Anon ( Annona squamosa ). Small tree originating in the Antilles , cultivated for its fruits in all tropical regions. It is one of the best known trees in Cuba , common in shallow limestone soils; but only commercially cultivated on a small scale, for local consumption. Custard apple plants are found on farms, bateyes and in many courtyards in country towns. It belongs to the Annonaceae family .


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  • 1 Taxonomy
    • 1 Scientific name
      • 1.1 Authors
    • 2 Synonymy
    • 3 Common name
  • 2 Botanical description
  • 3 Applications
  • 4 percent normal composition
  • 5 Nutritional value
  • 6 Digestibility coefficient
  • 7 References
  • 8 Bibliography


Scientific name

  • Annona squamosa L. [1] [2] [3] [4]


  • Linnaeus, Carl von


  • Published in: Species Plantarum 1: 537. 1753. (1 May 1753 ) [5]


  • Annona asiatica L.
  • Annona cinerea Dunal
  • Annona forskahlii DC.
  • Annona glabra Forssk.
  • Guanabanus squamosus M. Gómez
  • Xylopia frutescens Sieb. ex Presl
  • Xylopia glabra L. [6]
  • Annona distinguishes Raeusch.
  • Annona forsskalii DC.
  • Annona squamosa Delile
  • Annona squamosa f. Kuntze parvifolia
  • Xylopia frutescens var. glabra S. Watson [7]

Common name

Custard apple, custard apple, kidney, Saramuyo.

Botanical description

Small tree, occasionally 10 m high, with the branches densely pubescent.


Leaves: elliptical-lanceolate to oblong, 6 to 12 cm long and 3 to 4.5 cm wide, sometimes larger, pubescent, at least when young, sometimes hairless when old, sharp or shortly accumulated at the apex narrowed or occasionally rounded at the base, with tiny dots; petioles 5 to 12 mm long.

Flowers: perfect, several in a group or occasionally solitary.

Calyx: 3-split, its triangular lobes, acute pubescent, 1,5 long 6 petals, in two series, valvate or slightly imbricate, the oblong-linear exterior, 1.6 cm to 2.5 cm long and 5 to 7 mm wide, keeled pubescent on the inner side and with a purple excavation at the base; tiny, inner petals, ovate and burned.

Stamens: numerous, piled on top of the receptacle, the fleshy filaments carry on their backs a pair of linear, parallel pollen sacs.

Carpels: numerous, often consistent, solitary ovum, erect.

Fruit: subglobose or ovoid, 5 to 9 cm in diameter, composed of numerous loosely coherent carpels, which are rounded on the back; greenish yellow when ripe and covered with a glaucous efflorescence, the pulp is sweet and white.

Seeds: oblong and oblong elliptic, 1 to 1.5 cm long and 6.5 to 9 mm wide.



Its leaves, bark and fruits are used in various ways. In Cuba , the anón shoots are used in cooking for the cold and decompositions in the belly, alone or with peppermint. In the Cienfuegos region of Cuba they use the anon buds for indigestion, and the leaves soaked in water take them as a drink against albumin and uric acid. In Camagüey , Cuba, sprouts are used in cooking for colds. The seed is irritating and reduced to dust and mixed with an inert powder it is used as an insecticide (Pittier).

In India , slightly blunt leaves, mixed with salt and reduced to the shape of a poultice, are used to apply them to malignant tumors, which makes them mature quickly. Grosourdy says that the leaves, the bark and the green fruits have astringent properties, and that a cooking is prepared with them against the atonic affections of the gastrointestinal canal, diarrhea and chronic dysentery, and that they give good results.

According to Pichardo, the cooking of the leaves of the custard apple is used for indigestion and for catarrh of the bladder especially. Similar properties are attributed by Grosourdy to two other Annona species equally common in Cuba, the soursop ( A. muricata Lin.) And the mamón or custard apple in Cuba ( A. reticulata L.). The cooking of the soursop buds is used in Cienfuegos against coughs and colds, and in promotions against inflammations.

Soursop leaves are used in cooking against colds and coughs. Cooking is also used to promote inflammation and to wash swollen feet. According to Caíñas, the refreshment of the soursop fruit corrects hematuria, facilitates urinary secretion and relieves urethritis . The decoction of the leaves is diaphoretic. In eczema the crushed leaves are placed and covered with a cloth.

Grosourdy gives Annona squamosa L as a synonym , Annona bullata Richm, which is a different species called cuba laurel in Cuba, very aromatic and surely with the same medicinal virtues as anon and soursop. Of the soursop, Grosourdy says that its leaves and buds have antispasmodic and stomachic properties, and are a useful vulgar remedy against indigestion or empacho, facilitate difficult digestion and lessen the disorders that frequently accompany them.

Soursop buds and flowers are also used as pectorals and are used in very concentrated infusion. He adds that the buds or the tender leaves of the soursop wet with saliva and applied to the fleshes come out around the cauterices, destroy them in a short time and without pain, or any particular scar. The gut or pulp of the sour soursop applied as a poultice, for three days without changing it, on the parts attacked by the chiggers, eliminates them.

Atemoya , hybrid between Anón and Chirimoya )

When the poultice is removed, the sores appear better and heal more easily. The seed powder is effective in killing lice, the tincture prepared from those pounded seeds and head rum has very energetic vomiting properties.

As for the mamon or cherimoya called corazon in Puerto Rico , kidney in Venezuela , and custard in the English Antilles , Grosourdy says that Dr. Chevalier considered its green fruits almost specific against diarrhea and used the powder made with them, in doses of two teaspoons of coffee, for an enema, that the patient should keep completely as long as possible and repeat this treatment depending on their condition.

Craveri says that the fruits and seeds of the soursop are antiscorbutic. According to Prittier, the fruits of the soursop are unbalanced and the leaves, taken as an infusion, stop the incipient diarrhea. Pittier says that the infusion of the bark of a species of anonanea, little cultivated in Cuba, A. purpurea Mox Sessé, called in Venezuela manirote, is used in popular medicine as a specific against dysentery and to bathe drenched beasts. The fruit juice is believed to cure jaundice .

Percent normal composition

Water. 72.00

Protein. 1.95

Grease. 0.40

Total sugars. 21.50

Carbohydrates. 1.00

Raw fiber. 2.20

Ashes 0.95

Total ……………….. 100.00

Nutritional value

Calories%. 97.93

Nutritional relationship. 1.12

Digestibility coefficient

Protein. 85%

Grease. 93%

Carbohydrates. 96%


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