Annona muricata

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Annona muricata
Soursop, Annona muricata.jpg
Annona muricata 1.jpg
Soursop fruit on its tree
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Magnoliids
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Annonaceae
Genus: Annona
Species: A. muricata
Binomial name
Annona muricata

Annona macrocarpa Wercklé
Annona crassiflora Mart.[1]
Guanabanus muricatus M.Gómez
Guanabanus muricatus (L.) M.Gómez[2]
Annona bonplandiana Kunth
Annona cearensis Barb. Rodr.
Annona muricata Vell.[3]

Annona muricata (common Spanish name: guanábanaa) is a species of the genus Annona of the custard apple tree family, Annonaceae, which has edible fruit. The fruit is usually called soursop due to its slightly acidic taste when ripe. A. muricata is native to the Caribbean and Central America but is now widely cultivated – and in some areas, becoming invasive – in tropical climates throughout the world.


Annona muricata is a small, upright, evergreen tree that can grow to about 4 metres (13 ft) tall.[4][5] Its young branches are hairy.[5] Leaves are oblong to oval, 8 centimetres (3.1 in) to 16 centimetres (6.3 in) long and 3 centimetres (1.2 in) to 7 centimetres (2.8 in) wide. They are a glossy dark green with no hairs above, and paler and minutely hairy to no hairs below.[5] The leaf stalks are 4 millimetres (0.16 in) to 13 millimetres (0.51 in) long and without hairs.[5]

Botanical drawing, showing, flower , leaves and fruit.

Flower stalks (peduncles) are 2 millimetres (0.079 in) to 5 millimetres (0.20 in) long and woody. They appear opposite from the leaves or as an extra from near the leaf stalk, each with one or two flowers, occasionally a third.[5] Stalks for the individual flowers (pedicels) are stout and woody, minutely hairy to hairless and 15 millimetres (0.59 in) to 20 millimetres (0.79 in) with small bractlets nearer to the base which are densely hairy.[5]

The petals are thick and yellowish. Outer petals meet at the edges without overlapping and are broadly ovate, 2.8 centimetres (1.1 in) to 3.3 centimetres (1.3 in) by 2.1 centimetres (0.83 in) to 2.5 centimetres (0.98 in), tapering to a point with a heart shaped base. They are evenly thick, and are covered with long, slender, soft hairs externally and matted finely with soft hairs within. Inner petals are oval shaped and overlap. They measure roughly 2.5 centimetres (0.98 in) to 2.8 centimetres (1.1 in) by 2 centimetres (0.79 in), and are sharply angled and tapering at the base. Margins are comparatively thin, with fine matted soft hairs on both sides. The receptacle is conical and hairy. The stamens are 4.5 millimetres (0.18 in) long and narrowly wedge-shaped. The connective-tip terminate abruptly and anther hollows are unequal. Sepals are quite thick and do not overlap. Carpels are linear and basally growing from one base. The ovaries are covered with dense reddish brown hairs, 1-ovuled, style short and stigma truncate.[5]

The fruits are dark green and prickly. They are ovoid and can be up to 30 centimetres (12 in) long,[5] with a moderately firm texture.[6] Their flesh is juicy, acid, whitish[6] and aromatic.[5]

The average weight of 1000 fresh seeds is 470 grams (17 oz) and they have an average oil content of 24%.[6][7] When dried for 3 days at 60 °C (140 °F), the average seed weight was 322 grams (11.4 oz). They are tolerant of the moisture extraction, showing no problems for long-term storage under reasonable conditions.[8]


Annona muricata is tolerant of poor soil[6] and prefers lowland areas between the altitudes of 0 metres (0 ft) to 1,200 metres (3,900 ft). It cannot stand frost.[4][5]

Caribbean: Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Barbados
North America: México
Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize
South America: Bolivia, Brasil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador
Africa:Republic of Congo, Ghana, Somalia, Madagascar, Liberia, Nigeria


The compound annonacin, which is contained in the seeds of soursop, is a neurotoxin associated with neurodegenerative disease.[9]

Subspecies which are synonyms[edit]

  • Annona muricata var. borinquensis[3]

Annona muricata oil[edit]

[citation needed]

Annona muricata virgem oil

Soursop Oil offers many properties which includes antibacterial, astringent, hypotensive and sedative to name a few. Their traditional uses are to treat asthma, chills, fever, flue, high blood pressure, insomnia, nervousness, rheumatism and skin diseases.[10] Use it in creams, lotions and ointments to relieve itching of dry skin and eczema and psoriasis symptoms. The seed has high amount of magnesium and potassium with respect to the fruit pulp.[11]

Physical and chemical characteristics
Acetyl value 66,7
Linoleic acid 12 - 33%
Oleic acid 41 - 58%
Palmitic 16%
Acid value 0,93
Saturated 28,07%
Insaturated 71,93%


  1. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) (1997-07-11). "Taxon: Annona muricata L.". Taxonomy for Plants. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  2. ^ "Plant Name Details Annonaceae Aluguntugui L.". International Plant Names Index. International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI). Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  3. ^ a b W3TROPICOS. "Annona muricata L.". Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  4. ^ a b EEB Greenhouse Staff, University of Connecticut (2008-04-10). "Annona muricata L.". Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Greenhouses. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Greenhouses. Retrieved 2008-04-18. crfg 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Flora of North America. "Annona muricata L.,". Flora of Pakistan. 20. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  6. ^ a b c d Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) (2008-01-05). "Result set for: Annonaceae Annona muricata". PIER species lists. United States Geological Survey & United States Forest Service. Archived from the original on 12 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-18. Stone, Benjamin C. 1970. The flora of Guam. Micronesica 6:1–659 
  7. ^ Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (1994) [1984]. "Seed Information Database Search Results". Seed Information Database. Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  8. ^ Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (2005). "Seed Information Database Search Results". Seed Information Database. Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  9. ^ Le Ven, J.; Schmitz-Afonso, I.; Touboul, D.; Buisson, D.; Akagah, B.; Cresteil, T.; Lewin, G.; Champy, P. (2011). "Annonaceae fruits and parkinsonism risk: Metabolisation study of annonacin, a model neurotoxin; evaluation of human exposure". Toxicology Letters. 205: S50. doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2011.05.197. 
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links[edit]