Characteristics of Sweetsops (Annona squamosa) Trees In the Wild

Annona squamosa
Sweetsops or Sugar-apples are tree species from the Annonaceae family that are thought to originate in tropical America and the West Indies, but the exact origin is unknown.

Sweetsops trees are widely cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics to harvest sweet and delicious fruit. The tree is spread almost throughout Southeast Asia including Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, and naturalized in Florida, Brazil, and Bangladesh.

Sweetsops trees naturally occupy rather humid tropical areas where they need temperatures of 25 °C to 36 °C. Trees cannot withstand cold or snowy temperatures, in winter, the cultivation of sweetsops should be carried out in a greenhouse or special area.

Although it cannot stand subtropical climates, sweetsops can still be considered rather strong, it can withstand hot temperatures reaching 41 °C, even though in hot or dry temperatures it is not possible to produce fruit. In its wild habitat, sweetsops are found in areas less than 2,000 m above sea level.


Characteristics of Sweetsops Leaf

Annona squamosa Leaf
Source : Yi Shuen

The leaves are thin, simple, pale green, single, 13-17 cm long and 3-6 cm wide. The petiole is 0.4-2.2 cm long and rarely pubescent.


Characteristics of Sweetsops Flower

Annona squamosa Flower
Source : Yi Shuen

The flowers appear in groups or can be single, yellow, flower stalks have a length of 2 cm, the length of the flowers about 3 cm and 2.5 cm wide.

Sweetsops bloom in early summer and are pollinated by nitidulid beetles.


Characteristics of Sweetsops Fruit

Annona squamosa Fruit
Source :

Sweetsops are round or heart-shaped, green when raw and yellowish when ripe, 5-10 cm long with many rounded protuberances, and often covered with white powder.


Characteristics of Sweetsops Tree

Annona squamosa Tree
Source :

Sweetsops generally grow only as shrubs or small trees, but in the wild, it can reach heights of 6-8 meters. Its branches are many, blackish in color, and the leaves are rather bare as the tree grows into adulthood.


In traditional Thai and American medicine, sweetsop leaves are used in herbs to treat dysentery and urinary tract infections.

In traditional Indian medicine, sweetsops leaves are crushed and applied to the wound to reduce pain.

In Mexico, the leaves of sweetsops are crushed to pieces and then put into chicken coops to repel fleas.


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