Annonaceae  Juss. 1789 nom. cons.

pronounced an-non-NAY-see-eye

the custard apple family

AnnonaThe flowers may be pendant is the generic of the custard apple, and is the Latin word for the yearly produce of the harvest. The Latin word is the probable source of both the generic and family names.  Some think, however, that annona is a Latinized form of the Taino (American) Indian name for Annona charimoya, a fruit tree very similar to the custard apple. Annonaceae are woody trees, shrubs and vines, with simple alternate leaves that lack stipules, and are often arranged in the one plane. The flowers are bisexual with radial symmetry, having 3 whorls of perianth with 3 segments in each whorl. The flowers may be pendant; they usually have 3 sepals and 6 – 12 petals. The stamens are very short, and generally so tightly packed on the receptacle that only the fleshy connective tissue of each is exposed. The pistils each have a superior ovary with one locule. The pistils generally remain distinct and develop into berry-like fruits, but sometimes they coalesce into multiple fruits like the custard apple.


 Annona muricata - Soursop

Annona reticulata - Custard Apple

Fitzalania heteropetala - Fitzalania

Melodorum leichhardtii - Zig-zag Vine

Polyalthia longifolia - Indian Mast Tree

Polyalthia nitidissima - Canary Beech

Rollinia deliciosa (syn.) - Biriba

Rollinia mucosa - Biriba


Photograph © Donald Simpson 2010

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