Annona Squamosa, Sita Phal ( Grown through seeds ) - Plant
Sugar apples (Annona squamosa) are the fruit of one of the most commonly grown Annona trees. Depending upon where you find them, they go by a plethora of names, amongst them include sweetsop, custard apple and the apropos scaly custard apple. The sugar apple tree varies in height from 10-20 feet with an open habit of irregular, zigzagging twigs. Foliage is alternate, dull green on top and pale green on the underside.
Crushed leaves have an aromatic scent, as do the fragrant flowers which may be single or in clusters of 2-4. They are yellow-green with a pale yellow interior borne off of long drooping stalks. Fruit of sugar apple trees is as about 2 Â½ to 4 inches long. Each fruit segment typically contains a Â½-inch long black to dark brown seed, of which there may be up to 40 per sugar apple. Most sugar apples have green skins, but a dark red variety is attaining some popularity. Fruit ripens 3-4 months after flowering in the spring.
|Common name||Flower colours||Bloom time||Height||Difficulty|
|Sugar Apple,aatoa, amritaphala, ata, athichakku, luna, seethapalam, seethaphala, sharifa, shariffa, sitaphal.||Yellow, green||July- August||10 to 20 ft||Easy to grow|
Planting and care
Seed propagation is the traditional method through which the sugar apple tree is grown. It is the most used propagation method. However, this method has several disadvantages such as low germination rate, high genetic variability, late start of the harvest and the plants are taller and rather difficult to handle.
|Full Sun to Partial Shade||Well-drained soil||Medium||20 to 30 degrees C||Apply any organic fertilizer|
- There must be adequate moisture in the soil to encourage vegetative growth and blooms that occur on the new branches.
- The tree should be watered in every 2 to 4 weeks during the period of low growth and every 3 to 5 days while it is flowering and setting fruits.
- The water stress must be prevented and soil must be kept moist at this time as the fruit is more sensitive than the leaves to lack of water.
Special features: The fruit of the sugar apple tree is eaten out of hand, separating the fleshy segments from the outer peel and spitting the seeds out. In some countries, the pulp is pressed to eliminate the seeds and then added to ice cream or combined with milk for a refreshing beverage. Sugar apples are never used cooked.
Culinary use: Leaves
Ornamental use: The plant is used for ornamental purpose.