Annona

Scientific name

Annona L.

Common names

pond apple, alligator apple, swamp apple, corkwood, monkey apple, cow apple, mangrove anona, bullock's heart, bobwood

Family

Annonaceae

Similar genera

Pachira, Schinus

Native distribution

tropical Americas, West Africa, and Sri Lanka

Species cultivated

Annona glabra L.

Adventive distribution

Annona glabra is introduced into tropical Asia, Australia and several Pacific islands.

Weed status

significant weed in some countries

Habit

shrub to tree

Brief description

Semi-deciduous tree. Trunk base commonly buttressed; bark grey, with prominent lenticels. Leaves alternate, petiolate; leaf blade ovate to elliptic, glabrous; apex acute to shortly acuminate; base attenuate to rounded; margin entire; venation pinnate. Flowers solitary in leaf axils; pedicellate; cream or pale yellow with a red center; sepals 3, broadly ovate, apiculate; petals 6, in 2 whorls; outer petals ovate-cordate, inner petals oblong-ovate; stamens numerous, packed into a ball; stigmas sticky, deciduous. Fruit a large syncarp, round to ovoid, yellow to orange when ripe, pulp pinkish-orange, pungent-aromatic.

Natural habitat

fresh or brackish wetlands; swamps, mangrove communities, banks of creeks, streams and rivers

Additional comments

Though Annona has over 150 species, Annona glabra is the only species found in estuarine habitats. It is frequently cultivated for use as grafting stock for other Annona species with more desirable fruit.