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Annonaceae Annona cherimola Mill.


A. diversifolia Safford

Source: Magness et al. 1971

The cherimoya, native in the Northern Andes in South America, is a small spreading tree, up to 25 feet, with pubescent leaves up to 10 inches long. The fruits are large, up to 4 to 6 pounds, generally heart shaped or conical, and ripen from December to January. The surface may be nearly smooth, or irregular due to points on the carpel terminals. The rather thin rind encloses a white, custard-like pulp in which numerous seeds are embedded. Flavor is of the finest among tropical fruits. The tree thrives best in tropical highlands.

The Ilama is quite similar in fruit and tree characters, but thrives best in tropical lowlands. Fruit flavor is not equal to that of cherimoya. Ilama are rare in the U.S. Cherimoya trees are grown to a limited extent in California and Hawaii, mainly as individual specimens.

Last update February 18, 1999 by ch