containers. The name soursop is in reference to its large edible fruits which have a slightly acidic or sour taste. This tropical plant is not reliably winter hardy to most of southern Florida, but may be grown in the Florida keys and Puerto Rico. In greenhouses, it typically flowers in summer producing fruits in fall. Each flower (to 2" long) appears singly on a woody stalk almost anywhere on the tree (twigs, branches or trunk). Each flower has three yellowish-green outer petals and three dull yellow inner petals. Flowers give way to rough-skinned, prickly-textured, oblong fruit (each fruit from 6-12" long to 4-6" wide with weight to 8-15 pounds). Fruit pulp is used in ice cream, sherbets or juices. Leathery, egg-shaped, malodorous (when bruised), oblong to oval leaves (to 6" long) are glossy green above. Plants have been used for various medicinal purposes.

Genus name comes from the Latinized version of the American Indian (Taino) vernacular name for the cherimoya, soursop or custard-apple.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Must be protected from frost.

Garden Uses

Ornamental. Fruit production.