How the cherimoya spreads
The cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill.) Is a plant of the Annonaceae family, native to the Andean highlands of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia, also widespread in Chile, California, Florida, southern Africa and in various Mediterranean countries .
The fruit of the cherimoya has the characteristic of being attached to the tree with a stretch of branch, not a simple peduncle. It also contains a high number of seeds and ripens in autumn in the Mediterranean.
It has a sub-acid and mild flavor, sometimes described as a blend of pineapple, mango and strawberry.
In this contribution we will see, in detail, how the annona propagates starting from the availability of some plants, while for the complete cultivation technique, see the following sheet.
The cherimoya reproduces very easily both by sowing and by grafting.
Propagation by seed –
The seeds have an excellent longevity and if kept in a cool and dry place they can germinate even after several years.
As for the sowing operation, it is necessary to place the seeds in a pot containing good soil, place it in a bright area, but not direct sunlight, taking care to keep the earth moist.
Generally, at an average temperature of 20 ° C, the first leaves will begin to sprout within three weeks and the percentage of budding is quite high.
The interesting thing about the cherimoya is that, unlike many other fruit plants, the fruiting of this species is early and after 3-4 years you could have the first flowering and after another couple the first fruiting.
Obviously, seed reproduction does not guarantee the characteristics of the mother plant.
To have identical characteristics of the mother plant it is necessary to propagate by vegetative way.
The most widespread method of vegetative multiplication is undoubtedly grafting, which is usually carried out on seedlings of A. cherimola, although in tropical areas Annona reticulata is also used as rootstock.
Propagation by grafting –
In the world there are innumerable varieties of A. cherimola, nevertheless in Italy few are available. The most widespread cultivar is undoubtedly the Fino de Jete, of Spanish origin, which is characterized by constant and abundant production, but also by large fruits and excellent flavor; moreover it is self-fertile, which does not make manual pollination strictly essential. Other varieties are El Bumpo, with fruits with a thin and edible skin, but not very suitable to be transported, the White, of Californian origin, of good taste but not very productive and the Campas, widespread in Southern Calabria.
In the reproduction of the Annona by grafting, we start from a plant grafted onto the seed subject of the same species; the most usual form of grafting is the English split graft, or the scion graft.
To complete this article, please note that when ripe, a good cherimoya fruit weighs from 200 to 400 grams, but in some cases it can reach a kilogram.
Production per hectare can reach 150 quintals. Harvesting must be done before physiological ripening, when the epicarp clears. After harvesting, the fruits ripen quickly (3-4 days) and put in refrigerated environments irreversibly stop the ripening process.
In addition to fresh consumption, the fruits can be used for the production of ice cream or a good distillate.