Athemoya. It is a hybrid from the crossing of the Cherimoya ( Annona cherimola ) with the Anon ( Annona squamosa ). This hybrid, with exquisite fruit, resembles Custard apple and foliage in character and fruit, but the pulp is more yellowish. It originated from natural or man- made hybrids .


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  • 1 Taxonomy
    • 1 Scientific name
    • 2 Authors
    • 3 Common name
  • 2 Origin and Distribution
  • 3 Features
    • 1 Leaves
    • 2 Flowers
    • 3 fruits
  • 4 Pollination
  • 5 ecological Fatores
    • 1 Climate
    • 2 Soil
  • 6 Propagation
  • 7 Cultural attentions
  • 8 Harvest
  • 9 Productivity
  • 10 Pests and Diseases
  • 11 Uses
  • 12 Toxicity
  • 13 References
  • 14 Sources


Scientific name

Annona × atemoya Mabb. [1] [2]


  • Mabberley, David John
  • Posted in: Paradisus, Hawaiian Plant Watercolors 143, pl. 18. 1998. [3]

Common name

  • Athemoya

Origin and Distribution

The first crossing was made by a horticulturist, at the Subtropical Laboratory of the United States Department of Agriculture in Miami , in 1908 . Other crosses made in 1910 were fruitful in 1911 , seeds from this cross were brought to the Philippines . It was given the name “atemoya”, a combination of “ate”, the old Mexican name for anon de ojo and “moya” taken from custard apple.


The tree is similar to that of the custard apple, it is fast growing, it can reach 25 to 30 feet (7.5-9 m) and it has a short trunk, the fallen branches and normally the lowest ones can touch the ground.


They are deciduous, alternate, elliptical, leathery, less hairy than custard apple, and up to 6 inches (15 cm) in length.


They are long-stemmed, triangular, yellow in color, approximately 6 cm long and 4-5 cm wide.


They are conical or heart-shaped, generally 10 cm long and 9.5 cm wide, and can weigh up to 5 pounds (2.25 kg), pale green or greenish-blue like a pea, it is slightly yellowish between the areoles.

The cortex is 3 mm thick, made up of molten areoles, these are more prominent and angular than those of the anon of eyes with the tips rounded or slightly inclined upwards, firm, flexible, and indehiscent.

The inner mass is aromatic, snow-white in color, with a fine, almost solid texture, without division into segments, with fewer seeds than the anon of eyes, sub-acid and with a flavor reminiscent of custard apple. The seeds are cylindrical, 2 cm long and 8 mm wide; hard, smooth, black or dark brown.


Atemoya and other annonas produce hermaphrodite flowers whose self-pollination is rare. The fruits are sometimes misshapen, underdeveloped on the one hand, as a result of lack of pollination .

The flowers in the feminine state, open between 2 and 4 in the afternoon. Between 3 and 5 the following afternoon they convert to the male state. In cold and humid climates pollen emissions occur despite the fact that it is sticky, so it may be possible to pollinate between different flowers according to their state, but when the climate is hot and dry during the flowering season , the stigma surface dries quickly and insects are needed to transfer pollen.

The main pollinating insects have been identified as Carpophilus hemipterus beetles , C. mutilatus , Haptoncus luteolus , and Uroporus humeralis . Even when these beetles are present, hand pollination improves the quality and attachment of the fruit. Spraying the flowers several times with gibberellins at 1000 ppm has increased fruit yield. Fruits that are seedless are smaller and less tasty than fruits with seeds.

Ecological fators


This plant is slightly stronger than the eye anon, but is still limited to tropical or almost tropical areas. It grows best closer to the coast, where rainfall and humidity are high and winters are warm. Rainy weather during the ripening season, however, can cause cracking or splitting of the fruits.


The tree grows in various types of soil, from clayey sand, red basalt, or heavy clay, but the best growth and productivity are obtained in deep, clay-rich, medium-textured soils with good organic matter content and a moderate amount of humidity. Good drainage is essential, supersaturation is fatal.


As a hybrid plant, propagation by seeds does not guarantee that the fruits obtained will copy the characteristics of the parents and high variability can be expected, for this reason, only plants resulting from grafting are used commercially.

Normally, seedlings of Atemoya itself generated from seeds that germinate in about 4 weeks in seedlings are used as rootstocks. Seedlings are transplanted to the nursery at one year of age and planted in rows 18 inches (45 cm) apart, with a row spacing of 3 feet (90 cm).

Grafting is done in the spring, using tongue grafting. Old trees can be cut and grafted by endiudura or under bark. The cuttings to be grafted are taken from selected crops after the leaves have fallen. In Florida and India, atemoya is often grafted onto custard apple or custard apple. Cherimoya is used as a pattern in Israel.

Cultural entertainment

The transfer to the field of the grafted plants is done near the period of inactivity (dormant), they are spaced between 8.5-9 meters apart in both directions and are reduced to a height of 60-75 cm. Weeds are removed to avoid competition from weeds with the extensive and superficial root system of the Atemoya.

For the next 2-3 years, the pruned trees are kept to form a fort framework. Subsequently, only light pruning is done.

Fertilizer is not applied until after the trees are well established, as the roots of young trees are very sensitive. A 6-10-16 formulation distributed over the entire length of the root system is recommended, the amount gradually increasing to 10 to 12 lbs (4.5-5.4 kg) annually for mature trees. Half is distributed in the spring one month before flowering.

Irrigation during flowering improves fruit yield and fruit quality.


The fruits should be cut from the branches taking care that the fruit support stem does not protrude beyond its edge.

Frequent harvesting is necessary to harvest the fruits at the ideal stage, that is, when cream-colored lines appear between the aeroles showing that the space between them is increasing. If picked too early, the fruit does not ripen, darkens and dries.

The fruits colonized by weevils must be washed with a brush or with compressed air before marketing.

The fruits should not be wrapped because this will speed up the ripening, but they can be packed in boxes with filling between the layers.

Due to their irregular shape, the fruits must be carefully packed, so that the base of each fruit is against the wall of the container and the most delicate, the apex, inwards.


This plant generally has a low yield, mainly for the reason mentioned in “pollination”. 5-year-old trees can produce about 50 fruits a year on average.

Plagues and diseases

The Planococcus citri , congregate around the base of the fruit, is the most common pests, a black mold as soot develops in the exudate produced.

The chalcid fly that lays eggs in the seeds pierces the fruits allowing the entry of fungi, this sometimes causes the mummification of the atemoya. Some other pests produce waxes on the leaves but these are removed along with them. A condition called “littleleaf” (small leaves) is not a disease, it is due to zinc deficiency and can be corrected by foliar spray.

Trees are prone to basal rot Phytophthora sp , the first sign is the appearance of a gummy exudate near the base of the trunk and the roots of the crown.


Fruits are considered by consumers as delicious. You don’t need to add anything to it. It can be simply cut in half or in quarters and the “shell” dough is eaten with a spoon. Slices or cubes of the pulp can be added to fruit salads or various dessert recipes. Some people mix the pulp with orange juice, lemon juice and cream to freeze it like ice cream.


Seeds, like those of all Annona species, are toxic, so care must be taken not to break the seeds when mechanically mixing the pulp.


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