SCIENTIFIC NAME: Annona squamosa
FAMILY: Annonaceae

The Sugar Apple is one of the finest tropical fruits suited to the Townsville region. The fruit is heart-shaped, 75 mm in diameter, with yellowish-green skin. The pulp is white, tender, delicate and delicious.

It is commonly seen in the older backyards of the inner suburbs as an untidy-looking shrub covered with small, stunted fruit. With due care this species can be transformed into a lush attractive specimen that can provide a delicious dessert over a long period.

The sugar apple will do well in a sunny to partially-shaded position in soil that is well limed to achieve a pH of 7.0 to 8.0. On clay soils the planting area should be mounded to prevent water logging and root rot.

Main nutrient requirements are nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and, perhaps the most important nutrient of all for this species, zinc, which would seem to be the elixir of life to the sugar apple: in zinc-deficient soils it will remain unhealthy and unproductive.

The species requires a lot of water during the spring growth flush after its short dormant period and following with a regular watering schedule will ensure that new flowers are continually being developed.

For the first three years new branches should be pruned back to one third their original length, but not before the first flush of growth has commenced after dormancy. The only other pruning is to keep the centre of the tree open.

John Byatt
R.F.C. Publicity Officer

DATE: July 1983

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