Annona salzmannii A. DC.

February 25, 2011

Annona salzmannii, known locally as araticum, is a medium-size tree of 10-15 m, quite common in this area, and one of the most common Annonaceae spp. around here with edible fruit. Its fruit bearing is not regular, with mass fruiting occurring every two to three years. At other times the fruit is scant and usually spoiled by fruit-fly infestation. Local people think it bears fruit every five years or so when the trees produce female flowers. Their observations are true as far as periodicity of mass fruit bearing is concerned, whereas their explanation of the phenomenon is fantastical: the flowers of the sp. are perfect, with male and female parts always present.

The fruit is good to eat for desert: its fleshy parts resemble in taste those of sugar apple (Annona squamosa L., ‘pinha’, in Brazilian Portuguese), or atemoya (Annona cherimola x squamosa). The biggest drawback are fairly large seeds that are too numerous for easy eating.

It looks like this may be a bumper crop year, with many yellow fruit easily visible in the green foliage of this handsome looking tree.

My set of images of the tree, its flowers, and fruit, is also available on Flickr (http://bit.ly/dFVTBX).

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