Sweetsop (Annona squamosa)

Sweetsop fruit and cross-section of Sweetsop fruitThis tree is small, seldom more than 6 meters (18 feet) tall, with many irregularly spreading, light brown branches growing off a short trunk. The branches have visible leaf scars with twigs that become brown with small, oval, rounded, light brown spots on the stem or branch of the plant.  It has alternate, thin, smooth, elongated, dark green leaves that occur singly and measure 2-7 inches long by 1-2 inches wide.  The leaves are pale green on top and bottom.  Flowers are greenish yellow and grow on a long, slender stalk. with almost indiscernible inner petals.  Its fruit, called sugar-apple, is green when ripe, round (sometimes heart-shaped), and covered with protruding bumps on its surface. The fruit’s flesh is white or yellowish white and contains a single dark brown or black, long seed.

Where to Find: Look for sweetsop at margins of fields, near villages, and around home-sites in tropical regions.

Edible Parts: The fruit flesh is edible raw.

Other Uses: You can use the finely ground seeds as an insecticide.

Grove of cultivated Sweetsop trees

The simple leaves of the Sweetsop tree

Alternate growing leaves of the Sweetsop tree

Sweetsop tree leaves

Close up of Sweetsop tree leaves

Sweetsop fruit

Close up of Sweetsop fruit

Elongated Sweetsop tree flower

Color drawing of Sweetsop tree illustrating the plant's components