Tonielle Christensen Land & Nature Stewardship, Plant Nursery Leave a Comment



Common Name:  Soursop, Graviola or Guanabana.

Latin Name:  Annona muricata.

Origin:  South America.

Description (what it looks like):  An evergreen shrub or small tree, 3-10m tall.  Greenish-yellow flowers that resemble a partly peeled green mango.  The young branches are hairy.  The glossy dark green leaves are oval.

The fruit is heart-shaped with a rough green skin and soft fleshy spines.  The fresh meaty flesh is juicy and slightly acid producing a rich creamy thirst quenching juice.

Uses (function):  Perfect fruit for the home garden.  Interplant between larger fruit trees such as mango.  Shade tree for smaller plants or vegetable garden beds during the heat of summer.  Edible leaves and fruit.

Nutritional value:  Soursop contains vitamins B and C and calcium and phosphorus.  It is claimed to be able to remove parasites, reduce inflammation, improve respiratory conditions, boost the immune system and soothe the stomach.  The juice has been used topically, while pulverized seeds and decoctions made of leaves are also popular forms of natural remedies.  You can also use the leaves and pulverized seeds to brew a powerful tea, which also has a number of impressive effects on the human body.

Best time to grow:  Plant seedling out in spring or summer, once sun hardened.

Soil:  Rich, fertile soil.

Sun:  Full sun to part shade.

Water:  Thrives in moist soil, but protect it from waterlogging. 

How to eat it:  It has an extremely pleasing fragrance and flavour, so soursop is usually consumed fresh.  The flavour of the fruit has been described as a combination of strawberries and apple, with sour citrus flavour notes contrasting with an underlying creamy texture reminiscent of coconut or banana.  It is also pureed with 1/3 of vanilla ice-cream or milk to make a delicious drink.  It can be made into a fruit jelly, juice (with the addition of sugar), nectar or syrup.  Sometimes, mature but firm fruit may be made into candies of delicate flavour and aroma.  The fruit can also be dried into a sweet fruit leather.  Immature soursops are cooked as vegetables, used in soup or roasted.


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