Annona reticulata (Annona reticulata L.) is an arboreal species belonging to the Annonaceae family.
From a systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Plantae Kingdom, Magnoliophyta Division, Magnoliopsida Class, Magnoliidae Subclass, Magnoliales Order, Annonaceae Family and therefore to the Genus Annona and to the Species A. reticulata
The terms are synonymous:
– Annona lutescens Saff .;
– Annona excelsa Kunth;
– Annona laevis Kunth;
– Annona longifolia Sessé & Moc .;
– Annona riparia Kunth.
The term Annona is the Latinized form of the vernacular name attributed to this plant by the American Taino Indians.
The specific reticulated epithet comes from a reticulum, a diminutive of the network that has a lattice, referring to the carpels.
Geographical Distribution and Habitat –
Annona reticulata is a plant probably native to the Caribbean and Central America but currently present and cultivated or naturalized in many parts of the world including Southeast Asia, Taiwan, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia and Africa.
Its natural habitat is that between 0 and 1,500 meters above sea level. in areas of Central America that have alternating wet and dry seasons.
Annona reticulata is a small deciduous or semi-evergreen tree that can reach 8-10 meters in height.
It has an open and irregular crown.
The thin leaves are hairless, straight and pointed at the apex (in some wrinkled varieties), 10 to 20 centimeters long and 2 to 7 centimeters wide.
The flowers are yellow-green in color, generally gathered in clusters of three or four, from 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter, with three long external petals and three very small internal ones.
The fruits are syncarps, of different shape, from the heart-shaped one, spherical, oblong or irregular, with dimensions that vary from 7 to 12 centimeters, depending on the cultivar. When ripe, the fruit is brown or yellowish, with red highlights and a different degree of crosslinking, depending on the variety. The pulp varies from juicy and very aromatic to hard with a repulsive taste. The taste is sweet and pleasant, similar to the taste of traditional custard.
Although this plant grows optimally in tropical climates, it is also found in subtropical regions.
However, it requires humid conditions, with medium-high rainfall; inaffti than the other Annona is less resistant to drought.
The necessary annual temperature varies from 17 to 27 ° C. It tolerates light night frosts up to -2 ° C.
From a pedological point of view, this species grows on many types of soil with a pH between 5 and 8. It does not tolerate water stagnation or in too high ground conditions.
Annona reticulata can also be propagated by seed but can be reproduced or propagated by grafting or cutting.
An average tree produces 45 kg of fruit per year. In Asia, the season lasts from July to September and in the Caribbean runs from February to April.
Annona reticulata is an invasive plant. In addition, one must be careful because all parts of the tree (except the fruit) are toxic, with possible problems for human health.
Uses and Traditions –
Annona reticulata is a plant cultivated since remote times in tropical countries and today it also occurs in wild populations in many parts of the world in the tropical and subtropical belt.
It is known worldwide with various names including: bullock’s heart, bull’s heart, common custard apple, custard apple, Jamaica apple, netted custard apple, ox-heart, sweetsop, annone réticulée, khaki man, cachiman coeur de boeuf, cachimantier, coeur de boeuf, corossol reticulé, corossol sauvage; netzannone, ochsenherz, ochsenherzapfel, schleimapfel, anoneira, araticum apé, araticum-do-mato, coraçao-de-boi, milolo, anón injerto, anona colorada, anona corazón, anona de corazón rojo, anona de Cuba, anona de redecilla, anona de redecilla, anona de seso, anón manteca, anona pelona, anona roja, anona rosada, anonillo, anón pelón, chirimoya roia, corazón de buey, mamán, mamón, manzana de ilán, saramuyo.
Its fruit can be eaten raw, like fresh fruit. It can also be prepared for fruit juice, ice cream or puddings. In India, it is cooked in some sauces.
In general, this fruit is sweet and useful in the preparation of desserts, but is generally less popular to eat than that of Annona cherimola.
As for other uses, the leaves and branches can be used for tanning products as they contain blue pigments. From the inner bark ornaments and hats can be made. The wood is soft and can be used to make tools, even if it is weak and of poor quality.
With reference to the substances contained in the fruit, every 100 grams there are: 101 calories, 23% of the daily value of vitamin C and 17% of vitamin B6, it also contains 72% of water, 25% of carbohydrates, the 2% protein and 1% fat, plus various mineral salts.
The fragrant aroma of this fruit comes from about 180 compounds, including volatile compounds, alpha-pinene, myrcene and limonene, in addition, the plant is rich in tannins.
All parts of this plant have medicinal virtues. In traditional medicine, the use of dried fruit, bark or leaves has been reported over the centuries.
The leaves and seeds contain substances that have insecticidal properties; the sap is irritating and therefore caution is needed when cutting branches.
Method of Preparation –
Annona reticulata is a plant whose fruits are used for food while the bark and leaves are used for medicinal purposes.
The fruits are consumed as fresh fruit but from these fruit juices, ice cream or puddings are also prepared. In India, it is cooked in some sauces.
– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Tips and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for information purposes only, they do not in any way represent a medical prescription; therefore, no responsibility is accepted for their use for healing, aesthetic or food purposes.